Cancer Home > Nucynta ER Uses
How Does It Work?Nucynta ER is classified as a "centrally acting opioid analgesic." This means that it works in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), acts much like morphine in the body, and relieves pain. And like morphine, Nucynta ER binds to certain opioid receptors in the body known as μ ("mu") receptors.
This drug also works in a similar manner as some antidepressant medications, by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release norepinephrine. The norepinephrine enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough norepinephrine reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any norepinephrine that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake." By inhibiting reuptake of norepinephrine, Nucynta ER essentially increases its activity.