Phenibut (A complete review)

Phenibut is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. 

In this blog, we will discuss how phenibut is used, what disorders it treats, common side effects, and important precautions regarding usage. 

What is phenibut?

Phenibut is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Phenibut is commonly prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, including panic disorder.

It can also be prescribed to patients who have insomnia (difficulty sleeping), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcoholism, and irregular heartbeat. 

Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed by a physician, usually a psychiatrist. Common symptoms of anxiety disorders include hypervigilance, irritability, restlessness, fear of impending doom, nausea, trembling, and more.

For support and insight on anxiety disorders, click here. 

How does Phenibut work? 

Phenibut works by activating receptors for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, which means that it reduces the firing of neurons.

When receptors for GABA are activated by phenibut, neurons are “quieter” and thus elicit a calming and sedative effect in the patient. 

phenibut is usually taken as needed, such as when the patient feels a panic attack coming on.

It should not be used as a recreational drug or in combination with alcohol. 

What are some things I should know about taking phenibut? 

Phenibut can be used for short-term relief of anxiety. It is available in short-acting or long-acting tablets, oral solution, or orally dissolving tablets. 

In addition, phenibut can be taken as needed and supplemented with more long-term treatment for anxiety, such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  

Additional note: If you are a woman who is breastfeeding you should not breastfeed your baby while taking phenibut. 

What are the risks associated with taking phenibut? 

Like other medications that enhance the effects of GABA, phenibut has addictive potential.

The risk of addiction may be enhanced if you have a preexisting substance use disorder such as opioid or alcohol use disorder.

It is imperative to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor in order to prevent the possibility of developing an addiction. 

What are the side effects of phenibut? 

During the first few hours after taking phenibut, you may experience dizziness or drowsiness.

Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this drug affects you. 

Taking phenibut may cause a number of side effects including drowsiness and dizziness.

These side effects usually go away within a few days to a few weeks.

If they become more severe or do not go away, talk to your doctor. 

More serious side effects include difficulty breathing and even unconsciousness. 

You may also experience the following more common side effects: 

• Upset stomach (i.e., nausea)

• Hangover effect

Are there any interactions between phenibut and other drugs?

If you are taking other medications and have questions about whether or not they will interact with phenibut, consult your doctor immediately. 

How do I know if I should take phenibut? 

Be sure not to confuse normal everyday anxiety with an anxiety disorder.

If you are experiencing a problem at work, a big exam coming up, or an important decision, you are probably having a normal anxious reaction to life stressors.

Anxiety disorders, however, are chronic and usually centre around irrational fears and worry. 

There are many different types of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, to name a few.   

Symptoms of GAD usually include: 

·      Feelings of restlessness or on edge

·      Difficulty concentrating and racing thoughts

·      Muscle tension

·      Irritability

·      Trouble sleeping

·      Difficulty controlling feelings of worry

·      Easily fatigued 

Phenibut is commonly prescribed to people suffering from anxiety disorders because the calming effects help subside panic attacks.

Symptoms of panic attacks include:

·      Heart palpitations or accelerated heart rate 

·      Sweating, trembling, shaking

·      Shortness of breath 

·      Feelings of impending doom 

Phobia-related disorders are another set of anxiety disorders that are characterized by an intense fear or aversion to specific situations or objects.

This fear is usually out of proportion to the actual danger imposed by the situation or object.

Symptoms of phobia-related disorders include: 

·      Irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation 

·      Intentional avoidance of feared object or situation 

·      Intense and immediate anxiety upon exposure to the object or situation 

Specific phobias can be related to situations such as flying or heights, or related to animals such as spiders.

Some people also have phobias of receiving injections or blood.

Agoraphobia is another type of anxiety disorder where people have an intense fear of two or more of the following situations: 

·      Being in open or enclosed spaces

·      Standing in lines

·      Crowded areas

·      Using public transportation

·      Being outside of their home 

People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations out of fear that they will not be able to escape.

Some have an intense fear that they will panic or have other embarrassing symptoms.

In severe cases, people may avoid leaving their house altogether. 

If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, do NOT start taking phenibut from a non-reputable source such as a friend, consult a psychiatrist immediately. 

Phenibut should be taken in combination with the right kind of psychotherapy, such as talk therapy or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).

However, it is not legal in the US and most parts of Europe, so some people buy it on the internet as a dietary supplement (see FAQ about legality of phenibut). 

These therapies teach the patient active coping mechanisms to manage anxiety symptoms. 

What happens if I suddenly stop taking phenibut?

If you stop taking this medication “cold-turkey”, you may experience severe withdrawal effects, including seizures.

To prevent this, talk to your doctor about slowly tapering off phenibut. 

