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How can I minimize the side effects of Actiq?

You can minimize the side effects of the cancer-pain medication Actiq (fentanyl) by telling your doctor about any medical condition you have or medication you take (including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements, especially St. John's wort), by carefully following his or her instructions on how to take Actiq and by reporting any side effects that bother you.

Tell your doctor if you're allergic to fentanyl (the active ingredient in Actiq) or to any other medications, and because fentanyl can be habit-forming, tell him or her if you or anyone in your family has or has had an alcohol or drug abuse problem. If you're having surgery, let your surgeon know you're taking Actiq: It can cause dizziness or light-headedness, which you can minimize by getting out of bed slowly. If you have diabetes, be aware that Actiq contains a small amount of sugar (2 grams), and tell your doctor.

Actiq can cause dental problems, so make sure your dentist knows that you're taking it so that he or she can help minimize them. Finally, be aware that Actiq can cause constipation, which you may be able to avoid by changing your diet or trying another medication.

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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.