One of the first things people notice after taking sulbutiamine is a rush of energy and a motivation to get things done. Asthenia, abnormal weakness or lack of energy, is the most common reason people visit a physician (Van Reeth, 1999). It is prescribed under the brand names Arcalion and Enerion for this condition. In one study with 1,772 subjects suffering from post-infective asthenia, sulbutiamine completely resolved symptoms in nearly 50% of the participants – the remainder experienced some degree of relief (Shah, 2009). Regular administration acts as a vigilance promoter in Rhesus Monkeys as gauged by EEG recordings (Balzamo, 1982).
Because thiamine in the brain is associated with ordinary age-related cognitive decline as well as more severe forms (Mikkelsen, 2016) sulbutiamine has been investigated as a way of preventing or ameliorating it. Chronic administration of sulbutiamine improves long term memory formation in mice, perhaps as a result of increasing cholinergic activity in the hippocampus. It also improves object recognition and mitigates dizcopline-induced amnesia (Bizot, 2005; Durkin, 1985).As an antioxidant, one that readily crosses the blood brain barrier, sulbutiamine has repeatedly exhibited neuroprotective effects in in vitro studies (Kang, 2010). Thus, sulbutiamine appears to be a short and long acting nootropic.
Consecutive days of use result in a less noticeable energy boost. In other words, a healthy person using it as an aid for athletic or academic endeavors will want to take a break from it every so often in order to continue making the most of their person. As we’ve already seen there are benefits to some subpopulations when it is taken daily for certain people, however. When taken alongside donepezil, sulbutiamine improved episodic memory more than the donepezil placebo combination. Attention remained the same in both groups. The researchers concluded that S could make a good adjuvant therapy alongside anticholinesterasic drugs, which themselves exert only moderate effects on some Alzheimer’s patients (Ollat, 2007).
A similar finding was made in a study with multiple sclerosis patients. Sulbutiamine helped those the most who were already managing their symptoms with another form of treatment (Sevim, 2017). Although no serious scientific research has conducted on sulbutiamine’s uses as an ergogenic aid, of 16,000 samples of anabolic steroids analyzed by a Russian laboratory, about 100 contained sulbutiamine (Sobolevsky, 2010). Because of its anti-asthentic effects, it could find uses in endurance sports as well as those that require “bursts” of energy. Two case studies suggest sulbutiamine should not be taken by those with bipolar personality disorder (Douzenis, 2016). The account seems strange since the man was reported to be dependent upon Arcalion, claiming it was the “only thing that made [him] feel good.” He was reportedly ingesting up to 2 grams a day (compared to the normal dose of between 200 and 800 mg).
Given that this was not that far from the ordinary amount, and how quickly tolerance is built, it would seem that it was acting partially – or largely – as a placebo. The possibility of it acting as a trigger for a manic episode means those with a family history of mental illness should first consult with a medical professional. Although for short term use sulbutiamine appears to be safe, like any supplement, one should first consult with their physician before adding it to their daily routine.
As always it’s a good idea to get your supplements from trusted sources. Double Wood sells only GMP certified Sulbutiamine made in the United States.
Balzamo, E., and G. Vuillon-Cacciuttolo. “Facilitation of a state of wakefulness by semi-chronic treatment with sulbutiamin (Arcalion) in Macaca mulatta.” Revue d’electroencephalographie et de neurophysiologie clinique12.4 (1982): 373-378.
Bizot, Jean-Charles, et al. “Chronic treatment with sulbutiamine improves memory in an object recognition task and reduces some amnesic effects of dizocilpine in a spatial delayed-non-match-to-sample task.” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 29.6 (2005): 928-935.
Douzenis, Athanasios, Ioannis Michopoulos, and Lefteris Lykouras. “Sulbutiamine, an ‘innocent’ over the counter drug, interferes with therapeutic outcome of bipolar disorder.” The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 7.3 (2006): 183-185.
Kang, Kui Dong, et al. “Sulbutiamine counteracts trophic factor deprivation induced apoptotic cell death in transformed retinal ganglion cells.” Neurochemical research 35.11 (2010): 1828-1839.
Micheau, Jacques, et al. “Chronic administration of sulbutiamine improves long term memory formation in mice: possible cholinergic mediation.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 23.2 (1985): 195-198.
Mikkelsen, Kathleen, et al. “Cognitive decline: A vitamin B perspective.” Maturitas 93 (2016): 108-113.
Sevim, Serhan, Hakan Kaleağası, and Bahar Taşdelen. “Sulbutiamine shows promising results in reducing fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.” Multiple sclerosis and related disorders 16 (2017): 40-43.
Shah, Siddharth N. “Adjuvant role of vitamin B analogue (sulbutiamine) with anti-infective treatment in infection associated asthenia.” The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 51 (2003): 891-895.
Sobolevsky, T., & Rodchenkov, G. (2010). Sulbutiamine in sports. Drug testing and analysis, 2(11‐12), 643-646.
Ollat, H., et al. “Effects of the association of sulbutiamine with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor in early stage and moderate Alzheimer disease.” L’Encephale 33.2 (2007): 211-215.
Van Reeth, Olivier. “Pharmacologic and therapeutic features of sulbutiamine.” Drugs Today (Barc) 35.3 (1999): 187-192.