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What is Sulbutiamine, benefits and side effects explained

Sulbutiamine is a man-made chemical similar to vitamin B1 (thiamine). Unlike vitamin B1, which dissolves in water, sulbutiamine liquifies in fats. It is a laboratory-created particle consisting of two thiamine molecules bound together by a sulfur group. Its structure makes more bioavailable than usual thiamine and also enhances its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

The sulbutiamine molecule was initially discovered by Japanese scientists searching for a treatment for beriberi, a nervous condition triggered by thiamine deficiency.

Efforts to establish thiamine derivatives with better bioavailability than thiamine were carried out in the 1950s, mainly in Japan. These efforts led to the discovery of allicin (diallyl thiosulfinate) in garlic, which ended up being a model for medicinal chemistry efforts to develop other thiamine disulfides. The results included sulbutiamine, fursultiamine (thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide), and benfotiamine. These compounds are hydrophobic, easily pass from the digestive tract tracts to the bloodstream, and likewise are reduced to thiamine by cysteine or glutathione.

It was first marketed in France by Servier in 1973 under the trademark name Arcalion. The drug registration went through a recognition procedure in France in the 1980s, which discovered that the use for the treatment of tiredness was not supported by data. In January 1989, 100 mg tablet dosages were ceased in favor of 200 mg tablets. The French federal government does not spend on prescriptions of sulbutiamine.

Since thiamine deficiency causes problems with memory and other cognitive functions, thiamine, and analogs like sulbutiamine have actually been studied in clinical trials in the 1980s and 1990s for an age-associated cognitive decrease.

Sulbutiamine has been explored in medical trials as a prospective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. Studies have likewise been carried out to evaluate its effect on reversing age-related modifications in the circadian system.

The pharmacology of sulbutiamine has actually been analyzed in numerous mice and rats; Sulbutiamine might be extra effective in raising thiamine phosphate degrees in the brain than benfotiamine and fursultiamine. Nevertheless, this was not specific. University of Oxford studies indicate that it counteracts apoptotic cell death in retinal ganglion cells, which have been caused by trophic aspect deprivation.

Benefits and Effects of Sulbutiamine

In a small 2017 study, sulbutiamine was reported to be effective in reducing fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis. Recent studies indicate that sulbutiamine has potential as a treatment for various types of chronic fatigue.‍

Sulbutiamine may also benefit healthy people who don’t suffer from chronic fatigue and aren’t lacking in thiamine. It has been shown to boost memory and cognition by promoting increased production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and it may also improve mood and enhance energy by increasing levels of dopamine and glutamate.‍

Sulbutiamine is used for weakness, fatigue, to enhance athletic performance, and many other conditions. Still, there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Sulbutiamine is used to treat asthenia (symptoms of fatigue or weakness). However, it is not clear if it is effective in alleviating tiredness. It is also used to treat thiamine deficiency and poor concentration. Being a potent cholinergic anxiolytic, Sulbutiamine is a popular nootropic, with users reporting enhanced memory, focus, and improved mood and motivation. Endurance athletes may use it to try to enhance their performance.

Better Memory and Enhanced Cognition

Sulbutiamine effectively addresses cognition problems associated with thiamine deficiency and may also enhance memory and cognition in healthy subjects.

Early animal studies confirmed that sulbutiamine improved long-term memory formation‍[5] and enhanced both working and episodic memory,‍ enabling subjects to retain memories despite the administration of an amnesia-inducing drug.

A study involving early-stage Alzheimer’s patients showed that those who received sulbutiamine in addition to an Alzheimer’s treatment drug (donepezil) for a total of six months improved in episodic memory, attention, and daily life activities.

The memory improvement demonstrated in the studies is likely due to sulbutiamine’s apparent ability to potentiate cholinergic transmissions, mainly in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. An increase in available choline upregulates the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is strongly associated with all aspects of memory and cognition.

Increase Alertness and Energy Levels

Sulbutiamine has been successfully used to treat a variety of types of fatigue, including post-infection tiredness,‍fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis,‍ and even unexplained fatigue.‍

It’s believed that sulbutiamine’s fatigue-fighting capability is related to its ability to upregulate the production of glutamate, the most important excitatory neurotransmitter.‍

Improve Mood and Reduce Anxiety

Many users say that Sulbutiamine has a positive effect on mood and motivation, reducing anxiety, and creating a general feeling of well-being.‍Though this aspect of sulbutiamine has not been extensively studied, research appears to confirm these observations.

In addition to enhancing the production of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, sulbutiamine has also been shown to upregulate cortical transmissions of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward, and emotional responses.‍Increasing the levels of these critical brain chemicals could be expected to enhance mood and motivation.

