Sulbutiamine is a synthetic molecule that consists of two Thiamine molecules that are tightly held by a sulfur group. Developed in Japan, sulbutiamine serves as a more effective version of vitamin B1.  Sulbutiamine is in a class of supplements known as nootropics.

Compared with vitamin B1, this powerful supplement is highly effective in crossing the blood brain barrier.  Once it crosses the blood brain barrier the body metabolizes it as thiamine (vitamin B1).  This may explain why, it has stronger effects than vitamin B1. Sulbutiamine is known to alleviate fatigue; particularly that linked with infectious diseases. Although this substance has its own unique properties, you can use it alone or stack it with other nootropics.

How it Works

In terms of the method of action, sulbutiamine shares several similarities with thiamine. But, sulbutiamine has much more powerful effects. Thiamine is considered an essential element in the body, particularly for cognitive function as it plays an important role in the acetylcholine’s biosynthesis. It is believed that sulbutiamine positively affects the dopamine, cholinergic and glutamatergic systems, thereby resulting in nootropic benefits.

Thiamine’s absorption rate is quite slower than sulbutiamine. Since it’s poorly absorbed through the intestines, thiamine absorption is usually decreased by problems like folic deficiency. On the contrary, sulbutiamine is more lipophilic and tends to easily dissolve in fats. As a result, this substance has a faster absorption rate, which eventually enhances blood brain barrier efficiency. In addition, it helps facilitate glutamatergic transmissions. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the central nervous system for excitement. Because of this, it plays a critical role in learning and memory function.


No doubt, sulbutiamine is a popular over-the-counter nootropic. Some studies have linked this substance with memory enhancing effects. Its positive effects on memory could be related to sulbutiamine’s effects on glutamate and acetylcholine activity. Its effects on D1 dopamine receptors may also contribute toward cognitive benefits.

In some cases, this substance may have mild stimulant effects. Many athletes have used it as a performance enhancer. Sulbutiamine doesn’t seem to influence other catecholamines, which is why; it doesn’t tend to trigger side effects related to amphetamine-stimulant.  But it does provide an increase in focus and energy levels that many find to be of assistance.

According to many studies, this supplement also has certain anti-depressant effects. This is usually associated with sulbutiamine’s effects on the D1 receptors as well as Dopamine. In fact, this substance can serve as an extremely powerful anti-depressant for a certain amount of time. These effects tend to recede after repeated use; therefore, you shouldn’t use sulbutiamine as your primary anti-depressant.

It is the only compound used to treat asthenia that is known to selectively target the areas that are involved in the condition, and is also used in the treatment of chronic fatigue.  Asthenia is a condition of chronic fatigue that is cerebral rather than neuromuscular in origin.

According to one study, sulbutiamine is linked with positive effects on the psychogenic erectile dysfunction. According to the International Index of Erectile Function, sulbutiamine is believed to increase performance from around 17.5 to 24.8 on average.

Safety & Side Effects

Sulbutiamine is typically well tolerated and doesn’t have too many side effects.  But, there are still some points that should be considered before using this supplement. Irritability and anxiety are two common side effects. However, these effects are a consequence of consuming higher than normal doses of this substance. If you experience anxiety or irritability from normal sulbutiamine use, you should discontinue its use immediately. Other side effects associated with sulbutiamine are depression, nausea, skin rash and headaches.

When talking about tolerance, sulbutiamine is known to cause tolerance build-up quite quickly. This is typically associated with the mood boosting or energizing effects of this substance. However, some users find that its nootropic effects weaken overtime. This is why, sulbutiamine works well as a stacked or “as needed” nootropic. Sulbutiamine doesn’t appear to be addictive because it’s not considered a psychoactive substance.


This supplement is quite good to stack with other racetams. It doesn’t appear to contribute towards potentiating the effects of racetams but it’s good at accenting a stack nicely by bringing in its own exceptional features. In fact, many advanced nootropic users, use this supplement in a stack that could be used occasionally with other nootropics.

Just like other nootropics, sulbutiamine has it’s own unique properties and can fairly accent other nootropics. In fact, pyritinol and sulbutiamine make a good, effective and unusual synergistic combination. Always try this supplement before starting to use it in a stack for assessing your individual tolerance and sensitivity to sulbutiamine.