What is Actiq?
Actiq by Cephalon is a solid formulation of fentanyl citrate on a plastic stick that dissolves slowly in the mouth for absorption across the buccal mucosa. Generically Actiq is a form of oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC). In the UK, fentanyl is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. In the Netherlands, Fentanyl is a List I substance of the Opium Law. In the U.S., fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance per the Controlled Substance Act. Other pharmaceutical preparations consisting of fentanyl are Durogesic and Duragesic (72-hour continuous-release fentanyl patches) and Fentora, a rapidly dissolving fentanyl lozenge which, like Actiq, is administered transmucosally over the buccal mucosa. OTFC is absorbed much as nicotine is absorbed when dipping tobacco is placed in one's mouth between the gum and cheek.
An Actiq lozenge contains 2 grams of sugar (8 calories). The status of a sugar-free version, called Actiq-SF, is unclear. Since the release of Fentora—an effervescent buccal fentanyl tablet for breakthrough cancer pain—Cephalon has indefinitely postponed plans to release a sugar free version of Actiq.