Phenibut improves sex


David Tomen
David Tomen
14 minute read
Phenibut has a calming effect on brain and body, helps relieve stress and anxiety, and boosts Human Growth Hormone

Key Takeaways

  1. Phenibut is a GABA analogue that increases GABA levels in the brain, providing stress relief and reducing anxiety.
  2. It has been used in the treatment of neurological disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and alcoholism.
  3. By raising GABA levels, Phenibut helps balance mood, promotes focus, relaxation, and positive mood, and counteracts irritability and restlessness.
  4. Phenibut should be used cautiously due to potential dependency, withdrawal symptoms, and adverse side effects.
  5. Phenibut dosage should start low at 200 – 300 mg per day, avoid alcohol or benzodiazepines, and purchase from reliable sources.


Phenibut (β-Phenyl-GABA, β-phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid, Noofen, Citrocard) is an analogue of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. The addition of a phenyl ring allows Phenibut to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Neurohackers prefer Phenibut when the goal is to raise GABA levels in the brain because GABA as dietary supplement cannot cross the BBB.

Phenibut is an analogue of GABA and this is the chemical structure of each.

Phenibut was developed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1963. And it has since been used as a pharmaceutical used to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, alcoholism and other neurological disorders.

GABA’s role is to keep glutamate, the primary excitatory neurotransmitter, from overwhelming you. Too much glutamate can cause a seizure, and too little (or too much) GABA can put you in a coma. A healthy brain maintains a critical balance of GABA and glutamate within the central nervous system.

GABA acts like a “brake” on neuron circuits during stress. Low GABA levels can result in anxiety, insomnia, poor mood and restlessness.

Clinical studies show that boosting GABA with a supplement like Phenibut relieves anxiety, stress, and boosts the production of alpha brain waves.[i] If GABA is optimized in your brain you’ll feel focused, relaxed and stress-free.

Phenibut helps:

  • Balance mood. Phenibut has an inhibitory effect on overly stimulated neurons because it raises GABA levels in your brain. Low GABA levels lead to anxiety, depression and insomnia. GABA helps restore that balance. Promoting a more positive mood which improves focus and relaxation.[ii]
  • Boost Human Growth Hormone. Bodybuilders and athletes use Phenibut before resistance training. Studies show by raising GABA levels, you can boost blood levels of Human Growth Hormone.[iii] Promoting greater recovery support and lean muscle growth.
  • Neurotransmitters. Phenibut stimulates dopamine receptors, and antagonizes beta-phenethylamine (PEA).[iv] Dopamine aids in memory formation, attention, focus, and cognition. PEA increases the action of dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine and serotonin. It’s partly behind the overstimulation that causes irritability, restlessness, and agitation that could be caused by too much dopamine and norepinephrine. Phenibut can counteract this affect giving you a cognition boost without the negatives.[v]


Phenibut (β-Phenyl-GABA, β-phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid, Noofen, Citrocard) is derived from the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. The addition of a phenyl ring allows Phenibut to cross the blood-brain barrier. And the reason why neurohackers prefer Phenibut when the goal is to raise GABA levels in the brain.

Phenibut chemical structure

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the major inhibitory or relaxing neurotransmitter in your brain.[vi] GABA’s primary role is to keep the major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in check.

GABA is naturally synthesized in your brain from glutamate. It’s estimated that 40% of the synapses in the human brain work with GABA and therefore have GABA receptors.

So when using Phenibut to boost GABA, you enhance normal sleep cycles, and improve blood pressure. GABA even stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete Human Growth Hormone. And helps produce endorphins that make you feel good after a workout or sex.

Soon after Phenibut was discovered in St. Petersburg, Russia, it was being prescribed by doctors to lower stress and anxiety, treat PTSD and insomnia.

Phenibut was included in the medical kit for Russian astronauts on the Soyuz-19 and Salyut-4 missions as a ‘tranquilizer’.[vii] Because Russian scientists found that Phenibut is one of the only tranquilizer and nootropic drug options that lowers stress levels without negatively affecting performance.

As a nootropic, when you use Phenibut to normalize GABA levels you’ll experience a reduction in anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness and stress.

Phenibut can be a more natural, safer alternative to Benzodiazepine drugs like Valium and Xanax. These pharmaceuticals work by increasing GABA receptor sensitivity.[viii]

Phenibut relieves anxiety

How does Phenibut work in the Brain?

Phenibut helps brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.

