- 7 ‘Natural’ Sleep Aids for Insomnia
- Anxious about a speech? A startup wants you to pop a minty cardiac drug
- A treatment for anxiety that’s fallen favor
- A ‘magic pill’ jump-starts a career
- More Resources for PHENIBUT
- Is a Phenibut Ban Coming to America?
- Phenibut Composition, Side Effects, and Dangers
- Nootropic Abuse
- Banned In Australia
- How does it work?
- The Correct Dosages
- HCL vs FAA
- Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms
- It’s Available on Amazon!
- The Top Brands
- MRM Relax-All with Venetron
- Primaforce Phenibut
- Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean You Should Take It
- Full Infographic:
- Passionflower for anxiety and sleep: Benefits and side effects
- Reducing menopause symptoms
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Phenibut: Inside the Controversial
7 ‘Natural’ Sleep Aids for Insomnia
Photo: Mondadori/Getty Images
’Tis the season of daylight savings time and holiday travel and stress, which means many of us will spend a lot more time staring up at our bedroom ceilings in the middle of the night. Lately it feels there’s an insomnia epidemic, particularly among women. So many of my friends and colleagues — including me, lately — don’t sleep well.
Estée Lauder sponsored a study published back in the summer that demonstrated that a lack of sleep increases the signs of aging and decreases your skin’s ability to recover from “stressors” UV damage. Not sleeping can also negatively affect your immune system, not to mention make you want to lash out at your significant other for no good reason and send inappropriately bitchy e-mails.
Dr. Michael Breus (a.k.a. “The Sleep Doctor”), a clinical psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, blames a lot of insomnia on, duh, stress.
“If you look at the times, since 2008, we’re seeing a higher amount of stress and that of course leads to insomnia and sleeplessness,” he said.
People then start hunting for sleep aids, which has helped make Ambien a $13 billion drug, according to Dr. Breus.
But Ambien has received some bad press lately, thanks to weird side effects sleep-eating and even sleep-driving. (Or sleep-e-mailing Anna Wintour, Isaac Mizrahi once did.) As a result, the FDA recently changed the dosage recommendations from 10 mg to 5 mg for women.
Besides Ambien, there aren’t a lot of prescription sleep medications out there. Dr. Breus thinks we need more.
“There are many different flavors of insomnia,” he says. “There’s the I-can’t-fall-asleep kind; there’s the I-can’t-stay-asleep; there’s the I-wake-up-too-early; there’s insomnia associated with anxiety. We don’t have enough specific meds out there to target insomnia appropriately. That’s really what medicine is looking for.”
In the meantime, people are turning to so-called “natural” sleep aids to tackle insomnia. But it’s not trying out a new shampoo — these substances act drugs. Don’t be fooled by the word “natural” on packaging — it’s essentially meaningless.
There are absolutely no regulations or guidelines — anyone can call anything “natural.” Deadly nightshade is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you (um, as the name boldly proclaims). Also, everything that comes from plants is not necessarily safe.
Some of the most toxic chemotherapy medications are plant-derived.
When you hit up the supplement aisle at Whole Foods, just remember that herbal supplements can have pretty potent active ingredients, are not regulated by the FDA in the same way drugs are, and a lot of them haven’t been properly tested.
Knowing all this, I decided to systematically and as safely as possible try some common nonprescription sleep aids. My primary issues were jet lag (after a two-week trip to Hawaii) and your run-of-the-mill “Holy crap, I have too much going on and am completely overwhelmed” stress. My ultimate goal was to try to get to sleep earlier.
Scroll down for the various sleep aids I tried, including how they work, Dr. Breus’s comments, potential side effects, studies that have been done, and how the supplements worked for me.
A few things I excluded: I didn’t test kava, which actually had some promise for insomnia and/or anxiety treatment, because there’s evidence that it causes liver toxicity (I’m sure, thanks to the nineties, my liver is already toxic enough).
I also didn’t test lavender, which has a reputation for promoting relaxation, because it’s not commonly found in oral form. The one preparation I found in my local Whole Foods was advertised as a ‘non-drowsy’ formula — not helpful.
And finally, there are countless preparations that mix various supplements. The doses are all different in each formula, and I wanted to test each supplement individually to see how they act on their own.
But please, do not try any of these until you speak to your own health-care provider. Many of them could interact with whatever medications you may be taking, or exacerbate a medical condition. If you want to get a sense of safety, side effects, and dosage, you can also check Medline Plus.
How it works: It’s a hormone that tricks your body into thinking it’s nighttime. “It’s not a sleep initiator, Ambien,” Dr. Breus said. Meaning, don’t expect it to knock you out.
Science says: Evidence is mixed, but it doesseem to have the ability to regulate rhythms. In Europe, melatonin is only available as a prescription. (Melatonin is the only hormone in the U.S. available as a supplement.) Dr.
