Nucynta

Last updated on RxList: 3/24/2021
Nucynta Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Nucynta?

Nucynta (tapentadol) immediate release oral tablets is an opioid analgesic (pain reliever) indicated for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain in patients 18 years of age or older.

What Are Side Effects of Nucynta?

Side effects of Nucynta include:

Dosage for Nucynta

Nucynta may be dosed at 50 mg, 75 mg, or 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours depending upon pain intensity.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Nucynta?

Nucynta may interact with cold or allergy medicines, sedatives, narcotic pain medicines, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicines for seizures, depression or anxiety. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Nucynta During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment with Nucynta. It is unknown if Nucynta is harmful to a fetus. Nucynta may cause breathing problems and addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Nucynta can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Breastfeed while taking Nucynta is not recommended. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Nucynta.

Additional Information

Our Nucynta Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

QUESTION

Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer
Nucynta Consumer Information

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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 give naloxone and/or 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:

  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • agitation, feeling hot;
  • severe drowsiness or dizziness, confusion, problems with speech or balance;
  • a seizure;
  • serotonin syndrome--agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, diarrhea; or
  • low cortisol levels-- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.

Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and in those who are debilitated or have wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • headache, feeling tired; or
  • drowsiness, 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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Nucynta (Tapentadol Immediate-Release Oral Tablets)

SLIDESHOW

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Nucynta Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions are discussed, or described in greater detail in other sections:

  • Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Interactions with CNS Benzodiazepine or Other Depressants [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Serotonin Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Adrenal Insufficiency [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Severe Hypotension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Seizures [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Withdrawal [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Based on data from nine Phase 2/3 studies that administered multiple doses (seven placebo- and/or active-controlled, one noncontrolled and one Phase 3 active-controlled safety study) the most common adverse reactions (reported by ≥10% in any NUCYNTA dose group) were: nausea, dizziness, vomiting and somnolence.

The most common reasons for discontinuation due to adverse reactions in the studies described above (reported by ≥1% in any NUCYNTA dose group) were dizziness (2.6% vs. 0.5%), nausea (2.3% vs. 0.6%), vomiting (1.4% vs. 0.2%), somnolence (1.3% vs. 0.2%) and headache (0.9% vs. 0.2%) for NUCYNTA- and placebo-treated patients, respectively. Seventy-six percent of NUCYNTA-treated patients from the nine studies experienced adverse events.

NUCYNTA was studied in multiple-dose, active-or placebo-controlled studies, or noncontrolled studies (n = 2178), in single-dose studies (n = 870), in open-label study extension (n = 483) and in Phase 1 studies (n = 597). Of these, 2034 patients were treated with doses of 50 mg to 100 mg of NUCYNTA dosed every 4 to 6 hours.

The data described below reflect exposure to NUCYNTA in 3161 patients, including 449 exposed for 45 days. NUCYNTA was studied primarily in placebo- and active-controlled studies (n = 2266, and n = 2944, respectively). The population was 18 to 85 years old (mean age 46 years), 68% were female, 75% white and 67% were postoperative. Most patients received NUCYNTA doses of 50 mg, 75 mg, or 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours.

Table 1 Adverse Reactions Reported by ≥1% of NUCYNTA-Treated Patients In Seven Phase 2/3 Placebo- and/or Oxycodone-Controlled, One Non-controlled, and One Phase 3 Oxycodone- Controlled Safety, Multiple-Dose Clinical Studies

System/Organ Class
MedDRA Preferred Term
NUCYNTA
21 mg – 120 mg
(n = 2178)
%
Placebo
(n = 619)
%
Gastrointestinal disorders
  Nausea 30 13
  Vomiting 18 4
  Constipation 8 3
  Dry mouth 4 <1
  Dyspepsia 2 <1
General disorders and administration site conditions
  Fatigue 3 <1
  Feeling hot 1 <1
Infections and infestations
  Nasopharyngitis 1 <1
  Upper respiratory tract infection 1 <1
  Urinary tract infection 1 <1
Metabolism and nutrition
  Decreased appetite 2 0
Nervous system disorders
  Dizziness 24 8
  Somnolence 15 3
  Tremor 1 <1
  Lethargy 1 <1
Psychiatric disorders
  Insomnia 2 <1
  Confusional state 1 0
  Abnormal dreams 1 <1
  Anxiety 1 <1
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
  Pruritus 5 1
  Hyperhidrosis 3 <1
  Pruritus generalized 3 <1
  Rash 1 <1
Vascular disorders
  Hot flush 1 <1

The following adverse drug reactions occurred in less than 1% of NUCYNTA-treated patients in the pooled safety data from nine Phase 2/3 clinical studies:

Cardiac disorders: heart rate increased, heart rate decreased Eye disorders: visual disturbance

Gastrointestinal disorders: abdominal discomfort, impaired gastric emptying General disorders and administration site conditions: irritability, edema, drug withdrawal syndrome, feeling drunk

Immune system disorders: hypersensitivity

Investigations: gamma-glutamyltransferase increased, alanine aminotransferase increased, aspartate aminotransferase increased

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: involuntary muscle contractions, sensation of heaviness

Nervous system disorders: hypoesthesia, paresthesia, disturbance in attention, sedation, dysarthria, depressed level of consciousness, memory impairment, ataxia, presyncope, syncope, coordination abnormal, seizure Psychiatric disorders: euphoric mood, disorientation, restlessness, agitation, nervousness, thinking abnormal

Renal and urinary disorders: urinary hesitation, pollakiuria

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: oxygen saturation decreased, cough, dyspnea, respiratory depression

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: urticarial

Vascular disorders: blood pressure decreased

In the pooled safety data, the overall incidence of adverse reactions increased with increased dose of NUCYNTA, as did the percentage of patients with adverse reactions of nausea, dizziness, vomiting, somnolence, and pruritus.

