nicotine polacrilex (Nicorette Gum)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: nicotine polacrilex

BRAND NAME: Nicorette Gum

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Nicotine gum is a smoking cessation agent. Nicotine gums works by releasing nicotine which is absorbed into the body and binds to nicotine receptors, reducing nicotine craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation. The FDA approved nicotine gum in January, 1984.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Nicotine gum is available in 2 and 4 mg strengths.

STORAGE: Nicotine gums should be stored at room temperature between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Nicotine gum is used to control nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with smoking cessation.

DOSING:

  • Light smokers (less than 25 cigarettes per day): Use 1 piece of 2 mg gum every 1 to 2 hours for weeks 1 to 6; then use 1 piece of 2 mg every 2 to 4 hours for weeks 7 to 9; then use 1 piece of 2 mg gum every 4 to 8 hours for weeks 10 to 12.
  • Heavy smokers (more than 25 cigarettes per day): Use 1 piece of 4 mg gum every 1 to 2 hours for weeks 1 to 6; then use 1 piece of 4 mg every 2 to 4 hours for weeks 7 to 9; then use 1 piece of 4 mg gum every 4 to 8 hours for weeks 10 to 12.

Individuals should not use more than 24 pieces of nicotine gum per day. It is not recommended to eat or drink 15 minutes before or while chewing the gum. It is not recommended to use nicotine gum for more than 12 weeks.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Nicotine gums may cause abnormal heart rate and rhythm in patients maintained on anti-arrhythmia medications.

Patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), insulin-dependent diabetes, or coronary artery disease should use nicotine gum with caution or consult a doctor before use.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of nicotine to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if nicotine enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include increase heart rate and blood pressure, oral irritation or dental pain, hiccups, heartburn, nausea, and indigestion.

REFERENCES:

FDA Prescribing Information.

Medscape. nicotine gum (OTC) - Nicorette.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/25/2014



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