Actiq abuser says the drug is ‘no joke to come off of’

posted on:
March 30, 2010

author:
JENNIFER WALKER-JOURNEY

Meet Mark. He is a 40-year-old father of three, former college basketball player, and an opioid addict. In February, Mark began a week-long effort to end his addiction before his wife came home from a trip. He says she is the source of his drug abuse. Not intentionally, but her occasional offerings of the powerful painkillers such as Actiq and Fentora to curb his constant headaches drove him to depend on the drugs. Coming clean, he says, has been emotionally and physically painful. He talks about his withdrawal symptoms and urges others to use caution with the drugs in a series of videos he calls the Actiq Diaries designed to show “the evils of the drug called Actiq.”

Mark’s first video was 2 ½ days after he stopped using. “If you don’t have a proper, continued prescription for (Actiq), it’s a bear – a beast – to get off of it,” he says.

WATCH THE FIRST VIDEO. More videos in the series are available on Mark’s YouTube page.

Actiq and the more potent opioid Fentora, are drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for cancer patients currently on around-the-clock opioid treatment who experience breakthrough pain. The drugs are given in the form of a lollipop lozenge. But Cephalon, the maker of Actiq and Fentora, has been investigated by the FDA for promoting an off-label use of the drug for the treatment of headaches, backaches and injuries.

If Mark’s video series shows us one thing, it is that the drug is highly addictive, which is one reason the FDA shot down Cephalon’s attempts to have the off-label use of the drugs approved by the agency. But there were other safety issues. For those who have not already built up a resistance to opioids, Actiq and Fentora can be deadly as well. The FDA has received reports of 127 deaths and 91 incidents of severe side effects associated with Actiq, which reiterates the FDA’s stance that Actiq and Fentora should only be used for their FDA-appoved use, for the treatment of breakthrough pain in cancer patients.

“This stuff is no joke to come off of,” Mark says. “Trust me on that.”

Source: YouTube.com, Mobiusstrip01

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