Breus recommends, “You should take it 90 minutes before lights out. Most of the melatonin out there is in an overdosage format. The appropriate dose is between 0.5 and 1 mg.” Oh, and forget about melatonin brownies.
The FDA shut down that concept back in 2011 because hormones are not appropriate food additives.
Potential side effects: Fatigue, hypertension, vivid nightmares. Side effects from long-term use aren’t known. Very large doses have been tested as a contraceptive (!).
My experience: According to Dr. Breus, the 5 mg dose (which was how the pills came) I took was probably too much. I started taking it on the red-eye flight back from Hawaii, which is six hours behind New York.
I slept for several hours on the plane, and then continued the melatonin for the next five days. The first three days I was up and wide awake at 2:30 a.m. By day six, I was on a normal sleep schedule. I didn’t shake the jet lag any quicker than when I travel and don’t take anything.
I continued the melatonin for two days after that then quit.
How it works: It’s an herb with a mild sedative effect. The exact mechanism of action is unknown.
Science says: Per Dr. Breus, it’s one of the best-studied supplements. There are studies that show it can help decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. Adding hops (yep, the stuff in beer) seems to increase the effects of the valerian.
Potential side effects: Headaches, dizziness, itchiness, gastrointestinal disturbances.
My experience: Valerian smells disgusting, rotten food. I choked down one 250mg capsule an hour before bed for three days.
According to my Jawbone — I knew this thing would come in handy for something practical someday! — I fell asleep in eleven minutes on those nights, where previously my falling-asleep times had been in the twenties.
Each morning after I took a dose, I woke up feeling nauseous and not quite right. Dr. Breus suspects the 250 mg dose was a bit high for me. But I would consider it again if I can track down a smaller-dose form.
How it works: It’s an amino acid that’s a building block for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and stress. L-tryptophan is best known for being the reason you feel exhausted after eating Thanksgiving turkey, although studies have shown that the amount of l-tryptophan in food portions is probably not enough to make you sleepy.
Science says: Severalstudies suggest that it’s helpful for people who suffer from mild insomnia. The FDA recalled it in 1990 after it was linked to several deaths and 1,500 cases of a disease called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. The cases were ultimately traced to one Japanese factory and it was put back on the market a few years later.
Potential side effects: Heartburn, gas, nausea, headache, light-headedness, visual blurring, sexual problems (because you’re too tired?).
My experience: I had high hopes, since I’d definitely call my insomnia mild and episodic. But on two of the four nights I took it (1.5 gm per the bottle), I was wide awake until 1:30 a.m. watching Golden Girls reruns. its history and side-effect profile, I can’t say I was sorry to stop it.
5-HTP (5-HYDROXYTRYPTOPHAN), $16.99
How it works: 5-HTP is also a building block of serotonin. Un L-tryptophan, you can’t get 5-HTP from your diet.
Science says: There are more studies of 5-HTP for depression than insomnia, but at least one showed that it helped people fall asleep more quickly, at doses of 200–400 mg. The problem is you need to stay on it for six to twelve weeks to see effects.
Potential side effects: Gas, nausea, heartburn, “serotonin syndrome” at high doses. In the late eighties, there were reports of the same eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome as L-tryptophan, but not as many.
My experience: I took 50 mg (much lower than study doses — there are warnings about higher doses) before bed, per the instructions on the bottle’s label for about five days. It didn’t help me fall asleep, but I didn’t have any side effects either.
I would consider looking into this supplement on a more long-term basis, though, because there have been studies showing that it helps migraines — which I get a few times a month — and can also suppress your appetite.
(My afternoon cookie habit is getting control.)
How it works: It’s an amino acid commonly found in green and black tea. It helps promote relaxation, so it works indirectly on sleep.
Science says: Some small studies have shown that it’s useful for decreasing anxiety. Dr. Breus has also had patients who have responded well to it.
Potential side effects: None reported, but it interacts with some chemotherapy medications.
My experience: I had the most peculiar and pleasant experience with this one. I was sitting on the couch at night with my computer on my lap and the TV on, stressed out about a deadline. About a half hour after I took it (200 mg), a sudden sense of calm came over me and I just went to bed.
Same thing the second night. It’s either the best placebo ever or it really works. Either way: Zen. Also, as I was cleaning out my kitchen cabinets a few days later, I found an old tube of L-theanine I’d forgotten I had. My vet had given it to me to calm my cat down when she had a virus. So, um, yeah.
How it works: Passionflower is a flowering herb which supposedly increases levels of the neurotransmistter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). More GABA equals better relaxation.
Science says: There are a few small, questionable studies that suggest passionflower can help you relax.
Potential side effects: Minimal, but rapid heart rate, nausea, and vomiting have been reported.
My experience: It’s hard to find passionflower alone — it’s often used in combination with other herbal supplements. I found a small bottle containing liquid with a dropper. I added 30 drops to some water, per the instructions, and drank. It tasted as if someone had dissolved a few tablespoons of dirt in my water.
