Everything You Need To Know About Tianeptine

man depressed sitting in tunnel

Tianeptine isn’t the most well known drug, but for people who suffer from depression and anxiety, it can be a real life-saver.

These ailments plague the lives of millions of people and it seems like every week a new drug is being pushed on us with the promise of changing our lives for the better.

Unfortunately, most of these drugs aren’t what they claim to be.  In fact, some of them end up doing more harm than good.

That’s why so many people turn to alternative over-the-counter treatment options, like Tianeptine.

Tianeptine is actually a prescription drug in many countries, but is legally available over-the-counter (over the internet) in the United States.

You can find it on various websites which sell nootropics, many of which are claiming that, in addition to treating anxiety and depression, Tianeptine can enhance cognitive function, make you more productive, and improve the overall quality of your life.

But are these claims accurate?

If this stuff is so great, why isn’t everyone using it?

Well, those are exactly the kinds of questions I’m going to answer in this article.

By the end of it, you’ll know what Tianeptine is, how it works, how effective it really is, and therefore, whether or not it can benefit you.

We’ll also talk about things like side effects, addictive potential, legality, and where to buy it (if you do decide to give it a try).

In other words, this is everything you need to know about Tianeptine.

Let’s begin…

What Is Tianeptine?

Tianeptine is a tricyclic anti-depressant (TCA) which was first developed in France during the 1960’s.

tianeptine chemical molecule

It was used throughout the latter half of the 21st century to treat mood disorders such as depression and anxiety but, in recent decades, it has taken a back seat to the more commonly prescribed SSRIs and MAOIs.

Despite falling out of favor as an antidepressant in the US, Tianeptine is still widely prescribed throughout the world.

Some of the most well-known brand names are:

  • Coaxil
  • Stablon
  • Neptine
  • Lyxit
  • Tatinol

But there are many more, of course.

Interestingly, Tianeptine has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects, but without many of the side effects associated with the more popular drugs prescribed for those purposes.

Why Do People Use Tianeptine?

Initially, Tianpetine was used to treat depression and anxiety, but due to it functioning much differently than other TCAs, researchers have assessed it’s efficacy for treating a variety of different conditions.

It has also been investigated as a potential treatment for ADHD, asthma, erectile dysfunction, and pain, showing some degree of efficacy for all.

Tianeptine is also widely believed to have nootropic properties and there is some (preliminary) evidence to support this claim.

Although Tianeptine prescriptions have been in decline for decades, recreational use has been on the rise.

At high doses, users report effects like euphoria and sedation, similar to effects of opiods.

How Does Tianeptine Work?

Most tricyclic anti-depressants (TCAs) act by blocking the reuptake of Serotonin and Noradrenaline, thereby increasing levels of these important neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain.

Depression can be the result of imbalances of these neurotransmitters, and TCAs typically work by balancing them out.

Although, chemically, it is considered a TCA, Tianeptine does not work like others.

Research shows that it increases Serotonin levels to some degree, but it also appears to influence the activity of Glutamate.

Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) in the brain.

It’s job is simply to speed up communication between neurons and, by doing this, it can impact other neurotransmitter systems.

Tianeptine is also believed to work by triggering Brain-Derived Neurotrophin Factor (BDNF) release.

BDNF is a kind of protein called a neurotrophin.

The primarily role of neurotrophins is to keep neurons (nerve cells) alive while promoting the development of new neurons and synapses (the structures which allows neurons to communicate).

Neurotrophins in general are important for things like memory, learning, and complex thought.  BDNF is one of the most active neurotrophins.

Interestingly, Tianeptine is a μ-opioid receptor agonist, meaning it can have opiod-like effects.

This is the reason why Tianeptine is taken in high doses by recreational users looking to get high.  Other antidepressants don’t have the same impact.

Studies indicate that Tianeptine offers the same degree of anti-depressive and anti-anxiety benefits as TCAs such as:

But without some of the side effects.

It has actually been shown to be more effective than maprotiline, a tetracyclic antidepressant, in terms of both anti-depressant and anti-anxiety benefits.

Does Tianeptine Get You High?

Yes, at high doses (beyond what is typically prescribed), Tianeptine has sedative and mild euphoric effects.

Anecdotal reports indicate the high is similar to that of anti-anxiety drugs like Alprazolam or Temazepam.

When injected, the Tianeptine high is comparable to that of opiods, but it’s definitely not a good idea to inject it.

Tianetine contains Silicon which does not dissolve well in water and can block blood vessels, causing serious health detriments and potentially resulting in death.

Misuse and abuse has caused several countries to re-think the legality of Tianeptine, but more on that later.

What Is The Optimal Dosage Of Tianeptine?

Tianeptine is typically prescribed in increments of 12.5mg, to be taken 1-3 times daily.

Recreational users of the drug have reported taking 100mg or more, though, in order to reap the opiod-like effects.

It’s not clear how dangerous Tianeptine is at these high recreational doses.

Suicide attempts via Tianpetine overdose have been reported, but it’s unclear whether there were other substances involved.

Mixing Tianeptine with other substances can potentially be lethal.

Does Tianpetine Have Any Side Effects?

