Effects of acute and chronic tianeptine treatments on ethanol withdrawal syndrome were investigated in rats. Ethanol (7.2% v/v) was given to adult male Wistar rats by a liquid diet for 30 days. Acute or chronic (twice daily) tianeptine (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg) and saline were administered to rats intraperitoneally. Acute and last chronic tianeptine injections and saline were done 30 min before ethanol withdrawal testing. After 2nd, 4th and 6th hours of ethanol withdrawal, rats were observed for 5 min, and withdrawal signs which included locomotor hyperactivity, agitation, tremor, wet dog shakes, stereotyped behavior and audiogenic seizures were recorded or rated. Locomotor activity in naive (no ethanol-dependent rats) was also tested after acute tianeptine treatments. Acute but not chronic tianeptine treatment attenuated locomotor hyperactivity and agitation in ethanol-dependent rats. Both acute and chronic tianeptine treatment produced some significant inhibitory effects on tremor, wet dog shakes, stereotyped behaviors and audiogenic seizures during the ethanol withdrawal. Our results suggest that acute or chronic tianeptine treatment attenuates ethanol withdrawal syndrome in ethanol-dependent rats and this drug may be useful for treatment of ethanol-type dependence. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.