If you are ready to quit but you think you want to try NRT, or nicotine replacement therapy then you will be very pleased to find you have many more options than just the nicotine patch. Some users of the patch find it the best way to quit but it is good to know there are many options, so you can pick which one best fits your lifestyle and particular quitting goals. Nicotine substitutes are used to help you quit smoking by giving your body low and controlled doses of nicotine, without the addition of toxins, tars, or any other cancer causing agents you would find in cigarettes. The nicotine you receive from nicotine replacement therapy is just enough to get you through your cravings when quitting smoking. No method will work for everyone so you should carefully decide which method is the best for your needs and quitting goals.
Among the best of the nicotine substitutes you might want to consider using is the nicotine gum, which is a gum that gives you a designated amount of nicotine throughout the day while giving your mouth another thing to do that doesn’t involve puffing on a cigarette. The chewing can be a good distraction from the habit of smoking, and the nicotine helps curb the cravings. Some find this substitute to be the very best method for not only helping the withdrawal but also the habit. Another advantage to the nicotine gum is it is available over the counter so no prescription or going to the doctor is needed. With the nicotine gum you will receive an amount equal to one or two cigarettes or around two to four mg of nicotine, which means how much you need each day to help, will depend on how many cigarettes you used to smoke a day. The gum is a quick way to get nicotine into the blood stream because it is absorbed through the tissue of the mouth, and the gum should never be used while still smoking.
Another method of nicotine substitute is the nicotine patch, which is available both over the counter and by prescription. The patch is a transdermal patch
used to help one quit smoking. Transdermal patch means an adhesive patch that is medicated and placed on the skin to give a designated dose of the medicine to the bloodstream through the skin. The real advantage of this method of medicating over pills or topical medication is a slow and controlled release of medication to the person throughout the day. The patch is good for a phase out method of quitting. The patch comes in 21, 14, and 7 mg strengths which allow you to slowly lower the amount of nicotine you are receiving. If you used to smoke around a pack a day would need to start with the highest patch, however if you smoked less you may be able to go straight to the second step.
There are a few side effects associated with the nicotine patch but they are not dangerous and are not cause for serious concern. These side effects include nightmares, and itching. The nightmares are caused by wearing the patch to bed, and some people get used to it and have no further problems. However if the nightmares become a problem then one can wear the patch for seventeen hours or so and take it off before bed, which although it may help the dreams it will not help the morning cravings one gets for cigarettes. The itching can be avoided by following instructions on the packages and put the patch in a different place each day. When there is itching it usually goes away in half to one hour.
The nicotine substitute known as a nicotine lozenge is another of the over the counter nicotine replacement therapies available to smokers trying to kick the habit. Each lozenge gives you a designated amount of nicotine throughout the day to help curb the withdrawal symptoms you will get from quitting smoking. The lozenge is similar to the nicotine gum because it is giving you the drug through the mouth and very quickly. A major advantage to the gums and lozenge is the act of using your mouth to receive the nicotine whether dissolving it slowly or chewing. Some people trying to quit smoking take up gum chewing of sucking on hard candies to give their mouth something to do while trying to break the habit, so these NRT’s are a very big help in both the areas of withdrawal and habit breaking. As with all medicines it is best to consult your doctor and read all directions carefully before beginning any of these nicotine replacement therapies.
A very effective method of nicotine substitution is the nicotine inhaler. This inhaler method is only available by prescription so you must go to the doctor to get it but they will then be able to better explain to you how to best use it for your plan to quit smoking. This inhalation method gives you the nicotine the same way as smoking would without the use of tobacco, which means you still get a quick buzz as you would from a cigarette. The nicotine inhaler can also be used to help phase out the act of smoking by using the inhaler more and more until you quit and use it for a while to get past the cravings. Like most other nicotine substitutes the inhaler can double your chances of quitting for good, rather than just trying to stop with no help. Your doctor is the best person to discuss your needs with and they may make changes to your amounts of inhaler cartridges throughout the first few weeks of use. The side effects are mild and can include mild irritations of the throat and mouth, which most people get used to in a short period of time.