I tried it three nights in a row, and didn’t feel particularly relaxed. I’d actually go so far as to say it stressed me out more, because I went on a hunt for mints to wash out the dirt taste, and couldn’t find any. Then I noticed the bottle contained “65% to 75% grain alcohol,” and not even that did anything to help me sleep.
I’d stick with a shot of tequila.
CHAMOMILE TEA, $6.25
How it works: The mechanism isn’t clear, but it promotes relaxation.
Science says: There aren’t many studies, and the results are generally inconclusive.But people swear by chamomile tea, if the chat rooms and blog posts about chamomile are any indication.
Potential side effects: Don’t drink it if you’re allergic to ragweed — chamomile and ragweed are relatives.
My experience: I the nighttime tea ritual, and in general it helps relax me anyway, no matter what kind of herbal tea I’m drinking. But I think my expectations were so high for this particular tea, that there was no way it was going to work for me. I had two cups and it just made me need to go to the bathroom.
7 ‘Natural’ Sleep Aids for Insomnia
Anxious about a speech? A startup wants you to pop a minty cardiac drug
The pill works magic, people who’ve used it say, to quell their anxiety around public speaking.
For decades, doctors have written off-label prescriptions for the heart drug propranolol to help anxious musicians, poker players, and tech executives calm their racing hearts and still their trembling hands before a big performance. Now, a San Francisco startup called Kick is planning to bring the beta blocker to a mass market — a plan that’s giving some psychiatrists and psychologists anxiety of a different kind.
Kick wants to become a telemedicine platform that makes it easy for nearly anyone who needs a confidence boost — before a first date, perhaps, or a big work presentation — to get a prescription for propranolol. They just need to pass a screening by filling out an online form and interacting in some way with a physician — the current idea is a video call.
As for the medication itself, Kick has reformulated the traditional pill into a minty lozenge, an Altoid, that dissolves in your mouth, releasing 10 milligrams of the cardiac drug. The company wants to make it available in different colors and flavors, watermelon.
“Our hope is to try to de-clinify the whole experience,” said Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a psychiatrist in private practice in Silicon Valley who has a stake in Kick and expects to prescribe propranolol through its platform.
The concept does not sit well with some mental health professionals.
“That’s a horrible idea. It’s a horrible idea!” said Stefan Hofmann, a psychologist who directs the social anxiety program at Boston University.
“No, you shouldn’t do that,” Hofmann said. “You want to do a very thorough assessment with a patient before you prescribe a psychoactive drug of any kind. You can’t do this via the internet.
” (Hofmann, it should be noted, has ties to a competing business model of sorts: He advises a startup called SilverCloud that markets online cognitive behavioral therapy programs for anxiety and other conditions.)
Even physicians who sometimes prescribe propranolol for performance anxiety were critical of Kick’s pitch. Dr. Franklin Schneier, a psychiatrist who co-directs Columbia’s clinic for anxiety disorders, warned that Kick’s plan to repackage propranolol Altoids “trivializes both the condition of social anxiety and the treatment of propranolol.”
Or as Stanford psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke put it: “To suggest that propranonol is entirely benign and equal to an Altoid, I think, is a really dangerous notion.”
“That’s a horrible idea. It’s a horrible idea!”
Stefan Hofmann, Boston University psychologist
That’s because although propranolol is an old drug with a strong safety profile, it still carries a small but real risk of side effects, ranging from lightheadedness all the way up to reports of congestive heart failure and the serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Justin Ip, Kick’s founder and CEO, called these “legitimate concerns.” But he also characterized the fields of psychology and psychiatry as “relatively reticent to change” and “against anything that’s new” — even though there’s an acute need for innovation, given the severe shortage of mental health providers, particularly in rural areas.
Ip declined to compare his minty pills to candy, saying that “feels too fun.” But he said it was important to repackage the drug to reach a wider market of people who might not seek traditional psychiatric treatment but could benefit from propranolol if they saw it in a new light. (He also plans to offer a normal pill as an alternative to the lozenges.)
He pointed to other ways this is being done in more powerful drugs, such as an ADHD medication repackaged as a fruity chew — a move that also drew sharp criticism from some in the medical community.
Ip hopes to launch in the next few months in California, home to a vibrant culture of self-experimentation with pharmaceuticals, and then expand to other states. He expects a prescription to cost about $50 pocket.
A treatment for anxiety that’s fallen favor
Many people are afraid of public speaking. But when it gets severe and persistent enough, it’s codified in the DSM-5 as a type of social anxiety disorder specific to performance. About 15 million adults in the U.S. are believed to have social anxiety disorder, often undiagnosed and untreated.
Those who do seek treatment have a few options: Cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves talking to a therapist or completing online exercises.
The class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Paxil and Zoloft, which block the reabsorption of a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety.
Benzodiazapines Xanax, which relieve anxiety by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain.
Then there are beta blockers propranolol, which take a different tack. They suppress the autonomic arousal associated with fear — meaning no more racing heart. No more shaking hands.
