Tapentadol is a prescription medicine that’s used to alleviate debilitating short term pain. It may be prescribed as an alternative to Oxycodone and Tramadol for severe pain that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter painkillers like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.
How Tapentadol Works
Tapentadol is an opiate analgesic. It interacts with the body’s opioid receptors to offer significant relief from severe pain. Tapentadol has also been shown to affect the norepinephrine neurotransmitter, helping to regulate the body’s pain pathways.
Tapentadol is often prescribed to treat
- Acute pain associated with a specific cause that is expected to be short lived
- Diabetes-related neuropathic pain
- Osteoarthritic pain
- Cancer-related pain, particularly bone pain
- Chronic musculoskeletal pain
Tapentadol is usually available in two forms: immediate release tablets and sustained release tablets where the dose is released gradually in the body over time. Advised dosage will depend upon which type of Tapentadol tablets have been prescribed.
Immediate release tablets are often prescribed at a 50mg dose every 4-6 hours to a maximum of 600mg per day, but may be adjusted by a doctor as needed. Sustained release tablets may be prescribed at a 50mg dose every 12 hours. However, it is important to take Tapentadol exactly as prescribed by your doctor for your condition.
Do not adjust the dosage without speaking to your doctor. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. It is important not to take more than is prescribed.
Tapentadol can be taken with water, either with or without food. If taking the sustained release tablets, swallow the tablet immediately after putting it into your mouth, and do not chew or break the tablet. This can interfere with the sustained release mechanism.
Tapentadol Side Effects
Tapentadol is generally considered to be safe when taken as prescribed. However, as with many medications, some patients may experience mild side effects, including:
- Decreased appetite
- Chills or excessive sweating
- Stomach discomfort
- Muscle spasms
- Sleep disorders
Side effects are experienced by just over 1 in 10 patients taking Tapentadol.
It is important for patients to read the patient information leaflet in the packaging for a full list of possible side effects from taking Tapentadol. Always consult with the prescribing doctor if side effects persist. If experiencing difficulty breathing, call 999.
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