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What should I avoid while taking Actiq?

If you're taking the pain medication Actiq (fentanyl) to treat breakthrough cancer pain, you should avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice and alcohol, all of which can increase the risk of very serious side effects from the active ingredient in Actiq, fentanyl. Do not breastfeed while taking Actiq; fentanyl passes into breast milk and can affect a nursing baby.

There are certain medications to avoid while taking Actiq. In particular, you should not take an MAO inhibitor, a type of antidepressant, while on Actiq, nor should you start to take Actiq until at least 14 days after using an MAO inhibitor. Give your doctor a complete list of every single prescription and nonprescription medication you take so that he or she can check for potential interactions. Be sure to include supplements on that list.

Actiq is a quick-acting synthetic opiate for the treatment of breakthrough pain in cancer patients who are already being treated with opiate-type pain medication. It's a lozenge that's held in the mouth (it comes on a stick) until it dissolves and can bring relief within minutes. Actiq can have serious side effects and has caused death in children who used lozenges intended for adults, so you should make sure that you follow instructions carefully and keep Actiq away from children.

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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.