Many psychiatrists embraced beta blockers for social anxiety and performance anxiety in the 1970s. But they’ve since fallen favor and are not considered a first-line treatment, in part because they aren’t as effective for people whose anxiety doesn’t manifest in mainly physiological ways.
“Bringing up propranolol is resurrecting a dead body,” said Hofmann, the Boston University psychologist.
Ip said he chose propranolol because it’s a cheap generic drug with few side effects and a long history of off-label use. He also pointed to a 2015 study that found that people who are afraid of spiders had a significant reduction in their anxiety after taking propranolol and being exposed to tarantulas, compared to people who were only exposed to the tarantulas or only took propranolol.
Still, anxiety experts caution that propranolol is a powerful drug. (It’s usually taken at a higher dosage than Kick is planning on.
) It’s not recommended, for example, in people with asthma, and doctors take caution before prescribing it in people who have a history of arrhythmia, low blood pressure, or an elevated risk of fainting.
Lembke, the Stanford psychiatrist, said she’s had patients who experienced withdrawal symptoms when they stopped taking propranolol after months or years.
“It’s a serious cardiac medication. I don’t think it’s something that should be prescribed lightly,” she said.
“It’s a serious cardiac medication. I don’t think it’s something that should be prescribed lightly.”
Dr. Anna Lembke, Stanford psychiatrist
Propranolol isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat social anxiety or performance anxiety.
But because Kick won’t be manufacturing the drug, it won’t be subject to FDA rules restricting off-label marketing by manufacturers.
(The company worked with a compounding pharmacy to develop a proof of concept for the mint-style pill and is now talking to manufacturers.) Still, Ip’s being careful to comply with regulations.
“The way I think we’re going to message this is: Fear gets in the way of living your best self and achieving what you want to achieve and reaching your full potential, especially around the things that you value the most,” Ip said. “So what if there was a cure for that that involved an app and potentially a prescription drug?”
Kick, a San Francisco startup, plans to soon launch a telemedicine platform where people can get off-label prescriptions for a heart drug meant to be taken an hour before an anxiety-producing event. Alissa Ambrose/STAT
He envisions reaching not just people nervous about public speaking, but those who are shy. Or who fear going to the dentist. Or flying on a plane. Kick’s website also pitches the drug as a good bet for professionals experiencing “imposter syndrome” — meaning they worry they don’t deserve their seat at the table. It’s meant to be taken about an hour before the anxiety-producing event.
Kick is Ip’s first health-related business venture. His background is in consumer tech products; he previously worked on an app for finding hiking trails.
He developed an interest in mental health after he ruptured his Achilles tendon and found himself unable to walk and in an emotional rut.
“Fear gets in the way of living your best self. … So what if there was a cure for that that involved an app and potentially a prescription drug?”
Justin Ip, founder of Kick
Ip, who’s raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding, launched the first iteration of Kick in June. It’s an app that sends users a “kick of the day” to help them tackle their fears.
Monday’s advice: “Eat a dinner item in the morning” — and then reflect on how breaking the rules made you feel.
Ip worked with psychologists to design the content, which he said combines tenets of exposure therapy, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Ip hasn’t yet figured out, he said, whether the telemedicine platform will be part of this app, a different app, or part of the company’s website. But he suspects that however he launches, he’ll tap into an eager market.
After all, Dimitriu, the psychiatrist working with Kick, already prescribes the drug several times a week to clients in Silicon Valley. He’s even taken the drug himself before big presentations. But he says he’s mindful that it’s not appropriate for everyone and will take care in screening online clients.
A ‘magic pill’ jump-starts a career
Before he became a high-powered tech CEO, Jim Safka was a high school kid so nervous about speaking in front of the classroom that he’d stay home from school.
Later, as a young assistant brand manager promoting Molly McButter butter-flavored sprinkles, he was so terrified about speaking during an advertising meeting that he could only get out a few words.
Safka tried everything he could think of: Taking an SSRI. Popping Xanax. Downing a few beers before big meetings. None of them worked.
Then, when he was about 30, a doctor prescribed him propranolol. He tried it at a regular meeting, and felt so confident, he even volunteered to speak.
“It was literally a magic pill to me from that point on,” Safka said. And it marked “the beginning of the acceleration of my career.”
Safka rose through the corporate ranks, becoming CEO of Match.com and Ask.com in the 2000s. For about a decade, he took a 20 milligram dose of propranolol three or four times a week, an hour before he made a TV appearance, gave a speech, or ran a big meeting. He never experienced any side effects.
Eventually, Safka found, he rarely needed propranolol. Now 49, he’s working in nonprofit fundraising, as the founder of a new project to aid the victims of the recent Mexico City earthquake.
He’s also a fan of Kick’s vision of offering propranolol to the masses.
“I honestly believe it changed my life,” Safka said. “I hope that other people can realize that it’s available.”
