Tapentadol is a centrally acting synthetic analgesic. It is a µ-opioid receptor agonist and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor with low abuse potential. Janssen Pharmaceutica developed tapentadol. The drug was first launched in Europe under the brand name Nucynta in 2008 and was approved by the FDA in the United States in 2011. Tapentadol is indicated to treat moderate to severe acute pain in adults. The extended-release formulation is indicated for the management of chronic pain in adults. Tapentadol is available as both an immediate-release and extended-release formulation.
Uses of Tapentadol
Tapentadol is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It may be used to treat pain caused by surgery or an injury.
Tapentadol is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.
Tapentadol may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share this medication with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Indications for use of Tapentadol
Do not take tapentadol if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue injection, phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.
Do not take tapentadol if you are allergic to tapentadol, or if you have:
- Severe asthma or breathing problems;
- A blockage in your stomach or intestines;
- If you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
- You may not be able to take tapentadol, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
- FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
- Tapentadol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.
Side-effects of Tapentadol
The most common side effects of tapentadol include:
- nausea, vomiting, constipation
- dizziness, drowsiness
- dry mouth
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- Serious side effects may include
- Shallow breathing or slow heartbeat
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