Tapentadol 50mg extended-release tablets

  1. Name of the medicinal product

Tapentadol 50mg extended-release tablets Taj Pharma
Tapentadol 100mg extended-release tablets Taj Pharma
Tapentadol 150mg extended-release tablets Taj Pharma
Tapentadol 200mg extended-release tablets Taj Pharma

  1. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Each extended-release tablet contains 50mg Tapentadol (as hydrochloride).

Each extended-release tablet contains 100mg Tapentadol (as hydrochloride).

Each extended-release tablet contains 150mg Tapentadol (as hydrochloride).

Each extended-release tablet contains 200mg Tapentadol (as hydrochloride).

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

  1. Pharmaceutical form

Extended-release tablet

  1. Clinical particulars

4.1 Therapeutic indications

Tapentadol  ER is indicated for the management of severe chronic pain in adults, which can be adequately managed only with opioid analgesics.

4.2 Posology and method of administration


The dosing regimen should be individualised according to the severity of pain being treated, the previous treatment experience and the ability to monitor the patient.

Tapentadol  ER should be taken twice daily, approximately every 12 hours.

Initiation of therapy

Initiation of therapy in patients currently not taking opioid analgesics

Patients should start treatment with single doses of 50mg Tapentadol as extended-release tablet administered twice daily.

Initiation of therapy in patients currently taking opioid analgesics

When switching from opioids to Tapentadol  ER and choosing the initial dose, the nature of the previous medicinal product, administration and the mean daily dose should be taken into account. This may require higher initial doses of Tapentadol  ER for patients currently taking opioids compared to those not having taken opioids before initiating therapy with Tapentadol  ER.

Titration and maintenance

After initiation of therapy the dose should be titrated individually to a level that provides adequate analgesia and minimises undesirable effects under the close supervision of the prescribing physician.

Experience from clinical trials has shown that a titration regimen in increments of 50mg Tapentadol as extended-release tablet twice daily every 3 days was appropriate to achieve adequate pain control in most of the patients.

Total daily doses of tapentadol  ER greater than 500mg Tapentadol have not yet been studied and are therefore not recommended.

Discontinuation of treatment

Withdrawal symptoms could occur after abrupt discontinuation of treatment with Tapentadol (see section 4.8)When a patient no longer requires therapy with Tapentadol, it is advisable to taper the dose gradually to prevent symptoms of withdrawal.

Renal Impairment

In patients with mild or moderate renal impairment a dosage adjustment is not required (see section 5.2).

Tapentadol  ER has not been studied in controlled efficacy trials in patients with severe renal impairment, therefore the use in this population is not recommended (see sections 4.4 and 5.2).

Hepatic Impairment

In patients with mild hepatic impairment a dosage adjustment is not required (see section 5.2).

Tapentadol  ER should be used with caution in patients with moderate hepatic impairment. Treatment in these patients should be initiated at the lowest available dose strength, i.e. 50mg Tapentadol as extended-release tablet, and not be administered more frequently than once every 24 hours. At initiation of therapy a daily dose greater than 50mg Tapentadol as extended-release tablet is not recommended. Further treatment should reflect maintenance of analgesia with acceptable tolerability (see sections 4.4 and 5.2).

Tapentadol  ER has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment and therefore, use in this population is not recommended (see sections 4.4 and 5.2).

Elderly patients (persons aged 65 years and over)

In general, a dose adaptation in elderly patients is not required. However, as elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal and hepatic function, care should be taken in dose selection as recommended (see sections 4.2 and 5.2).

Paediatric Patients

The safety and efficacy of tapentadol  ER in children and adolescents below 18 years of age has not yet been established. Therefore tapentadol  ER is not recommended for use in this population.

Method of administration

Tapentadol  ER has to be taken whole, not divided or chewed, to ensure that the extended-release mechanism is maintained. Tapentadol  ER should be taken with sufficient liquid. Tapentadol  ER can be taken with or without food.

The shell (matrix) of the Tapentadol tablet may not be digested completely and therefore it can be eliminated and seen in the patient’s stool. However, this finding has no clinical relevance, since the active substance of the tablet will have already been absorbed.

