Quit-smoking basics (10)
- Chewing tobacco: Not a safe alternative to cigarettes
- Quitting smoking: 10 ways to resist tobacco cravings
- Quit-smoking products: Boost your chance of quitting for good
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Quit-smoking action plan (5)
- Smoking cessation: Creating a quit-smoking plan
- Quit smoking: Proven strategies to help you quit
- Teen smoking: How to help your teen quit
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Living smoke-free (3)
- Support groups: Make connections, get help
- Relaxation techniques: Try these steps to reduce stress
- Stress management: Examine your stress reaction
Quit-smoking products: Boost your chance of quitting for good
Nicotine nasal spray
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|Nicotine nasal spray|
The nicotine nasal spray delivers a solution into your nostrils that contains a small dose of nicotine. The nicotine enters your body by being absorbed through the lining of your nose. The recommended dose is a spray in each nostril one to three times an hour.
The nicotine nasal spray is short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. The nasal spray also works faster than does nicotine gum, lozenges and the inhaler. You control the dose by using the spray as needed throughout the day. The nicotine nasal spray also can be used with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking products.
Nicotine nasal spray is available only by prescription. It may be inconvenient, since you must use the nasal spray repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Side effects include nasal, sinus and throat irritation, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing. These effects typically go away with regular use over five to seven days. The nasal spray also poses a slight risk of dependency.
Nicotine nasal spray isn't recommended if you have a nasal or sinus condition.
Nicotine nasal spray is often used for about three to six months. Recommended use is one to three sprays an hour at first, gradually tapering to none.
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Bupropion is a prescription medication classified as a type of antidepressant. A sustained-release form of bupropion is approved for smoking cessation. Unlike nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion doesn't contain nicotine. It's thought to decrease tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms by increasing the levels of certain brain chemicals.
Bupropion is a pill, so it's relatively easy to use.
Bupropion is available only by prescription, including under the brand name Zyban. Because it takes five to seven days to achieve effective levels in the bloodstream, you typically should start taking bupropion a week or two before you quit smoking. Side effects may include insomnia, agitation, headache and dry mouth. Rarely, a severe allergic reaction or seizure can occur. Also, you must remember to take the pill two times a day.
In July 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required bupropion to carry a black box warning — the strongest safety warning that the FDA can issue about a prescription medication. The warning is required because bupropion may be associated with serious mental health problems either while taking it or after stopping it, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, hostility and depression. If you take bupropion, report any changes in mood or behavior to your doctor immediately and stop taking the medication. Bupropion isn't appropriate if you have a seizure or eating disorder, if you've lost consciousness for more than an hour because of head trauma, if you're already taking a medication containing bupropion, or if you take a type of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).
Bupropion is generally used for 12 weeks, but if you've successfully quit smoking, you can use it another three to six months to reduce the risk of a smoking relapse.
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Varenicline is a prescription medication that can help reduce cravings for tobacco and control nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It also blocks nicotine receptors in your brain, which decreases the pleasurable effects of smoking.
Varenicline is a pill, so it's relatively easy to use.
Varenicline is available only by prescription, including under the brand name Chantix. Because it takes several days to reach effective levels in the blood, you typically should start taking varenicline a week or two before you quit smoking. Also, you must remember to take the pill two times every day. Side effects can include nausea, vision trouble, fainting, severe skin reactions, vivid or strange dreams, and impairment of the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Some studies have shown an increase in road accidents and falls among people taking varenicline.
In July 2009, the FDA required varenicline to carry a black box warning — the strongest safety warning that the FDA can issue about a prescription medication. The warning is required because varenicline may be associated with serious mental health problems either while taking it or after stopping it, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, hostility, and depression. If you take varenicline, report any changes in mood or behavior to your doctor immediately and stop taking the medication. Varenicline should be used with caution if you have severe kidney problems.
Varenicline is typically used for 12 weeks, but if you've successfully quit smoking, you can use it another 12 weeks to reduce the risk of a smoking relapse.
Need more help to quit smoking?
The most effective strategy to quit smoking for good is to combine a quit-smoking product with a program that includes support from professionals trained to treat tobacco dependence. Consider joining a community stop-smoking group or starting in-person or telephone counseling. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to obtain free telephone counseling services and information about stop-smoking programs near you.Previous page
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- Nicotine inhaler fact sheet. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/mg-nicotine_inhaler.aspx. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
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- Varenicline fact sheet. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/mg-varenicline.aspx. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
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