Is Phenibut Safe To Take?

Updated May 9, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)

Phenibut affects chemical processing in the brain. It is sometimes used as a recreational drug.

Most users take it to help them with some type of ailment. It affects the GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) in the brain. This can help a person be calmer and to relax. It can also improve mood.

In this article I will be covering the following topics:

  • What is Phenibut exactly?
  • Reasons to take it and is it safe?
  • Can it be addictive?
  • What are the potential side effects?

... So without further ado, let's just get straight into it!

Reasons to Take Phenibut

From a recreational point of view, some users take Phenibut because it helps them to feel good and to self-medicate. They can get this product easier and for less money than other forms of drugs.

The easy access and low cost often encourage people to try it versus other options out there.

There are medical reasons why someone may be prescribed Phenibut.

The use of it is closely monitored and only offered for the short-term. It is important to take it as directed and to no skip doses.

It is important to keep all medical appointments and engage in the full treatment plan. Do not take more of it than prescribed or take it for longer than prescribed.

The reasons it may be prescribed include:

  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irrational fear
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)
  • Severe alcohol addiction
  • Severe social anxiety

Can Phenibut be Addictive?

The use of Phenibut can be addictive, and that makes it a product to use carefully. It should only be taken as prescribed for the intended period of time.

When the medical professional feels it should no longer be used, it should be tapered back with a schedule they provide.

This allows the body to get used to less and less of it until it is no longer used.

A medical professional may prescribe Phenibut to help someone overcome an addiction to alcohol or to help them get through a traumatic experience.

When it is used for such needs, the benefits are deemed to be worth the possible risks. The use of it is short-term with a treatment plan that includes counseling and support.

If a person tries to stop using Phenibut all at once, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

It can take days or weeks for the withdrawal symptoms to go away when a person stops taking Phenibut.

For those using the drug recreationally, it can be difficult to stay away from it due to the withdrawal symptoms.

This may require a person to seek treatment to help them stop using it. The body can build up a tolerance to Phenibut, making it necessary to use more and more of it than before to get the same benefits.

Things That Make Phenibut Unsafe

It can take the body time to get used to the presence of Phenibut. When prescribed, a doctor will start the patient on a low dose.

This allows the body to adjust to it and it gives them a chance to identify how they will respond to it. If necessary, the dose can be increased. The goal is to offer the least amount of the product while offering the highest level of benefit.

Individuals taking it recreationally have the highest risk of side effects from Phenibut. This is because they typically start out with a higher dose than a doctor would give.

Their body doesn’t always respond well to it. The side effects usually go away as the body gets used to the presence of Phenibut.

The higher the dose, the greater the risk of the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Electrical shock feelings in the extremities
  • Nausea
  • Pounding headache
  • Problems with balance
  • Vomiting

When taken in large amounts, Phenibut can make it difficult for someone to breathe. It can also render them unconscious.

Anyone experiencing such an outcome should stop using this product immediately or it could result in death. It won’t always interact well with herbal products, over-the-counter products, or prescription medications.

Always share with your doctor anything else you are taking.