When seeking professional help to quit smoking, your doctor will recommend nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This treatment method replaces normal cigarettes with a substance that only contains nicotine. It is a healthier option to cigarettes since tobacco smoke has more than 4000 harmful toxins, including tar and carbon monoxide. The basic premise of nicotine replacement medications is to help you reduce nicotine intake until the body is ready to handle withdrawal symptoms. Here are the top 5 nicotine replacement options that your doctor can recommend.
Patches deliver nicotine through the skin. They can be worn below the neck, above the waist, upper arm, or chest. Nicotine patches come in different dose levels and can be bought with or without a doctor’s prescription. You will have to wear these patches for several hours depending on the type of smoker you are. Some of the side effects that you might experience include skin irritations, muscle aches/stiffness, dizziness, headaches, or nausea.
Nicotine gum is chewed and acts as a fast-acting delivery method. The gum delivers nicotine through the mucous membranes in the mouth. Usually, doses for nicotine gum are measured in milligrams. This can give you an idea of how much nicotine is in the gum. Nicotine infused chewing gum can cause several side infects, some of which include jaw/temple fatigue, bad after taste, hiccups, throat irritation, or nausea.
Just like nicotine gum, lozenges are ingested but left to melt in the mouth. You can get both nicotine lozenges and gum over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. Avoid eating or drinking anything before using lozenges. This is because food and drink can slow down delivery of nicotine into the bloodstream. Nicotine lozenges can induce discomforts such as heartburn, gas, hiccups, nausea or headaches.
Unlike nicotine gum and lozenges, nasal sprays require a doctor’s prescription. These nicotine replacement medications deliver nicotine to the bloodstream rapidly since it is absorbed through the nose and lungs. Some of the hall mark side effects of sprays include watery eyes as well as nasal irritations like sneezing, and running nose. Nicotine sprays also lead to coughing and throat irritations in some people.
E-cigarettes have become popular nicotine replacement gadgets since they resemble actual cigarettes and have the least side effects. These electronic devices may look and feel like real cigarettes but they are tobacco free. A simple unit comes with a cartridge filled with liquid nicotine. When you puff on an e-cig, the atomizer vaporizes the e-juice to produce nicotine vapor, which is delivered to the body in the same way as tobacco smoke. E-cigs may provide the hand to mouth oral fixation that smokers are used to, but can sometimes cause throat irritations or leave a bad taste in the mouth.
Keep in mind that side effects of nicotine replacement medications or devices do not manifest in all users. There are also different ways of dealing with side effects of nicotine replacement therapies. For instance, your doctor can recommend the appropriate dose in order to reduce the intensity of nasal or throat irritations. On the other hand, e-cigarettes, lozenges, and gum come in different flavors that do not leave a bad after taste in the mouth. Before choosing any nicotine replacement therapy, talk to your doctor to find out the best option that works for you.
William Finlay is a drug addiction consultant that helps cigarette smokers to quit smoking. He is also a blogger that loves to share useful information related to smoking and other health related topics. Go to this website to find out more about one of William’s recommended nicotine replacement therapies.