Yeah Amy, I agree that doing it this way is risky. That was my concern. I don’t have any concerns with the drug itself but my point is you can’t verify what you get is what you ordered.
The problem is there really is no better way. I would love to be able to go to a doctor and get a prescription but it’s not possible. I’m sure anyone would prefer it to getting it online. But you can’t get it prescribed because it’s not available in North America so they couldn’t write you a script even if they want it to. I asked my doctor about Tianeptine. He never even heard of it. And the reason it’s not available is not because it’s illegal or rejected by the FDA but because it was never submitted for approval. Every drug must be put through costly trials before it gets approved but Tianeptine’s patent is expired so even if the drug got approved, the manufacturer wouldn’t be able to recoup the costs of the trials. It’s a case of profit coming before people.
And it’s not like you can substitute it for another antidepressant. Tianeptine is the only drug in its class. There’s nothing remotely like it. No other antidepressant enhances the reuptake of serotonin.
So the only way to acquire it for those who need it, unfortunately, is through the internet somehow. Either from eBay in powder form or in the original, factory-sealed package from the manufacturer from an online pharmacy. You would think that the latter would be better but the problem with them is they can be just as shady and the price is very, very high. And from reviews I’ve read I have no reason to believe it’s any less risky. They don’t guarantee which manufacturer you get. You could get Tianeptine from the original French manufacturer (Sevrier) or a generic made in India and there seems to be some potentially significant differences in the quality and effects.
So that’s the predicament you are in if you need this drug. If you live in North America, there is no way to get veritably pure Tianeptine. Any way you go, it’s a leap of faith. But it’s either that or move to France (or wherever else it’s available).
I’ve actually had my eye on Tianeptine for a few years and have been trying to research it as much as I can. I didn’t decide to take it on a whim because someone on a forum said it would be a good idea.
I’ve been to a psychiatrist and have been on plenty of conventional antidepressants and the result was terrible. I haven’t been myself ever since I took Prozac more than a decade ago. SSRIs really screwed me up. All other SSRIs had the same effect: “zombification”. No emotions, brain fog, inner deadness. Even when discontinued. Pretty much exactly the effect Ray Peat describes serotonin to have: torpor, a living coma. If you look them up the effects of Tianeptine it reads like an antidote to this condition.
So yeah, I’m probably going to end up getting some if I can. After 5 years of psychiatric medicine hell I feel like I understand the risks well enough to know what I’m getting into. When you’ve been on a slew of pills you kind of become cognizant of their myriad effects and you know what’s how much is too much and learn how to taper. You don’t need a doctor to tell you the correct dosage, that’s easily available information. My experience with psychiatrists basically amounted to supervised self-administration anyway. If you want to up the dose, they let you. If you want to try a new pill, they let you. It’s different from conventional areas of medicine where there are blood tests and the regime is rigidly controlled.
Would I recommend this route to someone else? Not at all. It’s calculated, personal risk I plan to take based on research and my best judgement. I would be ordering a kilo of it right now if it weren’t for two concerns:
1) Is it real? Is it quality?
2) Will I get into trouble with the law? I’ve heard of horror stories with customs and I don’t ever want to go through that sort of thing.
As far as I can tell, in North America, because it’s not considered a prescription drug it’s effectively unregulated. Still I don’t relish the idea of bringing a white powder over the border.