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Doctor insights on: Actiq

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Dr. Gerald Mandell
20 Doctors shared insights

Actiq (Overview)

Actiq is a drug that increases narcotic effects which is a kind of pain medication.


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What do actiq lollipops taste like?

What do actiq lollipops taste like?

According to…: … manufacturer, they are berry flavored. One blogger noted, however, that the medicine taste comes through rather quickly. If one has pain sufficient to warrant using actiq, one probably doesn't care what they taste like as long as they provide adequate pain relief.

Dr. Gerald Mandell
20 Doctors shared insights

Actiq (Overview)

Actiq is a drug that increases narcotic effects which is a kind of pain medication.


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What are the downsides of actiq?

What are the downsides of actiq?

Abuse potential: Useful medication for pain patients who are tolerant to other more common opiates. Downsides include potential for chemical dependence, withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation, high abuse potential. Some may get itching and nausea, this is not uncommon with any opioid preparation however.

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Is actiq a good choice for breakthrough pain?

Maybe: The active ingredient in Actiq is fentanyl, the same medication in the Duragesic patch. As such, I tend to prescribe fentanyl products for breakthrough pain in my patients with chronic pain on around the clock opioid treatment. Actiq works well, but takes a while to kick in, and needs to be rubbed on the cheek for a while. There are other products that work faster and not swallowed as much.

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How does actiq work for breakthrough pain?

How does actiq work for breakthrough pain?

Very short effect: For this reason this med shouldn't be used for non-cancer pain. The effect lasts for at most 1 to 1 hours. Tolerance develops rapidly because of the rapid, intense effect. This results in the need for higher and higher doses over a very short time. This med is most appropriate for patients not expected to survive for more than several months as the med becomes less effective rapidly.

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How deadly is actiq in this case?

Actiq: Actiq is an oral transmucosal fentanyl. Some dentists were giving out narc lolly pops to pediatric patients. It caused a lot of problems and killed several in the USA.

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Specialist wrong for putting her on actiq suckers (for cancer what are some of the first side effects of the drug)?

Specialist wrong for putting her on actiq suckers (for cancer what are some of the first side effects of the drug)?

Depends: This is a short acting form of fentenyl similar in potency to imediate release morphine. Works best if used for "break-through" pain that is not relieved with long acting pain meds like fentenyl patch. One would go to this higher level analgesic when intermediate level pain meds like vicoden or Codeine are not working well. Sedation is main side-effect.

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I feel like maybe I am on too much actiq. How do you dose?

I feel like maybe I am on too much actiq. How do you dose?

Varies: Actor is a narcotic lollipop. Everyone acts different to the same dosage. If you are too sedated, or sleepy, then your dosage is too high.

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How do actiq lolipops taste?

How do actiq lolipops taste?

According to…: … manufacturer, they are berry flavored. One blogger noted, however, that the medicine taste comes through rather quickly. If one has pain sufficient to warrant using actiq, one probably doesn't care what they taste like as long as they provide adequate pain relief.

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How do actiq lolipops taste?

How do actiq lolipops taste?

Actiq: Actiq is made with sugar. I have never tasted any of the actiq. Some patients tell me that it has a strawberry/raspberry taste. The sugar content may result in teeth loss

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What are the downsides of actiq?

Abuse potential: Useful medication for pain patients who are tolerant to other more common opiates. Downsides include potential for chemical dependence, withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation, high abuse potential. Some may get itching and nausea, this is not uncommon with any opioid preparation however.

See 1 more doctor answer
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What do actiq lollipops taste like?

According to…: … manufacturer, they are berry flavored. One blogger noted, however, that the medicine taste comes through rather quickly. If one has pain sufficient to warrant using actiq, one probably doesn't care what they taste like as long as they provide adequate pain relief.

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What does an actiq lolipop taste like?

What does an actiq lolipop taste like?

Sweet: They contain sugar & come in different colors and flavors depending on the manufacturer

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I heard actiq is bad medication. Is that true?

I heard actiq is bad medication. Is that true?

Bad medicine only…: If being abused by someone who doesn't need a potent pain medication. Actiq is approved for break-through pain in cancer patients who are already opiate-tolerant. Estimated to be between 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Unfortunately it is growing in popularity as a "street drug". Can lead to addiction, cause severe constipation & respiratory depression, especially if combined with alcohol +.

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I feel like maybe I am on too much actiq. How do you dose?

Varies: Actor is a narcotic lollipop. Everyone acts different to the same dosage. If you are too sedated, or sleepy, then your dosage is too high.

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Do you have advice for someone doing actiq and trying to come off them?

Stop if not needed: "doing actiq" suggests one is abusing it, but, like any opiate, the drug lends itself to that. Very potent, used for those with tolerance to other medications. If one is trying to stop but is unable to, it is appropriate to get professional help which may include in patient rehab. Support group help is integral to "recovery" (such as narcotics anonymous). Unchecked, an Actiq addiction is seriou.

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Actiq and morphine patches help?

Actiq and morphine patches help?

No & Maybe: Actiq shouldn't be used for non-cancer pain. Tolerance develops rapidly because of the rapid, intense effect. This results in the need for higher and higher doses over a very short time. This med is most appropriate for patients not expected to survive for more than several months as the med becomes less effective rapidly. Fentanyl patches may be more appropriate. See a pain specialist.

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Actiq for breakthrough pain only?

Actiq for breakthrough pain only?

Maybe: Actiq is not the best breakthrough pain medication in my opinion. It is expensive and from my experience doesn't work better than less expensive oral options. Also, fentanyl has a relatively short half life and I find that most of my patients who are prescribed breakthrough pain medication almost never have any left at the end of the month, so they are really using it as maintenence medication.

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Actiq good for breakthrough pain?

Actiq good for breakthrough pain?

Yes, but....: It is only indicated (fda approved) for breakthrough cancer pain. Most insurance companies will not pay for it for non-cancer pain. Newer formulations of the same basic drug work faster and seem to be better tolerated (subsys, fentora).

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How deadly is actiq in this case?

Actiq: Actiq is an oral transmucosal fentanyl. Some dentists were giving out narc lolly pops to pediatric patients. It caused a lot of problems and killed several in the USA.

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Actiq and morphine patches help pain?

Morphine patches: There are no transdermal formulations of morphine currently available to my knowledge. Both morphine and Actiq (fentanyl) are potent opiates that can help moderate to severe pain when prescribed appropriately to the appropriate patients.

Dr. Lawrence Kessler
20 Doctors shared insights

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