Test Catalog

Test ID: TAPEN    
Tapentadol and Metabolite, Random, Urine

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Monitoring of compliance utilizing tapentadol


Detection and confirmation of the illicit use of tapentadol

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Tapentadol, a centrally acting opioid analgesic, is used in the treatment of moderate to severe acute and chronic pain and for the management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy in adults (extended release formulation only). Tapentadol acts as an opiate agonist through its binding to mu-opioid receptors and through the inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake. About 97% of the parent drug is metabolized. The major pathway of tapentadol metabolism is conjugation with glucuronic acid to produce glucuronides. Tapentadol and its metabolites (N-desmethyltapentadol and hydroxyl-tapentadol) are excreted almost exclusively via the kidneys and approximately 70% of the drug is excreted in urine in the conjugated form. The metabolites of tapentadol have no analgesic activity. The half-life of tapentadol is approximately 4 hours.


Opioid analgesics have high abuse potential and the regular use of tapentadol may result in physical dependence and tolerance. Tapentadol is a schedule II controlled substance with abuse liability similar to other opioid agonists.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Cutoff: 25 ng/mL


Note: Tapentadol concentrations will be reported quantitatively and N-desmethyltapentadol will be reported qualitatively (Present or Negative).

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

The presence of tapentadol or N-desmethyltapentadol levels of 25 ng/mL or higher is a strong indicator that the patient has used tapentadol.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Urine concentrations do not correlate well with serum drug levels and are not intended for therapeutic drug management.


Results are intended to be interpreted by a physician or health care professional. This test is not intended for use in employment-related testing.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Wade WE, Spruill WJ: Tapentadol hydrochloride: a centrally acting oral analgesic. Clin Ther 2009;31(12):2804-2818

2. Tzschentke TM, Christoph T, Kogel B et al: (-)-(1R,2R)-3-(3-Dimethylamino-1-ethyl-2-methyl-propyl)-phenol hydrochloride (tapentadol HCL): a novel mu-opioid receptor agonist/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor with broad-spectrum analgesic properties. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2007;323:265-276