Is Nicotine Replacement Therapy Right for You? 6 Things You Should Consider

Saturday, November 24, 2012

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If you’re thinking about using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Use the medication correctly. 
    Read the directions in the package. If you have questions, ask your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist. These medicines can cause side effects in some people. And some people—like pregnant women—should not use NRT unless their doctor tells them it’s ok.

  2. Be patient. 
    Using NRT correctly can take some getting used to. Follow the instructions and give it some time.

  3. Start out using enough medicine. 
    Use the full amount of NRT in the instructions. Don't skip or forget to use your NRT after you first stop smoking.

  4. Use the medicine long enough. 
    Most of these medicines are approved to be used for 12 weeks or longer. Keep using the medicines to give you support over the first couple of months. If you’re not sure how long to use the medicine, set up a schedule with your doctor or pharmacist.

  5. Keep some of the medicine with you after you stop using it.

    This way you'll be ready if an unexpected craving happens.

  6. Wait a half hour. 
    After using the gum, lozenges, or inhaler, wait a half hour before you eat or drink anything that has a lot of acid. Food with acid such as tomato sauce, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, coffee, soda, orange juice, and grapefruit juice, can keep nicotine gum and inhalers from working. 

Ask your doctor for help and learn more about medicines with nicotine, medicines without nicotine. For more information about different medicines, see our Quit Smoking Methods Explorer to decide if medication is right for you.

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