Even if you think you don’t need to take phenibut anymore, it is still necessary to consult with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that is better for you. 

Is it possible to overdose on phenibut?

Yes, it is possible. An overdose on phenibut causes severe central nervous system (CNS) depression and may include one or more of the following symptoms: 

·      Coma

·      Fainting

·      Hypotension (low blood pressure) and hypoventilation (shallow breathing)

·      Impaired motor functions (I.e., dizziness, difficulty balancing, impaired or absence of reflexes, muscle weakness)

·      Drowsiness

So what can I take away from this blog post about phenibut?

In this blog piece we discussed how phenibut works in the brain, what it is used to treat, and common side effects.

If you have any questions about phenibut in general or are wondering whether or not you need a prescription, consult your psychiatrist as soon as possible.  

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about phenibut:

1. Are phenibut and Xanax the same thing?

Both of these drugs are part of the benzodiazepine class and are used to treat anxiety disorders and and panic attacks of medications but they are not the same medication.

2. Is phenibut legal in the US?

Phenibut is not approved for use in the USA and parts of Europe.

It is, however, sold on the internet as a nootropic. Phenibut is also used recreationally.

3. What is phenibut used for? 

Phenibut is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Phenibut is commonly prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, including panic disorder.

It can also be prescribed to patients who have insomnia (difficulty sleeping), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcoholism, and irregular heartbeat.

4. Is phenibut a dangerous drug?

Phenibut can be dangerous if not taken properly.

It can cause dizziness, nausea, poor balance, feelings of electric shock in the limbs, and excessive fatigue.

If phenibut is taken in large doses, it can cause difficulty breathing and even coma. It is also an addictive substance,.

5. What are the side effects of phenibut? 

During the first few hours after taking phenibut, you may experience dizziness or drowsiness.

Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this drug affects you. 

Taking phenibut may cause a number of side effects including drowsiness and dizziness.

These side effects usually go away within a few days to a few weeks.

If they become more severe or do not go away, talk to your doctor. 

More serious side effects include difficulty breathing and even unconsciousness. 

You may also experience the following more common side effects: 

• Upset stomach (i.e., nausea)

• Hangover effect

6. Can phenibut make you sleepy? 

Since phenibut  is used as a sedative medication to calm people with anxiety disorders, it can make you drowsy and decrease your ability to drive safely or operate machinery.

If phenibut is taken with other drugs that induce drowsiness such as alcohol, you may become particularly sleepy. 

More questions or comments? Post below! 

Recommended reading

Want to learn more about phenibut? Try these books! 

Phenibut: Your Ultimate Guide To Unlocking Your Social Side & More With This Powerful Pill (Kratom, Kratom For Beginners, Nootropics, Brain Supplements, … Help, Modafinil, Phenibut, Piracetam, Kava)

Proceed with caution! This book discusses the potentially dangerous drug phenibut. 

Phenibut: A Scientific Guide to the Health Benefits & Precautions 

David Jay Brown discusses the health benefits of this little-known dietary supplement.

This book is an easily digestible read with information on how phenibut works in the brain, its history, and how it can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia. 

Panic Attacks and You-Methodology for recovery from anxiety and panic attacks disorder

Justin Burns writes all about how to deal with the long- and short-term issues that come with having panic attacks in this extremely powerful self-help book.

He identifies the causes of panic attacks and details how to prevent them.

This book also lists major symptoms of panic attacks, the differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks, and effective treatments for panic attacks. 

The Neurotic Paradox, Volume 1: Progress in Understanding and Treating Anxiety and Related Disorders (World Library of Mental Health)

This is a collection of papers written by Dr David Barlow, where he discusses years of research on the treatment of anxiety disorders.

His research has resulted in new classifications of anxiety disorders as well as new treatments that have proven very useful to clinical psychologists. 

The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts, and Reflections for Living in the Present Moment

Journaling is a great way to give yourself a stress release.

Whether you are dealing with mental health issues, heartbreak, a problem at work, or any other life stressor, this journal is for you.

This Mindfulness Journal can easily be added into your daily routine and can serve as an outlet for stress-reduction that will help you appreciate every single day and moment.

It includes 365 daily writing prompts divided into 52 weekly mindfulness topics. The prompts are extremely unique, fun, and engaging, so you will never get bored while journaling.

Additionally, each prompt is on its own separate page so you will have more than enough room for reflection and to write down all of your thoughts, big or small.

Although it is suggested to journal once a day, you can spend as much or as little time as you want on each prompt. 

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Course

  • With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

References

Phenibut. WebMD. 

Anxiety Disorders.National Institute of Mental Health. July 2018. 

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