How Long Does Nucynta (Tapentadol) Last?

Our pharmacist answers the latest question regarding how long the pain reliever Nucynta (Tapentadol) last?

How Long Does Nucynta (Tapentadol) Last?
Oct 06, 2017

Mychalea asked

How long does the drug Nucynta (Tapentadol) last?


NucyntaNucynta (Tapentadol) is a pain medication that is relatively new to the market. It was initially approved by the FDA in 2008 as an immediate release formulation and an extended release version was approved in 2011.

Nucynta (Tapentadol) works by a somewhat novel mechanism of action. It is an 'opioid' receptor agonist (similar to oxycodone and hydrocodone) but also works by increasing​​​ norepinephrine. This increase in norepinephrine is thought to be the mechanism behind Nucynta's benefits for neuropathic pain.

Nucynta (Tapentadol) is available as an immediate release tablet as well as an extended release tablet. Immediate release Nucynta (Tapentadol) typically lasts about 4 to 6 hours per dose and has a half life of approximately 4 hours in the body. The drug reaches maximum concentration in the body about 1.25 hours after taking a dose. When given with food, studies show that Nucynta (Tapentadol) may reach a slightly higher concentration in the body (~ 16% higher) and may last longer as well. Nucynta is typically dosed every 4 to 6 hours. 

Extended Release Nucynta Tablets, as the name would suggest, lasts longer than the immediate release counterpart. Nucynta ER typically lasts about 12 hours per dose and maximum concentrations are reached about 3 to 6 hours after dosing. Similar to the immediate release tablets, taking Nucynta ER with food may increase the amount of drug absorbed as well as how long it lasts. Nucynta ER is typically dosed twice daily.

How Long Does Nucynta Lasts: 4-6 Hours (Immediate Release), 12 Hours (Extended Release)

Half Life: 4-5 Hours

Typical Dosing: Every 4-6 Hours (Immediate Release), Every 12 Hours (Extended Release)

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