Supplements that contain tianeptine, a dangerous substance that can cause adverse health effects, have recently been illegally marketed as treatments for depression, opioid use disorder, pain, and anxiety. The federal Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings to two companies for making unproven, illegal claims about supplements that contain tianeptine. Supplement companies are forbidden from marketing their products as a cure for anything since they are not medications. The FDA has not approved tianeptine for any use. The dangerous additive should not be present in any supplements.

What Is Tianeptine?

Tianeptine is a chemical compound that has potentially dangerous side effects. While some supplement manufacturers claim that tianeptine helps to ease opioid withdrawals so that people can treat their opioid addiction disorders, the CDC has reported that tianeptine shows similar withdrawal issues when people abuse it. The FDA reports that tianeptine also causes several other types of adverse effects, including the following:

  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Neurological problems

Despite these issues, two companies have apparently been marketing supplements that contain tianeptine as if they might cure opioid addiction, anxiety, and depression, prompting the FDA to send warning letters to them in November. The companies, Jack B. Goods Outlet Store and MA Labs were given 15 days to respond.

Dietary Supplements and Marketing

Dietary supplements are not medications and cannot be marketed as if they offer cures for medical conditions. If supplements are marketed as cures or treatments for medical problems, they are regulated as if they are drugs. Jack B. Goods and MA Labs both reportedly made multiple illegal and unproven claims about their tianeptine-containing supplements, which led the FDA to issue its warning letters.

Dangerous Supplements and Liability

When people take medications or supplements and suffer serious side effects, they may have legal claims against the manufacturers under a theory of products liability. Manufacturers may be liable to pay damages to people who are injured by their products if they fail to warn about the potential side effects, have inadequate warnings, or have other marketing defects. People who are seriously injured by supplements that contain tianeptine may have a valid basis to file claims against the supplement manufacturers as well as others who are involved in bringing the supplements to the market.