Nicotine replacement therapy involves the use of products that provide low doses of nicotine but do not contain the toxins found in smoke. NRT doubles a smoker's chance of quitting smoking. Below is a current list of the seven medications approved by the FDA to assist people in quitting tobacco. Please consult with a doctor before starting any new medication. It is important to read all directions for these products. They must be used correctly in order to increase your success in quitting.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Patch (Nicoderm, Nicoderm CQ) – Provides a specific dose of nicotine through the skin. User switches patches to lower doses over a few weeks period, eventually weaning off the patch. Several types and strengths are available.
Lozenges (Commit Lozenges) – Newest form of NRT. Available in two strengths. Used typically over a 12-week period, decreasing the number of lozenges used in a day over the 12 weeks.
Gum (Nicorette) – A fast acting NRT that delivers nicotine through the membrane of the mouth. A good alternative to the patch for people with sensitive skin. Available in two strengths. Usually used for one-three months but no more than six months.
Quitting Tobacco Medication
Varenicline (Chantix) - A medication that helps people quit smoking by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain, thereby reducing the withdrawal symptoms and decreasing the pleasure derived from smoking.
Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) - An extended release antidepressant that helps reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It is often used in conjunction with nicotine replacement therapies. For more information on Bupropion from the National Institutes of Health, click here.
Nicotine Inhaler – Delivers nicotine to the mouth by puffing on the inhaler. Many who have used it feel it is the closest alternative to a cigarette. Can be the most expensive of the NRTs.
Nasal Spray – Provides immediate relief to withdrawal symptoms by delivering nicotine through the nose into the bloodstream. Easy to use. Typically prescribed for three months but no longer than six months.
Many insurance companies provide coverage for quit tobacco programs & medications. Check with your individual provider. Medicaid recipients call 888-367-6557 to check your plan coverage.
For more information on Nicotine Replacement therapies and other medications, click here.