If you search for phenibut on Amazon, you will get many results of various nootropic supplements, but none of them is actually phenibut. Well, don’t bother! Amazon no longer allows the sale of phenibut and a whole bunch of other nootropic drugs, particularly piracetam and its analogues.
Yes, Amazon may be a convenient place where you can source any herbal or natural supplement, but phenibut is just the opposite of that! It is a synthetic chemical that is treated as a drug in some countries, and so it is not considered a dietary supplement according to FDA regulations.
Phenibut is not an approved supplement or medication in the U.S. and worldwide, except in a few countries where it is an approved treatment (Russia and neighboring countries). It is also not a scheduled or regulated substance, which means that consumers can legally purchase it over the counter.
Although Amazon decided not to deal with such drug/supplement products, there are still many other reliable places online that sell phenibut.
Where to Buy Phenibut?
UPDATE: Following recent FDA-issued warnings to manufacturers wrongly labeling phenibut as a dietary supplement, many stores have stopped selling it. As of yet, phenibut is not banned, but it’s not permissible in products labeled as a dietary supplement. It is a synthetic nootropic compound that should be used with caution (more details can be found below).
The following are nine of the best legit vendors that still carry phenibut. You will also find numerous other nootropics that are banned on Amazon available at the following stores.
|Vendor||Capsule Price||Powder Price|
|Nootropics Depot||$14.99 (60 x 250mg)||$17.99 (25g)|
|Note: This is the go-to vendor where you can find any nootropic supplement. They excel in customer service and quality control.|
|LiftMode||$18.88 (70 x 300mg)||$19.88 (40g)|
|Note: A long-established retailer of many natural and synthetic nootropics. They offer various forms of phenibut with good quality and reasonable prices.|
|Hard Rhino (HR Supps.)||$15.49 (90 x 275mg)||$33.49 (125g)|
|Note: Hard Rhino, aka HR Supplements, is a bulk supplier that carries various categories of sports and nutritional supplements at relatively low prices.|
|Health Naturals||$23.94 (100 x 250mg)||$31.94 (100g)|
|Note: A good vendor that offers several U.S.-manufactured nootropics at affordable prices. They only ship to the USA and Canada.|
|Raw Powders||$43.61 (90 x 500mg)||$37.37 (50g)|
|Note: A European retailer based in Lithuania. Their phenibut capsules are non-vegan. Prices are higher than other shops, but they deliver faster to the UK and European countries.|
|SportPoeders||[No capsules]||EUR 19.95 (50g)|
|Note: Based in The Netherlands, this shop specializes in the sale of sports supplements, nootropics and other nutritional products. They are among the few legit EU vendors that sell phenibut.|
|Next Valley||EUR 18.75 (90 x 200mg)||[No powder]|
|Note: Another Dutch store that has a selection of nootropics including phenibut HCl and FAA. They used to be more popular a couple of years ago and they have a good reputation. They ship globally but their website is in Dutch (no English).|
|SuperSmart||$39.00 (60 x 500mg)||[No powder]|
|Note: One of the leading online supplement stores in Europe. They ship globally, but unless you live in the UK or EU, you should stick with U.S. vendors as they are cheaper.|
|BodyShock.pro||$29.86 (90 x 500mg)||$38.08 (100g)|
|Note: This is a Polish retailer of many supplement brands from Europe and the USA. They sell pure phenibut from Revange Nutrition, as well as other brands of powder formulas that contain phenibut.|
Where to Buy Brand Phenibut (Noofen)?
Phenibut is sold as a prescription medicine in some parts of the world, particularly Russian and other former Soviet Union countries. It is sold under different brand and generic names in 250mg tablets or capsules.
Noofen (or Noophen) is the most widely used and original brand of phenibut. It is manufactured by the Latvian pharmaceutical company OlainFarm.
Noofen is quite pricey though. A 20-pill pack costs about $35 to $40.
There are other cheaper generic brands manufactured by Russian pharmaceutical companies, such as Anvifen by AnviLab, and Phenibut/Fenibut by Ozon.
Noofen is not carried by U.S. or European nootropics shops, but it can be sourced from some legit Russian vendors. Two of the best online stores that stock noofen and other pharmaceutical-grade phenibut are RUPharma and CosmicNootropic.
Powder vs. Capsules
At most retailers, you can order phenibut in either powder or capsule form. Some users prefer the powder, which allows them to experiment with different dosages, but this should only be done by experienced individuals who are well aware of the potential side effects and risks.
Capsules are generally a safer option than raw powder. It requires some experience and a delicate measuring device to deal with the powder, and it does come with a greater risk of overdosing, abusing and addiction.
If you are a first-time user, it is recommended that you go with the capsules, which are usually available in the dosage range from 250mg to 500mg.
How Does Phenibut Work?
Phenibut is a synthetic derivative and analogue of GABA, which functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The compound is called phenibut as it has two components, a phenyl ring (pheni-) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), thus the addition of the suffix “-but”.
GABA-based drugs are known to have a calming effect on the brain. They are mainly used to relieve anxiety and promote sedation, relaxation and better sleep. However, GABA on its own is not able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and thus has limited use. Addition of phenyl ring helps it to cross the blood-brain barrier, and so phenibut is more effective than GABA supplements.
It is essential to understand that not all drugs that act on GABA receptors are similar because GABA receptors are divided into numerous sub-groups. Phenibut acts primarily on GABA-B receptors. It has a weak action on GABA-A receptors.