  1. Phenibut boosts GABA in the brain. Phenibut is a derivative of GABA. And easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. GABA on its own cannot cross this barrier unless paired with a dedicated carrier.[ix]

GABA works by preventing neural signaling associated with anxiety from reaching other neurons. It does this by attaching to the receptors that would otherwise excite those neurons. Over-stimulating neurons in certain areas of your brain is what causes anxiety-related symptoms.

The majority of studies on Phenibut have been conducted in Russia. And most studies have been done with animals. In this study using rabbits, scientists looked at anxiety behaviors and how they were effected by Phenibut.

They exposed the rabbits to emotional stimuli causing anxiety in the animals. Anxiety caused the rabbits to ‘freeze’ and exhibit defensive reactions. Behaviors very similar to what happens in humans when they’re under stress.

When the rabbits were administered Phenibut, the anxiety-caused reactions of defensiveness and passive reactions (freezing) decreased to normal behavior.[x]

  1. GABA changes brain waves. Using Phenibut as a nootropic helps increase GABA levels in your brain. And we know that GABA helps decrease Beta brain waves and increase Alpha brain waves.[xi]

Beta brain waves are important for attention, alertness, concentration and developing memories. But excess levels of concentration, particularly during stress, can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia and more stress.

When you are in an alert state, both Alpha and Beta brain waves can be stimulated. But the type of alertness will determine which brain wave is produced.

Alertness during an Alpha wave state is associated with a relaxed state. And a stressed alert state produces a Beta wave. But an excess of Beta brain waves contributes to a variety of nervous disorders including anxiety and stress.

Most of the clinical studies available done with humans use GABA supplementation rather than Phenibut. But the outcome of using GABA could be applied to using Phenibut to increase GABA levels in the brain. Phenibut crosses the blood-brain barrier more effectively than GABA.

In this study, researchers investigated using GABA on relaxation and immunity during stress in humans. They evaluated the effect on 13 subjects of GABA intake on brain waves.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) was used to measure brain waves after subjects took water only, GABA or L-Theanine. 60 minutes after administration, the study showed that GABA significantly increased Alpha waves and decreased Beta waves compared to water or L-Theanine.

The researchers concluded that raising brain levels of GABA induced relaxation and diminished anxiety.[xii] And you raise brain levels of GABA effectively when supplementing with Phenibut.

Phenibut boosts alpha brain waves for alert relaxation

How things go bad

Low levels of GABA are associated with a variety of health problems.

↑ Anxiety[xiii], panic attacks, stress, PTSD, and insomnia

↑ Muscle spasms, hypertension, convulsion, Tourette’s Syndrome and epilepsy

↑ Dry skin and wrinkles

↑ Poor digestion, bloating, flatulence, and constipation

When your neurotransmitters, including GABA, are in balance, you feel motivated, productive and energetic. And you feel calm and relaxed during downtime.

When GABA levels are low you feel filled with dread, you’re constantly worried, you have racing thoughts, and you’re frequently late and disorganized.[xiv]

Many people in this GABA-slump resort to high carbohydrate foods, and drugs or alcohol to relax.

Phenibut benefits

Phenibut to relieve PTSDPhenibut is an analogue of GABA. The addition of a phenyl ring allows Phenibut to cross the blood-brain barrier much more easily than GABA taken as a supplement.

We need adequate GABA levels in our brain because it’s an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When we raise GABA levels by supplementing with Phenibut, we help keep glutamate in check.

Glutamate is your body’s most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter. Which is responsible for attention span, brain energy, learning ability, memory, and staying awake.

So GABA is calming and glutamate is stimulating. And they must be in balance with each other for optimal cognitive health.

An imbalance of these two neurotransmitters can cause fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, poor memory and cognition, anxiety and depression.

But when these two neurotransmitters work together efficiently, you feel relaxed with no stress or feelings of anxiety. And you get a more restful night’s sleep.

Adding Phenibut to your nootropic stack can help bring GABA and glutamate back into balance.

How does Phenibut feel?

When you balance GABA levels in your brain, you feel relaxed and calm. But many neurohackers who try using GABA as a supplement don’t feel the effects. Because the GABA molecule is too large to cross the blood-brain barrier.[xv]Phenibut improves sex

Note: If you do feel the calming effects of supplementing with GABA within a ½ hour of taking it, it may mean you have a “leaky” blood-brain barrier. Not a good thing.[xvi] Because if GABA can get through, all kinds of nasty stuff can get through too. Including toxins, undigested food particles and anything else in your blood stream that shouldn’t be in your brain.

