What is Phenibut? How does it influence the human body?
Phenibut is a common mild tranquillizer in Russia (i.e. an agent affecting central nervous system). It is applied successfully in neurological and psychiatric practices. However, similarly to all the psychotropic drugs, it can build up tolerance. So, it must be used with great caution and the dosage must be kept strictly as advised by your doctor.
Phenibut’s history is quite interesting. It was invented in the Bekhterev Scientific Research Institute of Psychoneurology (Leningrad or nowadays St. Petersburg). Astronauts involved in Apollo-Soyuz international crew (1975) were among the first users of the drug. Its relaxative and sedative properties were not associated with decrement of work ability.
In terms of chemical structure, Phenibut is a derivative of two following ingredients:
- Gamma-amino-butyric acid that inhibits nerve processes.
- Phenylethylamine that has a psychedelic (stimulating) effect on neurons and interneuronal connections.
The certain ratio of Phenibut ingredients provides simultaneous arrest of excessive anxiety, stress situation, fears and obsessions. On the other hand, it can activate nerve processes, improve thinking and memory, recover speech in patients with stutter as well as eliminate depression, asthenia and neurosis.
Phenylethylamine demonstrates a nootropic effect on the brain. Namely, it stimulates higher psychophysiological cerebral processes. In turn, this leads to improved cognitive functions, thinking capacity and memorizing as well as eliminates dizziness.
Phenibut is administered to patients with several neuropsychic disorders, stress sequelae, neurosis, sleep disorders, stutter and hypomnesia associated with psycho-emotional traumas. Narcologists use it successfully to treat alcohol and drug addiction withdrawals.
Depending on indications and purpose, duration of the treatment course can differ. For example, a single dose of 500-750 mg can be prescribed to eliminate anxiety and stress. Intermittent 2-week protracted treatment can be applied to manage more severe disorders. If necessary, the drug can be used continuously for up a month.
On average, evidence shows that the maximum permissible continuous use of Phenibut is 1.5 months. Nevertheless, this is an average value because the drug builds up a tolerance in most of patients even in 3-4 weeks after the beginning of the therapy.
Daily dose of Phenibut is 750 mg in adult patients. A tablet (250 mg) is to be taken 3 times a day.
When does Phenibut action start?
Since the drug is absorbed in blood rapidly, it starts to act in 30 minutes. Clearance from body begins in 3 hours after intake. Phenibut demonstrates substantially reduced effect on brain in 6 hours. That’s why, a tablet should be taken every 6-8 hours. The last one should be taken before going to bed.
The maximum permissible single dose of 750 mg must be used only to manage severe disorders for a short period of time. Overdosing results in undesirable effects and complications. Do not use Phenibut in pregnant/lactating women and children under 8 years old.
As a psychotropic drug, Phenibut can build up tolerance and addiction.
Psychological addiction is based on patient’s sensations (i.e. relaxation, tranquility, increased mental/emotional activity and better mood). Along with this, performance of several functions or problem solving becomes easier. So, a patient enjoys this state and demonstrates quite typical trend to maintain it continuously.
Another addiction (i.e. physical or to be more exact a pathophysiological one) is caused by certain processes in the nervous tissue. Long-term use of the drug induces gradual reduction of overall sensitivity of neural synapses (connections) and cerebral nerve cell receptors, as well as decreased perception threshold of natural neurotransmitters.
Phenibut withdrawal leads to recurrence of prior symptoms. Typically, they can be more evident than before starting to take the drug. Also, since the threshold of sensitivity to the drug itself is simultaneously reduced, a repeated treatment course will require higher dose. Consequently, Phenibut must not be used out of control. Strict indications, appropriate dosage and proper therapy duration are required instead. Gradual withdrawal of Phenibut is of critical importance to enable step-by-step adaptation of a human body and the drug dishabituation.
How to properly withdraw from Phenibut?
Under any circumstances Phenibut must be withdrawn gradually. As a human body has reduced production of its own neurotransmitters during the therapy, these functions can’t recover immediately. They need certain time.
The following common tapering schedule is considered to be the mildest and the safest. Every day reduce a daily dose by ¼ of a tablet. A daily dose of 3 tablets includes 12 quaters in total. So in this case Phenibut should be withdrawn within 12 days. In general, a tablet should be reduced by ¼ in the morning on the Day 1. If you won’t detect any bad symptoms on the next day continue decreasing the dose. If your state becomes even worse, reduce the dose every other day.