Though he rarely uses it, he still keeps propranolol pills in his briefcase. Just in case.
Vitamins & Supplements
- Side Effects
Overview Phenibut is a chemical similar to a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
It is used as a recreational drug and as a medicine.
Phenibut is used for anxiety, fear, trouble sleeping (insomnia), tension, stress, fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcoholism, and irregular heartbeat.
It is also used for improving memory, learning, and thinking.
Phenibut is similar to the brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Research in humans shows that it might decrease anxiety and have other effects on the body. Uses
- Improving memory, learning, and thinking.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of phenibut for these uses. Side Effects Phenibut is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Phenibut can cause many side effects, including a hangover effect, dizziness, nausea, poor balance, fatigue, and feelings of electric shocks in the arms and legs. Phenibut in large doses can cause trouble breathing and unconsciousness.
Phenibut can cause dependence when taken regularly. People who use phenibut regularly and then stop taking it may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include decreased appetite, nausea, muscle aches, anxiety, agitation, trouble sleeping, and seizures.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: not enough is known about the use of phenibut during pregnancy and breast-feeding. stay on the safe side and avoid use. Interactions Dosing
The appropriate dose of phenibut depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for phenibut.
Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
- Anon. [The influence of agonist of GABA-receptor–phenibut on behavior and respiration of rabbits in negative emotional situation]. Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova 2007;57:479-88. View abstract.
- Brunner E, Levy R. Case report of physiologic phenibut dependence treated with a phenobarbital taper in a patient being treated with buprenorphine. J Addict Med. 2017 May/Jun;11(3):239-40. View abstract.
- Downes MA, Berling IL, Mostafa A, Grice J, Roberts MS, Isbister GK. Acute behavioural disturbance associated with phenibut purchased via an internet supplier. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2015;53(7):636-8. View abstract.
- Joshi Y, Friend S, Jimenez B, Steiger L. Dissociative intoxication and prolonged withdrawal associated with phenibut: a case report. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2017;37(4):478-80. View abstract.
- Li W, Madhira B. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) psychosis. Am J Therapeut 2017;24(5):e639-640. View abstract.
- Magsalin RM, Khan AY. Withdrawal symptoms after internet purchase of phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid HCl). J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010 Oct;30(5):648-9. View abstract.
- O'Connell CW, Schneir AB, Hwang JQ, Cantrell FL. Phenibut, the appearance of another potentially dangerous product in the United States. Am J Med. 2014 Aug;127(8):e3-4. View abstract.
- Owen DR, Wood DM, Archer JR, Dargan PI. Phenibut (4-amino-3-phenyl-butyric acid): Availability, prevalence of use, desired effects, and acute toxicity. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2016 Sep;35(5):591-6. View abstract.
- Perfilova VN, Tiurenkov IN, Berestovitskaia VM, Vasil'eva OS. [Cardioprotective effect of GABA derivatives in acute alcohol intoxication]. Eksp Klin Farmakol 2006;69:23-7. View abstract.
- Rod W, Kudryk A, Brunetti L, Sun N, Nguyen M. Phenibut withdrawal management in the setting of concomitant kratom and alcohol dependence. Critical Care Med 2018;46(1):451.
- Samokhvalov AV, Paton-Gay CL, Balchand K, Rehm J. Phenibut dependence. BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Feb 6;2013. Pii: bcr2012008381. View abstract.
- Sankary S, Canino P, Jackson J. Phenibut overdose. AM J Emerg Med. 2017 Mar;35(3):516.e1-516.e2. View abstract.
- Shul'gina GI, Ziablitseva EA. [Effect of the GABA derivative phenibut on learning]. Vestn Ross Akad Med Nauk 2005;(2):35-40. View abstract.
- Talalaenko AN, Krivobok GK, Pankrat'ev DV, Goncharenko NV. Neurochemical mechanisms of the dorsal pallidum in the antiaversive effects of anxiolytics in various models of anxiety. Neurosci Behav Physiol 2006;36:749-54. View abstract.
- Talalaenko AN, Pankrat'ev DV, Bulgakova NP. [Neurochemical features of the ventral pallidum in realization of the antiaversive effects of anxiolytics in different models of anxiety]. Eksp Klin Farmakol 2006;69:6-11. View abstract.
- Tarakanov IA, Tarasova NN, Belova EA, Safonov VA. [Effect of phenibut on the respiratory arrest caused by serotonin]. Eksp Klin Farmakol 2006;69:28-32. View abstract.
- Tiurenkov IN, Bagmetov MN, Epishina VV, et al. [Comparative evaluation of the neuroprotective activity of phenibut and piracetam under experimental cerebral ischemia conditions in rats]. Eksp Klin Farmakol 2006;69:19-22. View abstract.
- Tiurenkov IN, Voronkov AV, Borodkina LE. [Effect of phenibut on the behavior of experimental animals under conditions of voluntary chronic alcoholism]. Eksp Klin Farmakol 2005;68:42-5. View abstract.
