Kentucky Bans Tianeptine

The ban follows similar moves in multiple states.

March 24, 2023

FRANKFORT, Ky.—Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an emergency regulation on March 23 that reclassifies products containing tianeptine as a schedule I controlled substance, reports Fox 56 News.

Tianeptine, also known as ZaZa, Tianna, TD Red, or Pegasus, has been linked to serious harm, overdoses and death, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is aware that tianeptine has been sold online, typically in tablet or powder form.

The FDA notes that tianeptine has a potential for abuse, particularly among people with a history of opioid-use disorder or dependence. It’s used as a prescription drug in some European, Asian, and Latin American countries, but it is not approved as a drug in the United States.

Poison control center cases involving tianeptine exposure have increased nationwide, from 11 total cases between 2000-2013 to 151 cases in 2020, according to the FDA.

“Today, Kentucky became a safer place,” said Beshear. “Until now, someone looking for a heroin-like high could walk into certain places or buy this harmful product online. We’re committed to protecting Kentuckians from this kind of harm, and if someone is struggling with abuse, we’re here to help.”

Earlier this month, the Mississippi legislature sent a bill to Gov. Tate Reeves for his signature that would ban the sale of tianeptine in that state.

State legislatures in Alabama, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio have also passed bans on tianeptine.