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  1. #1
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    Phenibut for alcohol withdrawal and cravings

    I've been reading about baclofen for several weeks now. I ordered some about a month ago to try to cut back on drinking. Moderation is my goal. I'd like to be able to drink in moderation like I used to. I'd like to be able to skip drinking for a few days without it being a struggle, and be able to have 2 or 3 drinks on a weekend without it turning into 15 or 20.

    I ordered some baclofen about a month ago. I already had some phenibut here from a few years ago. I had tried it as a recreational thing, but I didn't like it. I decided to try low dose phenibut while I was waiting for the baclofen. The chemical structure looks very close to baclofen.

    I've been taking 1 gram daily for about a month now. 250 mg in the morning, 250 mg early afternoon, and 500 mg in the evening. I made the decision at the beginning to stick with 1 gram a day, since I had read from people who had problems with escalating doses. Some days I forget my morning or afternoon dose and only have 750 mg.

    My alcohol withdrawal symptoms disappeared overnight. I went from one of my usual weekend binges to a few days alcohol free with zero withdrawal. My cravings have gone down maybe 80%. I'm not indifferent to alcohol, but that urgent need is gone. I'm averaging 2 or 3 drinks a night now compared to 10 or 20 before I started this. I can take days off drinking with a small amount of willpower. I've had 1 drink tonight, and I'll have exactly 1 more. Not 10 or 20.

    Has anyone here had success with phenibut? Should I stick with this since it's working, or should I make the switch to baclofen? Can I switch to baclofen all at once, or do I need to taper down the phenibut while making the switch? What would be an equivalent dose? I know that's a lot of questions.

  2. #2
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    I've used phenibut, I didn't experience any anti craving effect that you are having and it did not diminish the euphoria from drinking like baclofen does. Though it's a gaba-b agonist like baclofen, and like you say, chemically very similar. So if it's working great.

    The problem with phenibut is tolerance, like benzos, u'll eventually become tolerant to a dose and require dose escalation to get the same effect. Phenibut withdrawal is nasty but much more manageable than benzos.

  3. #3
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    The anti craving effect was stronger at first, but it's still there after a month without increasing the dose. I don't want to try raising the dose like is recommended with baclofen, just from the stories I've read online.

    It hasn't diminished the euphoria from drinking. It's more like I feel happy and satisfied after 2 drinks without feeling that constant urge to keep drinking. I drank a 6 pack of beer last weekend, which is hardly anything for me. Weekends before this were 2 or 3 12 packs of beer and a bottle of rum or vodka. I've actually been waiting until the evening to have a drink these last few weekends. Not waking up and having a few drinks to get the day started.

    I know phenibut withdrawal is supposed to be nasty. I'm not planning on quitting all at once. I'll either switch to baclofen or taper off over a few weeks when I decide to quit.

  4. #4
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    There have been a few conversations here on this topic:

    http://www.mywayout.org/community/sh...=1#post1110019

    http://www.mywayout.org/community/sh...=1#post1125577

    http://www.mywayout.org/community/sh...henibut-for-me

    I don't have any experience with Phenibut personally, but word on the street is that
    tolerance builds readily and dose escalation is very likely, if not certain (unlike Baclofen). In five years reading this forum, most of the folks that have dropped by to ask questions about it usually want to know if Baclofen is suitable to use to cross taper off a bad Phenibut habit (see the 2nd and 3rd links)

    -tk

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the links. I have some reading to do.

    I've already decided not to go with the dose escalation route. I'll take 1 gram a day max until I taper off or switch to baclofen. Tapering down from 1 gram a day should be easy compared to 10 grams a day.

    I'm getting ready for a cross country trip to see my family. I'll stick with phenibut for now since it's going well so far. It's sold OTC, so I can always find some if the airline loses my luggage or whatever. I'll probably try to make the switch to low dose baclofen next week when I'm back home. I'll keep everyone posted about my experience and how it's going.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the thread. Until now, I had only heard negative stories regarding Phenibut.


