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A healthcare provider may recommend using Nucynta ER for the long-term treatment of pain in adults. This prescription opioid medicine is used when a strong, around-the-clock pain medication is needed. It works by binding to certain opioid receptors in the body and by affecting certain chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
What Is Nucynta ER Used For?
Nucynta® ER (tapentadol ER) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following types of pain:
- Moderate-to-severe chronic pain
- Nerve pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
It is appropriate only for the treatment of pain that requires continuous, around-the-clock treatment. It is a strong, long-acting narcotic painkiller that should not be used to treat mild or short-term pain.
Nucynta ER is meant to be used around-the-clock at scheduled times twice a day. It is not approved for "as-needed" use (unscheduled use only when needed). This drug is not appropriate for treating pain after a surgery, unless you were already taking Nucynta ER before the surgery or if your pain is expected to be moderate to severe and long-lasting.
The short-acting version (Nucynta®) is a more appropriate option for acute (short-term) pain, such as surgical pain, dental pain (after a painful procedure), sports injury pain, or various other types of acute pain.
In general, most people who take Nucynta ER switch from other narcotic pain medications. Often, people need to take short-acting "rescue" painkillers in addition to Nucynta ER for "breakthrough" pain. Importantly, short-acting Nucynta or any medication that contains tramadol (such as Rybix™ ODT, Ryzolt®, Ultram®, Ultram® ER, or Ultracet®) should not be used in combination with Nucynta ER. A different type of medication that does not contain tapentadol or tramadol should be used for breakthrough pain.