Tapentadol is a prescription narcotic (opioid analgesic) recommended for treating moderate to severe short-term pain. Tapentadol was approved for pain relief by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008.
The effect that painkiller-like Tapentadol produces on the brain alters how pain is perceived. This euphoric feeling can make the patient develop an uncontrollable obsession for opioids, even when the patient is perfectly following the doctor’s dosage and treatment plan.
Before taking Tapentadol for pain, it is important to understand the potential side effects, long-term effects, and the risk for developing the psychological disease of addiction.
As mentioned, Tapentadol is a prescription strength opioid analgesic used for short-term pain relief, although it comes in an extended-release tablet. It works in a way that is similar to other narcotics, in that it increases the pain threshold by inhibiting pain signals from binding to pain receptors in the nervous system. Tapentadol has a lower risk of adverse side effects when compared to other opioid analgesics, like morphine and oxycodone, although it still has a high risk for psychological addiction.
Tapentadol immediate-release tablets are initially prescribed at 50 mg every 4 to 6 hours if pain persists, though a doctor may increase the dosage. It is important to follow directions when taking Tapentadol to reduce the risk of substance misuse and addiction.
Tapentadol may cause side effects, including:
Severe side effects caused by Tapentadol are rare. If any of the following adverse effects occur, notify a doctor as soon as possible:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Intense muscle aches
- Trouble breathing
- Painful urination
- Rash or itching
- Shaking of the hands
Developing a physical dependence then raises the patient’s tolerance levels for Tapentadol, which often leads to substance misuse, and eventually substance use disorder. A person may become dependent on Tapentadol without being addicted. An opioid dependence occurs when someone feels they need the drug in order to deal with their pain; many times this leads to increasing their dosage without the approval of their doctor, thereby building up their tolerance.
If someone becomes addicted to Tapentadol, they will experience powerful cravings for it and take it regularly even they are not experiencing pain. A person might start to only show interest in opioid usage, ignoring other important aspects of life like family, work, and hobbies.
The long-term effects of Tapentadol addiction can sever ties between family and friends, and create potentially dangerous health problems. If someone is struggling with a substance use disorder, they should not attempt to detox alone. The rate of recurring use is high for people who detox without medical supervision.
Tapentadol misuse can cause many problems in a person’s life; even those who care for someone struggling with addiction can be affected by it. Reaching out to loved ones can give you the strength to work towards a substance-free life.
At The Recovery Village, we offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that provide medications for withdrawal and therapy sessions to find out how and why substance misuse began, as well as counseling to prevent future recurrence of use.
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.