Post-Marketing Experience

The following additional adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of tapentadol. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea

Nervous system disorders: headache

Psychiatric disorders: hallucination, suicidal ideation, panic attack

Cardiac disorders: palpitations

Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.

Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.

Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in NUCYNTA oral solution.

Androgen deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Table 2 includes clinically significant drug interactions with NUCYNTA oral solution.

Table 2: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with NUCYNTA oral solution

Benzodiazepines and other Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
Clinical Impact: Due to additive pharmacologic effect, the concomitant use of benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants including alcohol, increases the risk of respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death.
Intervention: Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients closely for signs of respiratory depression and sedation. If concomitant use is warranted, consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Examples: Benzodiazepines and other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol.
Serotonergic Drugs
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of opioids with other drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system has resulted in serotonin syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Intervention: If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue NUCYNTA oral solution if serotonin syndrome is suspected.
Examples: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), certain muscle relaxants (i.e., cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone), monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Clinical Impact: MAOI interactions with opioids may manifest as serotonin syndrome or opioid toxicity (e.g., respiratory depression, coma) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Intervention: Do not use NUCYNTA oral solution in patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment. If urgent use of an opioid is necessary, use test doses and frequent titration of small doses of other opioids (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, or buprenorphine) to treat pain while closely monitoring blood pressure and signs and symptoms of CNS and respiratory depression.
Examples: phenelzine, tranylcypromine, linezolid
Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics
Clinical Impact: May reduce the analgesic effect of NUCYNTA oral solution and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
Intervention: Avoid concomitant use.
Examples: butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, buprenorphine
Muscle Relaxants
Clinical Impact: Tapentadol may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression.
Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of NUCYNTA oral solution and/or the muscle relaxant as necessary. Due to the risk of respiratory depression with concomitant use of skeletal muscle relaxants and opioids, consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Examples: cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone
Diuretics
Clinical Impact: Opioids can reduce the efficacy of diuretics by inducing the release of antidiuretic hormone.
Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of diminished diuresis and/or effects on blood pressure and increase the dosage of the diuretic as needed.
Anticholinergic Drugs
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of anticholinergic drugs may increase risk of urinary retention and/or severe constipation, which may lead to paralytic ileus.
Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of urinary retention or reduced gastric motility when NUCYNTA oral solution is used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs.
Alcohol, Other Opioids, and Drugs of Abuse
Clinical Impact: Due to its mu-opioid agonist activity, NUCYNTA oral solution may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression, respiratory depression, hypotension, and profound sedation, coma or death [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Intervention: Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products containing alcohol, other opioids, or drugs of abuse while on NUCYNTA oral solution therapy.
Examples: Alcohol, other opioids, illicit drugs

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Controlled Substance

NUCYNTA oral solution contains tapentadol, a Schedule II controlled substance.

Abuse

NUCYNTA oral solution contains tapentadol, a substance with a high potential for abuse similar to other opioids including fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. NUCYNTA can be abused and is subject to misuse, addiction, and criminal diversion [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, because use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.

All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, since use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional non-therapeutic use of a prescription drug, even once, for its rewarding psychological or physiological effects.

Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and includes: a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal.

“Drug seeking” behavior is very common in persons with substance use disorders. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing or referral, repeated “loss” of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions, and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating health care provider (s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers to obtain additional prescriptions) is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control.

Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Health care providers should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction.

NUCYNTA oral solution like other opioids, can be diverted for non-medical use into illicit channels of distribution. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests, as required by law, is strongly advised.

Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.

Risks Specific to Abuse of NUCYNTA

NUCYNTA oral solution is for oral use only. Abuse of NUCYNTA oral solution poses a risk of overdose and death. The risk is increased with concurrent abuse of NUCYNTA oral solution with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants.

Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Dependence

Both tolerance and physical dependence can develop during chronic opioid therapy. Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs, and may develop at different rates for different effects.

Physical dependence is a physiological state in which the body adapts to the drug after a period of regular exposure, resulting in withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dosage reduction of a drug. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity ( e.g., naloxone, nalmefene), or mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (e.g., pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine) or partial agonists (e.g., buprenorphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage.

Do not abruptly discontinue NUCYNTA Oral Solution in a patient physically dependent on opioids. Rapid tapering of NUCYNTA Oral Solution in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse.

When discontinuing NUCYNTA Oral Solution, gradually taper the dosage using a patient-specific plan that considers the following: the dose of NUCYNTA Oral Solution the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. To improve the likelihood of a successful taper and minimize withdrawal symptoms, it is important that the opioid tapering schedule is agreed upon by the patient. In patients taking opioids for a long duration at high doses, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal symptoms [see Use In Specific Populations].

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Nucynta (Tapentadol Immediate-Release Oral Tablets)

© Nucynta Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Nucynta Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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