Phenibut side effects are something you should be aware of if you are interested in this anxiety reducer. Although it is one of the most effective over-the-counter anti-anxiety substances around, it does have its caveats.
However, this should be taken as a good thing to know about. Knowledge is empowering.
If you use it responsibly, phenibut side effects should be something you can feel safe dealing with and avoiding altogether.
- I covered my great experiences with phenibut a while back.
But please, remain aware of the possible side effects if you decide to use it for your purposes. I touch upon some of the common pitfalls of phenibut use and some solutions to these where possible.
At the end of this post, I mention some viable alternatives to phenibut, which while they may not be as “strong” will not necessarily carry the same potential side effects.
Phenibut Side Effects: Tolerance Buildup
One of the most well-known side effects of this drug are tolerance buildup.
In fact, phenibut tolerance builds up rather quickly. This means you will have to dose more of it over time to get your desired effect. The body’s receptors become accommodated to the substance.
Many vendors of phenibut recommend not using it more than 2 or 3 times in a week. This is the case here with Powder City, my preferred phenibut vendor.
For most people who do not have chronic and daily anxiety and just want to take phenibut once in a while to relax, this is plenty. For others however with clinical or diagnosed anxiety problems, you may be better off with a prescription from a psychiatrist.
- Others who do take phenibut daily (not recommended) and want to avoid withdrawal effects should check out: How to taper off from Phenibut to avoid withdrawal side effects.
Phenibut Side Effects: Low Blood Pressure
One thing I encountered when I tried to dose phenibut more than one day in a row was low blood pressure symptoms. I thought this was very unusual because I could not find anything on the Internet about it.
It makes perfect sense that phenibut could cause low blood pressure, since its mechanism of action is releasing potassium ions 1 through GABA-B receptors. 2
I’m already prone to low blood pressure, so phenibut did seem to exacerbate these symptoms, even at a low dose (250 mg). Lightheaded feelings were one symptom. A vein in my forehead would even pop out a little. That wasn’t scary, but it was annoying.
From what I can tell, most people do not experience these side effects at all. In fact, in all of my searching, I could not find any anecdotal reports of anyone else experiencing these.
All I’m saying here is that, like all other supplements, phenibut is not for everyone. I might be that person unfortunately! If you are already prone to low blood pressure or other cardiovascular issues, I would consult with a doctor and/or avoid it.
Phenibut Side Effects: Bad Combinations with Alcohol and Others
Sometimes substances differ in terms of whether they can be combined or not. Unfortunately, phenibut does not play nice with other substances.
Under no circumstances should anyone attempt to combine phenibut with alcohol, prescription anti-anxiety medications, or anything else which may be similar in effect to it. This could exacerbate the negative side effects of both substances.
Another recommendation is to not combine phenibut with MAOIs. An MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor) is a substance that inhibits the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which breaks down many substances in the body to make them inert, including but not limited to phenibut. An MAOI would prevent monoamine oxidase from working, and allow phenibut to remain in the body for longer than normal. This could be disastrous.
It may be prudent to consult with your doctor about phenibut if you are concerned, especially if you have a history of heart problems, and/or are currently taking any medications such as those for seizures, anxiety, insomnia, blood pressure, and so on.
With all of the above considered, and the fact that there haven’t been numerous reports of negative effects from phenibut use (most people who choose to use it seem to want to do so responsibly), it must be safe. Of course, you should definitely check with your doctor before taking it, especially if you have health ailments or are currently taking medication of some other kind.
I believe all drugs and supplements must be treated with respect. The best way to show respect is to understand the substance, and knowing phenibut’s potential downsides can help you to enjoy its positive benefits.
Alternatives to Phenibut
Some of you might not want to rely on phenibut, which is understandable. It is very powerful at what it does. Some of these alternatives are not quite as powerful, but may be better for long-term use. Some of these also have fewer potential side effects. I have tried each of these alternatives for myself, and I continue to take a few of these regularly.
- Kratom was my #1 phenibut alternative (safer, less side effects IMO) but as of this writing, the DEA wants to ban it. Learn what you can do to fight it. Kratom is super effective for combating anxiety in my opinion and deserves to be available to any adult who needs it and can use it responsibly.
- Kava kava is a milder and natural alternative to phenibut. It has a shorter duration and makes you pee a little more than usual. Otherwise it’s effective in my opinion.
- GABA, which phenibut is similar to, is the actual neurotransmitter it behaves like. It does not cross the blood-brain barrier unlike phenibut and though not as effective, it does not have the same side effects. It may be of some use, especially for the intestines.
- L-Theanine is a mild, and favorite alternative. It is nowhere near as psychoactive (as in, you won’t notice it like phenibut) but helps keep your nerves calm. It’s often taken with caffeine to produce a calm, focus-enhancing stimulation.
- Ashwagandha is an herbal adaptogen that also acts as an anxiety-reducer by keeping levels of stress chemicals down.
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