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Nucynta ER

Generic name: tapentadol hydrochloride

What is Nucynta ER?

  • A strong prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid (narcotic) that is used to manage pain severe enough to require daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
  • Also used to manage pain from damaged nerves (neuropathic pain) that happens with diabetes and is severe enough to require daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
  • A long-acting (extended-release) opioid pain medicine that can put you at risk for overdose and death. Even if you take your dose correctly as prescribed you are at risk for opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse that can lead to death.
  • Not used to treat pain that is not around-the-clock pain.

What is the most important information I should know about Nucynta ER?

  • Get emergency help right away if you take too much Nucynta ER (overdose). When you first start taking Nucynta ER, when your dose is changed, or if you take too much (overdose), serious or life threatening breathing problems that can lead to death may occur.
  • Taking Nucynta ER with other opioid medicines, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants (including street drugs) can cause severe drowsiness, decreased awareness, breathing problems, coma, and death.
  • Never give anyone else your Nucynta ER. They could die from taking it. Selling or giving away Nucynta ER is against the law.
  • Store Nucynta ER securely, out of sight and reach of children, and in a location not accessible by others, including visitors to the home.

Who should not take Nucynta ER?

Do not take Nucynta ER if you have:

  • severe asthma, trouble breathing, or other lung problems.
  • a bowel blockage or have narrowing of the stomach or intestines.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Nucynta ER?

Before taking Nucynta ER, tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of:

  • head injury, seizures
  • problems urinating
  • liver, kidney, thyroid problems
  • pancreas or gallbladder problems
  • abuse of street or prescription drugs, alcohol addiction, or mental health problems.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are:

  • pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Prolonged use of Nucynta ER during pregnancy can cause withdrawal symptoms in your newborn baby that could be life-threatening if not recognized and treated.
  • breastfeeding. Not recommended during treatment with Nucynta ER. It may harm your baby.
  • taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Taking Nucynta ER with certain other medicines can cause serious side effects.

How should I take Nucynta ER?

When taking Nucynta ER:

  • Do not change your dose. Take Nucynta ER exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest time needed.
  • Take your prescribed dose every 12 hours, at the same time every day. Do not take more than your prescribed dose in 24 hours. If you miss a dose, take your next dose at your usual time.
  • Swallow Nucynta ER whole. Do not cut, break, chew, crush, dissolve, snort, or inject Nucynta ER because this may cause you to overdose and die.
  • Call your healthcare provider if the dose you are taking does not control your pain.
  • Do not stop taking Nucynta ER without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused Nucynta ER by promptly flushing down the toilet, if a drug take-back option is not readily available. Visit for additional information on disposal of unused medicines.

What should I avoid while taking Nucynta ER?

While taking Nucynta ER DO NOT:

  • Drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Nucynta ER affects you. Nucynta ER can make you sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded.
  • Drink alcohol, or use prescription or over-the-counter medicines containing alcohol. Using products containing alcohol during treatment with Nucynta ER may cause you to overdose and die.

What are the possible side effects of Nucynta ER?

The possible side effects of Nucynta ER are:

  • constipation, nausea, sleepiness, vomiting, tiredness, headache, dizziness, abdominal pain. Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms and they are severe.

Get emergency medical help if you have:

  • trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, chest pain, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, extreme drowsiness, light-headedness when changing positions, feeling faint, agitation, high body temperature, trouble walking, stiff muscles, mental changes such as confusion, hallucinations, coma, feeling overheated or heavy sweating.

These are not all the possible side effects of Nucynta ER. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Nucynta ER Images

What are the ingredients in Nucynta ER?

Active ingredients: tapentadol hydrochloride

Inactive ingredients: unspecified polyethylene glycol, unspecified hypromellose, alpha.-tocopherol, unspecified polyvinyl alcohol, titanium dioxide, talc, shellac, propylene glycol, ferrosoferric oxide.

Source: National Library of Medicine. Last updated October 10, 2019.