Lower Rates of Abuse With Nucynta ER vs Other ER Opioids

Nucynta extended-release (ER) may be associated with lower rates of abuse compared with other ER opioid medications.

The following article is part of conference coverage from the PAINWeek 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinical Pain Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in pain medicine. Check back for the latest news from PAINWeek 2018.

LAS VEGAS — Nucynta extended-release (ER) may be associated with lower rates of abuse compared with other ER opioid medications: both with and without an abuse-deterrent formulation label (ADF), according to a study presented during the 2018 PAINWeek conference, held September 4-8.

Nucynta ER is a tapentadol-based product, with a dual mechanism of action: as a µ-opioid receptor agonist and as an inhibitor of norepinephrine reuptake.

The study included data collected from the National Addictions Vigilance Intervention and Prevention Program Addiction Severity Index-Multimedia Version (ASI-MV) from January 2014 through December 2017. A clinical interview of participants was conducted in order to determine whether they had abused prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit substances in the previous 30 days. 

Each participant was provided a score indicating the severity of their addiction, with higher scores indicating more severe addiction. Estimates of abuse prevalence were determined yearly, and for the aggregate time periods for Nucynta ER, ADF and non-ADF ER opioid medications. The study included 205,189 participants from 776 substance abuse treatment centers in the United States.

Non-ADF ER opioid medications were found to have the highest abuse rate per 100 ASI-MV assessments (3.55; 95% CI, 3.47-3.63), followed by ADF ER opioids (2.61; 95% CI, 2.54-2.68), and Nucynta ER (0.02; 95% CI, 0.017-0.03). After adjusting for drug use (number of tablets dispensed), abuse of Nucynta ER was found to be lower compared with ADF ER opioids and non-ADF ER opioids (0.01, 0.06, and 0.05 cases, respectively per 100 assessments per 1,000,000 tablets).

“As suggested by previous publications, the lower abuse rate may be related to the dual mechanism of action unique to tapentadol as an active pharmaceutical ingredient,” noted the study authors.

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Beaumont J, Green JL, Govoni TD, Butler SF. Nucynta ER abuse profile: an evaluation of abuse and route of administration among individuals receiving substance abuse treatment. Presented at: PAINWeek 2018; September 4-8, 2018; Las Vegas, Nevada. Poster 40.

For more coverage of PAINWeek 2018, click here.