As is the case with many medications, tianeptine comes with a minor risk of abuse and intoxication when taken as directed by a prescribing doctor. However, this can quickly change if the drug is used in much larger doses. People who abuse or misuse a prescription drug like tianeptine by taking it without a prescription or taking it in larger doses than directed increase their risk of developing dependence and experiencing withdrawals. Below is more on tianeptine withdrawal symptoms, treatment, and how to avoid it.
What Is Tianeptine?
Tianeptine is a medication mainly used to treat depression, anxiety, and other similar conditions. It is classified as a tricyclic antidepressant and approved for use in several countries, including France, Russia, and other European and Asian countries. As a tricyclic antidepressant, tianeptine works by modulating the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly serotonin and glutamate.
In addition to its efficacy in treating mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, tianeptine may also have a beneficial effect on cognitive function, pain, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome. As we previously mentioned, this medication is commonly prescribed in Europe, Latin America, and Asian countries, but it has not been approved for prescription use in the U.S.
A 2009 research study failed to get the drug approved, and the drug’s patent in the U.S. was lost in 2012. However, because it is not regulated in the U.S. and is increasingly available for purchase online, tianeptine abuse may rise within the next few years.
It is important to note that tianeptine has been associated with abuse and dependence in some individuals, particularly when misused in high doses. Therefore, it is important to use this medication only as directed by a healthcare professional and to closely monitor for any potential adverse symptoms and side effects.
How Long Does Tianeptine Withdrawal Last?
Most antidepressants take some time to take effect in the mind and body, meaning the tianeptine withdrawal timeline will not suddenly begin after initial use. Instead, it takes a few months for the brain and body to become accustomed to the drug. At this point, the individual will have developed a physical dependence on it.
Withdrawals occur when people who are physically dependent on drugs or alcohol suddenly stop taking them or cut back on their use. Physical dependence is the result of using drugs over an extended period. This can occur in cases where tianeptine is used for extended periods, either as prescribed or without a prescription.
Common tianeptine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Abnormal body movements like restless leg syndrome or involuntary jerking movements
- Body aches
- Chills or hot flashes
- Cognitive impairments such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Rebound symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Stomach pain
- Tremors and shaking
Because tianeptine’s half-life is about 2.5 hours, a person who has taken it for a long time or at high doses may experience withdrawal symptoms very quickly. Because the drug leaves the body so quickly, one may experience intense cravings for it as it leaves the system.
Tianeptine Withdrawal Treatment
Long-term antidepressant abuse can have major short and long-term effects, including dependence and withdrawals. If you or someone you know is struggling with tianeptine misuse, do not try to detox on your own, as this increases the risk of complications.
Our Stuart rehab offers medically assisted detox for prescription drugs like antidepressants that adheres to our patients’ needs. Whether you have been addicted for years or yours is a more recently developed substance use problem, we are here to help.