What Is Phenibut?
Many of us want a life-booster, something that makes us feel confident, energized, and ready for a challenge. For people who are handling emotional problems or just need some help with getting through the day, phenibut may seem like the answer. Anyone can buy Phenibut online for less than $30, but even though it’s becoming popular and easy to obtain, the evidence for its usefulness is not conclusive. Moreover, phenibut may be addictive for some people.
Phenibut is supposed to alleviate anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress, and insomnia. It also allegedly enhances learning, memory, concentration, and social skills. It’s no wonder why tens of thousands of people have researched this “wonder drug” and why many have given it a try.
Phenibut, which is sometimes called phGABA or phenigamma, is a synthetic chemical first synthesized by a group of Russian scientists in the 1960s. Its chemical structure is similar to that of GABA, a neurotransmitter which blocks signals between brain cells and calms the nervous system. However, unlike GABA, phenibut can enter the brain through the blood stream, and therefore it can function as an ingredient in pills and elixirs. Phenibut-based products include Anvifen®, Adrafinil®, and Noofen® as well as some generic products which claim (misleadingly) to contain GABA.
Is Phenibut Safe and Does It Actually Work?
The answer, unfortunately, is that we don’t really know. Phenibut is only considered to be a legitimate medication in Russia, its country of origin, and in Ukraine, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. Furthermore, it’s a controlled substance in only two countries: Australia and Hungary. Throughout the rest of the world, the status of phenibut is less official. For example, in the United States and Europe, phenibut is a legal “nutritional supplement,” but health authorities have not classified it as a true medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has never assessed the alleged benefits of phenibut and has not confirmed whether it is truly effective for treating any disease or disorder. In fact, as of this year, the FDA does not even classify phenibut as a “dietary ingredient” and warns that products that claim phenibut as a dietary ingredient are fraudulent.
It is important to note that many scientific studies on the effects of phenibut have been conducted on mice and cats, not on human subjects. Right now, there isn’t an extensive collection of peer-reviewed data on how the medication actually affects humans. In fact, most of the information that we have about how phenibut works is anecdotal.
While many people have said that phenibut improves their mental health and self-confidence, many others have reported negative side effects. Based on patient reviews and limited scientific research, the side effects of phenibut may include dizziness, nausea, tiredness, and headaches. Additionally, there have been several reports of people who nearly suffocated after using phenibut along with alcohol or marijuana. So far, there are no confirmed cases of phenibut causing a person to die.
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Is Phenibut Addictive?
Most mind-altering drugs and substances carry risks for dependence and addiction. It isn’t certain whether phenibut is addictive, although anecdotal evidence and some studies suggest that it could be. People who have taken phenibut to manage stress, fall asleep, or suppress anxiety have become dependent on it. This is because someone who takes phenibut regularly may eventually feel unable to work, socialize, or sleep without it. Some phenibut users have also reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms, especially insomnia, irritability, and rebound anxiety and depression, after they stop using it.
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Overall, phenibut is somewhat of a mystery. If you choose to try it, it’s important to keep in mind that it hasn’t been thoroughly tested and that its effects are unpredictable.
Phenibut is basically a self-help product, a drug which is neither a true medication nor an illegal substance. It might be beneficial, but it might also cause discomfort and dependence. If you have concerns about the risks of phenibut, consider alternative options, such as prescription medication or therapy, for treating any problems you may have.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to phenibut or anything else, please contact a dedicated recovery provider today to learn more about treatment centers where anyone can get help.