Generic Tapentadol tablets are used to treat moderate to severe acute pain (pain that begins suddenly, has a specific cause, and is expected to go away when the cause of the pain is healed). Tapentadol extended-release tablets are used to treat severe neuropathic pain (pain caused by nerve damage) in people who have diabetes. Generic Tapentadol extended-release tablets are only used to treat people who are expected to need medication around-the-clock to relieve pain that cannot be controlled by the use of other pain medications. Tapentadol is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.