What is Phenibut? | The #1 A-Z Guide

Phenibut has been called the “Russian wonder drug” and it’s popular around the world as a nootropic and recreational party supplement… but what is Phenibut?

Well, it’s clearly very effective at making people feel great and reducing anxiety. But there’s more to it than that.

P.S: Click here to order Phenibut from the world’s best vendor!

This article will give you a complete understanding of what Phenibut is in terms that you can understand. It’ll cover not only what Phenibut is, but what it’s made from, what it’s used for, and what the difference between Phenibut HCL and Phenibut FAA is.

Let’s get to it.

This is not medical or legal advice. This guide is strictly for entertainment purposes only. Always consult a medical professional before consuming any nootropic and always abide by the laws of your country. Please read my disclaimer page, too.

What is Phenibut?

Phenibut is essentially a supplement that can affect your mood and well-being. The name “Phenibut” comes from its chemical name: β‐phenyl‐γ‐aminobutyric acid. Other names that it goes by include the brand names it has as a prescription medication, including Anvifen, Fenibut, and Noofen. It’s also called pbut and party powder by recreational users.

Phenibut, chemically, is an amino acid [1]. That is a fancy way of saying that Phenibut is an organic compound that contains both an “amine” (–NH2) group and a “carboxyl” (–COOH) group. If you’re not a chem major, don’t worry—it’s just basically made of the same kinds of molecules that make proteins, except it’s not as long as a protein.

The particular structure of this amino acid makes it a psychoactive drug, which means that it has an effect on your mental state.

Phenibut mimics GABA

Phenibut affects the way you feel in a few ways. The primary way is by mimicking one of the neurotransmitters that’s present in your nervous system: GABA [2]. Neurotransmitters play an important role helping messages get sent from one nerve cell to the next. Some neurotransmitters are excitatory; they increase the firing of nerve cells.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter [3], which means that it reduces the firing of nerve cells. This sounds like it’s not a big deal, but it’s actually really important. Imagine your brain is a car: sometimes you want to hit the gas so you can go quickly. But sometimes you need to brake. GABA is the chemical responsible for braking. It gives you the chance to slow down and rest.

Since Phenibut is chemically very similar to GABA, it is called a “GABA analog” and has a similar effect as GABA does. Phenibut is able to bind to some of the GABA receptors that you have throughout your body and act as an inhibitory agent. The result is that it calms down your brain, reduces stress, fights anxiety, and aids sleep.

Phenibut and other neurotransmitters

Phenibut doesn’t just work on the GABA pathway, but it also seems to mildly increase the dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain [1].

Dopamine and serotonin are other neurotransmitters. They are a bit complex and perform quite a few different tasks, but both are associated with mood: higher dopamine and serotonin levels create feelings of happiness and well-being.

That’s part of the reason Phenibut has its potent mood-boosting effects.


What is Phenibut Made From?

Okay great so it’s an amino acid, but what is Phenibut made from?

Phenibut was first created in a Russian lab by Dr. Vesvolod Perekalin [1]. The way that it was created has actually been published, but it’s in Russian [4].

In general, making amino acids involves complex chemistry [5]. But basically, what Phenibut is is amino acids, like short proteins. It’s synthetic, and it’s made from the molecules that make up proteins.

The fact that Phenibut is basically protein is why it’s sold all over the world as a dietary supplement and why it’s not regulated as a drug. Since it’s chemically very similar to a protein, it’s sold and regulated like protein powders.

You can also buy Phenibut in two different forms: in Phenibut HCL and FAA.

Phenibut HCL

Phenibut HCL is the most common form of Phenibut. If you buy Phenibut online, this is likely what you’ll see first.

So what is Phenibut HCL? It is basically just the Phenibut molecule with an extra hydrogen and chlorine molecule on the end. As it’s being synthesized, the HCL attaches to the Phenibut molecule. This doesn’t affect how Phenibut works in your body, but it does change what it looks like and how to take it.

When Phenibut is attached to the HCL, it forms an ionic salt. That matters because ionic salts break up easily in water to form a solution. That means that this form of Phenibut is easily dissolved in water and can be drunk. The salt also explains why this form of Phenibut looks more like little crystals than powder.

But don’t worry: it’s not table salt, and won’t taste salty.

