Medications

Nicorette® inhaler   

This product is manufactured by McNeil Consumer Healthcare using the ingredient nicotine.

This product is taken via oral inhalation.

Why is it prescribed?

As an aid to smoking cessation for partial relief of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This treatment should be used as part of a comprehensive behavioural smoking-cessation program.


The Nicorette® inhaler can help you stop smoking by reducing your urge to smoke. The Nicorette® inhaler can calm the craving for a cigarette and satisfy the hand-to-mouth ritual. Although it may be an effective aid, the inhaler is only part of the stop smoking program.

Use the inhaler as directed.

  • Remove the mouthpiece from the plastic wrap. Align marks and separate the two parts of the mouthpiece. 
  • Take out the cartridge tray. Peel back the foil and take out one cartridge. Press the cartridge firmly into the bottom of the mouthpiece until the seal breaks.
  • Replace the top on the mouthpiece. Align the marks to close. Press down firmly to break the top foil seal of the cartridge. Twist to misalign marks and secure. 
  • Place the tapered end of the Inhaler in your mouth and inhale deeply into the back of your throat or puff in short breaths. As you inhale or puff through the mouthpiece, nicotine turns into a vapor and is absorbed through the lining of your mouth and throat and not in your lungs. Use longer and more often at first to help control cigarette cravings. Use the Inhaler at room temperature (15-30°C). Cold temperatures reduce the amount of nicotine you inhale. 
  • After about 20 minutes of frequent continuous puffing, nicotine in the cartridge is used up (the nicotine content may last longer if you use the Inhaler less intensively). 
  • Try different schedules to help control cravings. Puffing on the Inhaler for 5 minutes at a time will give you enough nicotine for 4 uses. Puffing on the Inhaler for 10 minutes at a time will give you enough nicotine for 2 uses. In a few days you'll find what works best for you and know when nicotine in cartridges is used up. 
  • When the cartridge is empty, take off the top of the mouthpiece and throw the used cartridge away, out of reach of children and pets. 
  • Clean the mouthpiece regularly with soap and water

Use the inhaler at room temperature (15 to 30 degrees centigrade).

Cold temperatures reduce the amount of nicotine you inhale.

Avoid drinking acidic beverages such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcohol or citrus juices when using the Nicorette® inhaler. They can prevent it from working properly.

Do not smoke or use any nicotine while on the inhaler because you may overdose on nicotine. Signs of nicotine overdose include headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, drooling, vomiting, cold sweat, blurred vision, difficulty hearing, mental confusion, weakness and fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms contact your doctor or local Poison Control Center immediately.

The Nicorette® inhaler may cause mild irritation of the mouth or throat, and cough. Stomach upset may also occur. 


Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredient as Nicorette® inhaler are •Habitrol® patches •Nicoderm® patches •Nicorette® gum •Nicorette® Lozenges •Nicorette® Quick Mist •Nicotine Gum •Nicotine Patch •Thrive® gum •Thrive® lozenges •

See other products used in the treatment of •nicotine withdrawal symptoms •

The dosage of the Nicorette® inhaler is individualized.  For the first 3 to 12 weeks of treatment, you should use at least 6 cartridges per day. Do not use more than 12 cartridges in one day. As your body adjusts to not smoking, you can either stop using the Inhaler or slowly reduce the number of cartridges used each day over the next 6 to 12 weeks. The recommended duration of treatment is 3 months, after which people should be weaned from the inhaler by a gradual reduction of the daily dose over the following 6 to 12 weeks. When daily use is reduced to 1-2 cartridges, the use of the inhaler should be stopped.


Nicotine replacement therapy provides a lower level of nicotine to your blood than cigarettes, and allows the body's need for nicotine to gradually go away. It works as a temporary aid to help with smoking cessation by reducing nicotine cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms.


Along with its needed effects, nicotine replacement may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Generally, nicotine replacement is well tolerated and many people will not experience unwanted effects. The frequency and severity of these effects is dependant on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual susceptibility. Possible unwanted effects include:

  • belching
  • increased appetite
  • injury or irritation to mouth, teeth or dental work (chewing gum only)
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual dreams

Rare:

  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • high blood pressure
  • hives
  • rash
  • stomach pain
  • coughing
  • irritability

 


Do not continue to smoke while using nicotine replacement products.(If using nicotine gum to cut back, do not smoke at the same time as chewing gum.) If you smoke or use other nicotine-containing products while using nicotine replacement you may get a nicotine overdose. Signs of an overdose include headaches, dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweat, blurred vision, difficulty with hearing, mental confusion, weakness and fainting, rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms contact your doctor or Poison Control Centre at once.

Do not use nicotine replacement therapy if you have:

  • certain heart conditions (e.g. heart attacks, heart beat irregularities)is contraindicated.
  • recent stroke
  • skin diseases
  • known allergy to the patches or to nicotine

Consult your doctor first if you have ever had any of the following:

  • irregular heart beat (arrhythmia)
  • high blood pressure
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • stomach ulcers
  • kidney or liver disease
  • diabetes requiring insulin
  • treatment for poor circulation
  • rashes from adhesive tape or bandages

Drug Interactions: It is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. In some cases the dose of one or both drugs may need to be altered or another drug may be prescribed. The concentration of medication in the body may be altered by smoking cessation with or without nicotine replacement. The dosage of certain medications may require adjustment. Drugs whose concentrations may be affected by smoking cessation include:

  • acetaminophen
  • imipramine
  • oxazepam
  • propranolol
  • theophylline
  • insulin
  • prazosin
  • labetalol

Use in pregnancy: Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect you are pregnant.
Use while breastfeeding: Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.


Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016