How Long Does Withdrawal From Phenibut Last?

The Smart Pill (Phenibut)

How Long Does Withdrawal From Phenibut Last?

Buy phenibut as a smart pill and it will quickly lead to addiction. Long-term use can reduce happiness and cognition. Learn more about phenibut dosage, high, and withdrawal here.

What is Phenibut and How Does it Work?

Phenibut is a drug that originated in Russia. It has been used since the 1960s according to the American Addiction Centers. Phenibut uses include the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, depression, stuttering, irregular heartbeat, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Phenibut falls into the class of nootropics, or “smart drugs.” It is a synthetic version of GABA, one of the brain’s naturally produced chemicals. Over time, using phenibut will significantly decrease the brain’s ability to produce GABA on its own. 

Phenibut Dangers

Ever notice how elderly people can seem overly cranky and constantly confused?

Extended use of phenibut will, in essence, kill your brain’s mechanisms that allow you to experience positive emotions and functioning cognition.

Long-term use of phenibut, no matter the age, will significantly affect your quality of life.

If you are having challenges with phenibut addiction, treatment is just a phone call away. Contact Asheville Recovery Center at (828) 518-6996 to find out how we can help.

What Other Names Does Phenibut Have?

Phenibut Brand Names and Street Names

Brand NamesStreet names
FenibutParty Powder
BifrenSmart Pill
NoofenBrain Booster
Phenyl-GABARussian Wonder Drug

What Other Drugs are Similar to Phenibut?

Chemically, phenibut is very similar to baclofen, gabapentin, piracetam, and diazepam. Some experimental findings for all of these drugs indicate changing levels of dopamine and other “feel good” receptors.

Phenibut is available as a supplement from many online stores and e-commerce sites, but it’s not FDA approved as a “dietary supplement” in the US even though manufacturers label them as such. It is often sold as a mood enhancer, sleep aid, booster for workout rehabilitation, and even a “smart drug.”

In fact, in April of 2019, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter informing 12 companies that they are violating the law by marketing their products as dietary supplements.

But by the time the FDA does human trials in order to approve a substance, there is another substance that is just a smidge chemically different from its predecessor, whether that substance was approved by the FDA or banned.

This is a common occurrence with synthetic substances such as bath salts that always seem to be available even though the FDA just banned one with a slightly different chemical compound. One molecule difference is all that is needed, and the new “old” synthetic drug is suddenly legal to buy.

By the definition outlined in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, products containing this substance are, in fact, not a dietary supplement and are therefore misbranded.

Phenibut High

GABA (the chemical that phenibut mimics) in the brain regulates feelings of comfort and peace. When it’s taken in social settings, for instance, a person can experience reduced anxiety and nervousness and may have more control over feelings and thoughts. People who tend to over-think and who are excessively self-conscious may experience decreased neural processing. 

Phenibut also has sedative effects and is said to decrease emotional negativity; however, there are physical and psychological consequences.

Phenibut Dosages

Phenibut is not regulated by the FDA, so there are no verified standardized dosage guidelines on how much to take; however, some companies provide recommendations the desired effects.

Most companies provide recommendations on how much phenibut to take but also say that a dosage that exceeds 2000 mg per day is not recommended because it can lower the heart rate and breathing rate as well as cause dizziness. 

Phenibut Side Effects

most substances, the side effects of this drug can vary depending on the amount taken and other individualized factors gender, weight, and the severity of any diagnosed or symptomatic mental health disorder such as depression and anxiety. 

Possible side effects of phenibut can include:

  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Motor impairment
  • Loss of balance

Phenibut Addiction

Since you can buy phenibut online and it isn’t regulated by the FDA, there is a danger that access and misuse may go unchecked and addiction can develop. Because it’s easy to quickly build a tolerance, it’s much harder to stop using it. 

There have been records of individuals using the compound to self-medicate. In order to deal with alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, one person mixed phenibut with kratom. 

A 2013 study suggested that overcoming a dependence on this dangerous substance can be extremely difficult as withdrawal entails a great deal of anxiety, irritability, and frustration. It took 24 weeks of therapy to place a person in complete remission from dependence.

Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms

For people who want to stop taking it, the withdrawal symptoms can be very serious.

Reduced appetiteHyperactivity
NauseaDecreased pain threshold
Cognitive deficitsDizziness
Muscle tensionIrribility

The withdrawal timeline can last as long as two weeks, and withdrawal symptoms occur 3 to 4 hours after a dose. 

