Nicotine Therapy Replacement

Tobacco products contain nicotine. Nicotine is a poisonous highly addictive drug. Many people need help when giving up nicotine. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) may be helpful for individuals who are addicted to nicotine.

The goal of NRT is to help you wean yourself off of nicotine over time. While your body adjusts to the decreasing levels of nicotine, you are able to concentrate on breaking the tobacco habit. NRT provides the nicotine your body craves and tobacco products should never be used with NRT.

NRT aids are available in many forms. Some are purchased over the counter and others require a physician's order. Some medications can interact with NRT and some forms of NRT may be contra-indicated due to your personal health status. Be sure to discuss this decision with your physician. He or she is familiar with your medical history and will be able to recommend the best choice for you.

  • Nicotine Patches
    • Available over the counter
    • Expensive; must be used for 6 to 8 weeks without strong behavior modification program, quit rates are very low
  • Nicotine Gum
    • Available over the counter
    • Expensive; must be used for 6 to 8 weeks without strong behavior modification program, quit rates are very low
  • Nicotine Nasal Spray
    • Higher, faster acting nicotine levels; may be used on an as needed basis to alleviate overpowering urges
    • Prescription required initially, users may experience nasal and throat irritation, coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes
  • Nicotine Inhaler
    • Substitutes for some of the behavioral features of actually holding a cigarette
    • Prescription required and may cause throat irritation and coughing
  • Nicotine lozenge
    • Available over the counter
    • Relatively new on the market, side effects not well known at present
  • Bupropion (Zyban)
    • Non nicotine medication and can be used with the nicotine patch
    • Requires regular monitoring by physician and may cause dry mouth and insomnia