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Phenibut and Alcohol? Look After Your Health by Avoiding this Combination!

People on the internet are increasingly worried about Phenibut and alcohol, and whether or not the two substances can be used together. In this article, we explore the reasons why most Phenibut vendors explicitly state that the two should not be used together – as well as looking into some other substances to avoid when taking Phenibut.

From a health perspective, Phenibut itself is relatively safe when taken properly. It is typically used for improving mood, reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and to promote healthy sleep. Many people swear by Phenibut’s beneficial effects, but it needs to be handle with care and used responsibly.

man drinking wine in a bar and not using phenibut Phenibut and alcohol are a combination to avoid for health reasons

Phenibut Benefits: Stress Reduction and Increased Sociability

Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a well-known GABA-agonist substance with beneficial effects on mood. Studies have shown that Phenibut helps to reduce stress while improving sociability, and at higher doses, it can be used to improve sleep. [1] For more information on Phenibut, check out our Top 20 Phenibut FAQs article!

Some studies have pointed to possible Nootropics (cognitive enhancing) effects of Phenibut. It acts on GABA receptors to promote feelings of relaxation and stress-relief, while simultaneously stimulating dopamine receptors and antagonizing beta-phenylethylamine (PEA).

In Russia, Phenibut is used widely to relieve tension, stress, and fear, and to improve sleep quality. In the US and most other countries, Phenibut is not approved by the FDA for any medical uses, or as a dietary supplement. [2]

Alcohol Use and Warnings

Alcohol is a sedative and GABA-A agonist that works in a depressive way (meaning that it reduces signals from your central nervous system (CNS)). [3] Although alcohol is legally available to persons over the age of 21 years, it is nevertheless not without its dangers.
According to the 2015 United States NSDUH, 15.1 million adults over the age of 18 years have alcohol use disorder (AUD).

A row of empty bottles showing alcohol use Binge drinking is a part of today's society

In the same study, 37.9 per cent of college students reported binge-drinking within the last month. Tragically, an estimated 88’000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year, which puts alcohol abuse as the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the US. [4]

Alcohol overdose is, unfortunately, a very prevalent occurrence in today’s society. Especially concerning is that underage drinkers are more likely to suffer from alcohol overdose than adult drinkers. [5]

Alcohol poisoning can occur in a range of blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. A BAC reading of over 0.13-0.45% can be life-threatening and may include symptoms like loss of consciousness, suppression of vital functions, and risk of choking on vomit. [6]


Why Combining Phenibut and Alcohol is a Bad Idea

Despite the clear warnings on product descriptions (often both on the website and the product itself) to not combine Phenibut and alcohol, some people are nevertheless still inclined to do so.[7]

One key reason for this is that, because Phenibut activates GABA receptors in a similar way to alcohol, combining the two may sometimes produce a ‘buzz’ feeling after having fewer alcoholic beverages, for some people. [8]

Be warned. This combination is not without its dangers. We explicitly urge people to avoid using Phenibut and alcohol in combination, for the following reasons:


1.    Variance in metabolism, from person to person, and from day to day

People’s metabolisms differ greatly, not only from person to person but even from day to day. [9] A moderate dosage of Phenibut today may produce mild effects, but the same dosage on a different day could produce significantly stronger effects.

Phenibut supplement safety aspects Liftmode Phenibut FAA: 99.5%+ purity

This is simply an outcome of your complex metabolic system - and the same can occur with alcohol. You may have noticed how 2 drinks on a Friday afternoon creates a light buzz, but the very same 2 drinks after a long hike, on a plane, or before a meal, produce much stronger effects. Sometimes, you can’t even tell for sure the reason why the alcohol just ‘hits you’ stronger.

Combining Phenibut and alcohol potentiates their effects (makes the effects stronger). [10] Given that your metabolism is in a constant flux, it is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to accurately predict the effects you’ll experience when taking this combination.


2.    The potential for overstimulation of GABA receptors

Both Phenibut and alcohol temporarily change the way that your GABA receptors function. We won’t go into depth about GABA here, as we’ve done this in many other articles.

Synapses on Phenibut Overstimulating GABA receptors can cause negative health effects which is why it's important to stick to the recommended dosage guidelines.

Long story short, GABA receptors are activated by the GABA hormone, as well as other substances like Phenibut. [11] When activated, GABA receptors depress the signals from your CNS. [12]

At the recommended dosage, the mild stimulation of GABA receptors caused by Phenibut is what produces the desired and well-tolerated effects of stress reduction, relaxation, and increased sociability.

