What is Phenibut?
Phenibut, also known as Fenibut or brand names Citrocard or Noofen, is an analogue of a natural inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid which produces a calming effect in the brain. An additional phenyl ring allows this substance to cross the blood-brain barrier which is an action GABA supplements cannot do.
Interestingly, it was originally developed by Russian scientists in 1963 as a tool to help ease high anxiety in astronauts who were in space for long periods of time.
Phenibut was than further introduced into clinical practice in Russia where today it is used as a pharmaceutical to treat depression, insomnia, anxiety, alcoholism, stuttering and PTSD.
Its arrival on the market in the United States and many parts of Europe, sold as a nutritional supplement, available without a prescription, rapidly gained Phenibut a lot of popularity.
It is most commonly used for its anxiolytic effects (reducing anxiety), as a mood balancer and sleep aid. User reviews on Phenibut, typically include reports of feeling a heightened sense of well-being, a sense of calmness, reduced social inhibitions, anti-depressant effects and the general ability to relax.
There have also been reports on the Nootropic-like effects of Phenibut, where users attest to this supplement helping to improve learning capacity, focus, memory and even decision-making skills.
This article will discuss how Phenibut works, the potential benefits and guidelines for safe use of this supplement and additional reports on user experiences.
Phenibut Benefits for Anxiety and Mood
The most recognized benefit of Phenibut is in its potential to reduce anxiety while maintaining or even for some, enhancing cognitive processing, a balance that is not typical to most anxiolytic compounds. Its most commonly used by individuals for this purpose as well as for insomnia, stress and poor mood.
Several human experiments have indicated that mental performance is heightened when anxiousness and stress are alleviated.
However, when attempting to relieve these conditions with traditional tranquilizers, it can often accompany reduced cognitive ability, a side effect Phenibut is not known to produce. In fact, there is some evidence suggesting that memory and cognitive processing seem to be better for some people when taking Phenibut but the main benefit of this Nootropic drug is anxiolytic.
Many people who have sought out Nootropics or supplements as tools to help relieve anxiety have reported better results using Phenibut than consuming alcohol or using prescription medications.
Phenibut is thought to act as GABA receptor agonist, which means it binds to and stimulates one or more of these receptors, increasing the effects of this most important natural inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain which promotes calmness and relaxation.
GABA’s role in the brain is essential to maintain a balance between neuronal excitation and inhibition. It serves as a balancer, counteracting glutamate, an excitatory chemical that stimulates greater activity in neurons.
While the brain achieves this balance on its own, proper levels of GABA prevent overstimulation of glutamate, which can result in neurons that fire too fast. When this occurs, it can lead to anxiousness, restlessness, agitation, uncontrollable and racing thoughts, poor mood, insomnia, depression and problems with concentration which are all typical anxiety-related symptoms.
Phenibut induces the same effect as proper GABA levels and helps restore balance which are effects that have been described by users as “the Phenibut high”or feelings of calmness, tranquility and a more focused relaxed state.
In addition, Phenibut stimulates Dopamine receptors at low levels. This is a major mood neurotransmitter associated with feelings of positivity, pleasure and involved in several cognitive processes related to mental focus, attention and memory. This effect may help you have a better ability to focus and encourage more motivated and confident states.
While Phenibut is prescribed in Russia as a treatment for anxiety and several other conditions, it is not an approved drug by the FDA in the United States to prevent or treat any conditions. More research is needed to determine the effects it may have on conditions related to anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Phenibut As a Sleep Aid
Phenibut is considered to be a powerful sleep-aid. It promotes feelings of relaxation and when used as a sedative or ataractic agent it can help restore natural sleeping patterns and help you achieve a more restful deep nights sleep.
This supplement acts primarily as an anxiolytic. It is thought to work at hindering signals from the central nervous system which are associated with anxiety. Reducing higher than normal signaling may reduce restlessness, anxious thoughts and feelings which can be beneficial for sleep quality and insomnia.
Constant worrying, irritability, and restlessness often lead to sleep issues and with the proper use of Phenibut before bedtime, users may experience a better ability to relax, fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.
In addition, Phenibut stays in the body for a long period of time. This means, that it may help you stay asleep and even promote deep REM sleep. However, it also means that your body builds a tolerance to it, so it is not recommended to use more than once or twice a week.
Other noted effects of Phenibut as a sleep aid, is that it may be beneficial for bodybuilders, strength trainers and people who exercise rigorously. The state of deep REM sleep helps the body secrete growth hormones, which boost muscle recovery after intense workouts.
How to Use Phenibut
Phenibut is considered safe to use for most adults at low dosages. However, it is strongly recommended to NOT combine this supplement with alcohol, benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin or any others or other GABA agonists.
The use of Phenibut for anxiety is remarkably well tolerated. However, potential mild side effects can occur including fatigue, dizziness and stomach aches, which are common side effects of all GABA agonists, especially when taken out of the safe range of the recommended dosage. Some users have also reported vivid dreams and pain in the limbs. More serious side effects can occur if used improperly including memory loss or unconsciousness.
Phenibut is not recommended for daily use for anxiety or as a sleep aid. There is a potential risk of addiction when taking it excessively. To avoid this risk, it is recommended that you only use this drug once or twice a week or as needed.
If using Phenibut for it relaxing effects, it may be better to take it later in the afternoon or in the evening for this purpose to avoid getting too drowsy during the day. This supplement may stay in the body for up to 24 hours.
It has been suggested that the best way to take Phenibut as a sleep aid is 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Users report a feeling of gradual relaxation and sleepiness, as this supplement kicks in, you may be able to fall asleep easily. Mild, next day grogginess may occur when you first wake up but some user reports say they mostly felt refreshed.
If taking Phenibut on a regular basis, you can quickly build a tolerance to it. This action will reduce its effects and may also lead to serious withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking it. Cycling Phenibut is recommended. Dosage levels should also not be abused.
Almost all information on Phenibut effects thus far comes from anecdotal evidence. Many users report that Phenibut has helped them deal with stress, anxiety and lack of sleep. However, more scientific research is needed to determine it’s effectiveness and potential effects of using it long-term.
It is always recommended to consult with your doctor first before taking a new supplement, especially if you are currently taking other medications or have any conditions.
Phenibut Dosage Guide
Phenibut is considered to be effective as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety promoter by users but proper usage of this supplement is very important to avoid potential side effects.
It is always recommended to stay within the lowest dosage available when starting on any new supplement to gauge your body’s effect and see what works best for you. This is especially recommended when taking Phenibut.
The manufacturers recommended dosage is approximately 300mg per serving. This dosage or even less at 250mg is a good starting point to achieve potential relaxation and calming effects.
Phenibut should only be taken 1-2 times a week at most and cycled. It is not recommended for continuous use. You can build up a tolerance to this supplement, so taking it occasionally is recommended. Phenibut also poses risks of withdrawal if taken on an ongoing bases.
Do not exceed 1000mg per day. Some users have reported increasing their dosage gradually and over time to reach 1g per day on days when taking Phenibut. This may raise the risk of tolerance forming and withdrawal.
Phenibut has a long plasma half-life, approximately 5 hours, however, the effects can linger long after your kidneys have excreted it, which means one dose can last all day. It is best to wait 24 hours before further dosing.
Phenibut can be taking in a powder form that is mixed with water or taken in capsules form. These are general guidelines. If you have any concerns, please consult your doctor first before taking Phenibut.
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