- Ziablintseva EA. [The effect of GABA derivative phenibut on defensive conditioning and internal inhibition]. Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova 2006;56:236-41. View abstract.
More Resources for PHENIBUT
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- Interaction Checker
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.
Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD.
You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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Is a Phenibut Ban Coming to America?
Phenibut is a highly addictive “supplement” in today’s ever-changing legal brain enhancement market. If you follow the nootropic craze on the internet, you’ll notice a massive trend to openly experiment with yourself. Each of these supplements supposedly increases ‘good’ brain activity and shuts off the ‘bad.’
Coaches, athletes, and business people are all looking for an edge, and Phenibut supplements provide some performance enhancing benefits. It was created by Russian scientists for cosmonauts in the space program to reduce stress and promote healthy sleep while in space. It works, but developing addiction and the possibility of damaging your liver makes it dangerous.
People all over the world are looking to live better, faster, and stronger than ever. Why live in a nice quiet life when you can live in full-throttle every waking moment? A Phenibut high is a way to take away the fears of life without the loss of motor skills.
The problem isn’t the amazing feeling, it’s the addiction to the high and the tolerance built after even one use.
Phenibut Composition, Side Effects, and Dangers
The Phenibut supplement is not for daily use un other “nootropics,” because it’s dangerous and very ly to cause an addiction after few uses. Un most nootropics which recommend a daily dosage, every manufacturer recommends only taking it for 2-3 days in a row and then taking 3-4 days off (i.e. a planned detox).
The powder is a synthetic aromatic amino acid, a combination of many amino acids, is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA. The Phenibut half life is about 5.3 hours, making it necessary to take multiple dosages 3-4 times per day.
With this many doses per day and the relatively slow half life, causes it to have a very high risk of addiction. Even though it is sold a supplement or nootropic, there are significant concerns with users that abuse Phenibut dosages.
Many people experience a hangover from taking too much, while others say if you don’t take a high enough dose and mix it with caffeine you don’t know what you’re missing. So far it seems there is a significant amount of opinions and fewer facts than desirable.
Many users use it for the Phenibut high, but many others use it for dealing with social anxiety. They also find themselves to feel more confident in social situations. The chemical dependency combined with the effect creates a highly addictive environment.
Phenibut supplements for sale, along with other abused nootropics are becoming a big problem in the United States. Supplements and nootropics are one of the least regulated industries there are. Substances Kratom, a stimulant at low doses and a downer to induce sleep at high doses is sometimes mixed into the category.
Kratom is sometimes used as an alternative for people to wean off of opioids. Another is Erowid, a psychoactive plant that can produce altered states of consciousness. Phenibut supplements have many advocates that all seem to share the same themes of work out and expand your mind.
Rarely do these influencers acknowledge the possibility or the dangers of developing a tolerance and an addiction to these substances.
Banned In Australia
According to ABC in Australia, a high Phenibut dosage is being blamed for an overdose of seven teenagers. The students purchased the supplement online and each took varying amounts of it to get high. In February of this year, possession, use, sale and manufacturing is now banned in Australia.
Before this ban, anyone with internet access and a credit card could purchase Phenibut powder in bulk from almost any fitness website in Australia. The ban does not restrict purchasing the product outside of Australian borders. However, other countries are starting to take a stand against the Phenibut supplement.
In Europe, you can obtain a prescription for therapeutic purposes and sleep aids, but not is considered a controlled substance. Phenibut powder also has two other notable bans are GNC, a local health food chain and online store, Pure Nootropics, on the basis that it’s a ‘risky smart drug.
’ GNC removing the risk from their stores is a clear indication of a possible ban coming in the United States.
How does it work?
The Phenibut high begins when it binds to the GABA receptors in the brain to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, social ease, and pain relief by reducing the signals from the central nervous system to the brain. It does this without lowering the performance of the body. It’s relaxation without the drowsiness of sleep.
Combing high dosages of Phenibut and alcohol heightens the side effects, because they both binds to the GABA receptors. Alcohol lowers the acuteness of motor skills and causes the user to become belligerent. This is what makes a Phenibut high so attractive.
The fact you can take a substance that completely relaxes you in stressful situations, but doesn’t slow your functionality is truly the coveted feeling nootropic addicts seek.
The Correct Dosages
If you decide to take Phenibut hcl or faa, make sure you adhere to the correct dosages. Most of the time they come in a powder form and have their own pre-measured scooper for accurate doses. For more of a real-world (and very unreliable) impression of the effects of the supplement, you can consult the Phenibut Guide on Reddit.
Please keep in mind the authors of the posts are sometimes not who they say they are and also most ly not health professionals. According to the supplement maker, a “safe” Phenibut dosage is between 250-1000mg no more than two times per week. Do not exceed 1000mg at one time.
Splitting the dosage into 4ths or 3rds is a good way to feel the effects all day and night before the 3-4 day cycle is over. This is called proper cycling and it’s something all the companies should recommend to help you avoid a hangover. None of these providers suggest taking any other way than ingestion through the mouth.
