Tapentadol Extended Release (Nucynta ER®)

St. Joseph's Health Care London Pain Management Program

This handout explains Tapentadol, which is an Extended Release medication used to relieve moderate to severe pain in adults.  Tapentadol is an atypical opioid medication because it has a unique mechanism of action:  Tapentadol binds with certain opioid receptors to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This action is similar to that of opioid medications such as morphine. Tapentadol also works by increasing the brain levels of a chemical messenger called norepinephrine. This feature is similar to that of some antidepressant medications used to treat pain.

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