Actiq ® is a solid version of Fentanyl.
As a powerful synthetic opioid, Actiq has a high potential for abuse and is available as a berry-flavored lollipop, transdermal patch, or injection.
The actiq pain reliever was developed to treat break-through pain in cancer patients who were already opiate-tolerant. Actiq is estimated to be between 80 and 100 times stronger than morphine and is considered a Schedule II controlled substance.
Doses are measured in micrograms. It is available in 200 mcg, 400 mcg, 600 mcg, 800 mcg, 1200 mcg and 1600 mcg.
Although intended for cancer patients, studies have found that most prescriptions for it are “off label,” meaning the drug is being prescribed for other uses. The “morphine lollipops” or “perc-o-pops,” as they’re known on the street, have been prescribed for migraines, arthritis, severe back pain, neuropathy and various injuries.
When taking the lollipop form, the fast-acting analgesic provides relief quickly, as about a quarter of it is directly absorbed in the mouth. The remaining 75% of it is swallowed and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
The euphoric effects of Actiq make it popular on the street, where it is sold and traded. The illicit drug market promotes the theft of Actiq and other opiate drugs, along with falsified prescriptions and pharmacy diversion.
There is a high potential of abuse when taking the opiate-derivative, leading to addiction. Even those who have legitimate pain issues can get hooked after taking more and more to achieve the desired effect. Consumption can be fatal for children, who may confuse the lollipop version for candy.
Actiq ®, like all other opiates, has a high potential for abuse, leading to dependency. But others who have legitimate issues with pain can also develop a tolerance for the fast acting analgesic, requiring patients to take more and more of the drug to obtain the desired effect. As with all opioids, there have been reports of illicit street use where they are incorrectly known as “Morphine lollypops” or “perc-o-pops”. In order to curb misuse, many health insurers have begun to require preauthorization and/or quantity restrictions.
The euphoric effects make it and other Fentanyl derivatives staples on the illicit drug market. Fake prescriptions and theft are blamed for some of the illegal trade.
In addition to being habit-forming, the lollipops contain sugar and can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss and weight gain in individuals who consume several each day. Overdose of Actiq can cause fainting, shallow breathing, weak pulse and death.
Alcohol should not be used in combination with Actiq. People who have used an MAO inhibitor within the previous 14 days should also not take Actiq.
Detoxing can be a painful experience and should be done under medical supervision.