Phenibut Addiction in a Patient with Substance Use Disorder

Kan Hong Zheng, Afra Khan, Eduardo D Espiridion
Curēus 2019 July 24, 11 (7): e5230
31565631
Phenibut, a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog, is a synthetic, nootropic GABAB receptor agonist used to treat anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. The drug is licensed and widely used in Russia however, phenibut can be purchased through online vendors in other countries. The current literature on the effects of phenibut intoxication and withdrawal in humans is limited. In this case report, a 23-year-old male with a history of heavy phenibut and alcohol use presented to the emergency department with suicidal thoughts, somatic complaints, and seeking help with detoxification. His history and physical revealed symptoms indicative of alcohol withdrawal, but the extended period of his symptoms suggested an additive effect of his phenibut use. This unique case report illustrates how concurrent and heavy use of phenibut with alcohol may contribute to an extended and exacerbated withdrawal syndrome.

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