Can I use Actiq if I am taking medications for mental illness?

You may be able to take the cancer-pain medication Actiq (fentanyl) if you have a history of mental illness, but tell your doctor so he or she can take precautions. Actiq can cause psychological side effects, including anxiety, depression, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that don't exist) and strange thoughts or dreams. Knowing your history of mental illness will help your physician monitor your reaction to Actiq to make sure you can take it safely.

Certain drugs and supplements used to treat depression can interact with Actiq. This is especially true of antidepressants that are MAO inhibitors. You should not take an MAO inhibitor while using Actiq; in fact, you should not start taking Actiq until at least 14 days after taking an MAO inhibitor because these drugs dangerously interact, putting you at high risk for shock, seizure, coma, low blood pressure and a potentially fatal slowing of your breathing. The herbal supplement St. John's Wort can also interact with Actiq. Make sure your doctor knows about every medication (prescription and nonprescription) and supplement you take before you start to take Actiq.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.