4.3 Contraindications

TAPENTADOL  ER is contraindicated

  • in patients with hypersensitivity to Tapentadol or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.
  • in situations where active substances with mu-opioid receptor agonist activity are contraindicated, i.e. patients with significant respiratory depression (in unmonitored settings or the absence of resuscitative equipment), and patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercapnia
  • in any patient who has or is suspected of having paralytic ileus
  • in patients with acute intoxication with alcohol, hypnotics, centrally acting analgesics, or psychotropic active substances (see section 4.5)

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Potential for Abuse and Addiction/ Dependence Syndrome

Tapentadol  ER has a potential for abuse and addiction. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing tapentadol  ER in situations where there is concern about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, addiction, or diversion.

All patients treated with active substances that have mu-opioid receptor agonist activity should be carefully monitored for signs of abuse and addiction.

Risk from concomitant use of sedating medicinal products such as benzodiazepines or related substances

Concomitant use of tapentadol  ER and sedating medicinal products such as benzodiazepines or related substances may result in sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death. Because of these risks, concomitant prescribing with these sedating medicinal products should be reserved for patients for whom alternative treatment options are not possible. If a decision is made to prescribe tapentadol  ER concomitantly with sedating medicinal products, the reduction of dose of one or both agents should be considered and the duration of the concomitant treatment should be as short as possible.

The patients should be followed closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In this respect, it is strongly recommended to inform patients and their caregivers to be aware of these symptoms (see section 4.5).

Respiratory Depression

At high doses or in mu-opioid receptor agonist sensitive patients, tapentadol  ER may produce dose-related respiratory depression. Therefore, tapentadoL  ER should be administered with caution to patients with impaired respiratory functions. Alternative non-mu-opioid receptor agonist analgesics should be considered and tapentadol  ER should be employed only under careful medical supervision at the lowest effective dose in such patients. If respiratory depression occurs, it should be treated as any mu-opioid receptor agonist-induced respiratory depression (see section 4.9).

Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure

Tapentadol  ER should not be used in patients who may be particularly susceptible to the intracranial effects of carbon dioxide retention such as those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure, impaired consciousness, or coma. Analgesics with mu-opioid receptor agonist activity may obscure the clinical course of patients with head injury. Tapentadol  ER should be used with caution in patients with head injury and brain tumors.


Tapentadol  ER has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a seizure disorder, and such patients were excluded from clinical trials. However, like other analgesics with mu-opioid agonist activity tapentadol  ER is not recommended in patients with a history of a seizure disorder or any condition that would put the patient at risk of seizures. In addition, tapentadol may increase the seizure risk in patients taking other medicinal products that lower the seizure threshold (see section 4.5).

Renal Impairment

Tapentadol  ER has not been studied in controlled efficacy trials in patients with severe renal impairment, therefore the use in this population is not recommended (see section 4.2 and 5.2).

Hepatic Impairment

Subjects with mild and moderate hepatic impairment showed a 2-fold and 4.5-fold increase in systemic exposure, respectively, compared with subjects with normal hepatic function. Tapentadol  ER should be used with caution in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (see section 4.2 and 5.2), especially upon initiation of treatment.

Tapentadol  ER has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment and therefore, use in this population is not recommended (see sections 4.2 and 5.2).

Use in Pancreatic/Biliary Tract Disease

Active substances with mu-opioid receptor agonist activity may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. tapentadol  ER should be used with caution in patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis.

Mixed opioid agonists/antagonists

Care should be taken when combining tapentadol  ER with mixed mu-opioid agonist/antagonists (like pentazocine, nalbuphine) or partial mu-opioid agonists (like buprenorphine). In patients maintained on buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence, alternative treatment options (like e.g. temporary buprenorphine discontinuation) should be considered, if administration of full mu-agonists (like Tapentadol) becomes necessary in acute pain situations. On combined use with buprenorphine, higher dose requirements for full mu-receptor agonists have been reported and close monitoring of adverse events such as respiratory depression is required in such circumstances.

Tapentadol  ER extended-release tablets contain lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption, should not take this medicinal product.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs

The concomitant use of tapentadol  ER with sedating medicinal products such as benzodiazepines or other respiratory or CNS depressants (other opioids, antitussives or substitution treatments, barbiturates, antipsychotics, H1-antihistamines, alcohol) increases the risk of sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death because of additive CNS depressant effect. Therefore, when a combined therapy of tapentadol  ER with a respiratory or CNS depressant is contemplated, the reduction of dose of one or both agents should be considered and the duration of the concomitant use should be limited (see section 4.4).

Mixed opioid agonists/antagonists

Care should be taken when combining tapentadol  ER with mixed mu-opioid agonist/antagonists (like pentazocine, nalbuphine) or partial mu-opioid agonists (like buprenorphine) (see also section 4.4).

