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Tapentadol Addiction And Withdrawal: Understanding Risks And Recovery

Tapentadol Addiction And Withdrawal: Understanding Risks And Recovery


Tapentadol is a Schedule II opioid analgesic that carries significant risks of addiction and withdrawal. 

Signs of Tapentadol dependency are common in those with improper dosage, a history of substance abuse, co-administration with other drugs, or recreational misuse.



Tapentadol is an FDA-approved opioid analgesic prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. Its dual mechanism of action makes it effective for various pain types, including neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. 

However, along with its analgesic properties, Tapentadol carries potential risks, particularly addiction and withdrawal. It is crucial to understand these risks to ensure safe and responsible use of this medication. 

This comprehensive guide evaluates the risks of Tapentadol addiction, withdrawal, and overdose and recovery strategies for these concerns. Understanding these aspects is essential for individuals using Tapentadol to make informed decisions.


Understanding Tapentadol Addiction

Tapentadol has two distinct mechanisms that prevent pain signals from reaching the brain’s receptors, thus managing moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. 

Even when used as directed for medical purposes, the long-term use of opioid pain relievers may lead to addiction. 

According to the FDA, Tapentadol may have a high risk of abuse, like other opioids such as hydrocodone. However, a comparative Nucynta vs. Oxycodone study indicates that Tapentadol's abuse risk is much lower than Oxycodone due to its noradrenaline reuptake inhibition activity. 

Several factors contribute to the misuse and addiction of the analgesic, which is explained in the following section.


Causes Of Tapentadol Addiction- The Science Behind It

Factors that contribute to the development of Tapentadol addiction consist of physiological, psychological, and environmental factors.


Physiological Aspect- How Does Tapentadol Cause Addiction?

The science or clinical reasoning behind Tapentadol addiction or Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is mentioned below. 

  • It moves from the digestive tract following an oral administration to the opioid receptors present in the brain.

  • After binding to the brain receptor, it triggers a series of chemical reactions, including the secretion of dopamine, which helps people feel calm and relaxed. 

  • It causes relaxation and euphoria in people with no or mild body pain. Thus, people keep taking Tapentadol to maintain the analgesic's sedative effect. 

  • Long-term use of Tapentadol in high dosages can make the brain cells accustomed to the medication, causing drug addiction. 

Psychological Factors

  • Lower Prices- It is a much more affordable choice of opioid analgesic, thus increasing the risk of misuse.

  • Misuse For Recreational Purposes- The euphoric and sedative effect of Tapentadol is one of the key factors that contribute to its recreational use. 

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)- According to the CDC, 61% of adults across the 25 states of the US have experienced at least one or more types of ACE. Such conditions increase substance use disorder along with increasing chronic health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease [1]. 

  • Genetics- Studies also suggest that the genetic makeup of a person is responsible for 40 to 60% of the possibility of substance use disorder (SUD).  

  • Mental Health Conditions- Studies suggest that there is a strong connection between mental health conditions and addiction. It is observed that half of the people who experience mental health issues also have a substance use disorder [2].  

The increased risk of developing substance use disorder involving Tapentadol in individuals with a history of substance abuse is influenced by both psychological and physiological factors.

Environmental Factors

Easy access to Tapentadol, social environment, and peer influence also contribute to addiction development [8].


Signs And Symptoms Of Tapentadol Addiction

Identifying the symptoms of addiction are vital and plays a crucial role in getting the right medical help at the right time. 

Some of the common signs of Tapentadol addiction and misuse include-

  • Frequent drug refills. 

  • Taking a higher dosage than the recommended one. 

  • Depression signs 

  • Taking dosage closer together. 

  • Defending their actions. 

  • Poor performance at school and work. 

  • Strained relations with friends and family.

Hallucinations Due To Tapentadol Addiction

Hallucinations are sensory experiences that appear real but are not present in reality. It results in hearing, feeling, and seeing things that do not exist [3]. 

A study published in Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety Journal in 2018 evaluated the adverse effects of Tapentadol in Australia [4]. The common psychiatric disorders reported in the study for Tapentadol include delirium, hallucination, and confusion. 

It further suggests that hallucination is among the four most common adverse effects of Tapentadol, as identified by the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA).


Tapentadol Overdose

Tapentadol addiction leads to frequent or larger dosage intake of the medication. This increases the risk of overdosing.




