Sulbutiamine ⛩️ The Samurai Sword of Nootropics that vanquishes social anxiety & calibrates the reticular activating system
By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Sulbutiamine is another member of the B Vitamin family with Nootropic effects ranging from sharpening memory and vision to alleviating social anxiety disorder.

Scientific Research
Social Smart Drug
Mechanism of Action
Vs Alzheimer's
Working and Episodic Memory Enhancer
Vs Asthenia
Vs Fatigue

For Ischemic Recovery
A Vision Hack
Vs Erectile Dysfunction
Vs Multiple Sclerosis

Vs Wernicke's Encephalopathy
Taste & Aesthetics
Usage and Dosage
Side Effects
Bottom Line
Sulbutiamine Videos 

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Sulbutiamine and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

 Scientific Research

Chemically it fits into the cognition essential family of B Vitamins as a Thiamine derivative, basically it's two molecules of Vitamin B1 bound together.



It was invented in Japan in 1936 to satisfy a need for a more bioavailable agent to treat Beriberi, a nervous system disorder common in Asia at the time.


 Social Smart Drug

Sulbutiamine is another social smart drug, it has been shown to reduce psycho-behavioral inhibition, also described as...

  • Shyness
  • Timidity
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Approach anxiety
  • Difficulty making friends in new environments
  • General antisocial behavior

A 2000 French study; Effects of sulbutiamine on psycho-behavioral inhibition in major depressive episodes, analyzed the effects of it combating the symptoms of depression in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized test environment.

However, the scores at the [Visual Analog Scale] and [Sheehan Disability Scales] showed that the patients treated with sulbutiamine were significantly less incapacitated than the placebo group in all of the various facets (affective, cognitive, emotional, behavioural) of psycho-behavioural inhibition. Furthermore, the safety data shows that both treatment groups were comparable and in particular that sulbutiamine had not induced any inappropriate behaviour, including suicide attempts, or mania.

The French study concluded...

Sulbutiamine has no antidepressive effect but it can hasten the resorption of psycho-behavioural inhibition occurring during major depressive disorder and thereby facilitate the rehabilitation of patients in their social, professional and family life functioning.

One optimistic self-experimenter reported on Longecity:

"...Usually verbal fluency and a quick wit are the things I seem to notice the most (also a slightly euphoric feeling). Also pre-workout it definitely gives you a boost/increased focused aka 'in the zone'..."

 Mechanism of Action

SulbutiamineThe mechanism of action of the vitamin lies in that it upregulates the reticular activating system (RAS). This is the part of the brain from where motivation and arousal originate, when...

  • A salesperson makes an expensive sports car their PC's wallpaper.
  • An athlete pulls themselves out of bed early in the morning to train.
  • When you see a pretty girl standing alone at a party and you work up the courage to approach her.

It's the RAS working.

PowderCity clarifies its pharmacological utility

The effects of the brain chemicals dopamine and GABA are believed primarily responsible for increased memory and cognition benefits. Both of these chemicals affect the areas of the brain believed responsible for mood and memory. Many users have reported improved performances on tests, enhanced memory, focus and concentration.

It's a memory potentiation agent via cholinergic, dopaminergic, and glutamatergic transmission. This means that it adds to an environment wherein Glutamate can be transmitted through receptors in the prefrontal cortex, which is key to recall and the creation of new memories.

 Vs Alzheimer's

Vs Alzheimer's

A 2007 double-blind human study of those suffering from moderate Alzheimer's disease showed that it had powerful effects in combination with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. The study utilized a drug called donepezil but the following nutraceuticals are also acetylcholinesterase inhibitors: To quote the study:

In conclusion sulbutiamine can be an adjuvant to treatment in early stage and moderate [Alzheimer's disease] by anticholinesterasic drugs.

Another study indicated that it has positive implications for memory formation, to quote its abstract as it appeared in Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior.

The present findings and previous results suggest that sulbutiamine improves memory formation and that this behavioral effect could be mediated by an increase in hippocampal cholinergic activity.

 Working and Episodic Memory Enhancer

Sulbutiamine for memory

A 2005 French study indicated that it helped both...

  • Working memory - This is the RAM of the conscious mind, what you use to solve problems and handle novel situations.
  • Episodic memory - A record of autobiographical events that have occurred to us. Do you ever take a walk down memory lane; revisiting places, parties, and people from your past? This is episodic memory.

To quote its abstract:

Taken together, these results are in favor of a beneficial effect of sulbutiamine on working and episodic memory.

 Vs Fatigue


A French randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave 400-600 milligrams daily for 28 days to 217 patients suffering from postinfectious fatigue.

Chronic fatigue remains a medical mystery and a therapeutic failure. The subgroup of chronic fatigue postinfectious fatigue (CPIF) is an interesting one since it is quite frequent in general practice... On the 7th day, however, women receiving [Sulbutiamine], 600 mg had less fatigue (P < 0.01), but the figures were quite diverse and no persistent effect was noted at the 28th day.

