Sunday, January 14, 2018

What's the Deal With: Phenibut?

Phenibut, the supplement with the funny name, is a nootropic ("smart drug") with effects similar to benzodiazepines.  It acts on GABA and is used as a prescription anxiety medication in Latvia & Russia.  But you can also buy it on the U.S. supplement market. 

Phenibut 250mg tablets

Reports on phenibut are mixed.  For every user who reports an amazing experience, there's one warning of horrific withdrawals, vomiting or other side effects.  The withdrawal warnings make sense, as phenibut affects both GABA-A like benzos & GABA-B like GHB & Baclofen.  Doses above 7 grams have been linked to fatty liver degeneration.  That's no small thing. Anyone taking phenibut long-term should have their blood drawn regularly to monitor liver health.

I suppose if you have an easy time with moderation & responsible use, phenibut could be a good supplement for occasional severe anxiety or as a social lubricant.  But if you tend to abuse things or have a history of addiction, don't be fooled by its "supplement" or unscheduled status--phenibut can cause painful & dangerous withdrawals.  Like alcohol or benzodiazepines, phenibut shouldn't be used daily for this reason.  Combining it with opioids or alcohol can magnify its effects, increasing the likelihood of respiratory depression & death. 

I've never personally experimented with phenibut because downers depress me (quite literally), but I've talked to a lot of users who swear it's the bees' knees.  Erowid has a nice collection of user reports for your viewing pleasure.  Have you tried phenibut?  I'd love to hear your experiences.  Sound off in the comments.       

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