Issac Thorne

Last Updated February 13, 2022

Researchers interested in studying phenibut for social anxiety must be aware that the legal status of this anxiolytic compound varies from one country to the next. It is currently marketed as a pharmaceutical drug in just a handful of countries, including Russia, while it is classified as a controlled substance in a handful of others, including Australia. This guide will outline what researchers must know before experimenting with phenibut for social anxiety.

Below, we will explore phenibut’s main benefits, side effects, and how it is prescribed in countries where it is regulated as a pharmaceutical product. Researchers wishing to study phenibut will find our recommendations on buying this compound at the end of this guide.

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What is Phenibut?

Phenibut refers to the chemical called 3-phenyl-4-aminobutyric acid. It is manufactured and marketed predominantly in Russia and a handful of CIS countries. Its sale and use is restricted in Australia [1], Hungary [2], Italy [3], and France [4]. Outside of countries where it is approved or controlled, phenibut has no recognized therapeutic benefits but is generally available as a research chemical, including in the United States and Canada.
Phenibut has been shown to offer both anxiolytic and nootropic benefits [5]. As a mimetic of GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid), phenibut’s primary use is as an anxiolytic. Where it is available as a medicine, phenibut is typically available in 250 mg pharmaceutical tablets and is prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and insomnia, among others [5].


Phenibut Benefits

Researchers interested in phenibut’s potential as a treatment for social anxiety may consult the Instructions for Use for phenibut (“IFU”) published by the Russian drug manufacturer Ozon [5]. According to the IFU, phenibut can:

  • Lower anxiety
  • Lower tension
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of headaches
  • Reduce irritability
  • Improve brain function (by increasing blood flow)
  • Enhance mental performance (by increasing attention span, memory, and speed)
  • Enhance physical performance

Clinicians may prescribe phenibut to treat the following ailments:

  • Insomnia (in elderly patients) [5]
  • Asthenia [5]
  • Anxious-neurotic states [5, 6]
  • Anxiety spectrum disorders [7]
  • Chronic cerebral ischemia (CCI) [7]
  • Protracted anxiety-phobic disorders [8]
  • Meniere's disease [5]
  • Motion sickness/seasickness [5]
  • Stuttering and tics (in children) [5]
  • Symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal [5]

The following section will outline the main side effects and safety concerns associated with phenibut use.

Phenibut Side Effects and Safety

When designing a study to determine phenibut’s potential to alleviate social anxiety, researchers must consider all relevant side effects and safety issues regarding phenibut. The appropriate steps must be taken to minimize test subjects’ exposure to risk during testing.

The bulk of what we know about phenibut’s side effects and safety is explained in the IFU. As a starting point, under no circumstances should phenibut be administered to the following groups [5]:

  • Subjects with hypersensitivity
  • Subjects who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Subjects with gastrointestinal issues
  • Subjects with renal impairment

According to the IFU, subjects may suffer from the following side effects when administered phenibut [5]:

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Allergic reactions
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

The following side effects have been associated with long-term phenibut use and/or at a high daily dose of seven grams per day [5]:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fatty degeneration of the liver
  • Eosinophilia
  • Impaired renal function

Subjects receiving phenibut should undergo regular liver and blood function checks and refrain from potentially hazardous activities [5].

While the IFU is believed to provide a comprehensive overview of phenibut’s side effects and safety concerns, researchers must be aware that phenibut has no recognized therapeutic benefits outside of countries where it is regulated as a medicine. Researchers in other countries have highlighted the following side effects associated with phenibut’s use:

  • Ability to cause “rapid development of tolerance and dependence” (Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration [1]).
  • Acute withdrawal symptoms when discontinued (Owen et al. [9], Samokhvalov et al. [10], and Hardman et al. [11]).
  • High incidence of patients requiring hospitalization (Graves et al. [12]).
  • Potential to cause lethargy, delirium, psychosis, and coma (Cohen et al. [13]).

Researchers should note that the majority of this research was conducted in countries where phenibut is not manufactured as a pharmaceutical drug as in Russia. For example, in the United States, a review by Cohen et al. found phenibut-containing supplements to be dosed as high as 1,164 mg of phenibut per serving, far in excess of the standard 250 mg tablets produced in Russia [13].

