How To Use Phenibut For Alcohol Withdrawal

phenibut for alcohol withdrawal

In this article, I’m going to discuss how to use phenibut for alcohol withdrawal. Phenibut is a popular brain supplement that is available in some stores and over the Internet. It is most often used to induce relaxation and boost cognitive function.

(Update: The FDA has banned phenibut as a dietary supplement. It may still be available in some places, but this article is for informational purposes only and does not link to any phenibut products.)

People who cross the line from heavy drinking to alcoholism are often shocked at how difficult it can be to quit drinking. Quitting drinking gets harder over time, or after repeated episodes of withdrawal, because of a brain phenomenon known as kindling.

While doctors typically prescribe tranquilizers called benzodiazepines for alcohol detox, it is possible to use phenibut at home to alleviate mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The main risk with using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal is that tolerance and dependence can develop with daily use of doses in excess of 1 gram.

However, this risk can easily be avoided with responsible usage of low-dose phenibut.

I will explain how precautions can be taken if you’re using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal, and what dosages are considered to be safe.

It’s always best to seek medical attention from a professional when you’re experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

phenibut for alcohol withdrawal

Pharmacology

Originally developed for Soviet astronauts in the 1960s, phenibut is an anxiolytic, meaning that it reduces anxiety, and a nootropic, meaning that it boosts mental performance.

Prescription tranquilizers often leave people feeling loopy and tired, which is obviously problematic for astronauts who merely need to stay calm. Phenibut’s unique ability to bring about relaxation without impairing focus provided these astronauts with a superior solution.

Like alcohol and benzodiazepines, phenibut activates GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter associated with feelings of calm.

  • Alcohol – Stimulates GABA-A and GABA-B receptors
  • Benzodiazepines – Stimulates mainly GABA-A receptors
  • Phenibut – Stimulates mainly GABA-B receptors

All three of these drugs have a certain degree of cross-tolerance, meaning that they can be substituted for each other to obtain similar effects. Like alcohol, phenibut mildly increases the concentration of dopamine in the brain.

Phenibut’s scientific name is Beta-Phenyl-GABA, and it is distinguished by a phenyl ring that allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier with ease. Pure GABA supplements are less effective than phenibut because they are are not well absorbed across the blood-brain barrier. Phenibut is very similar in structure to GABA.

phenibut for alcohol withdrawal

Phenibut is also structurally similar to baclofen, another GABA-B receptor agonist, which is available by prescription only. In fact, the difference between baclofen and phenibut is only one chlorine atom. Baclofen is becoming well-known for its ability to combat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and alcohol cravings.

In the U.S., phenibut is currently sold as an unregulated supplement, either in capsules or as a powder. In Russia, it is regulated as a prescription drug. It is widely prescribed there for the following maladies:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Alcoholism
  • Insomnia

More research on phenibut is needed, but its pharmacology and safety is well-established in the scientific literature:

  • Phenibut is effective as both a nootropic and an anxiolytic (source)
  • No deaths have been solely attributed to phenibut (source)
  • The effects of 1 gram of phenibut are equivalent to 8-10 mg of baclofen (source)

How To Taper Phenibut For Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol intoxication causes a spike in GABA levels and withdrawal involves a plunge in GABA. Many alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as psychological discomfort and panic attacks are caused by insufficient levels of GABA in the brain. Using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal can be effective because it activates GABA receptors in the brain.

phenibut for alcohol withdrawal

Using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal can provide temporary peace of mind and help prevent a short-term relapse. Back when my drinking habit was equivalent to a bottle of wine per night, a phenibut taper might have helped me feel more comfortable if I’d decided to quit drinking.

At this point in time, my alcohol withdrawal symptoms consisted of nervousness, low-level depression, and occasional panic attacks.

Of course, I had no idea what phenibut was during this phase of my drinking career. If I had known then what I know now, and decided to buy some phenibut for alcohol withdrawal, here is how I would have proceeded:

  • I would begin with 1 gram of phenibut on the first day with no alcohol, divided in four 250 mg doses throughout the day. (Dividing doses in this way allows you to assess its effects after the first low dose.)
  • Note: Alcohol and phenibut should never be mixed because they act on the same receptors.
  • I would taper off of phenibut by 250 mg per day until I got down to a 250 mg dose, which I would then cut in half to 125 mg for my fifth day of the taper.
  • The taper would look like this: 1 gram on Day 1, 750 mg on Day 2, 500 mg on Day 3, 250 mg on Day 4, and 125 mg on Day 5.
  • I would therefore take phenibut for 5 days at most, and in a very controlled fashion.