Trying Phenibut insufflation (sniffing or snorting) for the euphoria is common practice according to Reddit posters, but isn’t recommended and possibly very dangerous.
HCL vs FAA
The amount you take is also dependent on the type you have. Phenibut supplements comes in two different powders and capsules. The powders are both white, but HCL powders are grainier and less fine FAA powders.
The free amino acid (FAA) form has a higher potency. This means it takes longer to feel the effects, dissolves slower than HCL in water, and lasts longer.
Hydrochloride (HCL) is a water and acid soluble, salt version of an amine.
Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms
Most people do not experience Phenibut withdrawal symptoms if they use the recommended dosage, according to the Liftmode website. Problems occur when people believe ‘more is better,’ and take more than the recommended dosages without proper cycling. Phenibut side effects are no laughing matter.
It’s not cocaine or heroin, but it’s very powerful. Many users experience extreme headaches, depression, and anxiety more aggressively than before they started using. The Phenibut high will make you feel amazing, until you develop a tolerance.
After the tolerance has set in, you will need to take a few days off.
It’s Available on Amazon!
Despite all the warnings, people are buying Phenibut powder in record numbers. They believe these kinds of substances are the answer to a better life. They don’t realize the dangers of building a tolerance to a substance as powerful as this.
Many brands of the “supplement” are found on Amazon, at Walmart, and various online nootropics stores. The ease of acquisition definitely contributes to the possibility of developing an addiction.
If it’s just an order away from being at your doorstep and you have a history of addictive behavior this might not be the best purchase for you to make.
The Top Brands
Of course, the quality of the brand is subject to the interpretation of the user, but it’s as similar to you being a fan of Coke or Pepsi in most cases. Your body chemistry is different than your neighbor and each one of these brands could react differently. They all have their risks, so please consult your doctor if you decide to use any of these products.
Liftmode Phenibut is 99% pure. That comes in two forms FAA and HCL. FAA is a more pure version, but they both will provide the effects for a long time due to their half-life. The effects, of course, depend on your body type, metabolism, and a variety of other factors.
AYH comes in variable Phenibut powder sizes and is $8 per 5 gram container. This is one of the most expensive brands on the market considering the recommended dosage is 1 to 2 grams before bedtime if you’re using it as a sleep aid. They recommend a larger break of up to 10 days after using for 3 consecutive days.
MRM Relax-All with Venetron
MRM is sold as a muscle relaxer and comes in a capsule form. Each bottle contains 28 or 60 pills. This supplement combines various muscle relaxing herbs ( Jujube, Valerian root, ashwagandha, and chamomile) to enhance the supplement and add medicinal properties.
This last brand comes in powder or capsules. Its lab tested for purity by a 3rd party. They recommend 1-2 servings (300 mg per serving) 2-4 times per day between meals. Then they recommend a 2-3 day ‘washout’ or proper cycling to avoid a hangover.
Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean You Should Take It
Whether you decide to take it for the Phenibut high as a supplement or not, it’s best to know as much as you can about it so you can make an informed decision. Adding a potent chemical this has risks, but it appears that the benefits may outweigh the drawbacks for some.
If you follow the recommended doses and consult your doctor before trying any nootropics you can possibly avoid the risks of withdrawal symptoms and enjoy the benefits without damaging your body. Phenibut supplements will always be a source of controversy in and the medical world. Many people need substances this to cope with trauma or function in society.
The difficulty comes in understanding who and what dosage should be allowed. Is it right that those teenagers in Australia were allowed to purchase Phenibut powder in bulk? It ultimately led to them overdosing at school. Some say no, but what about the other people that need it to perform adequately at work to keep their job and support their family.
It seems some people have life-changing reactions after taking high Phenibut dosages, others fail to see the ‘big deal,’ and others become addicted. If your family has a history of addiction to other substances, using a drug this is something you should do only if necessary. The risk of developing a Phenibut addiction is higher than others without the genetic predisposition.
This supplement may not be as strong as an alcohol or opioid addiction, but it still carries the possibility of an addiction with a debilitating withdrawal.
Passionflower for anxiety and sleep: Benefits and side effects
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Passionflower is a variety of exotic vine flower with curly purple or blue tentacle- petals. One variety of passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, may help treat anxiety, insomnia, and pain.
In this article, learn about the possible benefits of passionflower supplements, as well as what the research says about its effectiveness.
Passionflower grows throughout South America and some parts of the southern United States. It is part of the Passiflora family, which also includes passion fruit.
People have used one variety of passionflower, Passiflora incarnata (P. incarnata), since the 16th century for medicinal purposes.
Some researchers believe that passionflower supplements may help treat anxiety, insomnia, and certain forms of pain because it may increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical the brain makes to help regulate mood.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter — it counters neurotransmitters that cause excitement, and so it may have a calming effect.
