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.
 

Is Nucynta ER Safe for Use in Children?

Nucynta ER is approved only for use in adults age 18 and older, as it has not been adequately studied in younger age groups. Other medications are probably more appropriate for younger age groups. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits of using Nucynta ER in children, as well as any suitable alternatives.
 

Off-Label Uses for Nucynta ER

On occasion, a healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for something other than the treatment of chronic pain. This is known as an "off-label" use. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label uses for Nucynta ER.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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