Tianeptine Sodium vs. Sulfate: What’s the Difference?

Most antidepressants have two main drawbacks: first, it takes too long to get any results, and second, they can have serious side effects. 

These are why Tianeptine is quickly gaining ground as an antidepressant of choice for many patients.

Tianeptine is an antidepressant with mood-boosting benefits that does not interfere with your libido—a common side effect of other antidepressants. It also doesn’t induce other common antidepressant adverse effects, such as insomnia or weight gain.

This antidepressant is available in two forms: tianeptine sulfate and tianeptine sodium. Both forms provide the same beneficial effects of boosting mood and improving focus and memory.

But between sodium and sulfate, which is the better version of this nootropic? What are the differences between these two? 

In this article, you will learn more about tianeptine sodium vs. sulfate to help you decide which form is ideal for you.


What is Tianeptine?

Tianeptine is a synthetic medication used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). It is a new tricyclic antidepressant that has recently gained popularity due to its rapid onset of action and reduced risk profile compared to existing antidepressants.

Tianeptine has the same antidepressant effect as other traditional drugs such as mianserin, imipramine, and clomipramine. It has been demonstrated to have potent anxiolytic effects, indicating that the medication may be effective for various mental conditions. 

Furthermore, long-term tianeptine medication appears to reduce the likelihood of relapse or recurrence of depression.
Tianeptine might be a game-changer for patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression. It is an alternative option for people dissatisfied with their experience with more popular antidepressants or who wish to see effects faster.

The Benefits of Tianeptine

Tianeptine has been demonstrated to be as effective as other standard antidepressants in treating depression, fatigue, and brain fog. 

It has also been found that tianeptine boosts several learning processes, such as short-term memory, attentiveness, and response speed. This implies that your capacity to process and retain new information is enhanced when taking tianeptine.

This is why tianeptine has gained popularity among many people seeking nootropic benefits, not only those suffering from depression.

It also has been found that tianeptine regulates a wide range of neurochemical systems. 
Based on current animal models, tianeptine’s principal mechanisms of action are as follows:

  • Direct tianeptine induced activation of the mu-opioid receptor (MOR)
  • Boosted uptake of serotonin by cells
  • Regulation of the glutamatergic system in a variety of brain regions. This includes glutamate receptor activity modulation in the hippocampus and amygdala.
  • Glucocorticoid receptor modulation in rodent models of early-life stress
  • Upregulating inhibitory GABA expression in the spinal cord
  • Regulating hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) and prefrontal cortex activity
  • Adenosine A1 receptor activation

Tianeptine may also be useful in treating peripheral nerve system diseases, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is most likely related to the potential of tianeptine to affect the serotoninergic system. Asthma and IBS are both linked to low serotonin levels in the blood.

Tianeptine Sodium vs. Tianeptine Sulfate

There are two types of tianeptine: tianeptine sodium and tianeptine sulfate. Both medications work in the same way and provide comparable outcomes. But what are their differences?

The primary distinction between the two is how Tianeptine interacts with your body. Tianeptine sodium delivers an instant boost but does not last long, while Tianeptine sulfate takes longer to kick in but provides long-term advantages in mood and attention.

Here is a more detailed description of the differences between the tianeptine sodium form and sulfate form.

Tianeptine Sodium: A Quick Boost

Sodium is a popular component in various pharmaceuticals because it makes them more easily dissolvable after digestion, thus assisting with the absorption of the active ingredients into the body.

Tianeptine sodium is held together solely by weak chemical bonds. This implies that it is swiftly broken down and digested by the body, resulting in an instant release and fast-acting effects. The disadvantage is that the effects wear off faster. 

Tianeptine sodium is great for producing small bursts of better mood and energy, but this feeling will not last long.

Tianeptine Sulfate: A Subtle But Long-Lasting Effect

Tianeptine sulfate is attached to a sulfate molecule, so the liver must break it down before being absorbed. Because this mechanism prolongs the drug’s availability, the effects take longer to come in and seem more subtle. 

