Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
FREE Consultations Available
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > Tianeptine: The Illegal Dietary Supplement Harming Americans

Tianeptine: The Illegal Dietary Supplement Harming Americans


It began when non-violent drug offenders funneled into state-mandated treatment programs began showing up to court slurring their words and glassy-eyed after having passed drug tests. Eventually, the patients told their doctor what was going on. They were taking something called Tianeptine, a drug that had not been approved in the U.S. and was known to be habit-forming. The drug was being bought in quantity online and then sold on the streets. Alternatively, the drug was showing up in gas stations as a dietary supplement. Tianeptine has a similar effect to opioids. It can dull pain and in large doses, causes euphoria. Thus far, however, it has flown under the FDA’s radar.

Tianeptine and Kratom 

Technically speaking, it is illegal to sell any substance for human consumption that has not been approved by the FDA. Logistically, the FDA and DEA will not go after stores that sell drugs like Kratom. Why? Well, these substances are often used by individuals who are detoxing from heroin or other opioids to dull the withdrawal symptoms. So they do serve some purpose. It would be better to say these sales are extralegal than they are illegal.

While some Tianeptine prosecutions have happened, the vast majority of these cases have taken the back burner as the Justice Department goes after pharmaceutical companies and the pill mills that they helped supply before taking action against Tianeptine users.

Dietary Supplements 

Dietary supplements, unlike prescription drugs, do not require FDA approval. A representative speaking on behalf of the FDA said that the agency has no way of knowing what dietary supplements are on the market or their potential side effects. This leaves the buyer needing to beware on their own behalf. However, the sale of a dangerous drug as a “dietary supplement” has many folks extremely concerned over the FDA’s ability to keep American’s safe.

The drug became much more popular in 2014 when the Journal of Translational Psychiatry recognized that the drug has a similar effect to opioids and at high doses, can become habit-forming. Shortly thereafter, Tianeptine was showing up in gas stations as a dietary supplement.

Manufacturer Liability 

Can those who become addicted to Tianeptine file lawsuits against the manufacturers who illegally place the drug into the stream of commerce? It’s hard to say. While this is not true of tianeptine which is marketed as a supplement, some similar products have been marketed for non-human consumption purposes (bath salts, for instance). Since the packaging states that the contents are not for human consumption, this essentially shields the manufacturer from liability.

Additionally, many of the suppliers are not American making it very difficult to file a lawsuit against them. So while the manufacturer would be liable, just as the opioid companies are liable, logistically, filing a lawsuit is very difficult.

Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney 

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective dietary supplement or pharmaceutical drug, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorney's advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609