Actiq® (fentanyl lozenge) is a medicine used to treat breakthrough cancer pain (sudden bursts of pain that "break through" regular pain medication). This prescription medication contains a strong opioid narcotic drug and is only approved for use in people who are already accustomed to the effects of opioid medications. Actiq comes in the form of a lozenge and is used every four hours as needed for pain. However, do not exceed four lozenges each day.
As a painkiller, Actiq works by binding to specific opioid receptors in the body. This produces several effects, including:
- Pain relief
- Slowed or shallow breathing.
Although most people tolerate Actiq well, it is not suitable for everyone. Make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medicines you are taking (including vitamins and nonprescription drugs), as well as any other medical conditions you may have. Possible side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.
(For more information on using this medication for pain, click Actiq. This article also discusses how this pain medicine works, potential side effects, and safety concerns to be aware of before using it.)