December 7, 2020

Phenibut is a nootropic, which simply means it is used to enhance the brain’s intellectual or cognitive functions. It was discovered that at low levels of phenibut in the brain, it increases the level of dopamine. This increase in dopamine has been attributed to phenibut’s ability to boost memory and overall performance.

History of Phenibut

The use of phenibut dates back to the Soviet Union before the 1960s. It was manufactured at the A. I. Herzen Leningrad Pedagogical Institute, where professor Vsevolod Perekalin’s group produced it. It underwent clinical trials at the Institute of Experimental Medicine. So in 1960, it was officially adopted as a drug for clinical use.

How Does It Work?

Phenibut improves the brain’s function in lots of exciting ways. Despite improving the brain’s cognitive function, it goes a step further in relieving symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. It can do all these because it is a psychotropic drug. So how does this psychotropic drug work its magic?

GABA  Receptor Agonist

It is a GABA receptor agonist. This simply means that it has the same structure as a hormone in the body known as Gamma-aminobutyric acid  (GABA) and binds to the same receptor. Since they possess a similar structure, they perform the same function in the brain. Consequently, phenibut improves cognition, enhances memory, and treats insomnia because all of these are functions that the natural GABA performs. 

It Crosses The Blood-Brain Barrier

A barrier exists in the brain that prevents the passage of substances like toxins into the brain. It has a protective function, but some drugs, for good reasons, do not cross this barrier. However, Phenibut is an exception. It crosses this barrier and moves to the region of the brain, where it mediates some mood-enhancing and anti-anxiety roles.

 Phenibut Uses as a Nootropic

  • Cognitive Enhancer

At low levels, phenibut has been shown to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. The increased presence of dopamine helps improve the brain’s ability to think and provide solutions to problems. It makes learning easier, which has led to its widespread use among intellectuals as a mental boost in all situations.

  • Anxiolytic and anti-depressant

Due to its GABAergic properties, phenibut can stimulate the pathways to release dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. With the increase in dopamine, phenibut can combat very active neural signaling that causes nervousness and overthinking. It gives the user a good grip over their emotions and behaviors.

It has particularly been used in anxiety caused by PTSD and also in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It can be given to anxious patients before any surgical procedure or any painful diagnostic test.

  • Treatment of Insomnia

Strong evidence suggests that phenibut causes the depression of the Central Nervous System. This is probably the mechanism by which it promotes restful conditions and mediates sleep in the body. Thus it is popularly used to treat insomnia.

  • Alcoholism and Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: 

Alcohol withdrawal symptom stems from the decreased responsiveness to GABA receptors in the brain due to a sudden withdrawal of alcohol from those dependent. Because Phenibut is known to be a GABA receptor agonist, it is used to treat this condition. All in all, Phenibut is useful in other conditions like stuttering, dizziness, tics, motion sickness, and so on.

  • Meniere’s Disease

This disease is a disorder that encompasses conditions like vertigo (dizziness), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and fullness of the ear. The cause of this disease is not known. However, it is known that it is a significant source of anxiety to sufferers of the condition. Therefore it makes sense that Phenibut is used as a treatment for this condition.

How To Take Phenibut

Phenibut capsules are sold as medication in the form of 250 mg and 500 mg tablets that can be taken orally. It also comes as a solution at a concentration of 10 mg/ml that can be infused into the body.  

The 250 mg dose can be taken two or three times daily. At this dose, Phenibut is known to stimulate the mood and creates a feeling of calmness. This dose is also known to reduce social anxiety when taken.

The higher dose of 750 mg is known to promote sound sleep and treat insomnia. It also causes mood elation, improves sociability, and causes a calm disposition when taken at this dose. 

The best dose to take depends on the user’s health status, age, and several other factors. However, whatever dose you decide to take for its effect, it is recommended that you start from a lower dose and see how it goes before increasing the dose. This will help you carefully gauge your body’s response to the drug.

We recommend that you do not exceed the serving dose of 1000 mg or 2000 mg in a day. When you take this drug in such high doses, it can cause dizziness, sweating, and a low heart rate.

Phenibut should also not be taken more than twice a week. Evidence has gathered that the continuous use of this drug causes a person to develop tolerance over time.

Side Effects of Using Phenibut

Phenibut is generally considered safe for most people, but it can lead to dependence when taken regularly and also cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly. Some other Phenibut dangers include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Poor balance
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feelings of electric shocks in arms


Phenibut works as an effective medication for improving cognitive ability amongst a myriad of functions. It is available online, where it is sold as a nootropic and for some other recreational purposes. However, it is yet to be approved for clinical use in the US and most of Europe.



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