Baclofen vs Phenibut – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects drugs

Baclofen

It is a medication with the brand name of Lioresal, which belongs to two groups of medications known as antispastics and muscle relaxants.

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved it in 1977. It is produced by Novartis.

Mechanism of Action

It is thought to work by relaxing the muscles.

Uses

This medication is used to treat muscle spasms and other symptoms in patients with disease or injury of the spinal cord.

In addition, it is used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including pain, spasm, and stiffness. Also, when used at high doses, it has recently emerged as a treatment for alcohol dependence.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 5 mg orally taken 3 or 4 times a day.

Notes – it takes about 3 to 4 days for the drug to show its effect. The peak plasma concentration can be achieved in 2 to 3 hours after intake. Do not stop abruptly due to the risk of seizures.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medication.

Studies have linked baclofen to birth defects in animals. Therefore, it is considered unsafe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this medication.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • headaches;
  • nausea;
  • tired feeling;
  • dizziness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • constipation;
  • urinating more often than usual;
  • weakness.

Less common side effects may include:

  • confusion;
  • hallucinations;
  • shallow breathing;
  • a seizure (convulsions).

Contraindications

Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you also use a narcotic (opioid) medication;
  • if you have kidney disease;
  • if you have a history of stroke or blood clots;
  • if you have epilepsy or other seizure disorder.

Alcoholalcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

It can negatively interact with many other drugs, including:

  • hydrocodone;
  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine);
  • Lyrica (pregabalin);
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • MiraLax (polyethylene glycol 3350);
  • Ambien (zolpidem);
  • Neurontin (gabapentin);
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • Norco (acetaminophen/hydrocodone);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • prednisone;
  • novolog;
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine);
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • gabapentin;
  • tramadol;
  • Klonopin (clonazepam);
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • methadone;
  • Zoloft (sertraline);
  • naproxen;
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • Nexium (esomeprazole);
  • Xanax (alprazolam);
  • parnate;
  • oxycodone;
  • Valium (diazepam);
  • Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone);
  • Topamax (topiramate);
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone);
  • Singulair (montelukast).

Overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Phenibut           

It is a chemical that is very similar to an important neurotransmitter, known as GABA. Naturally, gamma-Aminobutyric acid balances out the effects of chemicals which stimulate neurons. Overstimulation of neurons can lead to feelings of restlessness and anxiety.

This drug was originally discovered during the 1960s in Russia. It is sold under the brand names Fenibut, Anvifen, and Noofen.

Mechanism of Action

It unlocks mostly GABA-B receptors and some GABA-A receptors, at higher doses.

Uses

This nootropic is used to reduce anxiety, support cognitive performance, and improve sleep patterns.

Note – currently, it is not approved for clinical use in the US and most of European Union, however, it is sold over the internet as a supplement.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 2.5 grams, which must be subdivided into 3 different doses in one day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • blurred vision;
  • drowsiness;
  • dry mouth;
  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • weight gain;
  • swelling;
  • feeling tired.

Rare side effects may include:

  • dark colored urine;
  • vision problems;
  • unusual tiredness;
  • rapid weight gain and skin sores (if you have diabetes);
  • tenderness;
  • unexplained muscle pain;
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

Contraindications

Before taking this nootropic, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • low levels of platelets in your blood;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • depression;
  • a bleeding disorder;
  • a mood disorder;
  • drug or alcohol addiction;
  • heart problems (especially congestive heart failure);
  • a severe allergic reaction (angioedema).

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this nootropic since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • hydrocodone;
  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine);
  • Nexium (esomeprazole);
  • Lyrica (pregabalin);
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • naproxen;
  • MiraLax (polyethylene glycol 3350);
  • Ambien (zolpidem);
  • Neurontin (gabapentin);
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • Norco (acetaminophen/hydrocodone);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Zoloft (sertraline);
  • prednisone;
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine);
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • methadone.

Pregnancy & Breastfeedingh

It is not known exactly whether this nootropic passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using it.

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this nootropic is safe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using it.

Bottom Line – Baclofen vs Phenibut   

Baclofen (brand name – Lioresal) is a medication that is used for the alleviation of signs and symptoms of spasticity resulting from partial spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.

Phenibut is a synthetic chemical which mimics a natural substance in the brain, that relaxes and sedates the body. It can take up to four hours to feel the full effects.

In conclusion, both medications are Gaba-B potentiators, however, Baclofen is typically prescribed for muscle spasticity with little effect on anxiety, while Phenibut seems to be much more effective for anxiety.

One reason may be the fact that Phenibut is chemically very similar to gamma-Aminobutyric acid, but it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761
https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k930
https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article/37/5/504/2095991

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