Nucynta Addiction

Nucynta Addiction

Nucynta is the brand name for an opioid SNRI known as Tapentadol. Nucynta provides pain relief that is comparable to other more well-known opioid analgesics such as hydrocodone and oxycodone but has more tolerable side effects. The way Nucynta works has been compared to tramadol and oxycodone but its potency is said to be somewhere between morphine and tramadol in effectiveness.

Nucynta is a brand new opioid analgesic to hit the market. Nucynta or Tapentadol, was approved by the United States FDA for the treatment of moderate to acute pain, and in 2011, the extended release formula of the drug known as Nucynta ER, was approved by the US FDA for the treatment of specific types of moderate to severe chronic pain. Because Nucynta not only helps to combat pain but also helps with norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, Nucynta has the possibility of helping with many off-label uses including chronic pain and certain mood disorders. The mixture of an opiate and a serotonin-norepinephrine (SNRI) reuptake inhibitor is meant to make the opiate more effective.

So if Nucynta is an opiate is it addictive?

Yes. Nucynta has many adverse effects including an addiction potential. Many of the side effects of Nucynta are similar to those of oxycodone and morphine. Nucynta has been shown to cause less nausea and dizziness than morphine though. Nucynta can impair physical and mental abilities and with regular use can result in dependence which can lead to a Nucynta addiction. Someone who has a Nucynta addiction will experience Nucynta withdrawal symptoms just as they would if they had any other kind of opiate addiction.

Nucynta addiction

Nucynta can be abuse either by crushing, chewing, snorting or injecting it. Using Nucynta in this way can easily lead to an overdose and potentially death. Nucynta addiction overdose is not very common but it can happen. Nucynta can suppress breathing and this can cause overdose and death. Nucynta overdose is more likely to happen if it is taken with other drug such as alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to increase the effects of Nucynta making it much more dangerous. Signs of a Nucynta overdose can include hypotension, coma, respiratory depression, and somnolence.

Someone who has a past history of addiction is at a much higher risk of abusing Nucynta and is at a higher risk of using Nucynta with other drugs and alcohol; and is therefore also at a much higher risk of developing a Nucynta addiction.

Nucynta addiction looks just like an addiction to any other opiate. Many Nucynta addicts will use the same methods to get the drug that they would use to get morphine or oxycodone. Nucynta addiction can cause a person to doctor shop, medication seek, and buy the drug on the street. The potential this drug has for a Nucynta addiction is part of the reason it is classified as a Schedule II narcotic with oxycodone and morphine.

Once a Nucynta addiction has formed in order for the individual to get off the drug they have to go through the withdrawal process. Withdrawal symptoms due to a Nucynta addiction can be realy unpleasant and just as with any other opiate withdrawal it is recommended that a Nucynta addict seek professional medical help.

Nucynta addiction withdrawal symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations

Treatment for a Nucynta addiction usually begins with detox where the individual will be given suboxone or will slowly taper off the medication. Luckily for anyone with a Nucynta addiction treatment is available and no one has to be stuck in it.

Pharmacotherapies for Opiate Addiction

Pharmacotherapies for Opiate Addiction

Pharmacotherapies for Opiate Addiction

A few months ago, Hazelden, one of the country’s most well-known 12-step based treatment centers, made headlines when it announced that it would be using long term anti-addiction medications for some of its opiate addicted clients. This represented a sharp change in philosophy for Hazelden. The treatment center had been founded on the idea that abstinence is the cornerstone of recover. Hazelden’s recovery approach has its roots in the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. But for the first time, Hazelden will begin offering maintenance pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction (addiction to heroin or opioid painkillers). Hazelden’s shift in philosophy is mainly due to the high percentage of relapse they have observed in their opiate addicted clients.

Pharmacotherapies for Opiate Addiction: Maintenance and Detox

There are basically two types of pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction: Detox and Maintenance. Detox pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction are used in almost every medical detox facility or treatment center that offers detox. These are opiate based medications that are used until clients are weaned off the opiates. They are administered in a decreasing manner, with less and less of the drug given each day of the detox.

Maintenance pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction are somewhat more controversial. This is long-term administration of opiate medications to prevent relapse. The medications basically curb cravings and block other short-term opiates-like heroin and most painkillers-from binding to opiate receptors. So if a person tries to use their drug of choice while on maintenance pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction, they will not get the “high.” Critics claim that this is simply trading one addiction for another. However, studies indicate that administering maintenance pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction can reduce overdose fatalities by more than 50%. They also reduce the spread of disease and crime in areas where opiate addiction is common.

Pharmacotherapies for Opiate Addiction: Methadone and Buprenorphine

The two most common pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction are methadone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine was not originally developed to treat opioid dependency. It was initially indicated for the short-term treatment of opioid withdrawal. However, much like methadone, it wasn’t long before buprenorphine began to be used as a daily, long-term treatment for opioid dependency. The use of buprenorphine to treat morphine dependency resulted in part from a paradigm shift in the medical community. In 2000, Congress passed a law allowing physicians to prescribe narcotics to treat opioid which allowed access to opiate treatment in a medical setting rather than limiting it to federally approved Opioid Treatment Programs.

Although buprenorphine has mainly replaced methadone in private practice, federal opioid dependency programs still used methadone. It works similarly to buprenorphine in that it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. These drugs have the added benefit of preventing the user from attaining the “high” from heroin and other prescription opioids, because they bind more strongly and for a longer period of time, effectively blocking the receptors from binding to any other drug.  However, methadone is a full agonist at the opioid receptors, whereas buprenorphine is a partial agonist, so there is less chance of overdose with buprenorphine.