Last updated: Aug 15, 2017
Developed in a 1969 Soviet research facility, picamilon is the brainchild of the same scientists who have produced many of the world’s most famous chemical compounds . The drug was studied as an anxiety reducing agent (anxiolytic) because it could cross the blood brain barrier and produce GABA and niacin for cognitive enhancing effects .
In recent years, American smart drug manufacturers have gotten into trouble for using picamilon in their products not because it is dangerous, but more because it is patented to a Russian pharmaceutical company .
It is still used and beloved by many within the nootropics communities. It is common to compare picamilon to other anxiety relieving drugs, such as phenibut .
Also Known As
Pikamilon, pikatropin, nicotinyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid, nicotinoyl-GABA
There are millions of people struggling with anxiety daily and usually, this is the main factor in poor mental performance. Numerous studies suggest reducing anxiety is helpful for both improving quality of life and happiness, but also mental performance. The majority of picamilon benefits revolve around reducing anxiety (anxiolytic).
While these picamilon benefits are not well studied, Russian and Japanese scientists found this synthetic compound to be a great prodrug for GABA . Much of the current research is in Russian, however picamilon crosses the blood brain barrier where regular GABA does not . The purpose is to entice picamilon benefits activating GABA receptors to reduce anxiety as an alternative to benzodiazepines .
The second component of picamilon is a niacin molecule (vitamin B1), which is a vasodilator (opens up the blood vessels) . There are a host of picamilon benefits for people deficient in vitamin B1 as well.
A final benefit of picamilon comes directly from the community suggesting that the drug not only helps with sleep, but also improves sleep continuity. The user suggested that picamilon helped maintain deeper sleep over the night.
Compared to other anxiolytics, the picamilon benefits seem understudied. While there are still plenty of vendors and anecdotal evidence to suggest it can successfully reduce anxiety, it is harder to find scientific literature on the subject.
Picamilon vs Phenibut
One common comparison amongst community members is picamilon vs phenibut. According to one comprehensive thread, a picamilon supplement can be used daily whereas phenibut cannot . It seems picamilon has less strong of an anxiolytic and GABAminergic response than phenibut.
For many people, this is a helpful difference. Phenibut is a potent sedative and mood lifter, which has garnered attention for withdrawal and tolerance effects. In fact, many people seek a phenibut high to get the greatest effects.
In contrast, picamilon is considered far safer for consumption on a regular basis. One member, by the name of “bose25” mentions using picamilon daily in the morning and evening to reduce symptoms of anxiety. While the effect is strong for one hour, the subtle reduced anxiety is still helpful for him in many situations.
Keep in mind, the picamilon vs phenibut debate includes much speculation and anecdotal evidence. We don’t recommend basing your decisions on these reports alone.
Picamilon Side Effects
The major picamilon side effects will have more to do with your product and dosage than the drug itself. A 2015 study by Harvard and University of Mississippi found a wide range of picamilon dosage recommendations (30 products) and one product with no picamilon at all .
There seem to be anecdotal picamilon side effects when combining the drug with others (such as piracetam). The experience was described as a “manic state”, which suggests some caution should be used when stacking picamilon with other nootropics.
Finally, some people complain of picamilon increasing sleepiness or drowsiness, though this does not seem a common complaint.
The picamilon dosage most recommended online seems to be in the 100 – 200 mg per day range. Most of the scientific literature has no information for human picamilon supplement doses, but this seems to be the starting point for many users.
Because picamilon is lacking in research and particularly the data for human doses, it may be useful to follow a “Shulgin method” approach to the compound. This starts with a microdose (10 – 15 mg) of picamilon so as to determine allergies or adverse reactions.
After this, consume 50 – 100 mg dose and gauge the adverse reactions again before going to a full 200 mg picamilon dosage. Most of the data suggests you will be fine within this dose range.
How and Where to Buy Picamilon
After the 2015 FDA crackdown on various vendors selling picamilon, most have stopped. Many of the most well-known vendors and supplement producers do not touch the substance now that the FDA has gone after a few companies.
This may be because the rights are owned by a Russian pharmaceutical company and is considered a prescription drug in many former Soviet bloc countries. It’s possible to buy picamilon online, but not recommended. We do not have faith or understanding of any of the vendors currently.
If you are seeking a product to reduce anxiety, we may suggest something like ashwagandha. This is a natural, anxiety relieving Ayurvedic option, but may not be the most potent for some people. For purely potency, it may be useful to utilize something like phenibut for anxiety relief, but not on a daily basis.
Selected Community Experiences
“Picamilon is fine for every day use from my experience, though I tend to have weekends (and any days where I don't leave the house) off. I use ~100mg per dose, once in the morning and another just before I go out either shopping or with friends after work. It appears to reduce the severity of any anxiety I get and significantly reduces paranoia and social anxiety. I would say it has a noticable effect for up to an hour and then it's subtle, but still helps reduce anxiety. Phenibut seems to make me feel a little bit intoxicated”  – bose25
“Picamilon was worthless for me, and phenibut nearly destroyed my life, even though the high was amazing.”  – masterblaster2119
“I've tried Picamilon for sleep, and yeah – it both helps onset of sleep and gets in the way of sleep continuity. In me, Phenibut will remedy this, but due to cost reasons I just use Picamilon during awake hours intermittently.”  – Guacamolium
We must rely heavily on picamilon reviews to make our decisions as there is little scientific evidence and even less in the English language. The above-mentioned picamilon reviews are positive and most online have a similar stance. However, this is not the only information to use in making buying decisions for nootropics like picamilon.
Despite the positive and modest picamilon reviews online, it is important to take every substance carefully and protect your long-term interests.
- References (Click to Expand)
- //www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2015/ucm474808.htm (example letter)