Phenibut is a commonly used smart drug around the world. Even though it is used as a prescription drug in Russia to treat a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and depression, outside of Russia there is limited access to human studies examining the effects and safety of this drug. (1)
While animal studies can help us to understand how it works and the possible human effects, including help with memory, learning, cognitive health, anxiety, aggression, and fear, they do not elucidate how these benefits carry over to humans, nor how best to take the compound to avoid detrimental side effects. (2,3,4,5,6,7)
Outside of Russia, Phenibut is mainly touted for its powerful anxiolytic properties. Even though it comes with a risk of dependence and withdrawal, many users view the benefits as well worth the risk. When used intelligently, Phenibut appears to be well tolerated and safe. It is when it is used in high doses, for long periods without a break, or in combination with certain other drugs that side effects tend to become problematic.
But what exactly is the best way to take this drug? Should you cycle moderate doses, take slightly higher doses only when needed, or take even smaller doses fairly regularly with only break periods when you feel a tolerance building?
Online user reviews are the best way to find answers to these questions. As you will see from the below reviews, experiences with this nootropic vary widely from one person to another. You can use this information to help guide you through how best to take Phenibut.
Reviews and Experiences
When combing through reviews on Reddit and Longecity, you will find plenty of positive and negative experiences. There are users who, contrary to advice, have taken Phenibut daily for years or intermittently take mega-doses (both of these strategies are ill-advised due to side effects, tolerance, and withdrawal - click here to learn more about Phenibut safety).
There are also those who follow the advice and only take it intermittently or cycle frequently. We will include an example of all of these reviews to help you see the diverse Phenibut online experiences.
Review #1: Only When Needed - With a Warning
A Reddit user found luck with only taking this drug 2 times per week and generally took kratom on their off days. They began with a 700-800 mg capsule and did not feel anything, so they increased it to 1.4-1.6 grams on Mondays and Fridays. This dosage worked well for them for a couple of months.
During a rough patch they decided to take their typical dose for three days in a row. On day three, the user reported never having felt that great before - unfortunately, the next three days were a struggle, packed with withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, and insomnia.
The user decided to take a break from Phenibut following this experience, although they were undecided on whether or not they would use it again in the future.
Review #2: Uncommon Review of Positive, Every Day Use
One LongeCity user posted about one of the more unique and promising experiences with using Phenibut for chronic anxiety.
Prior to Phenibut supplementation, this user had experienced debilitating anxiety for their whole life, even after seeking treatment and medications. At this point, they decided to give Phenibut a chance. They began at 0.5 g/day, and slowly increased to 2 g/day every day. This user experienced a complete turnaround of their life, both professionally and personally. They went back to college, began working out regularly, made new friends, and finally felt in control.
Rather than needing to increase the dose past 2 g, this user felt that they reached their peak threshold, experiencing negative side effects like drowsiness only if more was taken. In order to test dependence and withdrawal, they gave it up through tapering down for one month. The withdrawal was difficult, and once the withdrawal symptoms went away, they felt as though they were the exact same anxious person that they were before starting Phenibut.
The user then went back to 2 g/day daily Phenibut for the next six months, and regained control of their stress and anxiety. They point out that they examined the risk of long-term use with the benefits of present day health and happiness, and for them this tradeoff made sense. Other medications, such as antidepressants, build tolerances too. These drugs would also necessitate tapering if needing to stop, however the struggles with anxiety and depression can be large enough for some to view this risk as a chance they are willing to take.
This user is unique in not feeling the effects of Phenibut decrease after prolonged use.
Review #3: First Time Experience
One Reddit user shared their positive experience with taking Phenibut over the course of one day. They took 750 mg on an empty stomach at 2pm. Over the next four hours they felt an increase in their libido and interest in conversation and music. This was paired with a reduction in anxiety and a “body high.”
They then took 250 mg more Phenibut and felt lethargic, heavy, and not quite as talkative for about an hour. Shortly after that, the energy and social interest returned, where they then chose to take 250 mg more. At this point the feelings transitioned to a more chill mood, with most of the effects gone at 11 pm, three hours after their last 250 mg dose.
Review #4: Regular User Twice Per Week
This Reddit user reported their effects with dosing Phenibut only 2 times per week with minimal breaks for over three years. They take 2 g/day and have taken this same dose more-or-less this whole time. From time-to-time they will do a lower dose of 1.5 grams for a few doses, and then go back up to their normal dose and feel the effect more strongly.
Other users on this thread reported similar styles of dosing and experiences, with very little to no tolerance buildup and continued positive effects.
Review #5: Scary Megadose Experience
One Reddit user accidentally took more Phenibut than they had intended on, taking 4 grams at one time. The story of the next 24 hours is alarming and a good warning as to why you want to be very careful when dosing this drug.
For 6 hours he was having a good time, but then passed out, face down on his keyboards, for 15 hours until his girlfriend came home and woke him up. That day he experienced a blackout where he had no memory, muscle spasms, visual distortions similar to having a migraine, extreme fatigue, and numbness.
He feels that he may have nearly killed himself through an overdose, as the feelings he experienced were very similar to when he did overdose on opiates in the past.
This variety of results shows the need to do your research and be careful when using Phenibut, particularly when first starting out. There is potential to help improve anxiety and other aspects of mental health, however this comes with risk of dangerous effects at high doses and tolerance.
This is one article in our series on Phenibut, with others discussing its side effects, and where to buy Phenibut.
- Phenibut Dependence and Management of Withdrawal: Emerging Nootropics of Abuse
- Comparison of nootropic and neuroprotective features…
- Effect of GABA receptor phenibut on behavior of rabbits in the negative emotional situation
- Influence of GABA agonist phenibut on the neuronal activity and interaction in hippocampus and neocortex in emotionally negative situations
- Effect of phenibut and citrocard on non-competitive and competitive behavior during provoked aggression in animals
- Effect of phenibut and its composition with nicotinic acid on hemostasis in rats with brain ischemia
- The effects of agonists of ionotropic GABA(A) and metabotropic GABA(B) receptors on learning