Addictive potential of Tianeptine - the threatening reality

Georgian Med News. 2009 Sep:(174):92-4.


A total of 24 patients (male volunteers), consumers of opiates in the past and suffering from Tianeptine abuse, were under clinical observation. The age range of patients was from 21 to 33 years. Tianeptine consumption history was 5 months duration on the average. The daily dose of preparation was 40 tablets (500 mg intravenous injections on the average). Patients used Tianeptine in combination with antihistamines (Promethazine, Suprastin). Research was carried out with the use of clinical, psychological and laboratory methods. Has been used Ch. Spilberger's scale of anxiety and T. Balashov's scale of depression. Comparison of withdrawal syndrome developed after cessation of Tianeptine and opiates consumption has shown that in case of Tianeptine, in the dynamic of withdrawal syndrome predominates well expressed high-level of anxiety and depression, while at opiates consumption - withdrawal syndrome is characterized by algesic events and vegetodysfunctions. Supposedly, Tianeptine, in contrast to other anti-depressants, stimulates release of neurotransmitter dopamine in nucleus Accumbens, that probably determine addictive potential of this drug. High level of anxiety, excitability and vegetodysfunctions, presumably could be explained by activation of the NMDA (glutamate receptors) receptor system in Locus coeruleus, and in vegetative ganglion. In the present article potential threat that may develop at Tianeptine consumption, especially in former opiate consumers, without medical purposes has been emphasized.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects*
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Euphoria
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / complications
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Thiazepines / administration & dosage
  • Thiazepines / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Thiazepines
  • tianeptine