Here’s a quick summary of the characteristics of Phenibut HCL

  • It tends to be a bit cheaper
  • You need a bit of a larger dose to get the same effect
  • You can dissolve it in liquids
  • You usually take it in a pill capsule or in a drink
  • It’s too acidic to take sublingually

Phenibut FAA

Okay, so then what is Phenibut FAA?

The “FAA” stands for “Free Amino Acid”. This form of Phenibut is basically just pure Phenibut without an additional HCL group or anything else.

What that means for you is that it doesn’t look like crystals when you get it, it looks like a fine powder. Because it’s not an ionic salt, it doesn’t dissolve easily in water or other liquid. That means it’s harder to take it in drinks.

Here’s a quick summary about Phenibut FAA and how it’s different from Phenibut HCL:

  • It is usually a little more expensive
  • It usually requires a bit smaller of a dose
  • You can’t dissolve it, so it’s not as easy to take it in a drink
  • Instead, it’s best to take it in a capsule or let it dissolve under the tongue
  • It’s not acidic, so if you let it dissolve under your tongue, it won’t wreck your teeth

What is Phenibut Used For?

Phenibut has been used for decades in several countries as a pharmaceutical drug. There’s a ton of evidence that it works and has a variety of effects.

Some of the prescribed uses of Phenibut include [1, 6]:

  • As an anticonvulsant
  • To aid sleep [7, 8, 9]
  • As an anxiolytic [10, 11]
  • For spasticity
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Asthenia
  • Depression
  • For stuttering
  • Vestibular disorders
  • Alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal syndrome
  • Preventing motion sickness
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

What is Phenibut used for recreationally?

Lots of people use it as a diet supplement to get a bunch of different effects, including

  • As a nootropic that boosts creativity
  • To diminish tension
  • To reduce social anxiety and fear
  • To boost mood
  • As a way to go out sober
  • To get a deep, restful sleep

Together, people call it the “happy” drug because it makes you feel great and it makes you social.

Phenibut HCL

Phenibut Side Effects and Safety

So it has a ton of great effects… but is it safe? Basically, yes.

We have a huge guide to Phenibut side effects and safety, and another one on Phenibut withdrawal. But let’s go over it briefly here, too, so you know exactly what you’re getting into if you want to try Phenibut.

Basically, there are three different things you have to worry about with Phenibut. The side effects and allergies (that are rare, but can affect anyone); the interaction effects (which only affect you if you mix Phenibut with other things); and the withdrawal effects (which only affect you if you are physically dependent on the stuff).

Let’s look at them in turn…

Side effects and allergies

Side effects and allergic reactions are rare for Phenibut users, but they happen. The Phenibut side effects that are more common include [12, 13, 14]:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Sedation

If you’re allergic to Phenibut, you might also experience rashes or itching.

Interaction effects

The other thing that you need to watch out for is that you don’t mix Phenibut with anything that it could interact with. Because Phenibut depresses and slows down your nervous system, you don’t want to take it with other substances that do the same thing [6]. And, since it works by increasing GABA, you don’t want to take it with other medications that increase GABA.

If you do, there’s a risk that you’ll exacerbate or extend the effects of either or both substances. There’s no reported death from someone that’s taken Phenibut [1], but still, taking it together with other substances that do the same thing could have unpleasant effects for you.

That means that you should avoid taking Phenibut with any of the following [1, 6]:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Opioids
  • Sedatives or sleeping pills
  • Anti-anxiety medications

Stay away from mixing Phenibut and any of those—especially Alcohol. Make sure you choose one of them for your night out and you’ll be safe.

Withdrawal effects

Here’s the deal…

Don’t take Phenibut so often that you get dependent on it. If you do, and then you stop taking it, you can have some really unpleasant effects like [15, 16]:

  • Rebound anxiety
  • Anger
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations

How do you avoid dependence and withdrawal? It’s not hard: don’t use it a lot.

Make taking Phen ibut 1-2 times a week the maximum.

Where to Buy Phenibut Online | 2020 Guide

If you want to get your hands on this happy drug, I don’t blame you. It’s cheap, it has amazing nootropic effects, and it makes you feel like a million bucks.

So where can you get it? LiftMode.

This is the only vendor I trust to give me both a good deal and not sell me anything sketchy. A quick review of their benefits:

  • Convenient, safe payment options
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  • Excellent product with reasonable prices
  • Certificate of analysis to show purity

They’re great and they’re not going to rip you off. Highly recommended.

