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Understanding Tapentadol Side Effects And Its Management

Understanding Tapentadol Side Effects And Its Management


The common side effects of Tapentadol are constipation, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, and dizziness. 



Tapentadol side effects are a major concern often taken into consideration when prescribing this opioid pain medication. However, unlike the other opioid medications available in the market, Tapentadol is known to be well-tolerated with a much better safety profile. 

This blog takes a look into some of the common and rare yet serious side effects of Tapentadol to help you avoid and manage them effectively. 


Tapentadol- An Overview 

Tapentadol is an opioid pain medication that can manage both acute and chronic pain. It was invented at the Grünenthal pharmaceutical in the late 1980s. Tapentadol is not available in generic forms. The common Tapentadol brand names include Aspadol, Nucynta, and Palexia medication. Thus, patients are prescribed to get Aspadol or Nucynta tablets in the USA for effective pain management. 

The use of Tapentadol includes managing body pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, muscle pain, and headaches. It is available in Immediate Release(IR) and Extended Release(ER) formulations.

Tapentadol has a 30-minute onset of action with 4 to 6 hours of effectiveness for its IR formulation and 12 hours for its ER tablets. 

The working mechanism of Tapentadol tablets shows it can deliver analgesia by two distinct mechanisms in a single molecule, a feature that differentiates it from other analgesics. 


Common Side Effects Of Tapentadol 

The common Tapentadol side effects, as listed by the FDA, are mentioned below [1]. 




  • Cardiac disorders- Increase or decrease in heart rate. 

  • Gastrointestinal disorders- Trouble in gastric emptying, constipation, and abdominal discomfort. 

  • Nervous System Disorder- Disturbance in attention, hypoesthesia, sedation, coordination abnormality, ataxia, and memory impairment. 

  • Psychiatric issues- Nervousness, restlessness, euphoric mood,  agitation, and disorientation. 

  • Immune system disorders-  Hypersensitivity.

  • Respiratory Conditions- Respiratory depression, cough, and dyspnea.

  • General Health risks- Withdrawal syndrome, fatigue, irritability, feeling drunk, and edema. 


Less Common Side Effects 

  • Fever

  • Loss Of Voice

  • Painful Urination

  • Lower Back Or Side Pain

  • Chills

  • Bladder Pain

  • Muscle Aches

  • Bloody Or Cloudy Urine.


Rare Side And Serious Side Effects Of Tapentadol 

Anxiety, seizures, slurred speech, sensation of heaviness, trouble swallowing, shakiness, chest tightness, being forgetful, swelling of the face, lips, and tongue, joint pain, pale or blue lips, fingernails, and skin. 

Even though these adverse effects rarely occur, if they do, it is advisable to consult a physician immediately [2]. 


Notable Side Effects Of Tapentadol ER Tablets 

The side effects of Tapentadol IR tablets and ER tablets are similar. Still, here is a rundown of the possible notable side effects of Tapentadol ER tablets that one should be aware of before taking the medication. 

  • CNS Depression- Shallow breathing, fainting, trouble staying awake, shortness of breath, confusion, and dizziness. 

  • Allergic reactions- itching, hives, rash. 

  • Low blood pressure causes lightheadedness and blurry vision. 

  • Similar to its IR formulation, it can also cause nausea, headache, and constipation [3]. 


Long-Term Side Effects Of Tapentadol

The long-term use of Tapentadol causes-

  • Risk of Overdosing 

  • Withdrawal symptoms 

Symptoms Of Tapentadol Overdose

  • Clammy Skin

  • Increased Sweating

  • Lightheadedness

  • Loss Of Consciousness

  • Swelling In The Legs And Ankles

  • Unusual Drowsiness

  • Decreased Awareness

  • Coughing. 

Tapentadol Withdrawal Symptoms

The common withdrawal symptoms of Tapentadol include-

  • Anxiety

  • Hallucinations

  • Upper Respiratory Symptoms

  • Rigors

  • Diarrhea

  • Sweating

  • Insomnia

  • Piloerection

  • Tremors [4].


Incidence Not Known

  • Overactive Reflexes

  • Changes In Behavior

  • Darkening Of The Skin

  • Increased Sensitivity To Pain

  • Loss Of Appetite

  • Suicidal Thoughts 

  • Twitching


Managing Tapentadol Side Effects 

Some of the potential ways to manage and lower the risk of side effects associated with Tapentadol are listed below. 

Adopt Tapering-Off Method- 

To avoid withdrawal symptoms, follow a taping-off method. Follow the prescribed Tapentadol dosage, then gradually decrease the dosage of the medication, allowing the body to adjust. 

Speak To your Doctor-

People with kidney and liver disorders should consult a doctor before taking Tapentadol medication. As such, people have a higher risk of experiencing side effects. 

Follow Preventive Measures-

  • Avoid the administration of other medication with Tapentadol to avoid drug interaction. 

  • Pregnant and lactating women must avoid its use without consulting a doctor. 

Additional Key Point- 

To effectively avoid its side effects, it is essential to stay away from counterfeit medicines. Tapentadol pill identification is especially advisable when purchased online. Currently, numerous pharmacies retail counterfeit medications online. 

It is also essential to be aware of the formulation of Tapentadol, which includes inactive substances such as Microcrystalline Cellulose,  Croscarmellose Sodium,  Povidone K30,  Lactose Monohydrate, and  Magnesium Stearate. 


Our Final Thoughts On Side Effects Of Tapentadol

Tapentadol is a well-tolerated medication that helps in managing both acute and chronic body pain. The way our body metabolizes a medication, along with other factors such as overdosing, long-term use, and improper administration, can be a major cause of experiencing side effects. 

The common side effects of Tapentadol, along with brand drugs, include fatigue, constipation, dizziness, nausea, headache, and vomiting. The other adverse effects of Tapentadol associated with overdosing include Lightheadedness, Clammy Skin, Coughing, and Decreased Awareness, to name a few. 



Palexia, the brand name of Tapentadol, has common side effects such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting, and constipation.

Tapentadol is a well-tolerated pain medication and is considered safe to use when taken in the right dosage.

Yes, the use of Tapentadol can affect your heart. It can cause serotonin syndrome, resulting in serious cardiac arrhythmia.

The use of Tapentadol tablets can affect the kidney and slow down the elimination process when taken by patients with renal impairments.

People with kidney, liver, and heart disorders should not take Tapentadol medication.

Yes, the use of Tapentadol can raise blood pressure.

It is not recommended to take two Tapentadol dosages at the same time, as it can increase the risk of overdosing.

The duration of Tapentadol side effects can vary depending on the dosage, frequency of use, metabolism, and overall health of the individual. Generally, a standard dosage of Tapentadol 100mg side effects, such as nausea, headache, or dizziness, may subside within a few days or weeks as the body adjusts to the medication.

Long-term side effects of Palexia(Tapentadol) can cause weight loss and loss of appetite.

A spontaneously reported common psychiatric disorder associated with Tapentadol is hallucination. Get help from a healthcare professional if you experience hallucinations or delirium.


  1. Nucynta (Tapentadol Hydrochloride) tablets label, FDA. 

  2. Tapentadol (Oral Route), Mayoclinic. 

  3. Tapentadol Extended-Release Tablets, Clevelandclinic. 

  4. Tapentadol Withdrawal and Detox, therecoveryvillage.