So the results were inconclusive as to whether Sulbutiamine helped much. If you're struggling with fatigue better options would be Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola, or even Modafinil.

 Vs Asthenia


It's a potent therapeutic agent for those suffering from Asthenia; a tragic cerebral chronic fatigue condition in which the sufferer is constantly exhausted, even after a night of sufficient sleep.

Several human studies have been conducted to determine the benefits of Sulbutiamine administration to those dealing with chronic fatigue; in a 2003 Indian study of 1772 patients, 916 had a complete resolution of asthenic symptoms after being treated for a little more than 2 weeks.

Asthenic symptoms such as weakness accompany illness. This study investigates whether the centrally acting cholinergic agent, vitamin B analogue (sulbutiamine), is effective and acceptable in relieving these symptoms in infectious disease when combined with specific anti-infective treatment... The response was greater in patients with acute infection and symptoms more related to cerebral function. Side effects occurred in 10 (0.6%), patients and well being improved significantly.

The study concluded 

Vitamin B analogue (sulbutiamine) may be a useful adjunct to specific anti-infective treatment.

 For Ischemic Recovery

Brain damage

A 2011 Korean study indicated that it has a neuroprotective effect and can counteract ischemic damage that results from deprivation of oxygen or glucose; damage can occur to brain tissues that don't receive sufficient essential foods. So Sulbutiamine supplementation is a great idea for freedivers and high-altitude mountain climbers.

 A Vision Hack

eye vision 350

Sulbutiamine has also been linked to greater visual acuity, which has positive implications for...

  • Driving at night
  • Practicing martial arts
  • Athletic performance
  • Designers or those whose work requires a high degree of visual accuracy

 Vs Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction

Furthermore, a 2005 Russian study showed it improved performance for those suffering from erectile dysfunction.

There are a couple of anecdotal reports scattered across the Internet forums of people drinking alcohol while on Sulbutiamine, no disastrous effects were recorded which is what you would expect because there's not much interaction between B vitamins and alcohol, however, common sense is that it's not a good idea to binge drink on any Nootropic.

 Vs Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

A 2017 Turkish study found that Sulbutiamine shows promising results in reducing fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Fatigue is the most frequent and often debilitating symptom for patients with multiple sclerosis... 

Sulbutiamine is a lipophilic compound that crosses the blood-brain barrier more readily than thiamine and increases the levels of thiamine and thiamine phosphate esters in the brain.

They gave patients 400mg orally of sulbutiamine once daily for two months... The study concluded

Sulbutiamin appears to be effective in treating fatigue in [multiple sclerosis]; particularly in patients who were on some [disease modifying treatment], but not on those who were not. It is well-tolerated by all.

 Vs Wernicke's Encephalopathy

Sulbutiamine-Osama-bin-ladenConditions like Wernicke's encephalopathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and Addison's disease are correlated to vitamin deficiencies and would benefit from Sulbutiamine supplementation. In fact, Osama Bin Laden, debatably the most infamous terrorist of the past few decades, suffered from Addison's disease and took a lot of Sulbutiamine to treat it.

 Taste and Aesthetics

Powdered Sulbutiamine

A fair warning, it tastes pretty bad; one Reddit user described it as

"30 year old dried paint chips from the walls of a mental institution and ground it up into a powder."


You will not love the taste of this stuff, I recommend taking it capsuled - offered by our preferred vendor Pure Nootropics. If you prefer to save a few bucks and scowl with every dose taken, get it powdered.

 Usage and Dosage

Sulbutiamine should not be taken every day, in fact, it's easy to build up a tolerance to it, it's recommended that you take it only a few times weekly or cycle it with other Nootropics. It downregulates Kainate receptors which is the likely cause of the tolerance. Sulbutiamine is fat-soluble, so you probably don't want to mix it with juices or water. Mix it with milk, food, or fish oil. Taking it with a lipid supplement is a great idea since it improves digestion. 

Recommended Daily

Due to the high tolerance curve dosage should be experimented with: 400 milligrams on the low end up to 1000 milligrams daily

 Side Effects

Are quite rare, although a few users online report insomnia if you take it late in the evening. Some others report headaches, at high dosages, or high frequency of usage. 

 Bottom Line

The anti-social-anxiety effects were what initially made this one attractive to me, but it turned out to be a disappointment. I took it in different dosages before nights out and it made no discernable difference in my experience of "approach anxiety." I'm also not sure how the calibration of RAS would manifest experientially - nothing interesting to report. The "Nootropic" that will unleash you as a social animal is Phenibut: The socially-lubricating anti-anxiety Nootropic that cosmonauts used.


Powdered Sulbutiamine


Sulbutiamine: The Samuri Sword of Nootropics that Calibrates the RAS and Vanquishes Social Anxiety
Sulbutiamine Review: One of my least favorite white powders


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