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What Is Fentanyl Lozenge Used For?

The fentanyl lozenge is specifically designed as a treatment for breakthrough cancer pain in people who are taking regularly scheduled doses of another narcotic pain medication. These lozenges contain a strong narcotic opioid that works by affecting certain pain receptors in the body. Using this medicine for breakthrough pain related to other types of chronic pain is an unapproved use of fentanyl lozenges.

An Introduction to Fentanyl Lozenge Uses

Fentanyl lozenge (Actiq®) is a prescription narcotic pain medication used to treat breakthrough pain in people with cancer who are also taking around-the-clock narcotic medication for their underlying pain. Breakthrough pain is pain that "breaks through" regularly scheduled pain medication.
Fentanyl lozenges come with a handle (sometimes they are called a lollipop) and are placed in the mouth between the cheek and gums. This medication is meant to be used on an "as needed" basis, in combination with a regularly scheduled, long-acting narcotic medication. It should not be used to treat acute pain (pain that is expected to last only a limited amount of time), such as headaches or migraine pain, or pain from surgery.
When treating chronic pain, an effective strategy for pain relief often includes using a baseline, around-the-clock medication to control most of the pain, without causing too much drowsiness or other side effects, plus adding a rescue medication for breakthrough pain. Fentanyl lozenges are commonly used as the rescue medication in such a strategy.
The fentanyl lozenge is an opioid narcotic medication. It should only be used in people who have already been using opioids and who are tolerant to their effects. In general, people are considered opioid tolerant if they have been taking at least 60 mg of morphine, 30 mg of oxycodone, 8 mg of hydromorphone, 25 mcg of fentanyl patch (Duragesic®), or an equivalent dose of another opioid every day for at least a week.
The fentanyl lozenge is a Schedule II controlled substance. Schedule II medications have the highest abuse potential of all prescription medications. As a controlled substance, there are strict rules and regulations for prescribing and obtaining this medication.
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Fentanyl Lozenge Drug Information

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