When you combine Phenibut and alcohol, more of your GABA receptors are stimulated. Overstimulation of GABA receptors can be dangerous to your health. There have not yet been any fatal cases of Phenibut and alcohol combinations, but there have been several fatal incidents when people combine alcohol with other GABA-agonists, like benzodiazepines. [13]

Other GABA-Agonists to Avoid While Taking Phenibut

There are many other GABA-agonists available today that you should be aware of when taking Phenibut. However, none are as frequently used as alcohol, which is why the focus of this article is on Phenibut and alcohol combinations.

We strongly recommend consulting with your doctor before using Phenibut if you are taking ANY medication whatsoever! 

valerian herb gaba agonist Valerian herb is a great calming supplement but should be avoided when taking Phenibut

Other substances to avoid taking in combination with Phenibut include:

  • Avermectins (de-worming medication) [14]
  • Benzodiazepines [15]
  • Barbiturates [16]
  • Picamilon [17]
  • Baicalin [18]
  • Valerian [19]


Phenibut Conclusion

One thing to remember is that the vast majority of people who use Phenibut do not suffer from any adverse effects. Most people who use Phenibut use it responsibly and as directed, and experience benefits including stress reduction, relaxation, and better sleep.

Some people ever prefer using Phenibut over alcohol, because of its sociability-enhancing effects along with its lack of noticeable side effects and the absence of a hangover (when used within the recommended dosage range).

However, as with all things, there are some people who choose to use Phenibut in a way that could compromise their health – through taking excessive amounts, by using Phenibut more than twice per week, or by combining Phenibut with alcohol or other substances.

Please make sure to fully read our terms of sale before purchasing Phenibut or any of our dietary supplements, and to make sure you consider your health when thinking about combining Phenibut and alcohol!

businessman meditating in office, phenibut stress relief concept Phenibut is sometimes taken for stress-reduction

Medical Disclaimer

Phenibut is NOT a dietary supplement. Handle with care. Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Use with CAUTION. When taken inappropriately, Phenibut can cause serious adverse effects. Keep out of reach of children. Please read and fully understand associated risks before using. This product has not been approved by the FDA.


[1] “Phenibut”, PsychonautWiki,, accessed July 5, 2017

[2] Lapin, I., Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug, CNS Drug Rev. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81.

[3] Gowin, J., Your Brain on Alcohol, Psychology Today, available online, accessed July 5, 2017

[4] Alcohol Facts and Statistics, U.S. Department of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, available online, accessed July 5, 2017

[5] Chen, C.M.; Yi, H-y.; Faden, V.B. Surveillance Report No. 101: Trends in Underage Drinking in the United States, 1991–2013. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2015

[6] Alcohol Overdose: The Dangers of Drinking Too Much, U.S. Department of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, available online, accessed July 5, 2017

[7] Phenibut & Alcohol, forum on, retrieved July 5, 2017

[8] Phenibut and drinking, a few thoughts, forum on, retrieved July 5, 2017

[9] Scott, J.A., 8 Triggers That Change Your Metabolism,, retrieved July 5, 2017

[10] Downes, M.A., et al., Acute behavioural disturbance associated with phenibut purchased via an internet supplier, Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2015;53(7):636-8

[11] Ziablintseva, E.A., Pavlova, I.V., [Influence of GABA agonist phenibut on the neuronal activity and interaction in hippocampus and neocortex in emotionally negative situations], Ross Fiziol Zh Im I M Sechenova. 2009 Sep;95(9):907-18.

[12] Davies, M., The role of GABAA receptors in mediating the effects of alcohol in the central nervous system, J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2003 Jul; 28(4): 263–274.

[13] Koski, A., Alcohol and benzodiazepines in fatal poisonings, Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2002 Jul;26(7):956-9

[14] Payne, G.T., Soderlund, D.M., Actions of Avermectin Analogs on γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)-Sensitive and GABA-Insensitive Chloride Channels in Mouse Brain, Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, Volume 47, Issue 3, November 1993, Pages 178-184

[15] Haefely, W., Benzodiazepine interactions with GABA receptors, Neurosci Lett. 1984 Jun 29;47(3):201-6.

[16] Olsen, R.W., et al., Barbiturate and benzodiazepine modulation of GABA receptor binding and function, Life Sci. 1986 Nov 24;39(21):1969-76.

[17] Silkina, I.V., et al., [Gabaergic mechanism of cerebrovascular and neuroprotective effects of afobazole and picamilon], Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2005 Jan-Feb;68(1):20-4.

[18] Wang, F., et al., GABA A receptor subtype selectivity underlying selective anxiolytic effect of baicalin, Neuropharmacology. 2008 Dec;55(7):1231-7

[19] Yuan, C.S., et al., The gamma-aminobutyric acidergic effects of valerian and valerenic acid on rat brainstem neuronal activity, Anesth Analg. 2004 Feb;98(2):353-8