Pain management can be a serious health issue for cancer patients, separate and apart from their underlying cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. Finding an effective treatment for these patients can be harrowing. Many are put on opioids, drugs that decrease one’s perception of and reaction to pain, as well as increase one’s pain tolerance.

Studies suggest that as many as two-thirds of patients with chronic pain from cancer who receive around-the-clock opioids develop a tolerance to opioids and experience intermittent pain that breaks through their medication. To treat these episodes of breakthrough pain, drug companies have introduced powerful narcotics, such as Cephalon’s Actiq (fentanyl citrate) and the more potent opioid, Fentora.

In 2006, Actiq became open for generics, paving the way for drug companies like Coviden to introduce its Fentanyl Citrate to the distributors. Both Actiq and its generic version are lollypop lozenges that are administered orally.

Fentanyl citrate is only indicated for the management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients who are already receiving and are tolerant to around-the-clock opioid therapy for their cancer-related pain. Patients who have not already developed a tolerance to the drug are at risk of life-threatening respiratory depression. Yet, as many as 90 percent of prescriptions for the drug are written for the off-label treatment of migraines and backaches.

To date, 127 deaths and 91 incidents of severe side effects have been associated with use of fentanyl citrate.



We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney

Fentanyl patches recalled due to accelerated release...

Potent pain patches used to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients already on around-the-clock pain...

Fentanyl patches recalled due to danger of overdose

Potent pain patches used to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients already on around-the-clock pain...

Cephalon files petition to block Fentora competition

Cephalon, maker of the potent pain killer Fentora, has filed a citizen petition to the Food and Drug...

56 dead from one clinic after taking Actiq for...

Fifty-six patients from one health care clinic have died and 96 others were sent to the emergency room...

FDA approves painkiller designed to be more difficult...

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new version of the painkiller OxyContin that is...

Types of potent painkillers approved only with...

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new opioid medication, Onsolis, last summer,...

Excellent law firm

Beasley Allen is an excellent law firm. I highly recommend their services.

—William M.