Tapentadol is a centrally-acting synthetic analgesic. It is 18 times less potent than morphine in terms of binding to human mu-opioid receptors. It also increases norepinephrine concentrations in the brains of rats via inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake. Selective mu-opioid antagonists like naloxone can block analgesia from tapentadol. It also has not effect on the QT interval.
Tapendadol causes large increases in levels of extracellular norepinephrine (NE) due to a dual mechanism of action involving mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonism as well as noradrenaline reuptake inhibition.
Dosage & Administration
As with many centrally-acting analgesic medications, the dosing regimen should be individualized according to the severity of pain being treated, the previous experience with similar drugs and the ability to monitor the patient.
The dose is 50 mg, 75 mg, or 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours depending upon pain intensity. On the first day of dosing, the second dose may be administered as soon as one hour after the first dose, if adequate pain relief is not attained with the first dose. Subsequent dosing is 50 mg, 75 mg, or 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours and should be adjusted to maintain adequate analgesia with acceptable tolerability.
Daily doses greater than 700 mg on the first day of therapy and 600 mg on subsequent days have not been studied and are not recommended.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. This preparation should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Neonates whose mothers have been taking Tapentadol should be monitored for respiratory depression.