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Nucynta ER

Nucynta ER is a type of opiate narcotic medicine prescribed for continuous, around-the-clock pain relief. It is considered a controlled substance, which means there are strict laws regarding its sale and use. This prescription medicine also has a high potential for both physical and psychological dependence and abuse. Side effects may include dizziness, constipation, and nausea.

What Is Nucynta ER?

Nucynta® ER (tapentadol ER) is an opiate pain reliever. It is a long-acting medication approved for use when continuous, around-the-clock pain control is needed for an extended period.
It is approved to treat the following two types of pain:
  • Moderate-to-severe chronic pain
  • Nerve pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.


Nucynta ER contains tapentadol, the first new molecule for pain relief to be developed within the past 25 years.

This drug is a narcotic and is a controlled substance in the United States.
(Click Nucynta ER Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medicine?

Nucynta ER is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Nucynta ER 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.
Nucynta ER 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.
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Nucynta ER Drug Information

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