Suzane - Actiq is oral fentanyl citrate. Same medication (Fentanyl) used in the duragesic patches.... just taken orally, on a stick as a "sucker". It was originally prescribed as a medication for breakthrough cancer pain, but it's also prescribed "off-label" for chronic breakthrough pain. There's many different strengths of Actiq - 200mcgs, 400mcgs - up to 1600mcgs. Fentora is the same medication, but it's a not a sucker - it's a quick dissolving tablet you place in your mouth. And, as Frances shared, it sounds like Onsolis is the new thing (an oral tablet like Fentora) but w/ less sugar, from what I understand...
Catahoula - My insurance does cover it... but it's pretty hard to get this medication covered. First, to even be prescribed it - you have to be an "opioid tolerant patient" - which means (I'm copying this from the Actiq site) : Patients considered opioid tolerant are those who are taking around-the-clock medicine consisting of at least 60 mg of oral morphine daily, at least 25 mcg of transdermal fentanyl/hour, at least 30 mg of oral oxycodone daily, at least 8 mg oral hydromorphone daily or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid for a week or longer.
I have Aetna insurance - and for as many health issues as I have/medications that I need, and so forth - it's been awesome for us. I do know when we had Kaiser for a short time, years ago, Actiq/Fentora is NOT on Kaiser's "formulary" - and, thus, we had to pay out of pocket for it. I did these a few times - but I had to go off of it for a bit. It was costing about $1800 per month. It's ridiculously expensive.
We had HealthNet way back when I was 1st prescribed the medication... and it did take awhile to get it covered. I think what helped is that I had exhausted every medication, at every varying doses, etc. I was spending tons of time hospitalized and so forth. I think the insurance finally came to the conclusion that it was cheaper to prescribe this medication. It's all a money thing, you know. It also helped that I had a doctor that was truly advocating that I needed this medication for a higher quality of life.
Just curious - so your insurance company WAS paying for it? And then quit? What was the reason? Is there any chance they'll cover it at a lower dose/lower quantity?
I've read that 90% of people using this medication are using it "off-label" (non-cancerous breakthrough pain) so there ARE companies paying for it - because it's hard for me to imagine many people can afford this medication sans insurance. It's just a pain to get it covered... I'm assuming that it was helping you? Have you tried to see if they'll, perhaps, cover the Fentora? Just a thought....
Main Health Issues: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibro; Chronic Pain (back issues, migraines, carpal tunnel, among other things); Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism and Hypoadrenalism; Mixed Sleep Apnea (on BiPap); Depression/Anxiety; Vitamin D Deficiency.
MAJOR surprise - Pregnant, w/ twin little girls (after six boys). Due Sept, 2010. Praying they are healthy. YES, you can have chronic pain AND have a successful pregnancy - not easy, but it can be done. :)