Is nicotine replacement therapy safe?

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How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Nicotine replacement therapy success rates may encourage persistent smokers who are determined to give up. This ultimately establishes a direct correlation between the nicotine replacement therapy success rate and the patient’s intention to quit smoking.

Cigarette smoking is an important health concern that contributes to many preventable deaths, both in India and around the world. India is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of tobacco products and the third-largest smoker. 

Tobacco addiction is comparable to addiction to other drugs and alcohol. Reducing tobacco consumption can be difficult since tobacco has the potential to modify the physiology and structure of the brain due to the heavy and chronic use of tobacco. The silver lining, though, may lie in gradually breaking the habit. Therefore, this article covers every facet of nicotine replacement treatment because continuing the habit might be fatal.

What is nicotine replacement therapy? And what is its purpose?

Nicotine is the primary active component in tobacco products that stimulates people’s propensity towards tobacco addiction. It is the extra ingredients in tobacco that cause mortality and widespread disease. Even if other components of cigarettes are mostly to blame for smoking’s toxicity, nicotine’s pharmacological effects are what lead to tobacco addiction.” Consequently, pharmacological treatments for quitting smoking are still being developed.

Since, nicotine, is important in controlling the pharmacological effects associated with addiction. Hence, the course of treatment is called “nicotine replacement therapy.”

On September 13, 2022, the Indian government formally added nicotine replacement treatment, or NRT, to the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

It is crucial to stress that the nicotine replacement therapy success rate aims to ward off the desire to use tobacco products by controlling the withdrawal symptoms that are frequently encountered when trying to quit smoking, thereby raising the possibility of decreasing abstinence.

NRT prescription products are available in many different forms, such as tablets, gum, nasal sprays, oral inhalers, transdermal patches, and instantaneous release of nicotine. Transdermal patches are a slow-release or sustained-release method of administering nicotine. Acute dosage forms of nicotine are also present in gum, nasal spray, oral inhalers, and tablets. Each of these products has a different nicotine absorption rate and a different level of effectiveness.

Nicotine replacement therapy assists with the difficult cravings and withdrawal symptoms that most people believe are the only reasons they are unable to quit tobacco. NRT supports symptom reduction. While many people can effectively stop smoking without using NRT, the majority of people who try to quit do not succeed the first time. In reality, a person who wants to quit usually needs to make multiple tries before they can actually give up tobacco dependence. Most people who quit on their own go back to smoking within the first month, usually due to withdrawal symptoms. 

While it can be used independently, nicotine replacement therapy success rate increases when combined with concurrent behavioural treatment for smoking cessation.

What benefits does the substitution of nicotine from tobacco smoke offer? 

Nicotine replacement treatment is a mainstay of smoking cessation programmes because it provides substantial advantages to people trying to stop smoking. NRT can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by delivering a controlled dose of nicotine without the tar, carbon monoxide, and toxins inherent in tobacco smoke. This helps smokers gradually wean themselves off of nicotine, which improves long-term success rates and makes the quitting process easier to handle.

Another significant benefit is the improvement in overall health that comes with smoking cessation.

It should be highlighted that NRT also supports behavioural change by breaking the association between smoking and daily routines or stress triggers, helping individuals establish new, healthier habits. Furthermore, the gradual reduction of nicotine levels can lead to improved mental health outcomes, such as reduced anxiety and depression associated with nicotine withdrawal. Overall, NRT is a valuable tool in the fight against tobacco addiction, offering a safer, controlled pathway to a smoke-free life.

Nonetheless, the nicotine replacement therapy success rate does not imply long-term dependence to cease the habit. NRT is only a moderator in the process of quitting the addictive habit.

Are there any contraindications of Nicotine replacement therapy?

