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Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Specifics on Nasal Spray

What is the product strength? The nicotine in nasal spray is concentrated at 10 mg/ml.

What is the recommended treatment duration?
The manufacturer recommends treatment for up to 8 weeks, then stopping or tapering dose for 4-6 weeks.

What are the adverse reactions and cautionary messages?
The most common side effects from the nasal spray are irritation of the nose and throat, watering eyes, sneezing and cough. These side effects are usually short-lived and are more tolerable after the first week of use. As always, you should seek the advice of a doctor to determine whether this product is appropriate for you. Users should be aware that the dependency potential is greater with the nicotine nasal spray than with nicotine gum or the nicotine patch.

People with rhinitis, nasal polyps, sinusitis or severe asthma should not use the nasal spray. Check with your doctor if you take prescription medicine for depression, asthma, diabetes or other conditions; your medications may need to be adjusted as you quit. Also, consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

As in using all other forms of nicotine replacement, if you receive too little nicotine you may experience the symptoms of withdrawal. This can occur either from simply not using the inhaler frequently enough, or by not using it properly.

It is advised to start using the nicotine spray on your quit day. If you happen to have a brief lapse and smoke a cigarette or briefly use another type of tobacco, do not stop your nicotine therapy program. It is important to quickly get back to your quit plan and try to avoid relapse to your previous smoking or tobacco use. If you resume your previous pattern of tobacco use, stop your nicotine spray and re-examine your quit plan with your doctor or coach. Using tobacco at significant levels and the nasal spray as directed might cause you to ingest an excessive amount of nicotine. While the spray eliminates most of health risks associated with tobacco use, nicotine itself can cause serious medical problems, including death, if abused. Keep out of reach of children and animals.

If you are considering using nicotine nasal spray, first read this information from the National Institutes of Health:

Content author: Alan S. Peters, CTTS-M
Reviewed by: Ann Wendling, MD, MPH, April 2013

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