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761

    Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid HCl) is a neuropsychotropic drug that was discovered and introduced into clinical practice in Russia in the 1960s. It has anxiolytic and nootropic (cognition enhancing) effects. It acts as a GABA-mimetic, primarily at GABA(B) and, to some extent, at GABA(A) receptors. It also stimulates dopamine receptors and antagonizes beta-phenethylamine (PEA), a putative endogenous anxiogenic. The psychopharmacological activity of phenibut is similar to that of baclofen, a p-Cl-derivative of phenibut. This article reviews the structure-activity relationship of phenibut and its derivatives. Emphasis is placed on the importance of the position of the phenyl ring, the role of the carboxyl group, and the activity of optical isomers. Comparison of phenibut with piracetam and diazepam reveals similarities and differences in their pharmacological and clinical effects. Phenibut is widely used in Russia to relieve tension, anxiety, and fear, to improve sleep in psychosomatic or neurotic patients; as well as a pre- or post-operative medication. It is also used in the therapy of disorders characterized by asthenia and depression, as well as in post-traumatic stress, stuttering and vestibular disorders

  7. #7
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    I've read some negative things about phenibut too. The main risks I've read involved people taking increasingly large doses and quitting abruptly. That's why I decided at the beginning to try a fixed low dose and stick with it. I'm not worried about developing a psychological addiction to phenibut, since I never enjoyed the "high". That's why I had some sitting in the closet untouched for ~9 years.

    I'll post my progress here as long as I'm taking it. I had wanted to try baclofen from everything I had read about it. I started the phenibut last month because it was taking a while for the baclofen to arrive in the mail. I was drinking way too much at the time, way too much. I'm glad I tried it.

    I've had 1 drink so far tonight. I'll have one more in a little while, then no more. It feels so easy to have a drink or two in the evening now. A couple months ago, my first 2 drinks of the day would have just started to take the edge off the withdrawal.

  8. #8
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    I came across this today on another forum:

    BMJ Case Rep. 2013. Phenibut dependence. Phenibut is a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonist designed and used as an anxiolytic in Russia. In Western countries, it is not a registered medication but is available through online stores as a supplement. We present a case of a patient who used phenibut to self-medicate anxiety, insomnia and cravings for alcohol. While phenibut was helpful initially, the patient developed dependence including tolerance, significant withdrawal symptoms within 3-4 h of last use and failure to fulfil his roles at work and at home. He finally sought medical assistance in our addictions clinic. We have gradually, over the course of 9 weeks, substituted phenibut with baclofen, which has similar pharmacological properties, and then successfully tapered the patient off baclofen. This required approximately 10 mg of baclofen for each gram of phenibut.



    10 mg of baclofen for each gram of phenibut sounds low to me. That would mean I'd get significant effects from baclofen at 10 mg/day total taken in 3 divided doses. I had been planning on starting baclofen at 10 mg 3 times a day.

  9. #9
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    10mg baclofen / 1000 mg phenibut is what i've read, but mainly on forums. it does sound low. that said at 1 gram a day, I dont see you having a huge problem. even if you do become dependent on phenibut its easy enough to taper off within a week or two compare that to a few months with benzos.

  10. #10
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    I'm sure I'm dependent on phenibut to some degree, since I was dependent on alcohol a month ago. I haven't experienced phenibut withdrawal yet. If I was going to quit phenibut on its own, I'd taper down over maybe 2 weeks. I have a good scale, so I could lower the dose slowly. It should be a lot easier than tapering with alcohol. I've done that before, lots of times. It felt like a constant struggle trying to drink less every day without some kind of a replacement.

    I might try just stopping the phenibut and switching to low dose baclofen next week. I have baclofen now. I tried it once several years ago as a muscle relaxant for back pain. I haven't tried it to reduce alcohol cravings yet.

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