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Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Nicotine Nasal Spray

What Is It?
Nicotine nasal spray is aerosolized nicotine contained in a spray pump. The nicotine is delivered by spraying into the nostrils, and is rapidly absorbed by the nasal membranes inside the nose. This fast absorption delivers a nicotine "hit" more quickly than any other nicotine replacement therapy.

The nasal spray is available by prescription only. It more than doubles the likelihood of successfully quitting smoking, compared to using no quit medication.

How do I use nicotine nasal spray?
If you're a heavy smoker, the nasal spray may be a good choice for you, because it reduces nicotine cravings within minutes of dosing and allows you to self-dose as necessary. You should be aware, however, that the potential to become dependent on the nasal spray may be greater than with other, slower-acting NRT's. If you are concerned about ongoing nicotine dependency you may want to consider a different stop-smoking medication.

Administer 1-2 doses per hour. One spray to each nostril constitutes a dose. Make sure you read and follow the directions enclosed with the medication, as well as any other information given to you by your doctor.

  • Tilt your head back slightly while using nicotine spray.
  • Spray nicotine spray in your nose whenever you feel the urge to smoke.
  • Do not sniff, swallow, or inhale through the nose while the spray is being used
  • Do not use more than 1 spray in each nostril for a dose without checking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of nicotine spray, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

What is the dose?

  • A usual single dose is two sprays, one in each nostril. Start with 1-2 doses per hour.
  • Each metered dose spray containing approximately 0.5 mg of nicotine, so two sprays would be comparable to smoking about one cigarette.
  • The maximum recommended dose is 5 doses per hour or 40 doses total per day.

To help you determine if the nasal spray is right for you, consider using the QuitNet Medication Wizard. If you decide to try the nicotine nasal spray, see your doctor about a prescription.

More medically specific information ...

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

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