A new, selective and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method with fluorimetric detection was developed for the determination of tianeptine (TIA) in human plasma using solid phase extraction (SPE) procedures. The method is based on the derivatization of TIA with 4-chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan (NBD-Cl) in borate buffer of pH 8.5 to yield a yellow, fluorescent product. The HPLC separation was achieved on a Phenomenex C-18 column (250 mm x 4.6 mm) using a mobile phase of acetonitrile-10 mM orthophosphoric acid (pH 2.5) (77:23, v/v) solvent system at 1 mL/min flow rate. Gabapentin (GA) was used as the internal standard. The fluorometric detector was operated at 458 nm (excitation) and 520 nm (emission). The assay was linear over the concentration range of 5-300 ng/mL. The detection limit (LOD) was found to be 2 ng/mL. The mean recovery was determined to be 88.6% The proposed method was applied for pharmacokinetic study of 12.5 mg TIA in a healthy volunteer. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.