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How Much Phenibut and Alcohol Are Safe to Mix?

It is not safe to mix phenibut and alcohol. They mimic each other’s effects, so the combination can be dangerous.

Alcohol

Alcohol is ubiquitous in our culture and causes people to make rash decisions even if they are not problem drinkers. It acts as a depressant and is not safe to combine with substances even if they are legal to use. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens explains that using alcohol along with other substances that slow your central nervous system could be deadly, as depressants cause a slowdown in your breathing on their own. Alcohol could depress your breathing even further.

Phenibut

Phenibut was invented in Russia in the 1960s to help astronauts deal with the anxiety of being in space. Later, it became a regulated medication in Russia for people who have anxiety, who have post-traumatic stress disorder, and who need assistance to deal with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

A February 2018 article published in The Conversation notes phenibut is not regulated in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. 

In some cases, it is sold under the guise of being a “smart drug” that enhances concentration and memory, but its use comes with many risks.

How Phenibut Affects the Brain and Body

Phenibut works by influencing neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain called γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that get too excited and cause feelings of anxiety. GABA is important in feeling euphoria and anxiety. 

In essence, phenibut causes the brain’s chemical messengers to communicate more slowly. It can improve mood and induce sedation, which causes you to feel calmer. Its side effects include relaxation of the central nervous system and a reduction in breathing rates.

phenibut with alcohol

Some people become tolerant of phenibut within a few days of using it. It is possible to overdose on the substance. Using it with other drugs could increase its adverse health effects.

Phenibut effects vary depending on the dose you take. The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology mentioned a case of a patient who experienced an “out-of-body” experience after taking too much phenibut. 

He was a 32-year-old male who became suicidal and was taken to the emergency room. He was also taking steroids at the time. 

The case study was notable in that it mentioned possible dissociation because of phenibut use. Doctors observed that the patient also underwent withdrawal. He was eventually successfully tapered off phenibut by using baclofen in decreasing doses.

Effects of Phenibut With Common Drugs

Combining any two substances is always risky, and phenibut is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This makes it hard to know exactly what you are getting and how strongly you could react to it. It is also similar to depressants such as alcohol.

The Tennessee Poison Center says you should expect negative effects stemming from phenibut’s ability to slow your nervous system. SA Health, from South Australia, outlines the dangers of mixing different types of drugs. 

  • Depressants and marijuana could increase the likelihood of vomiting, anxiety, paranoia, nausea, and panic.
  • Depressants and stimulants may seem like they can cancel each other out, but they only mask certain feelings caused by depressants and make you more susceptible to side effects.
  • Kratom may interact with phenibut. A 2018 case study from Critical Care Medicine looked at a patient who was using phenibut to deal with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The patient was using kratom at the same time and arrived at the emergency room with symptoms like leg tremors and anxiety. Under doctoral supervision, the patient was fine and able to adhere to a tapering schedule for phenibut.

Phenibut should not be mixed with depressants like alcohol because they compound each other’s sedative effects.

Phenibut and Alcohol

When it comes to phenibut and alcohol, there is no safe amount of these two substances that can and should be mixed. Mixing alcohol with any drug puts you at risk of harmful effects, especially if these drugs can be used to treat sleep disorders.

Even when some drugs are legal, doctors ask patients to refrain from drinking at all, avoid alcohol for several hours before or after use and suggest using another type of medication if alcohol consumption is an issue. 

When it comes to phenibut, general medical advice is not to combine alcohol with depressants in any capacity.

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Alcohol should not be combined with anti-anxiety medications, any medication that causes drowsiness, or substances known to relax your muscles. 

There is still very little literature about using phenibut with alcohol itself, but based on what we know about alcohol and other depressants, they should not be combined. 

Despite these warnings, alcohol is common, and it is easy for you to forget that it could cause an adverse reaction.

Per NIDA, mixing alcohol with other substances increases your odds of experiencing respiratory complications and slowing your heart rate to dangerous levels. Avoid combining alcohol and phenibut to stay safe.

Sources

(August 2017) Dissociative intoxication and prolonged withdrawal associated with phenibut: a case report. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5662439/

(April 2018) Phenibut: Is It a Smart Drug To Take? Tennessee Poison Center. Retrieved March 2019 from https://ww2.mc.vanderbilt.edu/poisoncenter/52585

(April 2018) Phenibut (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric Acid) Dependence and Management of Withdrawal: Emerging Nootropics of Abuse. Case Reports in Psychiatry. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952553/

(April 2012) Psychotic symptoms during phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) withdrawal. Journal of Substance Abuse. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14659891.2012.668261?journalCode=ijsu20

(April 2011) Alcohol and Drugs Don’t Mix. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Retrieved March 2019 from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/alcohol-and-drugs-dont-mix

(October 2018) The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Medications. Verywell Mind. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.verywellmind.com/mixing-alcohol-and-medication-harmful-interactions-67888

(February 2018) Weekly Dose: phenibut –the Russian anti-anxiety drug linked to Gold Coast teens’ overdoses. The Conversation. Retrieved March 2019 from https://theconversation.com/weekly-dose-phenibut-the-russian-anti-anxiety-drug-linked-to-gold-coast-teens-overdoses-92339

(March 2017) The dangers of mixing drugs. South Australia Health. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+conditions+prevention+and+treatment/drugs/the+dangers+of+mixing+drugs

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