Phenibut side effects and withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant. Dial (828) 518-6996 to speak with an Asheville Recovery Center representative to learn more about how we can help.

Phenibut Overdose and Deaths

Phenibut overdose symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Grogginess
  • Mood changes
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases a weekly morbidity and mortality report, and in early September, the report included a comprehensive analysis of calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers between 2009 and 2019.

U.S. poison centers reported calls for 1,320 phenibut exposures from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia between 2009-2019. The findings concluded that:

  • 85 percent of calls originated from health care facilities
  • 58 percent of exposures were among adults aged 18 to 34 years
  • 75 percent of exposures were men
  • 13 percent of exposures were life-threatening
  • 10 percent of exposures were lethal

Phenibut may be called the “smart pill,” but if it inhibits your brain’s ability to produce a naturally occurring chemical (GABA) for warm fuzzies and cognition, then, after long-term use, it will become the “numb and dumb pill.”

It is clear that this substance is not safe, especially when taken in higher doses or used over extended periods of time since tolerance can develop very rapidly. 

Explore your addiction treatment options today. Dial (828) 518-6996 to speak with an Asheville Recovery Center representative to begin your journey.


Phenibut Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms & Treatment

How Long Does Withdrawal From Phenibut Last?

Even though not regulated by the FDA, addiction to Phenibut has been documented. Patients who do experience this problem may continue to develop withdrawal symptoms once they consider quitting the drug.

Stopping Phenibut cold turkey increases the risk of these withdrawals. That is why patients should understand if they may be experiencing a dependence and recognize Phenibut withdrawal symptoms early on to get proper treatment.

This can lead to successful detoxification and reduced side effects following the cessation of the supplement.

Causes Of Phenibut Withdrawal

Withdrawal emerges due to the development of dependence on the supplement. The patient will continue to take the supplement and start to build up a tolerance. As this happens, the individual finds that they need to make a higher dose to reach the same effect.

As the person increases their supplement dose, they eventually develop an addiction. The individual feels that they are unable to function without the use of the product anymore. That is why Phenibut withdrawals tend to occur once the person does not take the drug.

Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms And Signs

When a person stops taking Phenibut capsules, there are sure withdrawal signs that the individual should look out for – these may suggest the presence of dependence, which may require some additional interventions to prevent complications.

Jitteriness and anxiety are widespread symptoms. The occurrence of serotonin syndrome is also possible. Some patients reported experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations and psychomotor agitation.

The Patient May Also Experience the Following, Especially If they Stop the Use Of the Substance too Quickly:

  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive levels of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Muscle tension
  • Tremor
  • Depersonalization
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations

These symptoms tend to occur because the patient’s brain now needs to adjust to the product’s effects not being active anymore. There are some rare cases where the patient may also experience hallucinations while withdrawing from the supplement.

How Long Does Phenibut Withdrawal Last?

Understanding how long Fenibut withdrawal lasts and how the symptoms will develop is essential for many patients who wish to quit using the supplement. Reddit threads tend to suggest that many of the issues experienced when a patient discontinues the drug tend to be acute.

The Phenibut withdrawal duration will usually vary from patient to patient. Many factors should be taken into consideration to determine whether the symptoms may last for a more extended period.

Phenibut withdrawal timeline may start as soon as 3-4 hours after the last dose. The symptoms may be similar to benzodiazepine withdrawals, including such manifestations as anxiety or insomnia.

On day 5, many patients may find that some of the physical symptoms they experience, such as tremors, heart palpitations, and muscle tension, start to improve. The cognitive impairment, depression, and other psychological withdrawal symptoms may sometimes take longer to start improving, however.

Variables Affecting Phenibut Withdrawal Duration

Several variables affect the overall duration of the particular symptoms that a patient will experience as they withdraw from Fenibut use.

  • The drug dose that they took and the duration of substance use are two of the most critical factors that will ultimately have an impact on these factors.
  • If combinations were used, such as Fenibut and Kratom or alcohol, the patient may be at a higher risk of more severe withdrawal symptoms as well – and may require additional time to withdraw from other drugs they have become dependent on as well.
  • Quitting cold turkey can significantly increase the severity of withdrawals and also make these symptoms appear faster. In contrast, tapering off can cause milder symptoms.

