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    Yes I finally caved and bought some. If you’ve read some of my other postings on the subject you might recall I was very wary about it. Specifically in the raw powder form. I was concerned that there is no way to tell if what you’re getting is Tianeptine. Well I finally found a nootropic company who sold and claims that their nootropics are guaranteed. Given that you can’t (easily and cost effectively) get the real deal here in North America it’s as good as you’re going to get. An actually company that is willing to guarantee the quality it’s product in writing (which I guess can be legally binding) is sure better than buying a bag of white powder from a guy on eBay. Plus it’s in capsule form which makes takes care of any issues with measuring out dosages.

    So yes though I was wary, make no mistake, it’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a long, long time. I researched it a lot and put a lot of thought into it. This wasn’t a hasty decision. So in the interest of science and in the hopes that someone might benefit from my experiences I’ll document it here.

    Some background first, though. I have a long history of depression going back about 13 years when I was in my early teens. At the time I was put on Prozac which I feel completely screwed me up. The drug caused an emotional numbness which has destroyed my quality of life and the numbness persisted even after I ceased taking it. After about a year I got fed and told the doctor I was better (I wasn’t) just to get the hell out of there.

    Fast forward to five years ago when I had a total breakdown. I was tried on a number of SSRIs and other serotonergics (Cypralex, Effexor, Cymbalta, Imipramine, and I think there’s some more) all with the same effects: total emotional numbness, inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia), brain fog, lethargy, feelings of disconnection and various side-effects depending on the drug.

    I’ve also long suffered from ADHD and around this time I was first put on Adderall (and experience I should write up in another thread). At first it was a miraculous experience and I’ll cherish it forever, in spite of the nightmare that came after. It changed my life. My passion for life returned, my social anxiety was nearly eliminated and for the first time I felt what it meant to be myself. I was in touch with something deep and special. The only thing it didn’t really help with was focus so I foolishly asked for my doctor to up the dose thinking more was better. Of course when you take amphetamines you effectively go on a very low calorie diet. You just don’t eat. The effects of that brought me here.

    Long story short I spent two years wired out of my mind on speed and developed some truly horrible symptoms. A gripping state of visceral anxiety, inability to form coherent thoughts, painfully cold legs that felt like they were packed in ice, and a painful sensitivity to sound (misophonia). The last two I have never heard of any one developing from amphetamine use. These effects persisted after discontinuation. It’s been longer than a year. Matt’s ideas in Diet Recovery and Eat For Heat mitigated them somewhat but they’re still debilitating.

    It was my experiences with SSRIs that made Ray Peat’s work really strike a chord with me. Reading up on Tianeptine it seemed almost like it was especially formulated to be an antidote to my condition and led to my desire to try it.

    Sorry for the TLDR intro but I felt it necessary. In the next post I’ll get to the point and start posting about the experience.


    I took the first dose (12.5mg) on Tuesday. The plan is start with one pill a day and taper it up from there, increasing the does by one pill (12.5mg) every week until I hit 3 a day (which is the suggested dose). I’ve heard people say you can go full bore right away but I have experience with antidepressants and I know it’s best to taper.

    I started to feel it about 45 minutes to an hour after I took it. The effect was very subtle, very smooth. Things seemed to brighten somehow. For the first time in years I got that sense of “feeling” back. I’m sorry I can’t really describe what it’s like, it transcends words. But there was a perceptible improvement, but not very intense. Not the intensity I remember when I could feel properly if that makes any sense. Still that puts it far above any antidepressant I’ve ever taken.

    I felt much calmer and much less stressed. Sound sensitivity was pretty much gone. Unpleasant sounds were merely vaguely annoying and not painful – like being back to normal.

    One of the things that worried me was that I would get a stress reaction. I’ve heard some people describe Tianeptine as stimulating. After my experiences with stimulants I became incredibly sensitive to them and even some non-stimulant drugs (Caffeine, Pramipexole, Rhodiola Rosea, Vitamin B6) would give me the stimulant symptoms (cold legs, sound sensitivity, anxiety). Nothing of the sort occurred. Quite the opposite in fact. It was quite calming. I spent the whole time listening to music and enjoying it as if I was hearing it for the first time.

    On the whole it was a positive experience but far short of my expectations. But given my desperation, I’ll take it.


    Second dose was on Wednesday. Mostly the same symptoms as Tuesday but even less intense. Nothing new to report.

    It quickly became obvious that this drug has a very short duration of action. It took longer to feel this time and the effect only lasted about 4 to 5 hours. It’s apparent that one pill will not get you through the day.



    I have to admit I screwed up my methodology here. I got impatient and decided to take two pills instead of one even though I wasn’t planning on going to two until the next week. I took one in the morning and one at around noon. I wanted to see how much more effective a higher does would be but it proved to have even less effect than Wednesday. It’s becoming clear that I’m fast building up a tolerance to this stuff.

    The mood “brightening” effect by this point is gone but the anti-stress effects still seem to be significant. Still feeling calm, not sensitive to sound.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 3 months ago by sa230e.

    Friday (Day 4):

    Took one pill in the morning. By this point I could barely feel it. There were a few points during the day when I thought I could but it was hardly perceptible.

