Respiratory Effects of the Atypical Tricyclic Antidepressant Tianeptine in Human Models of Opioid-induced Respiratory Depression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Animal data suggest that the antidepressant and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor modulator tianeptine is able to prevent opioid-induced respiratory depression. The hypothesis was that oral or intravenous tianeptine can effectively prevent or counteract opioid-induced respiratory depression in humans. METHODS: Healthy male and female volunteers participated in two studies that had a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. First, oral tianeptine (37.5-, 50-, and 100-mg doses with 8 subjects) pretreatment followed by induction of alfentanil-induced respiratory depression (alfentanil target concentration, 100 ng/ml) was tested. Primary endpoint was ventilation at an extrapolated end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration of 55 mmHg (V̇E55). Next, the ability of four subsequent and increasing infusions of intravenous tianeptine (target tianeptine plasma concentrations 400, 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 ng/ml, each given over 15 min) to counteract remifentanil-induced respiratory depression was determined in 15 volunteers. Ventilation was measured at isohypercpania (baseline ventilation 20 ± 2 l/min). The primary endpoint was minute ventilation during the 60 min of tianeptine versus placebo infusion. RESULTS: Alfentanil reduced V̇E55 to 13.7 (95% CI, 8.6 to 18.8) l/min after placebo pretreatment and to 17.9 (10.2 to 25.7) l/min after 50-mg tianeptine pretreatment (mean difference between treatments 4.2 (-11.5 to 3.0) l/min, P = 0.070). Intravenous tianeptine in the measured concentration range of 500 to 2,000 ng/ml did not stimulate ventilation but instead worsened remifentanil-induced respiratory depression: tianeptine, 9.6 ± 0.8 l/min versus placebo 15.0 ± 0.9 l/min; mean difference, 5.3 l/min; 95% CI, 2.5 to 8.2 l/min; P = 0.001, after 1 h of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Neither oral nor intravenous tianeptine were respiratory stimulants. Intravenous tianeptine over the concentration range of 500 to 2000 ng/ml worsened respiratory depression induced by remifentanil.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Algera, H; van der Schrier, R; Cavalla, D; van Velzen, M; Roozekrans, M; McMorn, A; Snape, M; Horrigan, JP; Evans, S; Kiernan, B; Sarton, E; Olofsen, E; Niesters, M; Dahan, A

Published Date

  • October 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 137 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 446 - 458

PubMed ID

  • 35867853

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-1175

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/ALN.0000000000004324


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States