Symptoms of Phenibut withdrawal syndrome
Immediate withdrawal of Phenibut causes combination of symptoms (i.e. decreased activity and nervous breakdown) on Day 2. Artificial drug-mediated regulation of nervous system is suddenly stopped but natural mechanism that have become accustomed to therapy-associated inactivity are still “sleeping”. So they need certain time to recover.
Just then withdrawal syndrome develops. It is associated with symptoms as follows:
- Decreased general vitality, inertia, weakness.
- Reduced working capacity.
- Apathy, activity averseness.
- Continuous drowsiness associated with bad sleep.
- Increased emotional sensitivity, lability, anxiety, tearfulness.
- Headache, hypotension.
- Body temperature rise.
Severe cases may be associated with delusion, hallucinations, vicious behaviour, depression and suicidal ideas. Symptoms of drug-like withdrawals (such as muscle pain, jerks or even convulsions; chest compression; shortness of breath; various fears) can be also observed.
Also, the presence and intensity of withdrawal syndrome depends on type of nervous system. On the one hand, several patients did not detect any changes after Phenibut withdrawal. On the other hand, some persons did not mention its stimulating and relaxative properties.
How to manage withdrawal syndrome?
Phenibut withdrawal syndrome is hardly detected in all the patients. It is the most common in the setting of continuous use followed by immediate withdrawal. It is strongly advised not to take any psychotropic, sedative or stimulating drugs during withdrawal or tapering period.
Since Phenibut cannot be combined with all the drugs, the residual product can induce an adverse body response to a new agent.
Foremost, visit a doctor who prescribed the therapy. Typically, they try to eliminate these manifestations by a non-drug method. A doctor can recommend you to normalize schedule of work and rest, to do exercises, to walk outdoors for a longer period of time and to balance your food intake. Also, natural remedies (such as valerian root, motherwort or passiflora tincture) can be taken.
A patient is often referred to a psychotherapist in order to manage anxiety, panic and fear representing a basis of withdrawal-induced neurovegetative disorders. If all these measures are inefficient, drug therapy will be prescribed considering clinical presentation of the syndrome.
More evident apathy and inertia require administration of another nootropic (e.g. Piracetam or Pantogam). They stimulate cerebral functions without sedative action. Another nootropic – Noopept produced effect even on the Day 3 and eliminates cerebral depression.
Predominant anxiety, fear, worry, hyperexcitability or muscle jerks can’t be managed without tranquillizers. As a rule, an initial sublingual dose of Phenazepam is 0.25 mg for 3 times a day. Then, it is used twice a day. Finally, it is taken before going to bed. Mebicar also provides a good effect.
In total, tranquillizers must not be used for longer than 1 month considering a dose decline period.
Can you take phenibut and drive?
Despite different medical opinions whether Phenibut is a psychotropic or not, it is still prohibited for drivers.
Since patients have different types of nervous systems, Phenibut can stimulate mental functions or provide relaxative sedative properties. Both effects can induce an inappropriate response while driving a vehicle. On the one hand, a patient can demonstrate hurry, self-reliance or unjustified risk. On the other hand, these responses can include decreased alertness or poor reaction to various travel conditions.
A patient can drive a vehicle only after Phenibut has cleared from the body.
Can take Phenibut whilst drinking alcohol?
It is common knowledge that narcologists use Phenibut to manage alcohol addiction to stop hard drinking and to arrest abstinence syndrome (i.e. delirium tremens). However, the therapy is performed under direct control of a doctor assuming that a patient gives up drinking.
Do not combine Phenibut and alcohol. Phenibut enhances alcohol intoxication and promotes ethanol overdose. Alcohol itself aggravates sedative effect of the drug. This produces a “conflict” with unpredictable results. For example, some persons can demonstrate increased restraint or severe drowsiness. Abnormal behaviour or mental disorders can be observed in other persons.
Similarly to alcohol, Phenibut has a negative impact on gastrointestinal tract. Their combination can induce acute gastritis, duodenitis, erosion, ulcer and even gastric hemorrhage. Hippocrates, the greatest ancient healer, said a wise phrase that only a small dose can distinguish a poison from a medicine. To avoid Phenibut transformation into a poison, use it strictly as prescribed.