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Localized shortages of Nucynta® products reported

Optum Workers' Comp
| Feb 05, 2018

Following the devastation and power outages in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, Depomed issued a press release indicating there may be temporary delays in the packaging and delivery of Nucynta® ER (tapentadol extended-release). Certain dosage strengths are being manufactured by the company’s third-party partner located on the island and those dosages would be potentially affected. The company reported that it did not expect any disruption to the supply of the immediate-release (IR) formulation of Nucynta.

We have been recently informed that some claimants and pharmacies are having difficulty obtaining certain Nucynta dosage forms. According to a spokesperson from Depomed, the facility in Puerto Rico is now fully operational so they expect a full return of all Nucynta products shortly. Healthcare providers may contact Depomed if a claimant is having difficulty finding the product to help them locate the medication during this temporary supply chain disruption. The contact number for Depomed regarding Nucynta is 1-866-458-6839 and may be shared with claimants, pharmacists and prescribers as appropriate.

If your claimant is taking Nucynta and is having difficulty obtaining the medication from their pharmacy, we would encourage you to instruct the claimant to work directly with his or her prescriber or pharmacist to locate the product at another pharmacy or to determine if they can be transitioned to another medication.

Nucynta IR is a short-acting opioid analgesic indicated for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain. Nucynta ER is a long-acting opioid analgesic indicated for the management of chronic severe pain and in claimants who require daily, around-the-clock treatment for pain and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. Nucynta ER is also indicated for the management of severe neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. According to workers’ compensation treatment guidelines, Nucynta is not recommended as first-line therapy and therefore, other medications should be considered prior to prescribing Nucynta.


  1. Depomed. Press release. October 10, 2017. Depomed Provides Product Supply Information Following Hurricane Maria. Available at
  2. Nucynta® ER [package insert]. Newark, CA: Depomed, Inc.; March 2017. Available at
  3. Nucynta® [package insert]. Gurabo, PR: Depomed, Inc.; January 2017. Available at
  4. Official Disability Guidelines, Pain Chapter, Work Loss Data Institute; 2017. “The Evidence-Based Guideline Company”.

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