Note: Phenibut dependence can occur in 10 days at a sustained dose of 1-3 grams per day. The half life of phenibut is about 5 hours, but because it is processed slowly by the kidneys, its effects can linger for up to 12 hours.

I should mention that 3 grams is a very large dose of phenibut. Horror stories about phenibut withdrawal on the Internet come from people who for some reason decided to mega-dose phenibut for months at a time.

I recently read a scathing review of phenibut from a guy who took 20 grams per day for 6 months straight and was angry about experiencing hallucinations after he quit!

One of the best habits to cultivate after you quit drinking is to respect your brain.

The best way to do this is to fully grasp the nature of anything you decide to put in your body to enhance your quality of life. This includes all food, nutrients, herbs, supplements, and drugs.

Over the past year, I’ve taken very low doses of phenibut (100-200 mg) before air travel and big events.

While I have never felt “high,” the effects are always very smooth and I have never developed a tolerance or withdrawal issue.

Here are some other things to consider before using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal at home:

  • Because we are all biochemically different, some people do not respond well to phenibut.
  • If you quit drinking at home, make sure you have support and that you repair your body proactively!
  • Don’t take phenibut until you’ve quit drinking. One drink on phenibut feels like several drinks and blackouts are common.
  • Even if you successfully use phenibut for alcohol withdrawal, you will still need to repair nutrient deficiencies caused by excessive drinking. Once you taper off of phenibut, you may be left with alcohol cravings, depression and low motivation.
  • After you quit drinking, it’s important to have external support for your new lifestyle and to renew your sense of purpose in life. When I quit drinking, I began a personal transformation that permanently altered my view of drinking culture while making me a much happier person.

Post-Detox Considerations

If you are mildly or moderately dependent on alcohol, using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal can ease discomfort as you make the right choice to quit drinking.

As my experience has shown, it can also make the most uncomfortable situations in life a bit easier to deal with.

Even if your symptoms aren’t severe, envisioning life without alcohol is hard enough. Nervous exhaustion and insomnia can make the task of quitting drinking seem nearly impossible.

But while phenibut is a very effective supplement, it is not a cure-all for the physical damage caused by alcoholism.

Many people who quit drinking feel tortured by depression or alcohol cravings for long periods of time. These other symptoms are often caused by the following problems:

  • Low dopamine
  • Low serotonin
  • Magnesium deficiency (my life changed when I began taking magnesium!)
  • B-vitamin deficiencies
  • Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Poor liver health

Fortunately, there is a way to address all of these problems at once.

Calm Support (read my review here) is an organic nutritional supplement designed specifically for rebalancing mood. I wish it had been available when I quit drinking, because in my opinion it is by far the best supplement for repairing your body and brain after you quit drinking.

phenibut for alcohol withdrawal

Calm Support is an ingenious collection of high quality nutrients and herbs that are very effective for alcohol withdrawal. These ingredients cost a lot of money when purchased separately:

  • B-Vitamins – Highly depleted by alcoholism and necessary for energy and cognition
  • Vitamin C – Restores cellular health damaged by alcohol consumption
  • Magnesium – Supports relaxation, sleep, and nervous system functioning
  • Zinc – Restores the immune system and hormonal balance after alcoholism
  • L-Tryptophan – Amino acid that helps with relaxation and sleep
  • NAC – Amino acid that detoxifies the liver and the lungs
  • Valerian Root – Herb that reduces insomnia
  • Phyllanthus – Herb that detoxifies the liver
  • Mucuna Pruriens – Herb that restores dopamine in the brain
  • L-Theanine – Amino acid that improves anxiety

If I had to quit drinking all over again, I would take Calm Support as soon as I tapered off of phenibut for alcohol withdrawal. Alcoholism is a complex brain disorder and GABA is not the only neurotransmitter that needs to be addressed when you quit drinking.

phenibut for alcohol withdrawal

Another trick I learned after I quit drinking was to take glutamine to resolve sudden, intense bouts of alcohol cravings. Try it and you’ll see that it works. Glutamine is an amino acid that can also help repair every cell in your body.

If you take Calm Support along with glutamine and a very high quality multivitamin, your recovery will be smooth sailing compared to what it could have been!!

I could go on for pages about the process of repairing your body after quitting drinking, but I’ve already written my magnum opus on that subject.

Using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal can be effective at helping you quit drinking before your symptoms inevitably get worse. But even if you succeed in your first endeavor to quit drinking, it’s just the first part of a long process. Give your body what it needs during this time, and your mind will be sure to follow!