The effects may take approximately two to four hours to kick in, but this time frame is still fast compared to other antidepressants.

Tianeptine is released steadily over a longer period of time, offering a modest but perceptible boost in mood, attention, and focused energy throughout the day.

Users of tianeptine sulfate describe its effect as “smoother” than tianeptine sodium.

Which One is Better?

Some say that the sulfate form is better because tianeptine sodium is not stable in moisture. It’s also sensitive to light, making it disintegrate faster when exposed to direct sunlight.

Tianeptine sulfate is also easy to handle and does not clump as much as sodium. Sulfate salts have better water solubility, implying that the sulfate form has higher bioavailability.

Most significantly, sodium salts are only effective for a limited period of time, requiring repeated dosing. On the other hand, sulfate salts are absorbed by the body at a slower pace. Though it takes longer to achieve its peak impact, it stays longer inside the body, requiring less frequent doses.

However, tianeptine sodium may be a good alternative for people seeking only a few hours of energy boost and enhanced mood.
It is still best to consult your healthcare provider for further information about tianeptine sodium vs. sulfate.

Tianeptine Side Effects

According to comparative clinical trials, tianeptine is equally efficient as amitriptyline in the treatment of depression but with fewer side effects.

Nausea, constipation, stomach discomfort, headache, dizziness, and changes in dreams are the most prevalent side effects of tianeptine.

The side effects of tianeptine are similar to those of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in many ways. But compared to other tricyclic antidepressants, these side effects are only minimal. 

Anticholinergic effects of tianeptine are less common than those of tricyclic drugs. Hepatotoxicity is also uncommon. 

The dose should be reduced in older patients and those with severe renal failure. Adjustment is not needed in patients with alcoholism, hepatic impairment, or those receiving hemodialysis.

Tianeptine and Its Addiction Potential

Tianeptine has been controversial because of the compound’s possibly addictive qualities when taken in high doses. 

One can become addicted to tianeptine antidepressants after taking lethal doses. As a result, they may develop physiological and psychological dependency.

This is mainly because the tianeptine mechanism of action at MOR provides euphoric effects similar to opioids. Some studies have also found that patients, particularly those with a history of drug misuse, experience withdrawal symptoms and dependency after lengthy periods of usage.

However, not all neuropharmacologists believe that the antidepressant tianeptine is addictive. In fact, some pharmacologists believe that several commonly given anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines) are worse than tianeptine.

It’s possible that the drug’s tendency to develop addiction depends on the individual. While tianeptine has substantial antidepressant properties, it is currently prohibited in several areas due to worries about possible misuse.

Drug Interactions

Like most antidepressants, tianeptine may cause certain drug interactions.

Mixing drugs containing psychoactive chemicals is harmful and should be avoided or done with extreme caution. An inappropriate drug combination can result in hypertension, convulsions, heat, and dehydration.

Patients being treated for bipolar disorder who took tianeptine had their depression measuring test scores deteriorate. The substance mimics opiates throughout pregnancy, resulting in neonatal abstinence disorders.

Tianeptine also severely enhanced teenagers’ binge drinking behavior while decreasing overall alcohol intake in adults.

For individuals with seizures, schizophrenia, liver illness, diabetes, heart disease, or bleeding issues, tianeptine should be taken with care.

If you are taking other medication, make sure to exercise extra caution. When in doubt, consult a medical practitioner.


Both tianeptine sodium and tianeptine sulfate have benefits as long as they’re taken within standard dosage. When taken recreationally, tianeptine can provide opioid-like euphoria. As a result, it is recommended not to use this substance recreationally due to the potential for addiction and misuse.

While tianeptine is not approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, it is largely prescribed in South American, Asian, and European countries. There are also online stores that offer overseas shipping.

Before ordering from a store, check the sources that offer tianeptine. We strongly recommend seeking advice from a health professional before taking any medications.