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Nucynta ER

Generic Name: tapentadol (ta PEN ta dol)
Brand Name: Nucynta, Nucynta ER

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 12, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Nucynta ER?

Nucynta ER is an opioid medication used to treat moderate to severe pain.

The extended-release form of Nucynta ER (Nucynta ER) is for around-the-clock treatment of pain that is not controlled by other medicines. This form of tapentadol is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

Nucynta ER may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

MISUSE OF OPIOID MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Taking opioid medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use opioid medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Nucynta ER, or if you have:

  • severe asthma or breathing problems; or

  • a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines).

Do not use Nucynta ER if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;

  • drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;

  • urination problems;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.

If you use opioid medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks.

You should not breast-feed while using Nucynta ER.

Do not give Nucynta ER to a child.

How should I take Nucynta ER?

Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use Nucynta ER in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to take more of this medicine.

Never share opioid medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away opioid medicine is against the law.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Nucynta ER can be taken with or without food.

Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking Nucynta ER extended-release tablets.

Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.

Nucynta ER can cause constipation. Talk to your doctor before using a laxative or stool softener to treat or prevent this side effect.

Do not stop using Nucynta ER suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Never crush or break a Nucynta ER pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of tapentadol and similar prescription drugs.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Nucynta ER is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed 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.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A Nucynta ER overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking Nucynta ER?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Nucynta ER will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Nucynta ER side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; chest pain, fast heartbeats, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

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;

  • agitation, feeling hot;

  • 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.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Common 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. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Nucynta ER?

Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Nucynta ER, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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