Tianeptine is less prone to side effects than many other drugs in the same class (TCAs), but there are definitely still some to be wary of.

  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • insomnia (or sedation)
  • nausea
  • lack of motivation

It may seem odd that one drug could cause both insomnia AND sedation or improved mood AND lack of motivation, but that’s what’s weird about Tianeptine.

It’s pharmacological properties (how it behaves in the body) are not very well understood, despite decades of research.

Some people experience absolutely no side effects.  Others experience all of them!

Tianeptine was originally thought not to cause dependence, but more recent research shows it can.

Taking it for a long time and then trying to stop can result in withdrawal symptoms, similar to other anti-anxiety drugs and opiods, though perhaps not as severe.

Tianeptine has somehow developed a reputation for being effective, yet causing no side effects, but this is simply not true.

There are side effects which you should definitely be aware of before experimenting with Tianeptine.  It may be less of a problem than other similar drugs, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cause any side effects at all.

That’s just wishful thinking.

Is Tianeptine Legal?

The legality of Tianeptine ranges from completely legal to illegal to possess without a prescription.

In the US, Tianeptine remains unscheduled which means it’s legal to buy, sell, and possess, just not for human consumption.

Like many nootropics and research drugs, this places Tianeptine in a legal gray area.  It can’t be legally labeled as a dietary supplement, but can be sold ‘for research purposes’.

Obviously, most people who buy Tianpetine online aren’t scientists seeking to study it.

They’re recreational users who either want to get high or are looking for a cheaper alternative to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs (which tend to be insanely expensive without health insurance).

In the UK, Tianeptine falls under the Psychoactive Substance Act which is basically the UK governments way of getting rid of research chemicals without having the explicitly ban substances individually.

The bill was passed in early 2016 as a way to restrict the sale (and use) of drugs that previously offered a ‘legal high’.

It uses some pretty all-encompassing language too.

A substance is considered psychoactive if it stimulates the central nervous system and affects mental function or emotional state.


Pretty much everything that does anything is banned under this law, with the exception of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and prescription drugs (provided you have a valid prescription for them).

France recently recognized Tianeptine as a controlled substance, meaning it’s prescription only.

Singapore and Bahrain have placed similar restrictions on Tianeptine, and Russia now considers it a Schedule III substance, placing it right up there with benzodiazepines in terms of abuse potential.

So, oddly enough (and this continues to amaze me), the US is one of the only countries left where you can buy, possess, and sell Tianeptine without penalty.

Where To Buy Tianeptine

Tianeptine is available from a ton of US-based online nootropic vendors, though technically they’re not supposed to sell it for human consumption.

Obviously a lot of these sites are quite clearly selling it for human consumption.  They provide elaborate summaries of the drug’s effects as well as dosing instructions, but let’s face it…

The United States is a mess when it comes to substance abuse.

The feds just have bigger fish to fry and any time spent busting nootropic vendors is time that can’t be spent busting people who sell much more problematic drugs like Heroin, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine.

Does that mean Tianeptine will ALWAYS be available in the US?  Absolutely not!

All it really takes is one kid to overdose and the media will be all over this, causing legislators to take action.

So, if you want to try Tianpetine, there’s no time like the present…

In the past, I’ve ordered Tianeptine from these vendors:

If you know of any other reliable vendors, feel free to comment below.  These are just a couple that I personally trust.

There are many others…

My Personal Experience With Tianeptine

I don’t suffer from depression or anxiety, but I have experimented with Tianeptine as a nootropic on several occasions.  To be honest, though, I didn’t notice much.

It makes sense that Tianeptine would work better as a nootropic in people with depression or anxiety because improving those things would tend to improve brain function, at least to some degree.

As far as the Tianeptine high, ehh…

I’m more of an Etizolam guy.

I’ve taken high doses of Tianeptine (like 100mg) and, while it definitely has a sedative-like effect which is kind of reminiscent of the high you get from opiods, I just don’t find it to be particularly enjoyable.

Then again, I don’t find opiods enjoyable either…

At the end of the day, I think Tianeptine makes sense to consider if you suffer from anxiety or depression, but if you’re using it to get high, there are better highs.

The Bottom Line On Tianeptine

Tianeptine is an interesting drug.  Not only is it an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, but it also has analgesic (pain-killing) and brain-boosting properties.

Though technically a tricyclic anti-depressant (TCA), it has a wider range of psychoactive effects than drugs like amitriptyline or imipramine (common TCAs).

As a nootropic, it’s more likely to benefit people with some sort of anxiety or depression-induced cognitive dysfunction.

In other words, if you’re brain works fine already, it’s not necessarily going to make it work better.

As a recreational drug, it may induce a kind of ‘high’ that feels similar to that of benzos or opiods (a mixture of sedation, euphoria, and freeing of inhibitions).

It’s perfectly legal to obtain in the US, but you definitely want do your research before purchasing from any particular vendor.

I’m Matt Theis, founder of SuppWithThat, Momentum Nutrition, and Singular Sport. I created SWT to separate the science from the hype and publish accurate, research-based information on supplements. If you like what I have to say here, feel free to check out my supplements at and

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