By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

14 June 2022
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
Table of Contents

Tapentadol (Nucynta) is an opioid analgesic of the benzenoid class prescribed to treat short-term musculoskeletal pain. It is a moderately potent opioid, so abuse, addiction, and misuse is risky. This drug is listed as schedule II under the controlled substance act by FDA. Consult your doctor before taking this medication, It is not available over the counter as the prescription is necessary For buying tapentadol from your local drugstore or through an online pharmacy.

This drug is available in 50, 75, and 100 mg as an immediate, extended-release tablet. Only immediate-release tablets are used for acute (or short-term) pain, whereas extended-release tablets are used for chronic (or long-term) pain and nerve pain from diabetes. (Hartrick, C.T. and Rozek, R.J., 2011)

How Does Tapentadol Works?

Tapentadol is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Tapentadol is a prescription medicine used to treat severe pain. It also works on moderate levels of trouble. It is a strong painkiller that works in two ways.

It binds to some tiny regions (opioid receptors) in your brain and spinal cord and regulates the level of a chemical called noradrenaline in your brain. These actions lead to a decrease in the way you feel pain and your reaction to pain.(Vadivelu, N., Kai, A., Maslin, B., Kodumudi, G., Legler, A. and Berger, J.M., 2015)

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This drug stays in the body for almost 24 hrs. of a day. Some parts of the drug can find it in urine up to 90 days from the last dosage. so, it is always recommended to understand safety and warning before purchasing and consuming this medicine 

contact your doctor if-

  • Sleep apnea
  • Breathing problems (breathing that blocks during sleep);
  • Seizures, brain tumors
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Urinatory Problem
  • Kidney disease
  • PGall bladder or thyroid problems

How long does Tapentadol stay in your system?

Various factors affect how long Tapentadol stays in the biological system. These include body mass, metabolic rate, age, activity, dosage, tolerance, and for how long you have taken Tapentadol.

However, its 100mg tablet stays in the system for longer in the central nervous and gastrointestinal tract. Usually, this drug shows its effect within 30 minutes of administration and remains within the system for around 22hrs.

The concerned doctor recommends an effective dose for treating pain. This drug's elimination occurs from the other routes apart from the kidney. Thus, this drug can be detected in different parts of the body. 

How long does Tapentadol stay in urine and hair?

The elimination of Tapentadol takes place within 24 hrs from different body routes. It can be identified in the urine for nearly 3-4 days. 

Also, this drug can be detected in hair for up to 90 days from the last administration of the Tapentadol dosage.

The drug's elimination half-life is nearly 3.93 hrs, which is the time taken to reduce its effectiveness value to its half after administration of the last dose.

How does Tapentadol affect the body and brain?

Tapentadol actively binds to the opioid receptor in the brain and makes changes within the body to interpret pain. It also blocks the norepinephrine transporter and reduces the level of serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain.

This causes an increase in epinephrine, norepinephrine, and adrenergic neurotransmission, which can affect physical, mental, and emotional health.

This drug shows its effect on the gastric tract and central nervous system. Thus, drinking plenty of water and other fluids while on this medication is advised. In case of any issue observed like weight loss, tiredness, confusion, or breathing difficulty, report the reaction to the concerned doctor.

 Is it safe to take Tapentadol during pregnancy? -

Tapentadol is a moderately potent opioid and should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider. The effect of Tapentadol is uncertain during pregnancy. Per its monograph, it could be risky for a woman to take this drug when conceiving.

The 100mg dose of this drug is rapid-acting and exerts effect for a more extended period. It is advised not to take this drug during or before labor. (Chang, E.J., Choi, E.J. and Kim, K.H., 2016.)


If someone has overdosed and has severe symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, give them naloxone if available, then call 911. Call a poison control center immediately if the person is awake and has no symptoms.

US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents can call a provincial poison control center. Overdose symptoms may include slow/shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, and coma.

Expert Advice on Tapentadol 

Tapentadol is a strong painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain when other treatments do not treat your pain well or you cannot tolerate it.
The addiction / habit-forming potential of Tapentadol is very high. Take the prescribed dose.
Be Careful and cautious while driving or doing anything that requires concentration, as Tapentadol can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
While taking this medication, avoid alcohol in all forms, including beer, wine, aftershave lotions, mouthwash, vinegar, sure desserts, colognes, and liquid medications.
Contact your medical expert if you have asthma, liver, kidney, or pancreatic disease, or are severely constipated.


When we talk about health and medicine, everyone wants the best and wants to get rid of all confusion regarding the drug. As discussed above, people are curious to know how long Tapantadol remains in the body and how it affects the brain and body.

Tapentadol is indeed a fast-acting medicine for the treatment of pain. Various factors affect a drug's metabolism, affecting how long it will stay in the biological system. These could be involved due to body mass, metabolic rate, age, tolerance, activity, dosage, tolerance, and how long you have taken.

Tapentadol. Its 100 mg drug form remains in the system for a more extended period. Tapentadol can be identified in the urine for nearly 3-4 days. Since it is a moderately potent opioid, it is advised to take this drug in a prescribed manner for greater efficacy.

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