Nucynta Mixing It and Alcohol

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Nucynta is a prescription medication that’s given to patients to alleviate moderate to severe pain from traumatic injury. Nucynta should not be mixed with alcohol due to the potential for liver complications and the increased risk for severe respiratory depression. In addition to alcohol, there is a long list of potentially interactive substances that should also be avoided.

Nucynta should not be taken in conjunction with other central nervous system depressants. These include anxiolytics, general anesthetics, muscle relaxants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotics, and other opioids. The compounded pharmacological effects of these substances can lead to profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death.

Serotonergic drugs are also off-limits when taking Nucynta due to the risk of toxic serotonin overload known as serotonin syndrome. Serotonergic drugs that should be avoided include selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics, triptans, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, and any other drugs that affect the serotonin neurotransmitter system. These include trazodone, mirtazapine, and tramadol.

Nucynta Mixing It and Alcohol
Nucynta is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that’s prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain from traumatic injury. Nucynta is the brand name of the generic drug tapentadol. It’s also often recommended to treat chronic pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. Nucynta is approximately as potent as oxycodone but with significantly fewer side effects.

Nucynta achieves its pain-relieving effects by binding to specific opioid receptors. Nucynta behaves similarly to tramadol. While tramadol inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin, Nucynta inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. By inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine, Nucynta increases its activity in the brain.

Nucynta is an alternative pain medication for individuals who are intolerant to other, more common opioids. Substances like morphine need to be heavily metabolized by the liver before the patient can begin to experience any reduction in pain. Certain individuals lack the enzymes necessary to convert common opioids into the metabolites that would then alleviate pain. For these individuals, Nucynta is a possible alternative.

Nucynta is a “pro-drug,” meaning that it can begin to produce therapeutic effects before being metabolized by the liver. Pain relief typically begins 30 minutes following the time of oral ingestion and lasts for approximately three to four hours.

Ingesting alcohol with Nucynta can lead to severe complications. The alcohol may be consumed not only as a liquid, but as part of another medication. This is why it is important to check product labels while you are being treated with Nucynta.

The primary risk factor of the combined use of Nucynta and alcohol is severe respiratory depression. Both Nucynta and alcohol are central nervous system depressants. Nucynta acts on the brainstem to depress the autonomic urge to breathe. In the event of an overdose of Nucynta and alcohol, the lungs remain unaware that toxic carbon dioxide levels have been reached in the blood. If left untreated, the end results may be irreversible paralysis, brain damage, coma, and death.

Nucynta should not be mixed with other central nervous system depressants or serotonergic drugs such as those prescribed to treat depression. Doing so can lead to an overload of the liver, extended drug clearance times, and toxicity due to elevated blood plasma concentrations.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol misuse, The Recovery Village is available to answer any questions you may have. Visit us online at or call our toll-free hotline 24/7 at 855-548-9825 to learn more about the road to recovery. The road to recovery isn’t always easy, but the team at The Recovery Village promises to be with you every step of the way.

Nucynta Mixing It and Alcohol
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