Despite a high nicotine replacement therapy success rate, it is not a universal indication. Before beginning nicotine replacement treatment, some situations need to be taken into account

People who have serious cardiac problems, such as unstable angina, recent myocardial infarction, or severe arrhythmias, should exercise caution. Nicotine may aggravate certain conditions by increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Expectant mothers and breastfeeding moms should also avoid using NRT due to the potential risks to their babies. 

Furthermore, because of the possibility of allergic responses, these therapies should not be used by anyone who is hypersensitive to nicotine or any other ingredient in NRT products. Individuals with skin disorders may react poorly to nicotine patches, leading to dermatitis or skin irritation. Furthermore, because nicotine can worsen serious gastrointestinal problems, including active peptic ulcers, by increasing gastric acid output, patients with such conditions should avoid NRT. 

Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid levels should be carefully evaluated prior to commencing NRT. People who have previously battled substance abuse or mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, should be closely monitored because nicotine’s psychotropic effects may make these symptoms worse. Finally, it is not recommended to use NRT in children younger than eighteen years old or in older people with impaired renal, hepatic, or cardiac functions. 

NRT safety and benefit for each individual patient depends on a comprehensive evaluation by a medical specialist, which is required to determine whether NRT is appropriate.

Is it safe to depend upon nicotine replacement products?

Nicotine preloading” is the term used to describe the practice of taking a medication to replenish lost nicotine before quitting smoking. This strategy is also known as precessation or prequitting NRT. As a result, long-term dependence on NRT can lead to nicotine replacement therapy side effects.

The most common nicotine replacement therapy side effects are cough, sore mouth or throat, dry lips, runny nose, nausea, headache, nervousness and racing heartbeat, hiccups, disrupted sleep, upset stomach, and dizziness. 

One of the most common long-term side effects of nicotine replacement therapy is dry mouth. NRT impairs the saliva’s ability to act as a buffer. Changes in the quantity and quality of saliva caused by NRT may raise the patient’s risk of dental caries as well as conditions like candidiasis, oral mucositis, mouth soreness, taste impairment, and vestibular tissue cracking. Additionally, a dry oral cavity can cause multiple problems for denture wearers, including difficulty speaking. 

It is important to emphasise that nicotine is not a known carcinogen and that it can alter the course of oral cancer. If taken orally through a NRT product, a patient may be at risk for changes in oral neoplastic tissue. There is a lack of research on the connection between NRT and oral cancer, as well as the consequences of combining it with head and neck radiation.

Owing to the long-term effects of nicotine replacement therapy, chronic dependence is not recommended. 

Nicotine replacement therapy is not a permanent solution to tobacco addiction:  

Please be advised that there is no treatment for smoking addiction. While nicotine replacement therapy is a viable option, it is not a long-term fix. The desire of the person seeking to give up the habit comes first, even though nicotine replacement treatment may be helpful in the fight against tobacco addiction. 

While NRT lessens the symptoms of withdrawal but doesn’t deal with the behavioural and psychological elements of smoking addiction, a complete approach to rehabilitation is necessary. This includes behavioural therapy, counselling, and support groups because of the emotional attachment and habits developed around smoking.

Furthermore, it is important to pay attention to the nicotine replacement therapy side effects and contraindications. Hence, there is a considerable boost in the likelihood of successfully quitting smoking when NRT is combined with these other techniques.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

More in

Questions
Fact Check
Interviews
Stories
Videos
How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

How safe is it to use nicotine replacement therapy?
Is it safe to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)?
NRT is essential for smoking cessation. While it might lessen the withdrawal symptoms, it cannot treat the behavioural and psychological aspects of smoking addiction. Long-term use of NRT may also result in adverse symptoms like dry mouth and lips, runny nose, cough, sore throat, racing heartbeat, anxiety, hiccups, disrupted sleep, and so on. Hence, NRT should be used with caution.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dr. Saumya Saluja

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Dr. Saumya Saluja
Dr. Saumya Saluja
A periodontal surgeon by qualification, Dr. Saumya is responsible for reviewing health content and driving health literacy projects.
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