Do all NRT products have the same side effects? And which product is right for you? If you’ve been wondering about the pros and cons of using nicotine replacement therapy, this blog is for you.
In general, most medications and treatments have some side effects, and NRT products are no different. While nicotine replacement therapy is an effective aid to help people quit smoking, there are still a few possible side effects that some people may experience while using NRT products. Below we explain the different types of NRT available and elaborate on the pros and cons of each product.
Nicotine replacement therapy is available in a variety of forms and the right product for you will be whichever you find most effective. If you prefer the idea of using a discreet NRT product that you don’t have to think about most of the time, nicotine patches are a great choice. On the other hand, if you would prefer to use quit smoking aids that keep your hands busy during the day, a nicotine inhalator is the best form of NRT for you.
There are five NRT products approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and these products are generally understood to be safe for healthy adults. However, if you are concerned or want to make sure NRT products are right for you, please consult with your doctor.
The key types of nicotine replacement therapy are:
NRT products are supposed to roughly match the amount of nicotine intake you had through tobacco, while minimizing the detrimental health effects associated with the tars, toxins, and chemicals in cigarette smoke.
For a fast-acting NRT product, nicotine gum is a good choice, and is available in two strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg. When chewed, the gum will release nicotine through the mucous membranes in your mouth and the effects will be immediate.
Possible Side Effects: hiccups, nausea, jaw discomfort, racing heartbeat, bad aftertaste, throat, or mouth irritation. Also, nicotine gum can cause problems with existing dental work.
For a slow-acting form of NRT, nicotine lozenges are an effective product to consider. They are available in strengths of 2 mg and 4 mg, and as you suck on them, the lozenges will dissolve slowly like hard candies and give you a steady flow of nicotine.
Possible Side Effects: hiccups, nausea, racing heartbeat, heartburn, throat irritation, coughing, gas, headache, trouble sleeping.
Nicotine patches are a discreet form of transdermal NRT. A measured dose of nicotine is administered through the skin slowly throughout the day to relieve withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings. Patches provide you with a ‘step-down’ approach to quitting that allows you to decrease your nicotine intake slowly over a period of weeks by switching to lower-dose patches.
Possible Side Effects: Skin irritation, dizziness, headache, nausea, racing heartbeat, muscle aches and stiffness, sleep disturbance.
Nicotine inhalators release nicotine vapor into the body via the mouth for easy absorption into the bloodstream. A nicotine inhalator is a form of NRT that has the closest resemblance to a cigarette, which some smokers find helpful.
Possible Side Effect: mouth or throat irritation, coughing, runny nose, upset stomach. Other nicotine-related side effects include: headache, nervousness, racing heartbeat.
Note: be sure to store/dispose of used cartridges and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. The residual nicotine vapor can be harmful if licked, or touched to the mouth, eyes, etc.
Nicotine nasal spray is an easy-to-use, fast-acting form of NRT. The spray delivers nicotine straight to the bloodstream via the nasal passageways, relieving withdrawal symptoms quickly and providing support to help control cravings.
Possible Side Effects: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, nasal or throat irritation, coughing. Other nicotine-related side effects include: headache, racing heart, nervousness.
Note: make sure to store/dispose of empty bottles and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. Do not get the nicotine liquid on your skin. If it does make contact, make sure to rinse thoroughly with water.
In terms of possible side effects and how likely you are to experience any, each person is different, some people experience minor symptoms, while others experience no symptoms at all.
Commonly, people experience side effects either because their nicotine dosage is too high, or too low. Some symptoms, like a racing heartbeat, may occur due to too much nicotine. In this case, it is best to stop using the NRT product for a time to see if symptoms dissipate. However, if symptoms do continue, please consult with your doctor.
Nicotine replacement therapy is an aid proven to help people quit smoking, and compared with willpower alone, NRT is shown to double the chances of quitting for good. Here at Kea Health, we have 20 years of experience supplying NRT products, and we make sure to provide our customers with only the most trusted and popular NRT brands.
So, if you’re wanting to quit smoking, there’s never been a better time than now. Feel free to explore our range of NRT products online today and become one step closer to being smoke-free for good.