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The Overuse and Dangers of Actiq

The Actiq fentanyl lollipop is a narcotic pain medication which is delivered in the form of a lozenge. The FDA approved Actiq in November 1998 for treatment of cancer patients suffering extreme pain which could not be relieved by other medications. Unfortunately, it is commonly prescribed for off-label which has led to hundreds of overdoses and deaths.


Actiq contains Fentanyl, a highly addictive substance that is nearly 80 times more potent than morphine, and just as addictive. While Actiq was approved for pain management in opioid-tolerant cancer patients who already receive pain medications around-the-clock, only 1% of Actiq prescriptions are written by cancer doctors. The lozenge is commonly prescribed by physicians for “off-label” uses like headaches, chronic back pain, and dental pain.


  • There have been 127 deaths reported in patients taking Actiq.
  • Two of these deaths involved young children who mistakenly took the medicine thinking it was candy.
  • An additional 91 serious, non-fatal injuries have also been reported to the FDA, ranging from severe dehydration to respiratory distress.


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