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Logo of jpainresDove Medical PressThis ArticleSubscribeSubmit a ManuscriptSearchFollowDovepressJournal of Pain Research
J Pain Res. 2011; 4: 211–218.
Published online 2011 August 1. doi:  10.2147/JPR.S14842
PMCID: PMC3160834

Tapentadol extended-release for treatment of chronic pain: a review


Tapentadol is a centrally acting analgesic with a dual mechanism of action of mu receptor agonism and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. Tapentadol immediate-release is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain. It was developed to decrease the intolerability issue associated with opioids. Tapentadol extended-release has a 12-hour duration of effect, and has recently been evaluated for pain in patients with chronic osteoarthritis, low back pain, and pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Tapentadol extended-release was found to provide safe and highly effective analgesia for the treatment of chronic pain conditions, including moderate-to-severe chronic osteoarthritis pain and low back pain. Initial trials demonstrating efficacy in neuropathic pain suggest that tapentadol has comparable analgesic effectiveness and better gastrointestinal tolerability than opioid comparators, and demonstrates effectiveness in settings of inflammatory, somatic, and neuropathic pain. Gastrointestinal intolerance and central nervous system effects were the major adverse events noted. Tapentadol will need to be rigorously tested in chronic neuropathic pain, cancer-related pain, and cancer-related neuropathic pain.

Keywords: osteoarthritis, neuropathic pain, analgesic, opioids, norepinephrine

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