While the Fentanyl lollipop has been distributed for some time now, it has increasingly gained significant attention recently, due to the different side effects that patients using it have experienced and to the great likelihood of it being abused.
Fentanyl, which is many times more potent than morphine, has helped many cancer patients deal with intense pains and is the most widely used synthetic opioid. Although it is most often applied as transdermal patches, another popular form of fentanyl is as lollipops.
The fentanyl lollipop is actually a solid formulation of fentanyl citrate attached to a plastic stick and is taken through the mouth. The Actiq fentanyl lollipop by Cephalon is a berry-flavored lozenge on a stick that is swabbed on the buccal mucosa to release the fentanyl into the bloodstream. It has been of tremendous help to those suffering from bone injuries, severe back pain, neuropathy, and even severe arthritis. Generic versions have been made available since 2006.
Concerns are growing, though, on the illegal distribution of this lollipop. In the streets, this is also known as morphine lollipop or perc-a-pop. Just like with other opioids, the fentanyl lollipop can be habit forming and is prone to misuse, abuse and overdose. With its high potency, its ease of application and its sweet taste, abuse becomes even more likely.
These lollipops are said to cost twice as much when obtained illegally as compared to when obtained for legal medical uses. The use of fentanyl outside proper medical guidance can be very dangerous and has already resulted in numerous deaths.