People Are Having Seizures After Drinking Shots of ‘Gas Station Heroin’: FDA

Some users of tianeptine, a substance that mimics opioids, have reported being hospitalized after taking shots of Neptune’s Fix.
Four bottles of Neptune's Fix tianeptine drinks.
The FDA is warning people not to drink Neptune's Fix. Photo via FDA 

The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to buy a liquid form of tianeptine, an unapproved substance known as “gas station heroin,” after some users reported being hospitalized and having seizures after drinking it. 

The Nov. 21 warning tells consumers not to buy or ingest Neptune’s Fix, a brand of tiapentine that sells 10-milliliter bottles and pills and is sold in gas stations, smoke shops, and convenience stores across the country. Although online dosing instructions say to use a few drops of the liquid, some users take the entire bottle in one shot. 


“FDA has received severe adverse event reports after use of Neptune‘s Fix products, including seizures and loss of consciousness leading to hospitalization. Consumers who experience a bad reaction to any tianeptine product should seek immediate medical help,” the warning says. 

Tianeptine is used as an antidepressant in dozens of countries, but is unregulated in the U.S. It is not a federally-scheduled drug and is illegally marketed as a treatment for depression and anxiety and a cognitive booster. Tianeptine hits a person’s opioid receptors in the brain, and many users have told VICE News it causes intense withdrawals, including nausea, chills, restless legs, and extreme anxiety. 

If you or someone you know has been impacted by tianeptine or other grey market drugs, we’d like to hear from you. Please email

It has been banned in Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Alabama, Minnesota, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Indiana. 

Some of the most popular brands include Zaza, Pegasus, and Tianaa, but one user told VICE News Neptune’s Fix is the most potent brand. 

“I have tried every brand on the market that I’m aware of, and the Neptune pills are by far the strongest,” said the user, who VICE News is not naming for privacy reasons. 

“The withdrawals are fucking insane.” 


VICE News was unable to reach the manufacturers of Neptune’s Fix for comment.

Because there’s not much awareness about tianeptine in the medical community, users turn online for advice and support. John, a former tianeptine user who moderates the r/quittingtianeptine subreddit, said there’s been an increase in people posting about passing out and being hospitalized after taking Neptune’s Fix in the last few months. 

One of the posts, titled “Neptune’s Fix almost killed me,” shows a man in a hospital bed hooked up to a ventilator. He said he immediately became disoriented after drinking a bottle, drove home, and then woke up 11 hours later in hospital. 

VICE News has been unable to independently verify his story. 

John said most of the people who’ve complained said they were using Neptune’s Fix regularly and had built up a tolerance for it. 

“They know they need a whole bottle to get to the level they need to be at. So they just grab it, drink it. And then in almost every case, they've lost consciousness, some have had seizures,” he said, adding inexperienced users could be at even greater risk of adverse events. 

Some Reddit users who’ve had negative Neptune’s Fix experiences compared the substance’s effects to those of synthetic weed. John said there’s speculation that some of the products are counterfeit but “nobody’s 100 percent sure.” 

Because tianeptine is not an approved drug, products containing it are unregulated, meaning we don’t know what’s actually in them.

The FDA said it is testing Neptune’s Fix products and will provide an update with its results. 

“Consumers who experience a bad reaction to any tianeptine product should seek immediate medical help. Neptune Fix’s labels state the product contains tianeptine, but may contain other harmful ingredients not listed on the label,” says the FDA warning.