A healthcare provider may prescribe Actiq® (fentanyl lozenge) to treat breakthrough pain (pain that "breaks through" regularly scheduled narcotic pain medication) in people with cancer. This medication is available in several strengths and comes in the form of a lozenge with a handle (sometimes called a lollipop).
Actiq lozenges are placed in the mouth between the cheek and gums. You should suck on the lozenge and consume it over a 15-minute period. Twirl the handle often, occasionally moving the medication from one side of the mouth to the other. Do not bite or chew the lozenge. Doing so may cause too little of the medication to be released, resulting in less pain relief.
If you are still experiencing pain 15 minutes after finishing the lozenge (30 minutes after you first start using the medication), you can use one additional lozenge. Do not use more than two lozenges for each breakthrough pain episode, and do not use this medication more often than four times a day.
(For a closer look at this pain medication, click Actiq. This article explains what this medication is used for, how it works, and how to safely store Actiq "lollipops" away from children.)