Substance Use

What Are the Side Effects of Phenibut Abuse?

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Side Effects of Phenibut Abuse

Phenibut is a drug not yet regulated by the FDA. It is commonly self-prescribed for anxiety disorders. However, its unregulated status leads many to believe it is safe by default. In reality, many dangerous drugs are not yet regulated because the regulatory process can take years, even after a drug gains popularity. Because of how little research there is regarding the drug, phenibut use is risky. Here are some of the many side effects of phenibut abuse that you should be aware of.

Are you or someone you love suffering from a phenibut dependence? Contact Zinnia Healing today by calling (855) 430-9439 or visiting our website.

What Are Common Side Effects of Phenibut?

Phenibut is also known as fenibut or phenyl. It was developed in Russia and is readily available online, which is one reason why it is so dangerous. While the drug is marketed as a cognitive enhancer and dietary supplement, it can lead to feelings of euphoria that put individuals at high risk of forming an addiction. Additionally, large doses can impact mental and physical health.

Some people use phenibut for social anxiety and mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the dangers of self-diagnosing and self-medicating can be risky on their own. Due to how little research there is on phenibut and how it affects different types of people, the side effects can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Low doses of phenibut are promoted in self-guided therapies, but even in these instances, an individual may experience side effects like:

  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

People often suffer from hangover-like symptoms following a phenibut dose, but this is more apparent with higher doses. The immediate side effects of phenibut can be hard to detect, especially if you haven’t witnessed substance abuse before. Repeat use will lead to short-term side effects that will linger longer and may be more noticeable.

What Are the Short-Term Side Effects of Phenibut Abuse? 

Short-term side effects of phenibut can linger for hours after taking the drug and tend to grow more apparent over time. They can also be dangerous. Especially for those trying to manage a mental or behavioral health condition on their own, phenibut can lead to substantial side effects like psychosis. Other short-term side effects of phenibut abuse include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Slowed breathing
  • Muscle spasms
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Seizures

The short-term side effects that follow a dose of phenibut can cause a person to take more of the drug to restore the initial feeling of well-being they get right after a dose. However, this worsens the negative side effects of phenibut, leading to a person taking more and more. This is known as the addiction cycle, and it rapidly leads to drug tolerance and dependence.

Are you or a loved one suffering from a phenibut addiction? Seeking help from a knowledgeable addiction treatment center is crucial for recovery. Contact Zinnia Healing today by calling (855) 430-9439 or visiting our website.

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Phenibut Abuse? 

No specific dose of phenibut is considered safe or effective, so people who self-medicate are left to find a dose on their own. As dependence begins to form with long-term use, additional side effects become apparent, and an individual is at an increased risk of phenibut overdose.

  • Impairment
  • Coordination problems
  • Loss of balance
  • Hangover-like symptoms
  • Increased risk of fatty liver disease
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Psychosis (feeling, seeing, or hearing things that aren’t there)

The potential side effects of phenibut far outweigh any desired effects a person may be trying to achieve. Additionally, as a person continues using the drug, some side effects can lead to permanent changes in the body, especially in someone already suffering from a mental health condition like PTSD.

Does Phenibut Affect Your Personality?

In Russia, phenibut was studied for its ability to make a person more social and talkative. This is why phenibut is being researched as a potential medication for social anxiety. However, when the use of phenibut isn’t properly managed and an addiction forms, a number of detrimental personality changes can occur.

Phenibut addiction can cause a person to:

  • Remove themselves from social activities and social circles
  • Become more secretive and suspicious
  • Participate in more risky behavior 
  • Forego work and school performance 
  • Lose interest in hobbies and activities 

While the personality changes that result from addiction aren’t typically permanent, the recovery process should consider a person’s mental health, skills, interests, and passions to help them achieve lasting recovery.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact With Phenibut?

Whether taking a drug recreationally or for medical reasons, it’s important to avoid interactions. Phenibut has known interactions with the following: 

  • Alcohol
  • Sedatives
  • Opioids
  • Antipsychotics

Due to the lack of research on phenibut, additional interactions may exist that haven’t been fully documented yet. Anyone taking a drug like phenibut should be careful not to combine it with other substances before talking to a doctor. 

Signs and Symptoms of Phenibut Abuse

While taking phenibut leads to a number of side effects, some immediate and some more noticeable in the long term, there are additional signs and symptoms that mark phenibut abuse. Once someone becomes dependent on phenibut, which can happen quite rapidly, they will experience phenibut withdrawal symptoms when they go a short period between doses.

Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, which is why they often cause a person to give in and take the drug sooner than they normally would. However, this worsens the withdrawal symptoms after the next dose, leading to a dangerous cycle. This is known as withdrawal syndrome, and side effects include:

  • Racing heart rate, slowed breathing, and tremors
  • Changes in mood, including depression and anxiety
  • Aggressive behavior, including agitation, irritability, and mood swings
  • Slowed cognition, which may affect work and school performance
  • Hallucinations and delusions

Involving a healthcare provider is crucial in the recovery process to help an individual avoid lasting side effects as a result of phenibut abuse. The right facility will also treat any co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or depression, to ensure an individual completes their treatment programs feeling fully recovered and capable.

Get Help With a Substance Use Disorder

Whether you consider phenibut a “smart drug,” nootropic, or alternative therapy, the use of phenibut is not considered safe. Like all drugs, physical dependence can form rapidly, leading to an addiction that you likely won’t even realize is starting until it’s too late.

Even though phenibut is not a controlled substance, recognizing how it affects the body is critical to understanding the long-term impacts of misuse. If you or someone you love is using phenibut for any reason, it’s time to get the facts. Contact Zinnia Healing today by calling (855) 430-9439 or visiting our website.