However, as noted earlier, concerns surrounding phenibut’s ability to cause significant side effects have prompted at least four countries to prohibit its use and sale (Australia, Hungary, Italy, and France).

More recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has never approved phenibut as a prescription medication, has, as noted by Cohen et al., recently issued “an advisory that phenibut is not permitted in dietary supplements” [13]. Researchers are therefore strongly advised to treat phenibut with appropriate levels of caution before administering it to test subjects.

Phenibut for Social Anxiety | The Basics

According to the IFU, phenibut helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and tension when administered to patients [5]. This is supported by published scientific literature showing that phenibut is “widely used in Russia” to “relieve tension, anxiety, and fear” (Lapin [6]).

While these sources make no specific mention of social anxiety, some leeway must be given for translation issues. When considering phenibut’s efficacy, an Australian TGA delegate concluded that clinical trial literature associated with phenibut is “unable to be evaluated critically”, citing “translation issues” as the main barrier [1]. We can, however, reasonably infer that the “anxious-neurotic states” cited by the IFU includes conditions such as social anxiety [5].

From the IFU, we know that phenibut has a tranquilizing effect that improves the state of the brain and metabolism by increasing cerebral blood flow. These effects can be beneficial to patients suffering from anxiety, as has been demonstrated through clinical trials. For example, Chutko et al. found that 1,000 mg doses of phenibut (referred to as Noofen in the paper) were effective at treating a group of 62 patients with anxiety-phobic disorders (APDs) [8]. An impressive 73.3 percent of the test subjects experienced an improvement following administration of phenibut, suggesting that this compound does indeed have efficacy as a treatment for APDs like social anxiety.

World’s Best Drug for Social Anxiety?

Researchers interested in anxiolytic compounds may be wondering whether phenibut is the world’s best drug for social anxiety. Following a review of the available literature, this seems unlikely. As noted by Cohen et al., while phenibut is used in Russia to treat anxiety, it is not approved as a prescription medication across much of the world, including in the U.S., despite having been around for nearly six decades[13].

More than 80 cases of coma [11] and one death [12] have been associated with recreational phenibut consumption in the U.S. When considered together, this evidence strongly suggests that phenibut is not the world’s best drug for social anxiety.

According to Kotova et al. the current best practice for treating stress-related disorders such as social anxiety is the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Kotova cites fluvoxamine as the compound with the most potential in the context of the global Coronavirus pandemic [14]. This suggests that comparative research into the effects of both phenibut and SSRIs is warranted to determine which compound might have greatest efficacy for treating social anxiety.


How to Use Phenibut Properly

According to the IFU, adults in countries where phenibut is prescribed may be given phenibut in the following doses [5]:

  • Typical daily dose: 250-500 mg three times per day
  • Maximum single dose: 750 mg
  • Maximum daily dose: Up to a maximum of 2,500 mg/day
  • Duration of treatment: 2-3 weeks

The reason for the wide range in doses is that phenibut is indicated for a wide number of ailments and the recommended dose varies accordingly:

  • To treat motion sickness or sea sickness: 250 mg once.
  • To treat vestibular disorders and Meniere's disease: 250 mg 3 times a day for 14 days.
  • To treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms: 250-500 mg of phenibut three times a day and an additional dose of 750 mg prior to bedtime.

Researchers should note that outside of countries where phenibut is a prescription drug, it is available only as a reference material and therefore has no safe or recommended dose.

Where to Buy Phenibut Online? | 2022 Guide

Researchers wishing to test phenibut’s potential for treating social anxiety are advised to consult and abide by all local laws before attempting to procure this compound. There are a large number of online vendors who claim to ship phenibut worldwide, but in our team’s experience, few companies actually deliver as promised.

The main problems? Shipping issues and quality. That is why our team investigated the top vendors and placed small test orders. This helped us accurately gauge the quality, speed, and reliability of all the main phenibut vendors currently operating.

In our experience, is the top phenibut vendor serving researchers as of 2022. Here are some of the reasons why we rate them so highly.