An 8-week study on patients with major depressive disorder concluded that while sulbutiamine had no anti-depressant effect, it did reduce fear and anxiety and helped them function better in their social, professional, and family lives.‍

Treatment for Thiamine Deficiency

Sulbutiamine is an effective treatment for thiamine deficiency syndrome (beriberi), which can be triggered by a variety of causes ranging from uncomplicated dietary insufficiency to aging, illness, and even alcohol dependence.‍

The symptoms of thiamine deficiency, including fatigue and muscle weakness, cardiovascular issues, and cognitive issues such as brain fog, disorientation, and memory loss, are effectively alleviated or reversed by the administration of sulbutiamine.

May Treat Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction

In a 2005 Russian study involving 20 men with erectile dysfunction caused by psychological rather than physical factors, a 30-day course of treatment of sulbutiamine resulted in substantial improvement in 16 of the participants.‍

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Sulbutiamine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term. A dose of 600 mg daily has been used safely for up to 2 months. 

Adverse effects in clinical trials have included diarrhea, bladder infections, bronchitis, arthritic pain, back pain, asthma, abdominal pain, insomnia, constipation, gastroenteritis, diffuse pain, sinusitis, headache, kidney pain, vertigo, and sore throat.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if sulbutiamine is safe to use long-term.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking sulbutiamine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Psychiatric disorders: People with certain mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, may be more likely to abuse drugs. These individuals may be more likely to abuse sulbutiamine. Until more is known about, people with psychiatric disorders should use sulbutiamine cautiously. These patients should not discontinue the use of their prescribed treatments.

How It Works

Sulbutiamine is a fat-soluble thiamine derivative that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. In the brain, it stimulates the formation of thiamine triphosphate, which regulates the synaptic transmission of various neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, glutamate, and dopamine.‍

Sulbutiamine is considered a centrally-acting cholinergic agent or substance that promotes the production of choline. It has been shown to inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and in so doing, it prolongs the action of acetylcholine.

It is also believed to upregulate cortical transmission of both glutamate and dopamine, primarily in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

Sulbutiamine is rapidly absorbed after oral administration, widely distributed throughout the body, and excreted mainly in the urine.

Sulbutiamine’s onset of action is expected within one day, and the duration of action is about one day. It has a half-life of 5 hours.


The appropriate dose of sulbutiamine depends on several factors, such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for sulbutiamine (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe, and dosages can be significant. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Human studies and clinical trials used a daily dosage of up to 600 mg. LongLifeNutri recommends one capsule of 200mg daily.

The safety and effectiveness of long-term use of sulbutiamine are unknown.

Tolerance to sulbutiamine is not documented in studies but is anecdotally reported.‍

Many users recommend taking sulbutiamine occasionally or in cycles, rather than continuously, to avoid tolerance.


If you’ve read this far, you may well be wondering what supplements sulbutiamine best stacks with, in order to achieve the maximum positive effects.

Sulbutiamine + Huperzine A + Choline Stack

While one’s mileage may vary, a “starter’s stack,” consisting of sulbutiamine, Huperzine A, and a choline source such as Alpha GPC, may be a good start.

1–2x per day

Huperzine A is a supplement that is derived from the common herb known as Irish Moss. It works by slowing down the decomposition of acetylcholine. By ensuring an optimal level of this vital organic molecule, huperzine A helps to increase your ability to focus and concentrate.

Meanwhile, choline works in concert with Huperzine A and sulbutiamine to ensure maximum memory power and capacity for concentrated attention.

When it comes to pure concentrated choline content, Alpha GPC has the edge, as it contains 40 percent by weight. However, for individuals who are also seeking a supplement to improve motivation, as well as provide relief from anxiety, citicoline may be the better choice, due to its effect on the dopamine receptors in the brain.

Closing Thoughts

Sulbutiamine is a powerful supplement that has been tried and proven over decades of research and practical use.

It’s known to treat several specific types of fatigue, and both user self-reports and scientific studies confirm that it can boost memory, cognition, mood, and motivation. It’s generally accepted as safe and well-tolerated, and it’s widely available for purchase.

If you’re looking for a known and respected cholinergic, sulbutiamine is one to consider.

Where to Buy

Sulbutiamine is available in two distinct forms: capsules and bulk powder. According to your preference and budget, you may choose either of these two. Buying the supplement in loose bulk form is most economical, but capsules may be more convenient.

Check out our Sulbutiamine in our store, we only use FDA approved facilities that are located in the USA and, you have 30 days money-back guarantee if you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase.