Nucynta can be highly addictive and carries a risk of fatal overdose. It should not be taken along with other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, general anesthetics, tranquilizers, anxiolytics, muscle relaxants, non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotics, or other opioids.
Serotonergic drugs intended to treat depression should also be avoided. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclics. MAO inhibitors should be avoided due to the risk of serotonin overload and respiratory depression.
Nucynta has a unique pharmacology that sets it apart from most other opioids. Nucynta activates opioid receptors and inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. By inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine, it increases its activity in the brain. Nucynta is similar in this way to tramadol, the difference being that tramadol inhibits the reuptake of serotonin instead of norepinephrine.
Nucynta comes in the form of an oral solution. The patient can experience pain relief approximately 30 minutes following the time of administration. Nucynta has a duration of action of four to six hours. Nucynta is comparable in strength to oxycodone but has significantly fewer side effects.
Maximally constricted pupils are a trademark sign in nearly all opioid overdose cases. Pupils will refuse to dilate even to dramatic changes in light. In the later stages of overdose, oxygen deprivation will cause the pupils to fully dilate if left untreated.
Other signs of Nucynta overdose include cold and clammy skin, pulmonary edema, skeletal muscle flaccidity, hypotension, bradycardia (slow heart rate), atypical snoring, and partial or complete airway obstruction.
Multiple doses of naloxone may be necessary in cases of severe overdose. Intervals of two to three minutes should be allowed between doses. The patient will need to be closely monitored for the return of clinically significant respiratory depression due to naloxone’s relatively short duration of action. The use of naloxone can precipitate the onset of severe opioid withdrawals.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid misuse, The Recovery Village is available to answer any questions you may have.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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