What Is Actiq (Fentanyl)?

Actiq is a brand name version of the powerful opioid pain reliever fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, believed to be many times stronger even than morphine. Specifically, Actiq is a lozenge that’s attached to the end of a small swab. The lozenge is placed in the mouth of the patient, and then the fentanyl is absorbed into their mucous membranes. Taking fentanyl in this way allows it to act very quickly. Actiq is only intended to be prescribed to treat severe breakthrough pain in people already opioid-tolerant and on an around-the-clock opioid. Actiq is a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. Even beyond that, Actiq has very strict guidelines for how it can be prescribed because it has a high risk of misuse, addiction and dependence associated with its use. In addition to being diverted from medical use, fentanyl-based drugs are often manufactured and sold on the black market. These illicitly manufactured forms of fentanyl can be even more dangerous than the already potent prescription versions. Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioids, especially when it’s purchased illegally. While prescription versions of fentanyl are believed to be, on average, around 75 times stronger than morphine, there are other analogs of fentanyl sold on the black market that are as much as 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

Side effects of Actiq and other versions of fentanyl can include slowed breathing, low blood pressure, drowsiness, nausea and constipation. People who use Actiq may feel confused as well. Along with being used for breakthrough cancer pain, some fentanyl products are used to put people to sleep before surgery. As well as Actiq, fentanyl is available as an injection and a skin patch, pharmaceutically. Fentanyl can also be used in epidurals and spinal anesthesia. Fentanyl patches are used for chronic pain management, and they deliver a steady stream of medication into the system of the patient over several days.

Mixing Alcohol And Actiq

Despite public health warnings and tight control of fentanyl products like Actiq, recreational misuse does still occur. Along with pharmaceutical fentanyl products diverted from medical use, there are several analogs of fentanyl that are sold on the streets and are a major part of U.S. drug trafficking. There have been investigations in many states to see how products like Actiq are making their way from pharmacies to the streets. Non-medical use of Actiq and other fentanyl products can be highly dangerous and can result in overdoses quickly especially in people without an existing opioid tolerance. Once someone takes fentanyl, it’s difficult to reverse the effects of an overdose.

Mixing alcohol and Actiq can amplify all of the already significant risks of this drug. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, as is Actiq. When two central nervous system depressants are used together, it can quickly slow breathing to the point that a person overdoses and dies. Despite the many risks and often negative outcomes, people do continue to mix alcohol and Actiq. Even if someone doesn’t suffer dangerous or deadly respiratory depression, there are other complications stemming from mixing alcohol and Actiq. A person could blackout, experience changes in heart rate, or have uncontrollable vomiting. Also possible is a loss of consciousness or coma.

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Summing Up Side Effects, Interactions And Blackouts Of Mixing Alcohol And Actiq

Actiq is an incredibly powerful opioid and a central nervous system depressant. There are so many risks of mixing this drug with something like alcohol. As well as the very high likelihood of depressed breathing, it’s also possible that someone could become dependent physically and psychologically on both alcohol and Actiq. Actiq on its own is a drug that can have some of the most serious side effects of any opioid when it’s misused. Mixing it with alcohol raises that risk to the point where it’s difficult to imagine a situation where the outcome wouldn’t be negative for the patient.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.