See my article on how to fix a “leaky” blood-brain barrier here: How to Heal a Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier

But here were talking about increasing our GABA levels using Phenibut. Neurohackers report that adding Phenibut to their stack relieves anxiety, there is less stress and they feel more relaxed.

In fact, some say it’s the best anti-anxiety ‘medication’ they’ve ever used. Including some well known pharmaceuticals (i.e. Clonazepam, Diazepam, Alprazolam) used to treat anxiety. With none of the nasty side effects that come with prescription meds.

Social functions could get some help with Phenibut. You could feel less inhibited, speak freely and feel more confident.

Others report that Phenibut boosts sex drive, and for men it helps control ejaculation. And it helps for a better night’s sleep.

Athletes report that Phenibut goes well with a workout. Because Phenibut has been shown to boost Human Growth Hormone. You’ll be able to work out with less fatigue, energy levels will go up, muscles won’t be as sore and recovery could be faster.

Phenibut takes 2 – 4 hours before you begin to feel its effects. A strong word of caution: do not increase the dose or take additional Phenibut if you think things are not happening fast enough!  Wait at least 24 hours before taking another dose.

Phenibut Clinical Research

GABA was identified as a neurotransmitter several decades ago. And there had been a lot of research on GABA published since. But most of it is focused on how GABA works. And the drugs and chemicals which affect its action.

There is very little research available on using GABA as a supplement. Likely because most scientists believe that GABA taken as a supplement will not cross the blood-brain barrier.

And there is even less research available on using Phenibut. Particularly in humans. Most of the clinical trials have been done in Russia and were done with animals.

Here we talk about how GABA can affect your cognition and overall health. This research supports the idea that using Phenibut to raise GABA levels can have a profound effect on your quality of life.

GABA Increases Human Growth Hormone

Bodybuilders and athletes use Phenibut or even GABA to help repair and build muscle. And there are several studies supporting the notion that GABA increases Human Growth Hormone.

In one study, researchers worked with 19 subjects who were given a single oral dose of 5 grams of GABA. 18 subjects were given a placebo during this trial. 3 hours after the administration of GABA, blood samples were taken. The team reported that “GABA caused a significant elevation of plasma growth hormone levels”.[xvii]

GABA helps Reduce Insomnia

A Los Angeles study conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial with 18 patients with sleep disorders. The patients received either a placebo, or Gabadone (a combination of GABA and 5-hydroxytryptophan).

The difference between the two groups of sleep-deprived patients was significant. The Gabadone group fell asleep faster, stayed asleep longer, and had a better quality of sleep than the placebo group.[xviii]

Neurohackers consistently report a similar effect on sleep quality when using Phenibut.

Recommended Phenibut Dosage

Phenibut recommended dosageThe recommended daily starting dosage of Phenibut is 200 – 300 mg. for a relaxation or calming effect. Give it 2 – 4 hours before it starts to kick in. Your Phenibut dose should be taken on an empty stomach.

More experienced Phenibut users go with high doses of up to 1 – 1 ½ grams per dose. And up to 3-times per week.

Since you can quickly build up a tolerance to Phenibut dosing less often is preferred. Many advise keeping Phenibut use to once or twice per week with almost no side effects and no hangover the next day.

Phenibut can be very addictive for some people and the withdrawal symptoms from continuous use is particularly nasty. So if you’re going to try Phenibut make sure you follow dosage recommendations to prevent Phenibut overdose.

Phenibut Side Effects

Phenibut is considered safe when taken in normal recommended doses.

Bodybuilders who use much higher doses of Phenibut do report experiencing flushing, tingling, a spike in heart rate and blood pressure, and anxiety.

You can build up tolerance to Phenibut quickly. And if you have an addictive personality you should avoid using Phenibut.

Most neurohackers suggest cycling Phenibut. Using recommended doses for 4 or 5 days and taking a few days off. Others suggest only using Phenibut once per week.

You’ll have to find out what works for you if you decide to try Phenibut. And expect to have a rough ride at first. Too much and the withdrawal can be nasty. Phenibut withdrawal symptoms can occur even with short-term therapeutic use.

While it is considered legal to use Phenibut as a nutritional supplement in the United States, it is highly advised that you do so with caution. It is technically not a controlled substance, but it is dangerous for those taking Phenibut with other substances.

