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Tapentadol is a prescription drug used to treat moderate-to-severe short-term pain. It comes in tablet form and is taken every four to six hours. Because the narcotic medication is considered a controlled substance, there are special rules for prescribing and obtaining it. Most people tolerate it well, but side effects are possible; common ones include dizziness, vomiting, and nausea.

What Is Tapentadol?

Tapentadol (Nucynta™) is an opiate pain reliever. It is the first new molecule for pain relief to be developed within the past 25 years. This medication is approved to treat moderate-to-severe short-term pain in adults.
Tapentadol is a narcotic and is considered a "controlled substance" in the United States.
(Click What Is Tapentadol Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, tapentadol can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. Some people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
Common side effects seen with tapentadol include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness.
(Click Side Effects of Tapentadol to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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