Nucynta ER (Page 2 of 10)

2.3 Titration and Maintenance of Therapy

Individually titrate NUCYNTA ER to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving NUCYNTA ER to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration. During chronic therapy, periodically reassess the continued need for opioid analgesics.

Patients who experience breakthrough pain may require a dosage adjustment of NUCYNTA ER, or may need rescue medication with an appropriate dose of an immediate-release analgesic. If the level of pain increases after dose stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the NUCYNTA ER dosage. Titrate patients to adequate analgesia with dose increases of 50 mg no more than twice daily every three days. In clinical studies, efficacy with NUCYNTA ER was demonstrated relative to placebo in the dosage range of 100 mg to 250 mg twice daily [see Clinical Studies (14)].

If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.

2.4 Dosage Modification in Patients with Hepatic Impairment

The use of NUCYNTA ER in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Score 10-15) is not recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)].

In patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Score 7 to 9), initiate treatment using 50 mg NUCYNTA ER, administer no more frequently than once every 24 hours, and monitor closely for respiratory and central nervous system depression, particularly during initiation and titration of NUCYNTA ER. The maximum recommended dose for patients with moderate hepatic impairment is 100 mg of NUCYNTA ER per day. Monitor closely for respiratory and central nervous system depression [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

No dosage adjustment is recommended in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Score 5 to 6) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15), Use in Specific Populations (8.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.5 Discontinuation of NUCYNTA ER

When a patient no longer requires therapy with NUCYNTA ER tablets, taper the dose gradually, by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days, while monitoring carefully for signs and symptoms of withdrawal. If the patient develops these signs or symptoms, raise the dose to the previous level and taper more slowly, either by increasing the interval between decreases, decreasing the amount of change in dose, or both. Do not abruptly discontinue NUCYNTA ER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].


NUCYNTA ER 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg and 250 mg extended-release tablets are available in the following colors and prints:

  • 50 mg extended-release tablets are white oblong-shaped with a black print “OMJ 50” on one side
  • 100 mg extended-release tablets are light-blue oblong-shaped with a black print “OMJ 100” on one side
  • 150 mg extended-release tablets are blue-green oblong-shaped with a black print “OMJ 150” on one side
  • 200 mg extended-release tablets are blue oblong-shaped with a depression in the middle running lengthwise on each side and a black print “OMJ 200” on one side
  • 250 mg extended-release tablets are dark blue oblong-shaped with a depression in the middle running lengthwise on each side and a white print “OMJ 250” on one side.


NUCYNTA ER is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Significant respiratory depression
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercarbia in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment
  • Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus
  • Hypersensitivity (e.g. anaphylaxis, angioedema) to tapentadol or to any other ingredients of the product [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
  • Concurrent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or use of MAOIs within the last 14 days [see Drug Interactions (7)].


5.1 Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

NUCYNTA ER contains tapentadol, a Schedule II controlled substance. As an opioid, NUCYNTA ER exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Because extended-release products such as NUCYNTA ER deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of tapentadol present [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9)].

Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed NUCYNTA ER. Addiction can occur at recommended doses and if the drug is misused or abused.

Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing NUCYNTA ER, and monitor all patients receiving NUCYNTA ER for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the prescribing of NUCYNTA ER for the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as NUCYNTA ER, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of NUCYNTA ER along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse.

Abuse or misuse of NUCYNTA ER by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of tapentadol and can result in overdose and death [see Overdosage (10)].

Opioid are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing NUCYNTA ER. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug [see Patient Counseling Information (17)]. Contact the local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.

5.2 Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

‚Äč To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for these products. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to do all of the following:

  • Complete a REMS-compliant education program offered by an accredited provider of continuing education (CE) or another education program that includes all the elements of the FDA Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain.
  • Discuss the safe use, serious risks, and proper storage and disposal of opioid analgesics with patients and/or their caregivers every time these medicines are prescribed. The Patient Counseling Guide (PCG) can be obtained at this link:
  • Emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide that they will receive from their pharmacist every time an opioid analgesic is dispensed to them.
  • Consider using other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety, such as patient-prescriber agreements that reinforce patient-prescriber responsibilities.

To obtain further information on the opioid analgesic REMS and for a list of accredited REMS CME/CE, call 1-800-503-0784, or log on to The FDA Blueprint can be found at

5.3 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of opioids, even when used as recommended. Respiratory depression, if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death. Management of respiratory depression may include close observation, supportive measures, and use of opioid antagonists, depending on the patient’s clinical status [see Overdosage (10)]. Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) retention from opioid-induced respiratory depression can exacerbate the sedating effects of opioids.

While serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of NUCYNTA ER, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dosage increase. Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy with and following dosage increases of NUCYNTA ER.

To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of NUCYNTA ER are essential [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. Overestimating the NUCYNTA ER dosage when converting patients from another opioid product can result in fatal overdose with the first dose.

Accidental ingestion of even one dose of NUCYNTA ER, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of tapentadol.

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