For example, you are strongly advised not to combine Phenibut with alcohol. And absolutely DO NOT combine Phenibut with benzodiazepines. Or you could put yourself into a coma that you may not come out of. Avoid anything that touches or increases GABA when using Phenibut.

Where to buy Phenibut

Phenibut as a supplement is available in tablet, capsule and powder. Scientists have shown that Phenibut easily crosses the blood-brain barrier.

Phenibut is an analogue of GABA developed in Russia, and it increases levels of GABA in your brain. While some report that Phenibut causes drowsiness and fatigue, it’s a much safer way to boost GABA than with benzodiazepines. But do NOT combine either benzos or any drug that raises GABA with Phenibut because you could put yourself into a coma.

I recommend Cosmic Nootropic – Phenibut.

Nootropics Expert Recommendation

Phenibut 200 – 300 mg per day.

Nootropics Expert Tested and ApprovedI recommend using Phenibut (with caution) as a nootropic supplement if you’re feeling anxiety or stress. And to calm or keep in check the stimulatory effects of some nootropics.

Your body does make GABA on its own from glutamate in your brain. Most healthy people have an adequate supply of GABA. But if you’re dealing with anxiety or stress and need some extra help in calming things down, Phenibut can help.

Phenibut is particularly helpful if you’re dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I’ve seen reports by combat veterans who say that Phenibut worked far better than any prescription anti-anxiety med.

I suggest trying a Phenibut dietary supplements first at a dose of 200 – 300 mg. Phenibut can be a powerful method of boosting GABA levels in your brain. But it also has addictive potential especially if you’re prone to addiction.

Phenibut takes 2 – 4 hours to take effect in your body. Do not yield to temptation and take more just because you’re not feeling anything. Sometimes the beneficial effects of Phenibut are not felt until the next day.

Cycle your use of Phenibut to avoid tolerance and side effects. Your sweet spot could be every 2nd or 3rd day. Or even just once a week. Find out what works best for you.

The ‘hangover’ from abusing Phenibut is particularly nasty. You should be able to avoid these side effects by keeping doses low. And limiting the days you use Phenibut.

You can safely work your way up to 1,500 mg of Phenibut per day on the day that you dose. Some athletes go as high as 3,000 mg. But for nootropic use, a higher dose is not necessary or recommended.

I recommend Cosmic Nootropic – Phenibut.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Nemeroff C.B. “The role of GABA in the pathophysiology and treatment of anxiety disorders.” Psychopharmacology Bulletin. 2003;37(4):133-46. (source)

[ii] Lapin I. “Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug.” CNS Drug Revues. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81. (source)

[iii] Cavagnini F., Benetti G., Invitti C., Ramella G., Pinto M., Lazza M., Dubini A., Marelli A., Müller E.E. “Effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in man: influence of pimozide and domperidone.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1980 Oct;51(4):789-92. (source)

[iv] Lapin I. “Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug.” CNS Drug Revues. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81. (source)

[v] Anden N.E., Wachtel H. “Biochemical Effects of Baclofen (β-Parachlorophenyl-GABA) on the Dopamine and the Noradrenaline in the Rat Brain” Acta Pharmacologica et Toxicologica Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 310–320, February 1977 (source)

[vi] Petroff O.A. “GABA and glutamate in the human brain.”Neuroscientist 2002 Dec;8(6):562-73. (source)

[vii] Neumyvakin I.P., Krupina T.N., Polevoĭ L.G., Semeĭkina L.A. “[Principles for making up pharmaceutical kits to supply cosmonauts with drug packs].” in Russian Kosm Biol Aviakosm Med. 1978 May-Jun;12(3):27-31. (source)

[viii] “HOW DRUGS AFFECT NEUROTRANSMITTERS” McGill UniversityCanada (source)

[ix] Kuriyama K., Sze P.Y. “Blood-brain barrier to H3-γ-aminobutyric acid in normal and amino oxyacetic acid-treated animals”Neuropharmacology Volume 10, Issue 1, January 1971, Pages 103–108 (source)

[x] Ziablitseva E.A., Pavlova I.V. “[Effect of GABA receptor agonist phenibut on behavior and respiration of rabbits in the negative emotional situation].” Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova. 2007 Jul-Aug;57(4):479-88. (source)

[xi] Abdou A.M., Higashiguchi S., Horie K., Kim M., Hatta H, Yokogoshi H. “Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans.” Biofactors. 2006;26(3):201-8. (source)

