Phenibut is not as known nor does it have as widespread use as other nootropics such as piracetam, Alpha GPC, caffeine, or L-theanine. However, phenibut has demonstrated numerous benefits over tens of decades through both formal studies and anecdotal documentation.

Phenibut is a nootropic supplement designed to simulate the naturally occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that acts on the central nervous system.

It is sold as a psychotropic with a positive effect on mental ability and improved neurological functioning. The anxiety-reducing effectiveness of phenibut is widely accepted. Once anxiety is addressed and improved, natural sleep patterns and enhanced cognitive processes often follow.

The supplement was discovered in the Soviet Union nearly half a century ago. An interesting, documented anecdote is that Russian cosmonauts were approved to supplement with phenibut. In fact, phenibut was part of the 1975 joint USSR – US mission Apollo-Soyuz.

Today, it is used in Russia to treat a variety of ailments in addition to anxiety.

Benefits and Effects

Anxiety-reduction is the most commonly recognized benefit of phenibut and was documented by Izyaslav Lapin.[1] Anxiety may be caused by the brain focusing on and overworking unimportant details. Turning off this distracting neuron processing may free the person to process a broader, more productive range of stimuli.

Reduces Social Anxiety

This anxiolytic effect can lead to more rewarding social interactions. There is some limited research supporting enhanced cognitive processing following phenibut consumption, but the primary and supported benefit is anxiolytic.

People that have sought to improve their interactions in social settings have reported better results with the supplement than with alcohol or prescription anxiety medications. Attempted stress and anxiety reduction using traditional tranquilizers often leads to sleepiness and reduced cognitive ability. This undesired side effect isn’t present with phenibut supplementation.

Restores Healthy Sleep Patterns

People living through depression, anxiety, stressful life events, and hormonal changes, like menopause, often report deteriorating sleep quality. Some have been unsuccessful using melatonin and are unwilling to use pharmaceutical sleep aids. The lack of quality sleep can create an unbroken cycle of impaired cognitive processing, leading to more anxiety, and resulting in even more lost sleep. Phenibut used as an ataractic supplement or sedative can restore helpful, natural sleep patterns, duration, and quality.

We recommend phenibut to persons who are just beginning to experience sleep problems. The ability to fall asleep, remain asleep, and maintain extended periods of healthy, refreshingly deep sleep may be restored quickly with the aid of the supplement. Recapturing healthy sleep patterns early in the destruction process can head off cognitive and emotional problems down the road that may result from the exhaustion.

How it Works

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring brain inhibitory neurotransmitter. The blood-brain barrier makes taking supplements of GABA ineffective, but phenibut can cross the barrier because it has an additional phenyl group molecule or ring. Once in the brain, it slows down the neuronal process. GABA opens up channels in the neurons, decreases the function of other neurotransmitters, and reduces collective anxiety in the neuron. It is not exactly clear if phenibut binds to the GABA receptor or not. Studies have shown that it does and others that it might but only in high concentrations.

Lapin’s study also found that phenibut increases levels of the body’s dopamine. Dopamine is a well-known, often-studied neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that has been shown to regulate emotion and promote motivation and happiness. It is believed that dopamine depletion leads to Parkinson’s disease.


Phenibut is a powerful compound that is best started at a low dosage with careful monitoring.

While the exact ideal phenibut dosage is not known and can vary from person to person, many users report that that 250 mg daily helps them to operate at their optimal level. Others have needed slowly to increase ingestion, gradually reaching levels closer to the 1000 mg daily target. Phenibut lasts up to 24 hours in the human body, so once a dose is ingested, it is best to wait for the supplement to be fully assimilated before further dosing.

We reiterate that this supplement must be started out slowly. Some people have found that starting with larger doses has resulted in feelings of “drunkenness” and other undesired, but avoidable, side effects. On the other hand, others have found phenibut to be an effective anxiety reducer and sleep promoter for them when other products have failed.


Stacking is the term used when two or more nootropic supplements are taken to derive synergistic benefits through the presence of the other components. This practice has commonly been among nootropic users. An example of this is combining a racetam, like piracetam, with a choline source such as alpha GPC.

When it comes to phenibut, it is sometimes added to people’s stacks simply to reduce anxiety on days that are extra stressful.

Stack for Mood and Anxiety

Because phenibut has known anxiety-reducing and quality sleep-generating results, the supplement should be a consideration for any mood enhancing stack. A fairly powerful stacking option to address anxiety, mood control, or sleeplessness is a combination of phenibut, phosphatidylserine, and bacopa monnieri.

As needed (Phenibut not recommended for daily use)

Stack for Athletic Recovery

Today, extreme athleticism seems to be the lifestyle of many weekend warriors. Athletes seeking an additional edge or extra help with hard training may consider a recovery stack. Phenibut in combination with L-theanine and centrophenoxine could help to reduce body soreness, help to motivate to a new strength or endurance level and result in enhanced muscular development.

As needed (Phenibut not recommended for daily use)

Side Effects

Whenever a new food, supplement, or medication is introduced, the best source of criticism is the human body itself. Any person deciding to take supplements of phenibut should start with a low dose and be tuned into the feedback provided by his or her body.

In addition to the “drunkenness” feeling that overdosing can produce, other side effects may include lightheadedness and dizziness. Other users have reported fatigue, nausea, and stomach discomfort following ingestion of phenibut. Furthermore, individuals on epilepsy medication or MAO inhibitors should consult with their doctor before taking phenibut.

Alcohol should be avoided when taking phenibut due to synergistic effects.

Phenibut should not be supplemented daily. It has the potential to be addictive, especially when taken excessively. If taken regularly, tolerance will also be developed reducing its efficacy. Limiting usage, as others have, to a couple of times each week will minimize the possibility of addiction and tolerance.

You may want to consider using it only when you know you will be in an anxiety-inducing situation or find that stress or anxiety have become disruptive to your sleep schedule.

We encourage you to respect the power of phenibut. It would also be wise to speak to a medical professional before taking phenibut, especially if you are on any other medications or have an existing medical condition.

Where to Buy

Phenibut can be purchased online in bulk powder form from specialty vendors. We recommend as a trusted source for ordering phenibut or any other nootropics that you may be looking for.

Closing Thoughts

Phenibut is an effective anxiety-relieving supplement without causing the drowsiness that often accompanies other anxiolytics.

If you are in need of a supplement with a proven history of anti-anxiety, sleep-promoting, cognitive-enhancing benefits, phenibut is a worthy option.

Proceed with caution if you decide to use phenibut as it can be dangerous if used improperly.

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Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.