Passionflower contains GABA. However, consuming GABA in this way does not necessarily mean that the acid will reach the brain.
Traditionally, scientists believed that GABA could not cross the blood-brain barrier, but some studies have had contradictory results.
In general, there is good evidence to suggest that P. incarnata helps relieve anxiety symptoms.
Several clinical studies show that passionflower has anxiety-calming (anxiolytic) effects. In one clinical trial, researchers found that P. incarnata had results similar to antianxiety medication in mice. Two other clinical trials in animal models found that it had sedative effects.
A 2016 clinical trial found that passionflower decreased anxiety and improved memory in rats. These effects could be due to P. incarnata affecting GABA levels.
However, conclusions about the degree to which passionflower works vary from study to study.
One review found it to have a significant sedative and calming effect. Other researchers recommend it as an add-on to traditional anxiety treatments.
Some evidence indicates that passionflower helps people sleep. Research from 2017 in mice suggests that P. incarnata can have a positive effect on sleep patterns.
One study in rats found that P. incarnata significantly increased slow-wave (deep) sleep, reduced rapid eye movement sleep, and helped the rats fall asleep more quickly.
Another animal study found that passionflower reduced the time it took to fall asleep and increased the duration of sleep.
Determining the effectiveness and identifying side effects in humans will require further research.
Passionflower supplements may have additional benefits, including:
Reducing menopause symptoms
In one study, participants experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, including headache, depression, insomnia, and anger, compared to a control group, after taking P. incarnata for 3–6 weeks.
Results of a study from 2007 indicate that taking pasipay, a mixture including P. incarnata, increased the time between seizures and their durations.
With limited evidence available, determining the effectiveness of passionflower for seizure management will require more research.
Some findings indicate that passionflower has anti-inflammatory effects, but more research is necessary to determine its uses and effectiveness.
Share on PinterestPassionflower may cause drowsiness.
There are few documented side effects of passionflower, making ly to be a low-risk supplement to a healthful routine.
In some instances, passionflower may cause:
Pregnant women should speak to their doctors before taking passionflower. Also, there is insufficient evidence to support its use in children.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard P. incarnata as safe.
Some evidence suggests that one type of passionflower, P. incarnata may help reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
It may also have other benefits, including reducing menopause and epilepsy symptoms.
People can use passionflower supplements with other anxiety treatments, but always speak with a doctor about possible interactions.
Passionflower supplements are available in some health food stores and online.
Phenibut: Inside the Controversial
People will always be in search of that special pill, the magical capsule that can cure baldness, burn fat, and make you happy.
But while there are myriad lab-made drugs that can manage symptoms of anxiety and depression, there isn’t a quick-fix pill for happiness — at least, not one that’s FDA-approved.
Enter Phenibut, a non-prescription supplement popular on Reddit that some people swear can help treat social anxiety and even induce euphoria.
Phenibut was first synthesized by the Russians during the 1960s to relieve “tension, anxiety and fear,” according to one 2001 study. (It is still prescribed there for these purposes today.
) Phenibut is a nootropic or “smart drug,” a supplement that purports to enhance cognitive performance by increasing memory and attention.
(You’ve probably heard of nootropics by way of movies Limitless, in which a magic pill makes Bradley Cooper smarter.)
Nootropics have garnered a great deal of controversy in the medical community, with many arguing that there's not enough research to support that they yield any concrete benefits for healthy people. But that hasn't stopped people (particularly students) from taking them.
At the moment, Phenibut is technically legal to buy in the United States in pill or capsule form, and it's fairly easy to procure on the internet.
But because it isn't FDA-approved, the drug comes with risks, including such documented negative side effects as stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue.
Nonetheless, phenibut has a devoted following on Reddit, where people share their positive experiences with the so-called “happy drug.”
“I think I found what I've been searching for,” one redditor with a history of depression writes. “The pheni did its job quite well,” says one Redditor who took Phenibut before a big date. “I felt zero anxiety, nervousness or anything along those lines. I was completely relaxed and wasn't stuck in my head at all….all in all, had a good time.”
Marijuana Health Report:
Medical experts see the popularity surrounding phenibut as an issue. Because the supplement does not have FDA approval, people Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., who specializes in substance abuse and addiction, are concerned that people are using it to self-medicate instead of seeking professional help for serious mental health issues.
“I haven’t dealt with many people who have personally used it,” says Jaffe, “However, its [chemical] action, which is similar to that of benzodiazepines Valium, Ativan etc.
, I assume it might be abused by some people but produce pretty reliable anxiety reduction.
” Jaffe added that it's possible Phenibut could be unsafe at large doses: “it could also easily lead to overdoses, especially if combined with other depressants alcohol or opiates.”
Whether or not Phenibut will remain in its legal grey area is up in the air. But for the time being, if you hear about a pill that cures anxiety and makes you happier, and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you're struggling with depression or anxiety, it's much wiser to seek professional help before Googling around for low-priced medication alternatives.