The method of nicotine substitute called the nicotine nasal spray is, like the other methods, designed to help you quit smoking while reducing the urge to smoke with low doses of nicotine in controlled sprays. The nasal spray method, like the inhaler, is only available through prescription and it is best to ask your doctor which will be best for your personal goals. When you are closer to getting through the cravings your doctor will either phase out the spray or tell you to quit using it all together. Many common side effects of the nasal spray are hot feeling in the noise or throat, coughing, sneezing, or watery eyes. The side effects are usually easy to get adjusted to and the spray should only be used as directed by your doctor.
Although medications help your chances of quitting for good it is always best to discuss these nicotine replacement therapies with your doctor before starting one, especially if you are pregnant, under age eighteen, or have a medical condition.
When you find the best method to be used with your plan for quitting you will either double or triple your chances of quitting with the help of these great nicotine substitutes. Although the chances of quitting are better with nicotine substitutes, you will need to know how to prevent relapsing which we will discuss in the next chapter
In addition to the various nicotine replacement therapies available through prescription, you can also get many different medicines that help to get you through the process of quitting. Some of these medicines include Zyban and Chantix. It is always best to research the medicines you might be considering and also have a long talk with your doctor before you decide which of the medicines available will be of the most help to you when quitting. With patience and a little help from medication and therapies you will have a much better chance of quitting and staying that way for good.
Zyban is a pill prescribed by your doctor to aid in the cessation of smoking. This pill doesn’t contain nicotine, which can be an advantage to some smokers trying to quit. It was found out that the medicine in the pill Zyban, while being used to treat depression, worked to greatly lessen the desire for cigarettes. After much testing the drug was approved for use in helping
people quit smoking. Zyban is a very slow release anti-depressant drug that takes its time to go through your system helping to lessen the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.
Some advantages of Zyban over nicotine substitutes are that the drug contains no nicotine which will stop adding any more to your blood stream. With all nicotine substitutes you must stop smoking before you begin treatment, with the Zyban pill this is not the case. People who still smoke while trying to use a nicotine substitute have a chance over overdosing on nicotine and getting very sick, Zyban has none of those risks. When you are going to begin Zyban you can do it before you quit smoking up until your set quit date and for a designated time after quitting to help lessen the need for cigarettes.
In some cases when patients are heavily addicted to smoking, doctors will recommend a combination of Zyban and nicotine substitutes like the gum or lozenge. Be honest with your doctor about how severe your smoking addiction really is so he or she can prescribe the very best solution to help you quit. So the Zyban has an advantage because it can be used alone or in conjunction with nicotine substitutes.
There are some minor side effects to be aware of when taking Zyban that include dry mouth, sleeping trouble, nausea, vomiting, so it is best to discuss these with your doctor before getting on the pill. Another thing to be aware of is that Zyban contains the same ingredients as a dug called Wellbutrin, which is commonly used to treat depression, and Zyban should never be taken in conjunction with this drug or the drug called Wellbutrin SR.
There is available another prescription called Chantix that is used to help smokers quit. The Chantix pill is also like Zyban a non-nicotine pill that uses other ways to help you quit. Chantix unlike Zyban is not an antidepressant but is supposed to help you quit by targeting the same receptors in your brain that the drug nicotine does and keeping the nicotine from effecting them.
Unlike nicotine replacement if you do relapse or slip up while taking Chantix you can continue taking the pills and make another attempt to quit smoking. This is possible because the pill contains no nicotine so it will not do extra harm to smoke while taking it.
Like with most pills there is a chance of side effects including nausea, vomiting, and trouble sleeping, which you should definitely discuss with your doctor prior to starting the medicine Chantix.
Pharmaceuticals are a powerful weapon in the quitter’s arsenal. Medicine can be a very important help for smokers who are trying to quit and can be used in conjunction with stop smoking programs, hypnosis and a number of other aids with careful planning. Be certain to discuss your goals with your doctor before deciding with them which of the stop smoking medicines, if any, are right for you to meet your goals.