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Nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness are among the most commonly reported side effects of Actiq. Other common reactions include constipation, headaches, and dry mouth. In most cases, side effects of this medication are easy to treat. However, notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop more serious problems, such as seizures, hallucinations, or severe constipation.

An Introduction to Actiq Side Effects

As with any medicine, Actiq® (fentanyl lozenge) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Actiq. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Actiq

Actiq has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people using Actiq were carefully recorded. Long-acting opioid narcotics were used in addition to Actiq in the studies. The side effects that occurred in the clinical trials were typical reactions to opioid medications, so it is difficult to know whether the side effects were due to Actiq or the other opioid medication.
The most common Actiq side effects in the studies included but were not limited to:
  • Nausea -- in up to 23 percent of people
  • Dizziness -- up to 17 percent
  • Drowsiness -- up to 17 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 12 percent
  • Weakness -- up to 9 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 6 percent
  • Constipation -- up to 4 percent
  • Confusion -- up to 4 percent
  • Shortness of breath -- up to 4 percent
  • Anxiety -- up to 3 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in at least 1 percent of people, included:
  • Abnormal gait (abnormal manner of walking)
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Flushing (sudden reddening of the face, neck, or upper chest)
  • Accidental injury
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Sweating
  • Changes in vision
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • Problems sleeping
  • Abnormal thinking
  • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Infection
  • Migraine headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet
  • Reduced sensation of the skin
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing.
Although it was not a specific side effect seen in clinical trials, there have been reports of cavities and tooth decay with Actiq use. This is because Actiq contains sugar.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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