Uses of Tapentadol
- The standard Tapentadol is prescribed for the short-term relief of moderate to severe pain, including pain caused by nerve damage from diabetes, injury, or operation.
- The prolonged-release tablet is used to relieve long-term moderate to severe pain like osteoarthritis, nerve pain, lower back pain, and pain due to cancer.
How does it work?
Tapentadol can help manage pain when other forms of medicines or treatment cannot provide enough relief. It’s a central-acting opioid analgesic of the benzenoid family of drugs. It acts on the central nervous system to lessen pain. As an opioid, it helps alleviate discomfort by mimicking endorphins’ action, the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals.
Tapentadol has a dual mode of action. It’s a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and an agonist of the μ-opioid receptor. It works by binding to a particular area in the brain and spinal cord (opioid receptors). It also blocks norepinephrine, but it only has a weaker effect on serotonin reuptake, unlike Tramadol. These actions block the transmission of the pain signal send by the nerves to the brain. The way you will feel pain and how you react to pain decreases.
How much Tapentadol to take?
The amount of Tapentadol you take and the length of treatment depend on the medicine’s strength and your medical problem.
Tapentadol tablet works quickly, and the effect wears off after a few hours. The usual dose for a healthy adult is one tablet of 50mg every four to six hours. If you are taking a Tapentadol tablet, your doctor may instruct you to take a second dose 1 hour after your first dose on the first day of treatment. Your doctor may increase your dose to a maximum of 500 mg in 24 hours if you still have pain.
For the Extended-release tablet, take one tablet once every 12 hours. Do not exceed more than 500mg per day. The peak of action for the extended-release is 3 to 6 hours. Don’t take a higher dose than what is prescribed to you by your doctor for longer than the required length of treatment.
Tips for taking Tapentadol safely and effectively
- Tapentadol is a schedule 2 controlled drug. It has the potential to be abused when used recreationally. Habit-forming may happen when used for a long-time or even at a regular dose. So, take it exactly as you are told. It’s doubtful that you’ll develop habit formation when you take it to relieve pain.
- Do not use this with alcoholic beverages as fatal side effects can occur.
- Do not use this with other drugs that can cause drowsiness or slow down your breathing.
- Do not use this in treating pain that you have once in a while or “as needed”.
- If you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor in the past 14 days, avoid this drug as potentially harmful interactions can occur.
- If you have severe breathing problems or a bowel obstruction known as paralytic ileus, you should not use this medicine.
- The use of Tapentadol during pregnancy may cause a life-threatening withdrawal symptom once the baby is born. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before taking this drug.
Who can and can’t take Tapentadol?
Tapentadol is not recommended for people with:
- Shallow breathing or respiratory depression
- Reduced level of consciousness or who are in a coma
- under the influence of alcohol, a medication affects the mood and emotion, or sleeping pills.
- Severe asthma or acute asthma attack
- Inactivity in the intestines causing a blockage in the gut or severe constipation
A lower dose or extra monitoring is needed for those who have:
- A disease of the bile ducts such as gallstone
- A history of fits or seizure-like epilepsy
- Kidney or liver problems
- Underactive thyroid gland
- Myasthenia gravis
- Brain tumor
- Head injury
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- An enlarged prostate gland
- Adrenal gland problems
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- A history of alcohol or drug dependence