The symptoms of Tapentadol overdose may vary among people. Some of the common health risks of overdosing include-

  • Slower heart rate

  • Blurry vision

  • Muscle weakness

  • Clammy skin

  • Sweating

  • Drowsiness

  • Confusion

  • Slow breathing [6].

If a person on Tapentadol exhibits extreme weakness and difficulty breathing, dial 911 immediately.


Tapentadol Withdrawal

Sudden discontinuation of Tapentadol following long-term use or dependency may result in withdrawal. It can also impact physical, social life, and cognitive health. 

Withdrawal Symptoms And Timeline

Some common Tapentadol Withdrawal Symptoms, are- 

  • Sweating

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Pain

  • Shivering

  • Hallucinations

  • Tremors, a neurological condition of shaking

  • Piloerection or goosebumps

  • Upper respiratory symptoms like cough, runny nose, etc.

  • Diarrhea 

These symptoms generally last for a few days but few individuals might experience for a longer period. The table below shows the Tapentadol withdrawal timeline and symptoms in more detail-



Withdrawal Symptoms

Within 24-72 hours

  • Early withdrawal symptoms may appear within the first 2 days of discontinuing the analgesic. 

  • These symptoms include irritability, muscle aches, restlessness, and insomnia. 

Around Days 3-5

  • The Peak Withdrawal Symptoms are observed within 3 to 5 days of discontinuing the analgesic. 

  • During this period, the severity of the side effects intensifies. 

  • Often causes gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. It may also result in cravings. 


Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

Seeking medical supervision during Tapentadol withdrawal is crucial for the safety and effective management of symptoms. In most cases, physicians prescribe the Tapentadol tapering method, which involves gradually decreasing the dosage before completely stopping it. 

Healthcare providers may also recommend detoxification and prescribe medications to alleviate specific withdrawal symptoms.


Recovery Journey From Tapentadol Addiction 

Some of the proven addiction treatment options are listed below. 


It is normally the first step in the treatment that helps in clearing the substance from the body and further helps in limiting the withdrawal reaction. 

Rehabilitation programs- 

These offer long-term treatment options that provide a 24-hour care program and all necessary medical assistance throughout the day. 

Relapse Strategies-

People recovering from various addictions often are seen to encounter relapse. 

Some of the important triggering factors are-

  • Boredom

  • Money problems

  • Falling into old habits

  • Certain sights and smells.

  • Stress

  • Anger

  • Relationship issues

So, here are a few effective ways to help people prevent Tapentadol addiction relapse. 

- The Importance Of Aftercare: 

It includes creating a plan to stay sober. It is often done by making housing arrangements, constant monitoring by a health professional, and joining counseling sessions. 

- The Role Of Therapy And Counseling: 

Relapse prevention counseling or therapy includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It assists in recognizing, managing, and preventing high-risk situations that may lead to relapse. It also aids individuals in acquiring coping strategies and methods for identifying their triggers.



Author's Note- Promoting Responsible Medication Practices

Our key reason for retailing medication online without a prescription is to enhance accessibility and convenience for people with busy schedules. However, we do not promote or advise patients to take prescription drugs without consulting a doctor.

We at HealthNaturo also display transparency by providing accurate information on all products, including their potential health risks and proper dosage guidelines. We under no circumstance promote buying any prescription drug online for abuse.



Clinical studies show it takes about 6 months of continuous use of Tapentadol to develop addiction and dependence.

Tapentadol abuse can increase the risk of overdosing, which may further cause numerous other health issues.

Yes, the use of Tapentadol produces a significant amount of cortical dopamine and plays a vital role in reward and movement regulation.

Yes, the use of Tapentadol for a long time can cause dependence.

Yes, Tapentadol is an opioid medication that is classified as a narcotic analgesic.


  1. Addiction Risk Factors in Young People, shatterproof. 

  2. Addiction, clevelandclinic. 

  3. Hallucinations: Definition, Causes, Treatment & Types, citations, Cleveland Clinic. 

  4. Spontaneously reported adverse drug events related to tapentadol and oxycodone/naloxone in Australia, NCBI. 

  5. Tapentadol and Alcohol/Food Interactions, Drugs. 

  6. Tapentadol Overdose, therecoveryvillage. 

  7. Tapentadol Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects, therecoveryvillage.

  8. Family Process and Peer Influences on Substance Use by Adolescents, NCBI.