Phenibut was also found to stimulate dopamine receptors as well as other receptors in the brain. That explains how it may be beneficial for a number of different conditions. Although its primary use is as an anxiolytic and nootropic, it may also help treat sleep disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other conditions.
As a nootropic or cognitive enhancer, phenibut may improve memory and brain function, although it lacks solid clinical evidence that it is beneficial for cognitive functions beyond its anti-anxiety effect.
Since phenibut is not an approved medicine in most Western countries, there haven’t been many reliable studies that evaluate its optimal dosage.
Based on some of the studies and manufacturer recommendations from countries where phenibut is an approved medicine, and also based on anecdotal evidence and experiences of many nootropics users, the following are some generally accepted guidelines for administering phenibut.
- The standard dose for adults is 250mg, taken up to three times a day.
- You may take a single dose of 500-750mg once a day.
- Do not take more than 1,000mg (1g) per day.
- It is not recommended to take phenibut daily for more than one month.
- Cycling phenibut by taking one day (or more) off between doses is recommended, especially for long-term users. This reduces the chance of tolerance build-up and dependence.
- In case your body builds up tolerance to the dose, i.e. it becomes ineffective, it is recommended to stop taking phenibut for a few days then resume taking it two times a week or less. Do not keep upping the dosage as this can worsen the problem and lead to addiction.
- If you have been taking phenibut frequently for more than a few weeks, it is not recommended to stop taking it abruptly, otherwise, you may suffer from unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Instead, you should gradually reduce the dosage for a couple of weeks before completely quitting it.
Safety and Side Effects
Phenibut is rather safe for this class of substances, which explains why unlike other GABA agonists it is not strictly regulated in many countries, though things may differ from country to country.
Despite being an analog of a naturally occurring amino acid and neurotransmitter (GABA), phenibut is produced synthetically and is not considered a natural substance. That means it does not qualify as a dietary supplement, although it is mild on the body.
Normally, small doses of phenibut don’t produce significant side effects, but that differs from one person to another. Some of the potential side effects include the following:
Higher doses of phenibut (over 2,000mg) can lead to serious side effects including the following:
- Cognitive and motor impairment
- Poor balance
Ironically, some users reported experiencing stimulant-like effects when taking phenibut, such as anxiety, agitation and insomnia! In fact, many anti-anxiety drugs have been known to cause anxiety in some cases, especially when taken by healthy individuals.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take phenibut.
It is also important not to combine it with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or any other GABA agonist substance. If you take any kind of antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications, then it is highly advised that you consult with your doctor before taking phenibut.
Like many other substances that affect the working of the brain, phenibut can potentially lead to dependence and addiction if abused. It should be used moderately and in small doses.
Natural Alternatives to Phenibut
Although phenibut is a potent anxiety reducer that works for almost everyone, it does come with one major downside: it causes dependence with repeated use.
People who take phenibut on a daily basis will likely suffer from debilitating anxiety, agitation and other withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit phenibut. This is especially a struggle for abusers who take many grams a day of this substance.
While most natural supplements are nowhere near as effective as phenibut, there are several worthy alternatives that have worked for a considerable number of people.
The following are six of the best, evidence-based natural supplements that can be used in place of phenibut for a more relaxed day and restful sleep at night.
I’ve included some reference links to supporting studies — you are free to do your own research.
1. Magnolia Bark Extract
Magnolol and honokiol are two bioactive, organic compounds found in the bark of the magnolia tree. These compounds have been shown to act on GABA(A) receptors and have a mild anxiolytic effect without significant adverse effects. [ref.] [ref.]
2. Magnesium Glycinate
This is an amino acid chelate that consists of magnesium and glycine. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to anxiety and sleep problems, so supplementation may be helpful.
Glycine is an amino acid that functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Studies show that taking glycine before bedtime can improve sleep quality and reduce daytime fatigue in people suffering from sleep problems. [ref.]
3. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is an herb in the mint family. The tea, essential oil and extracts of the herb have several medicinal uses. It is a popular sleep aid and natural remedy for anxiety and stress.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is the natural equivalent for phenibut. GABA is often sold as a dietary supplement to help with anxiety, insomnia and stress.
GABA as a dietary supplement, however, does not cross the blood-brain barrier and so does not have the same potent anxiolytic effect as that of synthetic GABA analogues.
Despite the lack of clinical evidence, many consumers reported experiencing reduction in anxiety and improved sleep when supplementing with GABA.
A 2019 study found that a combination of GABA and L-theanine was synergistically more effective in improving sleep quality than either compound alone. [ref.]
Oleamide is an organic compound derived from oleic acid: an omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil and other fat-rich foods.
You can find oleamide powder and capsules at Nootropics Depot — it isn’t a very popular supplement and not many stores carry it. The rest of the supplements can be found at most nutrition stores — I’d recommend PureFormulas.
A Recommended Formula: Theanine Serene with Relora
Theanine Serene with Relora is a natural calming formula by Source Naturals. It contains two powerful relaxing compounds: L-theanine and Relora, in addition to a few other potent anti-anxiety ingredients.
Relora is a proprietary blend of a patented extract from magnolia bark and a phellodendron bark extract. Relora has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety and may lower cortisol levels.
Here is the full list of active ingredients:
- Magnesium (as chelate) (300mg)
- GABA (500mg)
- Taurine (450mg)
- L-Theanine (200mg)
- Relora (150mg)
- Holy Basil (leaf extract) (100mg)
Theanine Serene with Relora costs $28 for a bottle of 120 tablets. You can buy it from PureFormulas.