[xii] Abdou A.M., Higashiguchi S., Horie K., Kim M., Hatta H, Yokogoshi H. “Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans.” Biofactors. 2006;26(3):201-8. (source)

[xiii] Enna S.J. “Role of gamma-aminobutyric acid in anxiety.”Psychopathology. 1984;17 Suppl 1:15-24. (source)

[xiv] Struzyńska L., Sulkowski G. “Relationships between glutamine, glutamate, and GABA in nerve endings under Pb-toxicity conditions.”Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2004 Jun;98(6):951-8. (source)

[xv] Kuriyama K., Sze P.Y. “Blood-brain barrier to H3-γ-aminobutyric acid in normal and amino oxyacetic acid-treated animals”Neuropharmacology Volume 10, Issue 1, January 1971, Pages 103–108 (source)

[xvi] Montagne A., et. Al. “Blood-brain barrier breakdown in the aging human hippocampus.” Neuron 2015 Jan 21;85(2):296-302 (source)

[xvii] Cavagnini F., Invitti C., Pinto M., Maraschini C., Di Landro A., Dubini A., Marelli A. “Effect of acute and repeated administration of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in man.” Acta Endocrinologica (Copenhagen). 1980 Feb;93(2):149-54. (source).

[xviii] Shell W., Bullias D., Charuvastra E., May LA., Silver D.S. “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep.” American Journal of Therapeutics. 2010 Mar-Apr;17(2):133-9. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 153 comments

Michael S Persan
July 8, 2024

I been on Klonopin for twenty eight years but I’m off it now I Can’t take life , brain damage from getting jumped and autism with PTSD has crippled me mentally. I’m going to try to get phenebuit but it’s going to be a slow process due to mental health problems. Don’t do benzodiazepienes they’re for real traumatic stress not everyday. God bless y’all mp

May 8, 2024

Anvifen is more effective and safer for the gastrointestinal tract than phenibut, it is an analogue, they have different forms, but ultimately act almost identically after absorption. It would be nice if you mentioned this in the article.

    David Tomen
    May 9, 2024

    Nico, Anvifen, Fenibut, and Noofen are simply brand names for Phenibut.

April 9, 2024

Hi David, pertaining to the study on insomnia, instead of taking the Gabadone (GABA and 5-hydroxytryptophan) could one benefit more from taking a combination of phenibut and 5-hydroxytryptophan ?

    David Tomen
    April 10, 2024

    Chelsea you absolutely do NOT want to combine Phenibut with 5-HTP unless you want to put yourself into a coma.

Mark Schultz
February 20, 2024

How do you consume the powder? Does it taste bad?

February 20, 2024

Hi David,
I usually take Phenibut once or twice a week without hangover feelings. But if I would take it a few days in a raw, the next day I would be a bit depressed and a bit anxious. For anxiety I would usually take Gotu Kola which works great for me. Which nootropic would you recommend for a hangover for Phenibut?

    David Tomen
    February 22, 2024

    Mick, there isn’t one. The only way to avoid a hangover from using Phenibut is either stop using it, or reduce your dose.

    February 22, 2024

    Ok, thanks David

    July 4, 2024

    The first times of using phenibut it provided amazing anti-anxiety affects however, I stopped using it for many years and when I purchased some again a couple months back, even trying 150mg ends up making me feel very irritable. I tried different intervals never taking it more than once a week but still get irritable after a dosage. Any ideas why?

      David Tomen
      July 6, 2024

      Paul, you likely got something labeled Phenibut that is not Phenibut or something else is mixed in with it.

January 23, 2024

How much GABA should supplement with phenibut? I was taking Phenibut in combination with 20 mg Inositol, 20mg magnesium and 10mg B1. It worked so well! Tje combination sold as MHF HEALTH is no longer available for sale.Any suggestions on finding this combination or with GABA? I’m a very healthy 57 year old and only have trouble sleeping through the night.

    David Tomen
    January 26, 2024

    Robbie, scroll back up to the section “Where to buy Phenibut”. You do not need supplemental GABA if you are using Phenibut.

January 18, 2024

What % of GABA from Phenibut reaches the brain?
And also, is this GABA the same as our endogenous one or is it foreign?

    David Tomen
    January 18, 2024

    Phenibut is an analogue of GABA so there are no studies that I know of that has attempted to measure brain levels of GABA. It would have to be done on animals so do not thing it would be relevant anyway.

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