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the use of phenibut for alcohol withdrawal. If you’re in the position that I was once in before I quit drinking, I feel your pain. Subscribe to my email list to stay posted on future articles that can help you down the road.

If you have any questions about using phenibut for alcohol withdrawal, please leave them in the comment box below.

Hierarchy of Alcohol Recovery

FAQ:

Can you drink alcohol while on Phenibut?

Do not drink alcohol while taking phenibut. Alcohol can increase the side effects from phenibut, including sedation, dizziness, and loss of coordination. The interactions between alcohol and phenibut are similar to those between alcohol and benzodiazepines.

Is baclofen the same as Phenibut?

Baclofen and phenibut are identical in molecular structure except for one chlorine atom. The effects of 1 gram of phenibut are equivalent to 8-10 mg of baclofen (source). In some countries including Russia, phenibut is prescribed as a drug. In the U.S., only baclofen is available for prescription, and phenibut is labeled as a research chemical that is not intended for human consumption.

Is Phenibut intoxicating?

Phenibut is intoxicating because it stimulates GABA and dopamine activity. It has relaxing and euphoria-inducing effects that are somewhat similar to alcohol or benzodiazepines, but is often less sedating at low doses. In the U.S., phenibut can be sold only as a research chemical that is not intended for human consumption.

Please review this post!

WANT TO DOMINATE ALCOHOL AND LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE?

CHRIS SCOTT

Chris Scott founded Fit Recovery in 2014 to help people from around the world dominate alcohol dependence and rebuild their lives from scratch. A former investment banker, he recovered from alcohol dependence using cutting-edge methods that integrate nutrition, physiology, and behavioral change. Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.

DR. REBECA ERIKSEN

Dr. Rebeca Eriksen is the Nutritional Consultant for Fit Recovery. She has a PhD in Nutritional Genetics from Imperial College London, and over ten years of clinical experience designing custom nutritional repair regimens for patients recovering from alcohol addiction. In addition to her work at the exclusive Executive Health clinic in Marbella, Spain, she helps to keep Fit Recovery up to date with emerging research.

COMMENT DISCLAIMER

The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on fitrecovery.com are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition.

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Brad
Brad
9 months ago

Chris, love your open mind with everything. I was taught AA is the only way and when that failed I thought I was screwed. I used kratom and and that killed all alcohol cravings. My health has improved dramatically

Ricky
Ricky
1 year ago

Hi Chris, I’ve read your book almost all the way through, I just bought over $100.00 worth of supplements/vitamins you recommend, I’ve got a too-big jar of Phenibut, and here I go. I cannot afford the time off from work to go to a traditional detox for a few days. I’ve been at a pint a day, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, for a few months. I’ve read a lot about Phenibut, and I’m aware it reportedly can be very addictive with severe withdrawals. About an hour ago I took 1/2 gram and will take another 1/2… Read more »

Veronica
Veronica
1 year ago

My husband has been suffering from insomnia and high anxiety for 3 months now after leaving alcohol. I saw ur article and ordered phenibut, it’s taken a while to get here but it’s supposed to arrive today. Can he take supplements while on phenibut? He took Librium for 10 days and it’s the only thing that let him sleep but he went straight back to little to no sleep right after tapering off of this. We are worried phenibut will do the same. That’s why I want to see if he should take supplements while on phenibut.

Eric
Eric
2 years ago

Thanks Chris for the great info. Question: Would you recommend a higher dosage for “larger people” I am 6’6 310 lbs. (140kg for people outside the US) I know sometimes nootropics dosage can vary with body size. I was thinking 320mg ×5 and using the same taper? 5-4-3-2-1 (1600mg the first day)

Just looking for an opinion.

Jessica
Jessica
3 years ago

What would be the recommended use or dosage for someone coming out of rehab for alcohol/opiates/cocaine abuse?
Do you have any peer reviewed research articles to share? I would to look into this further.

Chris Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

Hi Jessica, phenibut is widely used in Russia, where it was developed. I am not aware of peer-reviewed studies on phenibut in the U.S., where there is relatively little interest by pharmaceutical companies because it is sold as a dietary supplement. This article focuses on phenibut as a potential solution for alcohol withdrawal, since it targets GABA receptors. Anecdotal reports confirm that it can alleviate mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal. I myself use 100 mg of phenibut for occasional discomfort, such as long airplane rides. However, the consensus seems to be that it should not be used in dosages over… Read more »

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