Treatment for Withdrawal From Phenibut

Due to not having sufficient clinical research and evidence, there is no recommended direct approach when it comes to treating Phenibut addiction. Treatment plans should also be reviewed as they progress and changed to fit the patient’s needs. The doctors in specialized rehabilitation centers will work out the approach that fits each patient.

Medical detox or taper (gradually reducing the dose of the substance) are considered to be a successful treatment method.

Phenibut Taper: The Best Way To Prevent Withdrawal

Patients who have built a dependency on this drug should consider tapering off the supplement slowly instead of quitting cold turkey. This would be the best solution toward reducing the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

When done right, tapering off the drug instead of just giving up the use of Fenibut may even help to prevent the side effects from happening altogether, which would undoubtedly be seen as a benefit.

A headache may still be experienced, with some fatigue, but more severe symptoms can usually be effectively avoided with such a strategy in place.

When tapering off the supplement, the patient’s dose will be slowly reduced. The physician in charge of the Fenibut drug cessation may advise a gradual reduction – perhaps reducing the dose on a week-to-week basis.

Phenibut Medical Detox

Fenibut medical detoxification is offered at some rehabilitation services, often as an outpatient treatment solution. In cases where the patient has a more severe dependence on the supplement, an inpatient detoxification service may instead be required.

Detoxification services will usually focus on helping the patient taper off the drug. Medical professionals involved in the process may also use certain medicines and substitutes to assist with the withdrawals.

In some cases, the patient may also be provided with additional services. For example, if the patient experiences anxiety and depression as one of the symptoms. In that case, they could be advised to attend sessions with a psychologist to assist in the management of these problems.

Medications For Fenibut Detoxification

Some types of drugs can be used while a patient is undergoing detoxification for a dependency they have developed.

Using medications in the treatment can influence Phenibut withdrawal timeline and make it less uncomfortable for a patient.

The specific medication choice depends on a few factors – a professional in medical detoxification and addiction treatment will usually need to analyze the patient to determine the best option.

  • Gabapentin for Phenibut withdrawal is one potential option that may be considered.
  • Benzodiazepines are another option – this can help reduce some of the anxiety and other side-effects that are often experienced. The structural similarity that Fenibut displays to these drugs can help the patient experience less severe withdrawal symptoms during the supplement’s cessation. The patient will be able to have similar effects with the use of the substitute drug, but there may be a lower risk of addiction to the new substance.
  • Klonopin for Phenibut withdrawal symptoms is relatively common and can be useful when the patient is tapered off the supplement. Since Klonopin and related drugs can help prevent panic attacks and provide a valuable way to reduce anxiety symptoms, this may be an effective way to reduce or avoid some side effects of withdrawal from Phenibut.
  • Baclofen use is also common, as it is structurally similar to Fenibut. Baclofen is also used in the treatment of alcohol dependence, which is beneficial if there is concomitant use of Phenibut and alcohol.

The medications that will be used during the withdrawal period will be chosen the minimum risk of dependence.

Know How to Get Help

Although Fenibut use is not regulated in the US, it can lead to physical dependence and Phenibut withdrawal.

The symptoms are quite unpleasant, and to get off the drug with minimal risks, one needs to seek medical help. Phenibut withdrawal timeline varies from person to person and can depend on several factors.

Nevertheless, there are certain medications that can be effectively used in the treatment of dependence and withdrawals.

If one struggles with Phenibut addiction, the safest way will be to seek medical attention, which will let the patient slowly taper off the drug. Inpatient and outpatient facilities will provide medical and psychological support to overcome the addiction.

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Page Sources

  1. Matthew I. Hardman, Juraj Sprung, Toby N. Weingarten, Acute Phenibut withdrawal: A comprehensive literature review and illustrative case report,
  2. Yash B. Joshi, Samantha F. Friend, Berenice Jimenez, Louisa R.

    Steiger, Dissociative intoxication and prolonged withdrawal associated with Phenibut: a case report, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.


  3. Tania Ahuja, Ofole Mgbako, Caroline Katzman, Allison Grossman, Phenibut (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric Acid) Dependence and Management of Withdrawal: Emerging Nootropics of Abuse, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.


  4. Andriy V Samokhvalov, C Lindsay Paton-Gay, Kam Balchand, and Jürgen Rehm, Phenibut dependence, 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.


  5. Fabrizio Schifano, Laura Orsolini, G Duccio Papanti, and John M Corkery, Novel psychoactive substances of interest for psychiatry, 2015.
  6. Lovisa Högberg, István Szabó & Jaan Ruusa, Psychotic symptoms during Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) withdrawal, 2012.

