Pharmacokinetic and metabolic parameters of tianeptine in healthy volunteers and in populations with risk factors

Clin Neuropharmacol. 1988:11 Suppl 2:S90-6.


Following oral administration in the fasting healthy subject, the mean maximum concentration of tianeptine is 334 +/- 79 ng/ml. Absorption of tianeptine from the tablet form is rapid and complete. Maximum plasma concentration is obtained by the first hour following administration (0.94 +/- 0.47 h). Absolute bioavailability is 99 +/- 29%. Tianeptine is thus rapidly and completely absorbed in the tablet form and is not subject to first-pass effect. Distribution of tianeptine in the body is characterized by the following: its rapidity, the mean distribution half-life being about 0.7 h; its limited extent, the apparent volume of distribution being about 0.8 L/kg (0.77 +/- 0.31 L/kg); and protein binding, which averages 93.8 +/- 2.4%. Elimination of tianeptine is characterized by a short mean half-life of 2 h 30 min (2.5 +/- 1.1 h) and by renal excretion of 0.4 ml/min (0.4 +/- 0.4 ml/min). Tianeptine is extensively metabolized. Major metabolites are analogs of tianeptine with a C5 and C3 lateral chain and a N-demethylated derivative. Studies have shown negligible influence on pharmacokinetic parameters of chronic alcoholism even in case of hepatic cirrhosis. In renal failure, and in the elderly, studies have revealed a 1-h prolongation of elimination half-life which suggests that the dosage should be limited to two tablets per day in such cases.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / metabolism
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Biological Availability
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Tablets
  • Thiazepines / administration & dosage
  • Thiazepines / metabolism
  • Thiazepines / pharmacokinetics*


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Tablets
  • Thiazepines
  • tianeptine