Tapentadol  ER can induce convulsions and increase the potential for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotics and other medicinal products that lower the seizure threshold to cause convulsions.

There have been reports of serotonin syndrome in a temporal connection with the therapeutic use of Tapentadol in combination with serotoninergic medicinal products such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.

Serotonin syndrome is likely when one of the following is observed:

  • Spontaneous clonus
  • Inducible or ocular clonus with agitation or diaphoresis
  • Tremor and hyperreflexia
  • Hypertonia and body temperature > 38°C and inducible ocular clonus.

Withdrawal of the serotoninergic medicinal products usually brings about a rapid improvement. Treatment depends on the nature and severity of the symptoms.

The major elimination pathway for Tapentadol is conjugation with glucuronic acid mediated via uridine diphosphate transferase (UGT) mainly UGT1A6, UGT1A9 and UGT2B7 isoforms. Thus, concomitant administration with strong inhibitors of these isoenzymes (e.g. ketoconazole, fluconazole, meclofenamic acid) may lead to increased systemic exposure of Tapentadol (see section 5.2).

For patients on Tapentadol treatment, caution should be exercised if concomitant drug administration of strong enzyme inducing drugs (e.g. rifampicin, phenobarbital, St John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum)) starts or stops, since this may lead to decreased efficacy or risk for adverse effects, respectively

Treatment with tapentadol  ER should be avoided in patients who are receiving monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors or who have taken them within the last 14 days due to potential additive effects on synaptic noradrenaline concentrations which may result in adverse cardiovascular events, such as hypertensive crisis.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation


There is very limited amount of data from the use in pregnant women.

Studies in animals have not shown teratogenic effects. However, delayed development and embryotoxicity were observed at doses resulting in exaggerated pharmacology (mu-opioid-related CNS effects related to dosing above the therapeutic range). Effects on the postnatal development were already observed at the maternal NOAEL (see section 5.3).

Tapentadol  ER should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.

Labour and Delivery

The effect of Tapentadol on labour and delivery in humans is unknown. Tapentadol  ER is not recommended for use in women during and immediately before labour and delivery. Due to the mu-opioid receptor agonist activity of Tapentadol, new-born infants whose mothers have been taking Tapentadol should be monitored for respiratory depression.


There is no information on the excretion of Tapentadol in human milk. From a study in rat pups suckled by dams dosed with Tapentadol it was concluded that Tapentadol is excreted via milk (see section 5.3). Therefore, a risk to the suckling child cannot be excluded. Tapentadol  ER should not be used during breast feeding.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Tapentadol  ER may have major influence on the ability to drive and use machines, because it may adversely affect central nervous system functions (see section 4.8). This has to be expected especially at the beginning of treatment, when any change of dosage occur as well as in connection with the use of alcohol or tranquilisers (see section 4.4). Patients should be cautioned as to whether driving or use of machines is permitted.

4.8 Undesirable effects

The adverse drug reactions that were experienced by patients in the placebo controlled trials performed with tapentadol  ER were predominantly of mild and moderate severity. The most frequent adverse drug reactions were in the gastrointestinal and central nervous system (nausea, dizziness, constipation, headache and somnolence).

The table below lists adverse drug reactions that were identified from clinical trials performed with tapentadol  ER and from post-marketing environment. They are listed by class and frequency. Frequencies are defined as very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).


System Organ ClassFrequency
Very commonCommonUncommonRareUnknown
Immune system disordersDrug hypersensitivity*
Metabolism and nutrition disordersDecreased appetiteWeight decreased
Psychiatric disordersAnxiety, Depressed mood, Sleep disorder, Nervousness, RestlessnessDisorientation, Confusional state, Agitation, Perception disturbances, Abnormal dreams, Euphoric moodDrug dependence, Thinking abnormalDelirium**
Nervous system disordersDizziness, Somnolence, HeadacheDisturbance in attention, Tremor, Muscle contractions involuntaryDepressed level of consciousness, Memory impairment, Mental impairment, Syncope, Sedation, Balance disorder, Dysarthria, Hypoaesthesia, ParaesthesiaConvulsion, Presyncope, Coordination abnormal
Eye disordersVisual disturbance
Cardiac disordersHeart rate increased, Heart rate decreased, Palpitations
Vascular disordersFlushingBlood pressure decreased
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disordersDyspnoeaRespiratory depression
Gastrointestinal disordersNausea, ConstipationVomiting, Diarrhoea, DyspepsiaAbdominal discomfortImpaired gastric emptying
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disordersPruritus, Hyperhidrosis, RashUrticaria
Renal and urinary disordersUrinary hesitation, Pollakiuria
Reproductive system and breast disordersSexual dysfunction
General disorders and administration site conditionsAsthenia, Fatigue, Feeling of body temperature change, Mucosal dryness, OedemaDrug withdrawal syndrome, Feeling abnormal, IrritabilityFeeling drunk, Feeling of relaxation
* Post-marketing rare events of angioedema, anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock have been reported.
** Post marketing cases of delirium were observed in patients with additional risk factors such as cancer and advanced age.

