What to Know About Stablon/Coaxil (tianeptine sodium)

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Please note that Stablon/Coaxil (tianeptine sodium) is not approved for use in the U.S. due to its high potential for abuse. This article is for information purposes only.

Stablon/Coaxil (tianeptine sodium) is a drug used for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It is an atypical antidepressant. No form of the medication is currently approved for use in the United States due to its high risk for abuse and dependency. So, this is not a medication that can currently be prescribed by your doctor.

However, tianeptine is currently approved to treat depression and anxiety in France, some countries in Asia, and Latin America. In countries where it is used, it's marketed under the brand name Stablon. It's also sold in some countries under the brand names Tatinol and Coaxil. The use of the drug has been rife with controversy since it was first introduced.

This article looks at what the drug is used for, its potential side effects, and precautions for people who take it. It also discusses its potential for abuse.

What Is Stablon/Coaxil Used For? 

Tianeptine works by increasing the rate at which the brain can absorb serotonin. Research shows it's as effective as treating depression as other depressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.

Earlier research showed that it had a low likelihood of abuse. However, there have been several counter reports in recent years. For this reason, it's currently not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any use in the United States.

The chemical makeup of tianeptine is thought to be similar to tricyclic antidepressants. However, unlike tricyclic antidepressants, it's capable of enhancing serotonin uptake by the brain. It also appears to have fewer side effects which allow a person to function normally while taking the drug.

Tianeptine also seems to be more effective in men than women. It's, however, essential to remember that high doses of tianeptine have proven to have the potential for abuse and dependence.

What Are the Side Effects of Stablon/Coaxil (tianeptine sodium)?

Some of the most common side effects of taking tianeptine include: 

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Constipation 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Weight gain 

In 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published findings to a study on tianeptine's effects. The study found that the drug caused opioid-like side effects that affected the heart and stomach and even caused death.If you are bothered about any side effects, you should speak to a healthcare provider. If you're experiencing severe side effects, visit your local emergency room immediately.

Precautions

Because one of the side effects of tianeptine is drowsiness, it's not advisable to take this drug alongside any other medication with sedative effects.

Like with many other medications, consuming alcohol while taking tianeptine is highly discouraged, mainly because it slows the rate at which your body absorbs the drug, which reduces its effectiveness. It can also increase the risk of adverse effects such as confusion, drowsiness, blurred vision, and vomiting. Moreover, suddenly stopping the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Stablon/Coaxil?

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, lactating, or younger than 15, you should not take Stablon/Coaxil.

Tianeptine contains sucrose, for this reason, it isn't prescribed to people who have glucose, fructose, or galactose intolerance.

People with a history of suicidal behavior have a higher risk of developing suicidal thoughts when taking tianeptine. Carefully watching for these thoughts and behaviors is especially important for people who have been prescribed tianeptine in the locations where it is approved for use.

What Other Medications Interact With Stablon/Coaxil?

Non-selective MAOIs such as Safrazine and Parnate (tranylcypromine) interact harmfully with tianeptine. Taking both could put you at risk of heart failure, convulsions, hyperthermia, and even death.

Stablon/Coaxil (tianeptine) and It's Potential for Abuse 

Tianeptine isn't currently approved for use in the United States, and its recreational use is strongly discouraged. The FDA warns that using tianeptine, especially at large doses, could result in severe adverse effects.

Many other countries that had initially approved tianeptine to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety have also followed suit. Although it's still available to be prescribed in France, in 2005, they added a label warning of the risk of abuse and dependence of tianeptine on the drug's pack. The benefit and risk ratio of the drug has also been reassessed a couple of times.

In Michigan and a few other states, tianeptine has been added to the list of dangerous controlled substances. Although the FDA doesn't approve it, tianeptine and products that contain the drug can still be bought in convenience stores, where it is marketed as a nootropic. Nootropics are synthetic supplements that people believe can enhance their mental performance. Drug regulatory agencies can't regulate them because they are marketed as dietary supplements.

A 2018 report found two fatal cases of tianeptine poison in Texas. However, the drug had been used recreationally and not as prescribed by a doctor or healthcare provider. In both cases, the casualties were found to have high levels of tianeptine in their blood.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are used to test the efficacy of new drugs/treatments. In 2020, tianeptine was approved for use in a clinical trial looking to treat treatment-resistant depression in its subjects. Researchers expect to complete the study in March 2022.

A Word From Verywell 

Considering that Stablon/Coaxil (tianeptine) has not been approved for prescription use in the U.S., it is best to speak to a healthcare professional before using any drug to treat your depression. Your doctor will help you choose the best antidepressant for your needs.

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13 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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