Tapentadol is an opioid pain medication and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release form of this medicine (Nucynta ER) is for around-the-clock treatment of pain that is not controlled by other medicines. Nucynta ER is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain. Tapentadol may also be used for purposes not listed in this site.
Take tapentadol exactly as prescribed. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Tapentadol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Tapentadol can be taken with or without food. Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking tapentadol extended-release tablets. Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose. Tapentadol can cause constipation. Talk to your doctor before using a laxative or stool softener to treat or prevent this side effect. While using this medicine, you may need frequent blood tests. Do not stop using tapentadol suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine. Never crush or break a tapentadol pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Tapentadol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription. After you have stopped using this medication, flush any unused pills down the toilet. Disposal of medicines by flushing is recommended to reduce the danger of accidental overdose causing death. This advice applies to a very small number of medicines only.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to tapentadol:
- difficult breathing;
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Like other narcotic medicines, tapentadol can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. Call your doctor at once if you have:
- weak or shallow breathing, weak pulse, slow heartbeat;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- seizure (convulsions);
- severe drowsiness or dizziness, confusion, problems with speech or balance;
- infertility, missed menstrual periods;
- impotence, sexual problems, loss of interest in sex;
- or low cortisol levels – nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Tapentadol is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated. Common tapentadol side effects may include:
- constipation, mild nausea, stomach pain;
- headache, tired feeling;
- or mild drowsiness or dizziness.
- This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Do not use tapentadol if you have used a MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.
You should not use this medicine if you have severe breathing problems, or a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.
Tapentadol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed.
Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.
Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
Tapentadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never share the medicine with another person.
MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Tapentadol may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother has taken this medicine during pregnancy.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur when alcohol is combined with tapentadol.
Since tapentadol is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. If you do miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose. Do not take more than your prescribed dose in a 24-hour period.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.