Published on: April 10th, 2019

Updated on: March 4th, 2021

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


Phenibut Withdrawal Timeline & Detox Help

How Long Does Withdrawal From Phenibut Last?

Phenibut is marketed as a supplement in the U.S. and sold online. It’s often described as a “nootropic,” which is a chemical and herbal-based supplement that some claim has cognitive benefits. Phenibut has been used as a pharmaceutical drug in places Russia since the 1960s.

When it’s a prescription drug, phenibut is given to treat conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD. Other prescription phenibut uses include for alcohol withdrawal, and various stress and anxiety-related conditions. Phenibut is a GABA analog. It acts similarly to the inhibitory and calming neurotransmitter GABA.

Un a GABA supplement, phenibut also has unique structural properties that allow it to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Health Risks & Common Withdrawal Symptoms

While some people do feel phenibut has therapeutic benefits for them, there are risks. One of the risks of ordering phenibut online is that it’s an unregulated substance. There’s no way to determine the safety or authenticity, and there are no standard dosage guidelines. Some people may also have negative side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

One of the most significant risks of phenibut is the formation of dependence. People rapidly develop a tolerance for phenibut, as well as dependence. For some people, this can occur after using phenibut only one or two times. Quicky, a person requires higher doses to continue getting the effects of phenibut.

If someone is dependent and they stop using phenibut suddenly, they may also go through withdrawal.

Phenibut withdrawal symptoms can range from barely detectable to severe. Some of the most common phenibut withdrawal symptoms include rebound symptoms.

Rebound symptoms are a more severe reoccurrence of the symptoms someone originally used phenibut to treat. These symptoms can include anxiety and insomnia, as well as rapid heartbeat and other changes in sleep patterns.

Phenibut addiction withdrawal can be difficult to manage for some people.

Other Phenibut Withdrawal Symptoms

While the phenibut withdrawal symptoms listed above are some of the most common, others are possible as well.

All of the phenibut withdrawal symptoms occur because of the effects this substance has on GABA, as well as other neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine.

When the brain is dependent on the effects of phenibut, and that’s suddenly taken away, the brain struggles to readjust. That readjustment is what creates withdrawal symptoms. Phenibut withdrawal symptoms may also include:

  • Extreme agitation or feelings of excess physical energy or jitteriness
  • Reduced appetite resulting from changes in stress hormones
  • Brain fog and other cognitive deficits
  • Depression
  • Depersonalization
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations are a rare but possible side effect of phenibut withdrawal
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle tension
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors

Phenibut Withdrawal Timeline

The exact length of a phenibut withdrawal timeline can vary depending on some individual factors. For example, how long someone used phenibut, their dosage, whether or not they are gradually tapering off phenibut, and whether someone is taking other drugs or supplements can all play a role.

While the more acute, physical symptoms of phenibut may disappear after a week or two, it’s possible that some symptoms can be longer-lasting. For example, post-acute withdrawal syndrome is possible. Also called PAWS, this refers to the long-term occurrence of withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the longer-lasting possible phenibut withdrawal symptoms can include psychological symptoms anxiety and depression.

In high-dose phenibut takers, withdrawal has lasted for as long as 24 weeks, and the phenibut withdrawal symptoms and timeline are very similar to what’s seen with drugs benzodiazepines.

Accessing Help for Withdrawal & Detox

For people who are dependent on phenibut or who fear they could experience withdrawal, the best option is to gradually taper down from the drug. The standard recommendation is tapering down the dosage of phenibut by around ten percent every two to four weeks.

Tapering down can help prevent the more severe withdrawal symptoms or help a person avoid withdrawal altogether. Some people also look to supplements to help them as they withdraw from phenibut. For example, some supplements that may be helpful can include magnesium, chamomile, and L-theanine, as well as melatonin.

With this in mind, sometimes the best option is to speak to a medical professional.

In some circumstances, a professional phenibut detox may be advisable. First, if someone has underlying mental health issues, medical detox can be necessary.

Many people who are dependent on phenibut do have underlying mental health concerns, and that’s why they started using it in the first place. It’s so important to receive appropriate mental health care, including medications if necessary.

If someone has polysubstance misuse issues and is simultaneously using phenibut with other prescription or illicit drugs, medical detox may be required as well.

To learn more about medical detox and what happens during addiction treatment, reach out to The Recovery Village today.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

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