Clinical trials performed with tapentadol  ER with patient exposure up to 1 year have shown little evidence of withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt discontinuations and these were generally classified as mild, when they occurred. Nevertheless, physicians should be vigilant for symptoms of withdrawal (see section 4.2) and treat patients accordingly should they occur.

The risk of suicidal ideation and suicides committed is known to be higher in patients suffering from chronic pain. In addition, substances with a pronounced influence on the monoaminergic system have been associated with an increased risk of suicidality in patients suffering from depression, especially at the beginning of treatment. For Tapentadol data from clinical trials and post-marketing reports do not provide evidence for an increased risk.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product.

4.9 Overdose


Human experience with overdose of Tapentadol is very limited. Preclinical data suggest that symptoms similar to those of other centrally acting analgesics with mu-opioid receptor agonist activity are to be expected upon intoxication with Tapentadol. In principle, these symptoms include, referring to the clinical setting, in particular miosis, vomiting, cardiovascular collapse, consciousness disorders up to coma, convulsions and respiratory depression up to respiratory arrest.


Management of overdose should be focused on treating symptoms of mu-opioid agonism. Primary attention should be given to re-establishment of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation when overdose of Tapentadol is suspected.

Pure opioid receptor antagonists such as naloxone are specific antidotes to respiratory depression resulting from opioid overdose. Respiratory depression following an overdose may outlast the duration of action of the opioid receptor antagonist. Administration of an opioid receptor antagonist is not a substitute for continuous monitoring of airway, breathing, and circulation following an opioid overdose. If the response to opioid receptor antagonists is suboptimal or only brief in nature, an additional dose of antagonist (e.g. naloxone) should be administered as directed by the manufacturer of the product.

Gastrointestinal decontamination may be considered in order to eliminate unabsorbed active substance. Gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal or by gastric lavage may be considered within 2 hours after intake. Before attempting gastrointestinal decontamination, care should be taken to secure the airway.

  1. Pharmacological properties

5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Analgesics; opioids; other opioids

Tapentadol is a strong analgesic with µ-agonistic opioid and additional noradrenaline reuptake inhibition properties. Tapentadol exerts its analgesic effects directly without a pharmacologically active metabolite.

Tapentadol demonstrated efficacy in preclinical models of nociceptive, neuropathic, visceral and inflammatory pain; efficacy has been verified in clinical trials with Tapentadol extended-release tablets in non-malignant nociceptive and neuropathic chronic pain conditions as well as chronic tumour-related pain. The trials in pain due to osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain showed similar analgesic efficacy of Tapentadol to a strong opioid used as a comparator. In the trial in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy Tapentadol separated from placebo which was used as comparator.

Effects on the cardiovascular system: In a thorough human QT trial, no effect of multiple therapeutic and supratherapeutic doses of Tapentadol on the QT interval was shown. Similarly, Tapentadol had no relevant effect on other ECG parameters (heart rate, PR interval, QRS duration, T-wave or U-wave morphology).

Paediatric population

The European Medicines Agency has deferred the obligation to submit the results of studies with TAPENTADOL  ER in all subsets of the paediatric population in severe chronic pain (see section 4.2 for information on paediatric use).

Post-marketing data

Two post-marketing studies were performed to address the practical use of Tapentadol.

The efficacy of Tapentadol extended-release tablets has been verified in a multicenter, randomized, double blind parallel-group trial with patients suffering from low back pain with a neuropathic component (KF5503/58). Reductions in average pain intensity were similar in the Tapentadol treatment group and the comparator treatment group i.e. receiving a combination of Tapentadol extended-release tablets and pregabalin immediate release tablets.

In an open-label, multicenter, randomized trial with patients having severe chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component (KF5503/60), Tapentadol extended-release tablets were associated with significant reductions in average pain intensity.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties


Mean absolute bioavailability after single-dose administration (fasting) of Tapentadol  ER is approximately 32% due to e