What is Phenibut? | Verdict

Phenibut is a fantastic little supplement with a variety of uses.

What is Phenibut used for?

People use it to take away their anxiety, to make them feel happy, and get them in the mood to be social. And they also use it to think creatively.

It’s technically an amino acid that mimics GABA and boosts dopamine and serotonin. It calms your nervous system down, while simultaneously making you able to think clearly and feel good.

This nootropic is one of our all-time favorites for going out sober and having a good time, or for getting creative work done. Highly recommended overall, especially in social situations.

Click here to order Phenibut today!


  1. Lapin I. (2001). Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug. CNS drug reviews, 7(4), 471–481. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2001.tb00211.x
  2. Zvejniece, L., Vavers, E., Svalbe, B., Veinberg, G., Rizhanova, K., Liepins, V., … & Dambrova, M. (2015). R-phenibut binds to the α2–δ subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels and exerts gabapentin-like anti-nociceptive effects. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 137, 23-29.
  3. Froestl, W. (2010). Chemistry and pharmacology of GABAB receptor ligands. Advances in pharmacology, 58, 19-62.
  4. Сивчик, В. В., Григорян, Г. О., Сурвило, В. Л., & Трухачева, Т. В. (2012). Синтез γ-амино-β-фенилмасляной кислоты (фенибута).
  5. Libre Texts (n.d.). Chemistry 360: Organic Chemistry II. https://chem.libretexts.org/Courses/Athabasca_University/Chemistry_360%3A_Organic_Chemistry_II/Chapter_26%3A_Biomolecules%3A_Amino_Acids%2C_Peptides%2C_and_Proteins/26.03_Synthesis_of_Amino_Acids
  6. Ozon Pharm (n.d.), Fenibut (PDF). [In Russian]. https://web.archive.org/web/20170916094855/http://www.ozonpharm.ru/upload/iblock/608/nmntxzabdzjhlu%20-%20fbdoqpbtdj.ofzsxp%20tkbgeygfzj.pdf
  7. Vorob’eva, O. V., & Rusaya, V. V. (2016). Pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders in patients with chronic cerebral ischemia. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni SS Korsakova, 116(12. Vyp. 2), 49.
  8. Danilin, V. P., Krylov, E. N., AIu, M., & Rait, M. L. (1986). Effect of fenibut on the nocturnal sleep of patients with the alcoholic abstinence syndrome. Zhurnal nevropatologii i psikhiatrii imeni SS Korsakova (Moscow, Russia: 1952), 86(2), 251-254.
  9. Shypilova, E. M., Zavadenko, N. N., & Nesterovskiy, Y. E. (2017). Preventive treatment of tension headache in children and adolescents. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni SS Korsakova, 117(7), 36-42.
  10. Chutko, L. S., Surushkina, S. I., Iakovenko, E. A., Nikishena, I. S., Anisimova, T. I., & Bondarchuk, I. L. (2014). Cognitive and emotional impairments in patients with protracted anxiety-phobic disorders. Therapeutic archive, 86(12), 61-65.
  11. Ziablintseva, E. A., & Pavlova, I. V. (2009). Influence of GABA agonist phenibut on the neuronal activity and interaction in hippocampus and neocortex in emotionally negative situations. Rossiiskii fiziologicheskii zhurnal imeni IM Sechenova, 95(9), 907-918.
  12. O’Connell, C. W., Schneir, A. B., Hwang, J. Q., & Cantrell, F. L. (2014). Phenibut, the appearance of another potentially dangerous product in the United States. The American journal of medicine, 127(8), e3-e4.
  13. Easton, M. D. A., & Greene, S. L. (2015). Analytically confirmed recreational use of Phenibut (β-phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid) bought over the internet. Clinical Toxicology, 53, 783-784.
  14. Schifano, F., Orsolini, L., Duccio Papanti, G., & Corkery, J. M. (2015). Novel psychoactive substances of interest for psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 14(1), 15-26.
  15. Ahuja, T., Mgbako, O., Katzman, C., & Grossman, A. (2018). Phenibut (β-phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid) dependence and management of withdrawal: emerging nootropics of abuse. Case reports in psychiatry, 2018.
  16. Högberg, L., Szabó, I., & Ruusa, J. (2013). Psychotic symptoms during phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) withdrawal. Journal of Substance Use, 18(4), 335-338.

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