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Tapentadol (Nucynta) For Fibromyalgia- Is It An Effective Treatment Option?

Tapentadol (Nucynta) For Fibromyalgia- Is It An Effective Treatment Option?


The use of Tapentadol for fibromyalgia is a second line of treatment of this opioid analgesic. The Extended-release tablet of Tapentadol can be taken twice daily with a dosage gap of 12 hours to improve the pain associated with the condition. 



Tapentadol is a novel centrally-acting analgesic approved by the FDA for treating acute and chronic pain. Studies of the analgesic demonstrate its dual mechanism of action, which contributes to the efficacy of the pain medication, which has further translated into the care of patients with Fibromyalgia.

This study evaluates the potency of Tapentadol for fibromyalgia along with indicating its effectiveness and dosing guidelines. 


An Overview Of The Condition Fibromyalgia 

It is a condition that is characterized by musculoskeletal body pain accompanied by memory and mood issues, sleep, and fatigue. Studies show that fibromyalgia amplifies the sensation of body pain by affecting the way our brain and spinal cord process pain signals. 

The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) states that Fibromyalgia affects approximately 4 million adults in the USA yearly [1]. It can affect people of both genders; however, it is more predominant in women. According to the National Institutes of Health, 80 to 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women [9]. 

Some of the key symptoms of Fibromyalgia are listed below. 




Widespread Pain-

The pain from Fibromyalgia is persistent and may last several months. Such discomfort can be felt on both the side of your body and above and below your wrist. 


Sensitivity To Touch-

Suffering from Fibromyalgia can make patients sensitive to touch. According to Dr. Brancato, patients can experience immense pain just from people brushing against them in a crowded room [2]. 

Sleep Issues-

People with Fibromyalgia often struggle with falling asleep. Dr. Moris states that most patients stay awake all night and feel tired the following morning [2].  


Even if patients with Fibromyalgia sleep well, they wake up feeling weary. The condition causes immense pain all through the night, thus disturbing the sleep cycle of such patients. Dr. Brancato reveals that most people feel awful in the morning and find it challenging to go through their basic chores [2].  


Though it is less frequent, patients with Fibromyalgia may experience headaches. This condition may also result in stiffness in the neck, thus exaggerating the severity of pain.

According to Dr. Brancato, stress and tension-type headaches often are associated with fibromyalgia. These headaches can also be induced with regular sounds and music. 

Jaw and facial pain-

Fibromyalgia may be associated with pain in the jaw and face muscles. Such pain can result from factors as common as talking, chewing, or yawning. A study hypothesizes the intense facial pain of Fibromyalgia is correlated with low sleep quality in people [3]. 


Tapentadol (Nucynta Or Aspadol) For Fibromyalgia

The effect of Tapentadol ER for Fibromyalgia (FM) is associated with its ability to alter the baseline opioidergic activity (an agent that modulates the opioid neuropeptide in the body) in patients. The extended-release (ER) formula of Tapentadol releases the active compound or the drug gradually in a controlled manner for a longer period following administration. 

The trade names of Tapentadol include Aspadol, Nucynta, and Palexia, along with a few others that treat severe pain symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. The extended-release formula of Tapentadol is also approved for neuropathic pain


How Does Tapentadol ER Help In Managing Signs Of Fibromyalgia? 

The pain mechanism of Fibromyalgia is complex; however, it does not affect the analgesic function of most opioids. 

The mechanism of action of Tapentadol ER is to prevent pain stimulation from the body from the brain receptors. With a half-life of about 4 hours, the analgesic's effect lasts 12 hours after intake. 

It also makes Tapentadol brand medication a more effective analgesic choice in the market. The pre-clinical data demonstrate its application across a broad spectrum of pain. It is important to note that generic Tapentadol is not available in the market and is retailed only under its brand name. Thus, one can get Aspadol for Fibromyalgia because of its quicker onset of action and longer duration of action. The medication dosage can be increased gradually based on the severity of the pain.


Clinical Evidence Of Tapentadol Usage In Fibromyalgia

A study evaluates the ability of Tapentadol to enhance the inhibition of chronic pain with fibromyalgia. It shows that Tapentadol, compared to placebo, significantly reduces the severity of pain associated with Fibromyalgia, as shown in the graph below. 




Several other studies contradict these findings. A study indicates that even though using Nucynta for Fibromyalgia reduces the severity of pain over time, opioid users showed lower improvement with insomnia, daily living, and depression. The comprehensive report of the study offers little support for the long-term use of opioid analgesics in patients [6]. 


Tapentadol ER Dosage Guidelines 

Tapentadol 100 mg is the recommended standard dosage of the medication. The extended-release (ER) formula of the medication lasts for 12 hours and thus should be taken twice daily. 

Taking Tapentadol dosage before sleep will ensure a pain-free night, thus helping people sleep well and wake up energetic and fresh. 


When To See A Doctor For Fibromyalgia?

The condition of Fibromyalgia should not be ignored, as the intense pain caused by it can affect the quality of your life. It is advised to seek immediate medical help if you experience fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and sleep issues due to Modafinil. 


Benefits Of Nucynta For Fibromyalgia Associated With Migraine

Studies report that about 18 to 35.6 percent of FM patients suffer from migraines [7]. 

According to a report published in the Journal of Headache Pain, symptoms of depression are more common in people with Fibromyalgia [8]. 

