Studies have shown that levels of free serotonin in plasma are increased in symptomatic patients with asthma. In addition, the concentration of free serotonin in symptomatic patients with asthma correlates positively with clinical status and negatively with pulmonary function. Thus, reducing the concentration of free serotonin in plasma might be useful in treating patients with asthma. We studied the effectiveness of tianeptine in treating patients with asthma. Tianeptine is the only drug known to be able to reduce levels of free serotonin in plasma and to enhance uptake by platelets. In this study, 69 children with asthma were assigned in randomized fashion to receive tianeptine and/or placebo in a double-blind crossover trial that lasted 52 weeks. Tianeptine provoked a dramatic and sudden decrease in both clinical rating and free serotonin plasma levels and an increase in pulmonary function.