Tapentadol Extra-Medical Use Study
Professor Louisa Degenhardt
Dr Amy Peacock
Dr Briony Larance
Professor Michael Farrell
Dr Rose Cairns, NSW Poisons Information Centre, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW, Australia; School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
Professor Nicholas Buckley, NSW Poisons Information Centre, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW, Australia; School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
Tapentadol is a centrally acting opioid analgesic with dual mechanisms of action, specifically µ-opioid receptor agonist and noradrenaline reuptake inhibition. This dual action is thought to result in a lower dose required to produce a given level of analgesia. Clinical trials suggest that tapentadol provides equivalent or superior levels of pain relief for acute and chronic pain similar to oxycodone and morphine, with greater gastro-intestinal tolerability in terms of reduced rates of nausea, vomiting, and constipation. The immediate release form of tapentadol is registered in Australia for moderate to severe pain, while the sustained release form is registered for severe pain which requires constant opioid treatment and for which no other opioid other treatments are adequate. Although a sustained-release formulation of tapentadol was released in Australia in 2011, and listed for subsidy on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in November 2013, no research into rates of dispensing, extra-medical use, and associated harms of the tapentadol sustained-release formulation has been undertaken in Australia.
For full details of this project please visit the NDARC website.