    I’ve heard people online say that there are ingredients in the pharmaceutical tablets that aid absorption that aren’t in the raw Tianeptine sodium powder. The artificial sugar manitol was mentioned so I chewed some sugar free gum after taking the pill but it doesn’t seem to do anything.


    Today (Day 5):

    Waited until around noon to take the pill. Didn’t feel a thing. Tolerance rapidly setting in. Misophonia and stress symptoms starting to kick back in faster as the dose wears off. Tolerance setting in fast.

    I’m hoping that this isn’t it. I’m feeling pretty let down. I pinned a lot of my hopes on this working. I’ve read that, though Tianeptine, unlike other antidepressants has an immediate effect, it also has effects that kick in after a couple weeks like most SSRIs. Hopefully that’s what happens.

    The Real Amy

    Hi sa230e, if your issues started on Prozac, you may also want to consider the experiences of people who were “fluoxed” (it may be the fluoride more than the serotonin effects). Apparently magnesium is extremely helpful. Not sure if you’ve tried that yet.



    I’ve tried magnesium and it did nothing. Also every SSRI I tried felt the same. The numbing, zombifying effect was by no means limited to Prozac.


    Day 6

    Took one pill around 1pm. I wanted the effect to last until a bit later in the day. Wasn’t expecting to feel anything but actually I felt some effects which came as a surprise. Strange. I got some emotional “feeling” back. It was pleasant.

    But then again, today was a nice day after a few rainy gloomy days and it makes me wonder if it was the weather or the drug that made me feel better. I tried to think if I always felt like this when the weather turns warm or if it was an effect of the drug. That’s one of the strange aspects of antidepressants. They kind of take away your frame of reference and you forget how you used to feel before the drug which is a problem because you can’t compare your previous state with your current state. I remember being on SSRIs and wondering whether I was always this out to lunch. I guess Tianeptine has that property, too. The thing is they’re very subtle drugs in both their positive and negative effects. Contrast that to more “serious” drugs like amphetamines where you can definitely tell the difference. It’s like a swift mental kick in the ass. Antidepressants are very subtle.


    Day 7: Nothing to report

    Day 8: I wondered if the de-stressing effects of Tianeptine might make me more tolerant towards stimulants so I had some caffeine. The answer is now. All I had was a glass of strong iced tea and that was enough to give me a total stress reaction. Not as intense as Adderall or anything but enough to ruin my day.


    Day 13

    Just recently upped the dosage to two pills a day.

    The weather turned pretty nice yesterday so I decided to go for a bike ride. Since starting refeeding I’ve been avoiding exercise purposely. I’ve been so worn out over the years that even playing my drums would completely exhaust me but in the past couple months it’s been getting better. I didn’t think an hours bike ride would be too strenuous but the path was rough and there was a strong wind. I guess I’m not as strong as I thought yet because it sort of kicked my ass. When it was over I felt like I was back in starvation mode. My sound sensitivity and agitation came back which hasn’t happened since I started the Tianeptine but not as intense. And I feel that same drained, depleted feeling I used to get when I didn’t eat enough. I always feel like I need to lie down. Also, the emotional “opening” effect disappeared and I feel numb and slightly anxious again. It feels really crappy but I think it’s still better than it was before I started the drug.

    Could it be that the Tianeptine took the edge off? I think it’s likely but I can’t say for sure. I don’t know how it would have been if I had done it off the drug. Again I find myself questioning whether it was the Tianeptine that caused my improvements over the last two weeks or other things. For a while I thought I was cured but now that my old symptoms came back I have doubts.

    Still, despite the drug induced loss of “frame of reference” I talked about previously, the improvements I’ve noticed over the last two weeks are too significant to chalk up to coincidence. Tianeptine didn’t meet my expectations (which were admittedly way too high) but it is effective enough that I chose to order more and stick with it. Tianeptine is not a panacea, but it is good stuff. I hope over the next few days I can get back on the right track and recover.

    I was considering quitting RRARFing but this experience, I think, shows that neither tianeptine or refeeding alone can completely tackle the problem but together they form an effective one-two punch that busts stress quite well. Unfortunately I’m getting really fat so it’s quite disappointing. I always hoped I could cheat my fate and stay and a reasonable weight but I know that I’m doomed to gain it all back before I start loosing it (hopefully). I now know there are worse things in this world than being fat but it still isn’t pleasant.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 3 months ago by sa230e.

    Hey there just curious if you have continued with the Tianeptine? I’ve recently started it and am just trying to compare with others.

    My symptoms have been to to get over stressed / anxious and agitated very easily. I also am not able to exercise or things get worse. Often after exercise I will feel weak and hungry all the time. This usually lasts a few days from exercise.

    I’ve suffered from this for years and have Teied most AD’s with little help. Lexapro is the only one I can tolerate but only mildly helps.

    I’ve tested my cortisol multiple times and find I have elevated cortisol throughout the day. I’ve tried cortisol lowering supplements like PS and those
    Seem to make me really irritable and hungry. So I’ve been on Tianeptine for a week and unsure
    Of the effect so far. From what I’ve read on it looks to be very promising. I think a messed up HPA-axis / stress response is the culprit which Tianeptine may help regulate. I did suffer from a loss of a parent at a young age and wonder if this has affected my stress response.

    Any people with Tianeptine reviews or that have similar symptoms please chime in.

    God Bless.

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