Cancer Home > Actiq and Pregnancy
When pregnant animals were given high doses of fentanyl, the active ingredient in Actiq, it caused several problems in the offspring, including reduced survival rates. Due to these potential risks, the United States Food and Drug Administration has classified Actiq as a pregnancy Category C medication. However, this medication may be prescribed to a pregnant woman if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Can Pregnant Women Use Actiq?Actiq® (fentanyl lozenge) is a prescription narcotic pain medication approved to treat breakthrough cancer pain (sudden bursts of pain that "break through" regular pain medication). This medication may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are unknown.
What Is Pregnancy Category C?The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans, but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
- Decreased respiration (decreased breathing)
- Changes in behavior, such as irritability, jitteriness, or restlessness
- Excessive or high-pitched crying
- Poor feeding