  • Transparent Testing Process: We were impressed to find that has every batch of phenibut tested and coded before listing it for sale. Lab reports for each batch are published on their website, letting us see the quality of the phenibut before placing our order.
  • Competitive Bulk Prices: may not be the cheapest vendor we tested but it does offer budget-friendly prices on bulk orders. Placing an order of 200 or more vials brings the cost per 3,000 mg vial down to an affordable $10.49. This can drastically lower the cost of running a long-term study with phenibut.
  • Fair Returns Policy: While we didn’t experience any delays with our test order, made it clear that lost or delayed orders would be fairly refunded or reshipped.
  • Fast International Shipping: had one of the best international shipping policies of any phenibut vendor we tested. They ship worldwide for a flat rate of just $15 and waive all shipping fees on U.S. orders over $100. This makes frequent orders much more economical.

Our test order from left us in no doubt that they are the premier phenibut vendor for 2022 and beyond. Their phenibut is 99% pure and is shipped in UV-proof, tamper-resistant packaging, which helps to prolong shelf-life. Best of all, the order arrived promptly and was not subject to stops or delays as some of our orders from other vendors were.

Overall, highly recommended!

Ready to order Phenibut from the top-rated online vendor?

Phenibut for Social Anxiety | The Verdict

Researchers curious about experimenting with phenibut for social anxiety must note that this compound can pose significant health and safety risks to test subjects. We caution researchers to exercise the appropriate level of care and caution before administering this compound to test subjects.

This guide has highlighted areas where further research is warranted, especially the long-term suitability and effectiveness of phenibut compared with traditional treatments and SSRIs like fluvoxamine.

We strongly advise researchers wishing to conduct further research to contact for a reliable, secure supply of phenibut.



  1. 3.3 Phenibut. (2021). Retrieved 5 December 2021, from
  2. (2021). Retrieved 11 December 2021, from
  3. (2021). Retrieved 11 December 2021, from
  4. (2021). Retrieved 11 December 2021, from
  5. OZON, OOO (2017), Instructions for Use of Phenibut (PDF). [In Russian].
  6. Lapin I. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug. CNS Drug Rev. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-3458.2001.tb00211.x. PMID: 11830761; PMCID: PMC6494145.
  7. Vorob'eva OV, Rusaya VV. Farmakoterapiya trevozhnykh rasstroistv u patsientov s khronicheskoi ishemiei golovnogo mozga [Pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders in patients with chronic cerebral ischemia]. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2016;116(12. Vyp. 2):49-55.. doi: 10.17116/jnevro201611612249-54. PMID: 28300804.
  8. Chutko LS, Surushkina SIu, Iakovenko EA, Nikishena IS, Anisimova TI, Bondarchuk IuL. [Cognitive and emotional impairments in patients with protracted anxiety-phobic disorders]. Ter Arkh. 2014;86(12):61-5.. doi: 10.17116/terarkh2014861261-65. PMID: 25804042.
  9. 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. doi: 10.1111/dar.12356. Epub 2015 Dec 23. PMID: 26693960.
  10. Samokhvalov, A., Paton-Gay, C. L., Balchand, K., & Rehm J. (2013). Phenibut dependence. BMJ case reports. DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2012-008381
  11. Hardman MI, Sprung J, Weingarten TN. Acute phenibut withdrawal: A comprehensive literature review and illustrative case report. Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2019 May 20;19(2):125-129. doi: 10.17305/bjbms.2018.4008. PMID: 30501608; PMCID: PMC6535394.
  12. Graves JM, Dilley J, Kubsad S, Liebelt E. Notes from the Field: Phenibut Exposures Reported to Poison Centers — United States, 2009–2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1227–1228. DOI:
  13. Cohen PA, Ellison RR, Travis JC, Gaufberg SV, Gerona R. Quantity of phenibut in dietary supplements before and after FDA warnings. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2021 Sep 22:1-3. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2021.1973020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34550038.
  14. Kotova OV, Medvedev VE, Akarachkova ES, Belyaev AA. Kovid-19 i stress-svyazannye rasstroistva [COVID-19 and stress-related disorders]. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2021;121(5. Vyp. 2):122-128. Russian. doi: 10.17116/jnevro2021121052122. PMID: 34405668.

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