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What should I avoid while taking Nucynta?

While using the pain medication Nucynta (tapentadol), it isn't safe to take any medication from the group called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are usually prescribed for depression or anxiety. Both Nucynta and MAOIs increase the level of the chemical norepinephrine in the body and when combined may cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Don't start taking an MAOI while you're on Nucynta, and let your doctor know if you're already taking one or have used one in the last 14 days. MAOIs include: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

If you're taking Nucynta, don't use any drugs from the following groups without checking with your doctor. They may increase Nucynta's potency and cause severe side effects:

  • general anesthetics
  • phenothiazines (an ingredient in some antihistamine-containing cold medications)
  • tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics
  • other painkillers
  • antidepressants
  • any other medications that, like Nucynta, suppress the central nervous system
While taking Nucynta, steer clear of alcohol (and medications that contain it). Drinking can make Nucynta more potent and cause severe side effects. Let your doctor know if you drink because this information could affect whether he or she prescribes Nucynta and, if so, how much.

Finally, because Nucynta can make you drowsy, don't drive or operate heavy machinery until you're certain you can remain alert while on Nucynta. (Be extra cautious when you start the medication or increase your dosage.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.