What Is A Good Alternative to Kavinace?

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. 25 April 2019

What Is A Good Alternative to Kavinace?

Kavinace is off the market. Where did Kavinace go? And What Do I Do Now?

Kavinace by Neuroscience is no longer available for sale as a dietary supplement.  In mid-April 2019 Neuroscience and several other companies received warning letters from the FDA saying that they cannot make products containing 4-amino-3phenylbutyric acid anymore. Reason being, the FDA says that 4-amino-3phenylbutyric acid is not technically qualified as a dietary supplement.  

Kavinace has been a great product that my patients and myself have used for many years.  I’ve found that it really helps you to “stay asleep.” For many of us, we have no problem falling asleep, but a terrible time staying asleep through the night.  Either you would wake up after 3-4 hours for at least an hour. Or you would wake up multiple times a night.

Needless to say, resulting in an unrestful night of sleep.  Kavinace worked great to help stay asleep. It is not a sleeping pill.  So you would never wake up feeling groggy. And if for some reason, if you had to wake up in the middle of the night, you could easily have a coherent conversation or drive a car.  That was what made Kavinace so great.

If you are reading this, you are well aware that Kavinace is not available.  So what next? What can you do if you cannot take Kavinace anymore? Do I need to wean off of Kavinace? Am I going to go through withdrawals? Am I ever going to get rested sleep ever again?

To answer these questions we have to answer, why did Kavinace work in the first place?  It contains a small, yet effective amount of 4-amino-3phenylbutyric acid. This is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA, which can cross the blood-brain barrier.

In doing so, this can help with calming and reducing cortisol.  So if you wake up in the middle of the night, your mind doesn’t go too all the places and things and stressors that you have in your life.  It also contains Taurine, is a great amino acid that is also considered to have a positive impact on GABA.

Is Kavinace like those bizarre google internet searches I saw about Phenibut? No, Kavinace is not like the high doses that people take of Phenibut for “recreational” purposes.  

Do I need to wean off of Kavinace since I cannot take it anymore? Am I going to have withdrawals because I can no longer take it?

I have not found Kavinace to be habit forming.  If you were to stop taking it, after a few days your sleep patterns may go back to what they were initially.  You will not go through any “withdrawal” process. But your sleep will not be any worse than it was previously to taking Kavinace.

What can I take in replacement of Kavinace that is actually going to work?

Kavinace was a very helpful dietary supplement for helping support sleeping through the night.  It is unfortunate that we cannot obtain it anymore. But here are some options to replace Kavinace for staying asleep.  

These products contain specifically, PharmaGABA, which is a unique form of GABA that can be absorbed in the GI tract and cross the Blood-brain barrier.  

I am going to explain these products that I use in replacement of Kavinace to see what might fit your situation.  Now I have to reiterate the “disclaimer”…this is not meant for medical advice, please ask your doctor and if your doctor doesn’t know, get a new doctor, and this information is intended for educational purposes only, etc.        

CereVive by Ortho Molecular Products:

This dietary supplement is easily replaceable to Kavinace.  CereVive contains the PharmaGaba which as mentioned above is an absorbable form of GABA.  It will support GABA like Kavinace to help you stay asleep.

It also has Mucuna Pruriens Extract that is standardized to contain 10% of L-Dopa, which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Dopamine.

Dopamine is an amazing neurotransmitter.  It helps with focus, concentration, and motivation.  Dopamine is also part of the reward pathway, which in essence is the pleasure neurotransmitter.  Sounds good?

Not for everyone, because if you are a type-A personality, that is already hyper-focused and task-oriented and maybe a bit of an anxious nature (yes, that is me), then taking mucuna is a no-no.  CereVive also has 5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is the happy-neurohormone. It’s important for sleep, appetite craving control, happiness/mood control. Which not to complicate everything, dopamine has a hand in this as well.  

So it is important to have a balance of these neurohormones.  Both mucuna and 5HTP are contraindicated with certain medications, particularly antidepressants meds. This may not be an option for you depending on your meds and situation.  

CereVive also has taurine in it as well, just like Kavinace.  While CereVive can help you stay asleep, just like Kavinace did, it is also helpful for stress and mood.  

Again the “disclaimer,” but let’s say you are a good candidate for CereVive.  Then taking 2-4 capsules before bed would replace Kavinace.

PharmaGABA by Designs for Health:  

This dietary supplement has 100mg of chewable PharmaGABA per tablet.  Perhaps you are not a good candidate for CereVive. Or perhaps you don’t need something as complex as CereVive.  Then PharmaGABA is a great option for staying asleep through the night.

Again, as mentioned PharmaGABA is absorbed easily.  It is made with the amino acid, glutamic acid and fermented with beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus hilgardii.  Because it is chewable, means it is absorbed quickly. This easily absorbed chewable tablets also make it easier to fall asleep. If you have no trouble falling asleep, make sure to take this right before you go to bed.  If you feel that PharmaGABA fits for you …. Again, “disclaimer,” chew one to two tablets before bed.

Let’s say, you are a real ‘tough sleeper.’ Or you’re really worried about not having your Kavinace and feel you really need an effective alternative.  Then I layer the CereVive and PharmaGABA together. As mentioned above: take 2-4 capsules of the CereVive and chew up 1-2 tablets of the PharmaGABA before bed.

While Kavinace might be gone for now, it is good to know there are other options.  These are safe supplements with the same effectiveness to help you stay asleep as Kavinace.  

ADDENDUM 8/19/19: Since Kavinace was taken off the market we have been flooded with email and questions.  One of the most common questions we have gotten is, ‘Where can I buy PharmaGABA 200mg?’ So I wanted to write a quick helpful update for replacing Kavinace while still getting restful sleep.  The chewable PharmaGaba by Designs for Health is great.  Especially if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can chew up 1-2 tablets.  Because it is a chewable tablet, the absorption is quite quick.  The tablets do have xylitol in them.  Which I have not had anyone have a problem with.  But it is good to note that there is xylitol in them.

But another alternative before bed is to take the PharmaGABA capsules (again, disclaimer, disclaimer…).  This might be helpful for staying asleep through the night.  Everyone is different, you might find the capsule working better than the chewable tablets.

PharmaGABA capsules by Thorne: 100mg per capsule: (remember disclaimer…) you can take one to two capsules before bed.  That is 100-200mg of PharmaGABA before bed to fall asleep.

If you need something stronger, then there is PharmaGABA 250mg per capsule by Thorne.  One of these, should be enough to do the trick.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to comment below or send an email to [email protected]


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