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Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA) is a central depressant used to treat a wide range of ailments including posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and alcoholism. Read more below to learn about its health benefits.
Note: By writing this post, we are not recommending this drug. Some of our readers who were already taking the drug requested that we commission a post on it, and we are simply providing information that is available in the scientific literature. Please discuss your medications with your doctor.
- Introduction: What is Phenibut?
- Uses of Phenibut
- Side Effects and Cautions
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
Introduction: What is Phenibut?
Phenibut is a synthetic drug that is structurally similar to natural brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that has a calming effect on the brain (R).
Phenibut, also known as fenibut, is sold under the brand names of Noofen and Citrocard (R).
Phenibut was developed in Russia in the 1960s, and has since been used as a prescribed drug to relieve tension, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and other conditions (R).
It is not FDA approved for clinical use in the United States. However, it is sold as a nutritional supplement, but withdrawal and dependency have been reported in those who are not under doctor’s supervision (R).
Uses of Phenibut
Most health benefits of phenibut are based on studies in animals. However, not enough data is available to demonstrate effects of phenibut in humans.
1) Phenibut is Neuroprotective
In addition, it decreased the severity of amnesia and behavioral deficit in rats exposed to electroshock (R).
Phenibut also decreased nerve pain (R).
Study also showed that phenibut protected rat neuroblastoma cells from hydrogen peroxide damage in a dose-dependent manner (R).
2) Phenibut May Help Improve Cognition
Phenibut may have nootropic (cognition enhancing) activity, thus it may improve motivation, attention, and concentration.
Phenibut accelerates the development of defensive reflexes at an early stage of conditioning, and facilitate the development of conditioned inhibition (R).
Phenibut improved learning in rabbits by enhancing brain responses to stimuli (R).
3) Phenibut May Reduce Anxiety and Aggression
In rats, phenibut decreased aggression when provoked (R).
4) Phenibut May Protect the Heart
In combination with nicotinic acid, it reduced disturbances in blood flow after stroke in animals (R).
Phenibut may prevent heart damage in alcohol intoxication (R).
Also, studies showed that phenibut may regulate heart rhythm (R).
In pregnant rats with preeclampsia, phenibut prevented blood pressure increase, decreased protein levels in urine, increased blood flow in the uterus, and normalized blood flow and platelet formation (R, R2).
5) Phenibut May Help Prevent Alcohol Dependence
In animals, phenibut citrate prevented damage caused by alcohol (R).
It also reduced motivation to attain and drink alcohol (R).
6) Phenibut Helps Protect the Immune System
Phenibut regulates the immune system when it is overactive, and restores the amount of phagocytic cells (cells that engulf microbes) (R).
In rats and mice, phenibut restored the immune system after it was suppressed using cyclophosphamide (R).
7) Phenibut May Help Treat Respiratory Problems
The phenibut injection increased duration of inhalation during exposure to negative emotional stimuli (R).
Side Effects and Cautions
Two people with elevated phenibut levels were experiencing symptoms of delirium and decreased consciousness, indicating that excessive levels may be toxic (R).
Side effects of phenibut include headache and depression. An overdose of phenibut can result in lowered body temperature, muscle relaxation and sleepiness (R).
Phenibut has abuse potential and should not be considered as a supplement, but rather as a medication (R).
- The addition of the phenyl group to GABA enables the compound to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain (R)
- Phenibut increases the release of dopamine and blocks β-phenylethylamine (PEA) (R)
- It also mimicks the nootropic GABA by binding to GABA-b and to some extent to GABA-a receptors (R)
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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