Tianeptine is a new antidepressant effective against anxiety accompanying mood disturbances. Its clinical properties have been assessed by double-blind controlled studies (versus imipramine, amitriptyline, nomifensine, viloxazine) in depressed patients fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of the DSM III: single recurrent major depressive episodes without melancholia or psychotic features, and dysthymic disorders. The authors have concluded that tianeptine is effective in depressive disorders as shown both by depression rating scales and subjective impressions of treated patients. This improvement increases regularly with time. Seventy-eight percent of patients were considered to be "responders" at the end of the treatment with tianeptine. Antidepressant activity of tianeptine is equally present in depressive states appearing after withdrawal from alcohol. In depressed patients with anxiety, the results also reveal the efficacy of tianeptine on anxiety symptoms. Tianeptine, in addition, shows a marked action on somatic complaints. These results have been confirmed by open long-term trials, particularly in the elderly. Tianeptine can be placed in a middle position in the bipolar classification, between the sedative and stimulant antidepressants. Its antidepressant and anxiolytic properties and its action on somatic complaints make the drug particularly suitable for the treatment of the entire range of depressive symptomatology.