Phenibut Withdrawal and How to Avoid It

Chances are if you have spent time in nootropics forums and blogs or done basic research about the drug, you may have come across mentions of tolerance and Phenibut withdrawal concerns. This is an unexpected reaction when using nootropic supplements, but then again–Phenibut is not a typical nootropic.

It stimulates GABA receptors in the brain, much like alcohol, in order to produce its sought after benefits.  The increased levels of GABA in the brain helps you to easily combat anxiety and stress and stay calm through challenging situations such as exams, interviews or difficult confrontations. Other beneficial effects of taking Phenibut include improved focus and concentrations as well as deep and quality sleep at night.

After a prolonged Phenibut use, your brain and body become depended on the effects of this supplement to function normally. When someone uses Phenibut, the brain gets accustomed to the higher levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter)that are supplied by the drug and so it naturally begins to release less and less. Furthermore, research has revealed that regular users of Phenibut often require increasingly higher doses over time to achieve the same effects. Now, when regular users try to stop the use of Phenibut, the brain naturally craves for the effects of the drugs and cannot function properly without it…this is the time that side effects are most often experienced.

Phenibut withdrawal symptoms kick in when the brain and body at large find it difficult to adapt to a life without the Phenibut effects. The symptoms can be quite pronounced if the users try to withdraw Phenibut abruptly (cold turkey) and more so if they were regular users of high doses. Below are some of the Phenibut withdrawal symptoms some users have experienced from trying to get off Phenibut supplement.

Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms

1. Agitation: Within the first few days of stopping Phenibut, you may notice heightened agitation which may compromise your ability to sit still or relax. To combat agitation, do some exercise, go far a walk or try out medication.

2. Anxiety: Most users who stop Phenibut usage experience increased levels of anxiety. This is often extreme in users who have an existing anxiety condition or those who take significantly high doses.

3. Appetite reduction: Some individuals have reported appetite loss after discontinuing Phenibut use. This is thought to be caused by anxiety, stress hormones and reduced metabolism

4. Depression: Changes in dopamine or GABA can trigger mood swings and depression. This condition can be extreme in users with pre-existing depression.

5. Cognitive deficit: Since Phenibut enhances cognitive function through its effect on dopamine and GABA, some users may experience memory lapses and loss of focus upon discontinuation.

6. Fatigue and dizziness: Physical and mental tiredness, vertigo and lack of balance are common withdrawal symptoms that may last for a few week upon discontinuation.

7. Others: Nausea, heart palpitation, insomnia, confusion and depersonalization are other possible symptoms.

How to reduce Phenibut withdrawal symptoms

The easiest way to avoid the severe Phenibut withdrawal symptoms is to use the drug sporadically so that the body never has a chance to become dependent. Being cognizant of dose increases is also important.  If you do take it more regularly, the best way to stop is by conducting a gradual taper. This means that you gradually reduce your dosage by about 10% every 2-4 weeks until you quit taking it. This will give your brain a chance to gradually adjust to the new changes.

Another strategy is to substitute Phenibut with a similar but less problematic substance. The idea is to replace the Phenibut with a different drug, and then taper off the new substance with lesser consequences. Is this doesn’t work for you; it might be a good idea to try out supplementation. In this case, you can restore normative neurotransmission and migrate the withdrawal symptoms to a lesser problematic supplement such as chamomile tea, melatonin, L-theanine or magnesium. You may, however, need to work with your doctor on this one to avoid any contraindications.

Nicole Sanders

Hi, I'm Nicole, chief editor at Nootropics Revealed. Learn more about me and my mission here.