The use of Tapentadol for migraines can offer users limited benefits. According to the website Health VIC, opioids such as Tapentadol are an emergency treatment option for migraine, thus effectively treating fibromyalgia-associated headaches. Even though they are classified as an emergency treatment for headaches, the use of opioids for migraine is not often prescribed due to the risk of developing dependency [4]. 

Using Nucynta for Fibromyalgia helps manage the signs of severe pain within 30 minutes of administration. 


User Review On The Use Of Tapentadol For Fibromyalgia 

User reviews on the benefits of Tapentadol for migraine on the website “Stuff that Works” show that 67 percent of the patients experienced positive results from the analgesic. 

On the WebMD website, a user named Dusty says that Tapentadol is the only medication that helps in managing her chronic pain associated with diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia. 




Such positive responses were also reported on the website drugs, where a user (Cel) with fibromyalgia taking Tapentadol 100 mg four times a day found it to be very effective. He further draws attention to the fact that Tapenatdol works in people who lack a gene called cyp-2d6 that is necessary to process any pain medication in the body, as its activity is independent of the activity of this gene. This makes Tapentadol a much better and more effective pain medication compared to the other analgesics available on the market. 

On the same website, another user named Kinks with fibromyalgia resulting from chemotherapy states Tapentadol is a much better treatment option compared to oxycodone in managing severe pain. 


Limitation Of Use Of Tapentadol For Fibromyalgia

The use of Tapentadol for Fibromyalgia is limited in women who are pregnant, lactating, or taking hormonal birth control pills. The website “Drugs” lists the use of Tapentadol to cause respiratory depression in newborns if taken during birth. Thus, the use of analgesics during labor is not advisable. 

In addition, the administration of the analgesic is restricted to people who are:

  • Suffering from kidney, liver, and heart disorders 

  • Taking other medications and treatments

  • Below the age of 17 years and above 65 years.

  • Alcoholic [10]. 


The First Line Of Treatment For Fibromyalgia

Apart from using Tapentadol for fibromyalgia, given below are the alternative pharmacological and non-pharmacological options. 

Non-pharmacological Approaches

Most medical management of Fibromyalgia is often partially successful; thus, physicians often prescribe an amalgamation of therapies to improve the chances of success. 

Exercises and psychoeducational approaches show high efficacy among non-pharmacological therapies. These can be done alongside administering Tapentadol for better results.  

Growing evidence suggests that self-management training skills work best in supportive groups. The other treatment that one may go for is the cognitive behavioral approach. 

Pharmacological Approaches

Apart from the use of Nucynta for fibromyalgia, the other frequently prescribed medicines for this condition are:

- Antidepressants

A low dose of amitriptyline is the first line of medicine for treating sleep issues and pain in fibromyalgia. However, weight gain and development of tolerance limit the use of amitriptyline. The other antidepressants that are often prescribed for Fibromyalgia are Duloxetine and Milnacipran. 

- Muscle relaxants

Fibromyalgia is a skeletomuscular pain, thus making muscle relaxers an excellent treatment option. Some effective muscle relaxers that show promising results in people are the Soma pill, Flexeril, and Zanaflex. Beginners can buy Soma 350mg online from Healthnaturo to effectively manage the signs of fibromyalgia. 

- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

  • Citalopram (Celexa) 

  • Escitalopram (Lexapro) 

  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) 

  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox) 

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac) 


Our Final Verdict On The Use Of Tapentadol For Fibromyalgia 

The use of Tapentadol for Fibromyalgia is not the first line of treatment, even though clinical evidence shows promising results from the analgesic. Tapentadol's dependency and abuse risk limit its use in people.

Tapentadol is not available as a generic tablet and is retailed under its brand names, such as Palexia, Aspadol, and Nucynta. When taken with other therapeutic approaches, Tapentadol shows better results in patients with fibromyalgia. However, the intake of Tapentadol with other medicines should be done under the supervision of a medical professional.


Opioid medications are often used to treat fibromyalgia, but they may not benefit everyone with this condition. Opioid drugs show better results when taken with other therapeutic approaches.

Clinical studies report improvement in the pain inhibition response and relief from pain within a few minutes of intake. Using Nucynta for Fibromyalgia is advisable but not be taken for a long time without consulting a doctor.

Fibromyalgia cannot be permanently cured. Using medications, exercise, relaxation techniques, and meditation can effectively improve the signs of the condition. Pain medications such as the Soma pill and Tapentadol can be an excellent option for people with joint pain.

The FDA approves tapentadol for treating both acute and chronic pain in users. Its fast-acting formulation helps it to show positive results in users within 30 minutes of intake. It can effectively help manage the signs of bone-on-bone knee pain from fibromyalgia.


  1. Fibromyalgia, CDC. 

  2. Fibromyalgia Symptoms: 10 Clues You Might Be Ignoring, creakyjoints. 

  3. Sleep quality and facial pain in fibromyalgia syndrome, pubmed. 

  4. Opioids for migraine treatment: use with extreme caution, health.vic.gov. 

  5. Cornea nerve fibre state determines analgesic response to tapentadol in fibromyalgia patients without effective endogenous pain modulation, Wiley Online Library. 

  6. Long-term Evaluation of Opioid Treatment in Fibromyalgia, The clinical journal of pain. 

  7. Fibromyalgia in migraine: a retrospective cohort study, NCBI. 

  8. What You Need to Know About Migraine and Fibromyalgia, everydayhealth. 

  9. How Does Fibromyalgia Affect Women Differently?, healthline. 

  10. Tapentadol hydrochloride: A novel analgesic, NCBI.