Nicotine Polacrilex (NIK-oh-teen pol-a-KRIL-ex)
Helps you quit smoking by reducing nicotine cravings. Provides your body with nicotine to replace cigarettes.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
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When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to nicotine.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- If you are using this medicine without a prescription, follow the instructions on the medicine label.
- Read the instructions on the package to find out which medicine dose you should use. Ask the pharmacist if you have questions. Do not switch medicine types during treatment.
- You might choose the correct dose based on how soon you usually smoke after you wake up in the morning. People who need to smoke within the first 30 minutes usually need the larger dose of medicine. People who can wait longer than 30 minutes for a cigarette usually need a lower dose.
- Sometimes the correct dose is based on how many cigarettes you smoke. Choose the package that matches the number of cigarettes you usually smoke in 1 day.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Do not eat or drink for 15 minutes before you use this medicine or while you have it in your mouth.
- Use at least the minimum number of suggested pieces of gum or lozenges per day for the first 6 weeks. This will reduce your cravings and increase your chances of success.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time. Do not use more than 1 piece of this medicine at the same time. Tell your doctor if you still crave nicotine after your treatment ends.
- You may feel tingling or a warm feeling in your mouth with this medicine. This means the nicotine is being released.
- Do not chew this medicine like regular gum. Only chew the gum until you feel tingling, or taste a peppery flavor. Tuck it inside your cheek until the tingling goes away. Chew it a few more times until the tingling returns, and move it to your other cheek. Throw the gum away after the tingling stops (about 30 minutes).
- You may use a second piece of gum if you still feel strong cravings to smoke within the same hour. After that, you must wait until your next scheduled time for gum.
- Do not bite, chew, or swallow the lozenge. Suck on the lozenge until you taste a peppery flavor, or feel tingling. Minimize swallowing when the lozenge is in your mouth. Occasionally move the lozenge from side to side in your mouth. Let it melt slowly. It should melt within 30 minutes.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store this medicine at room temperature. Keep away from heat and direct light. Wrap any used gum or leftover lozenge that you need to spit out in a paper towel and throw it away so that children or pets cannot get to it.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using insulin, asthma medicine, or medicine for depression.
- Do not smoke cigarettes or use any other kind of nicotine while you are using this medicine. This includes cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine spray, or nicotine patches. Tell your doctor if you are using any other supplement or drug to help you stop smoking. You may not be able to use both medicines together.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should only use this medicine as directed by a doctor. Cigarette smoke can seriously harm your child. Try to stop smoking without using medicine. Although this medicine is believed to be safer than smoking, the risks to your child from this medicine are not fully known.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have heart problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure, a stomach ulcer, or diabetes.
- Tell your doctor if you have a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU). Some brands of this medicine may contain phenylalanine, which may be dangerous for you to take.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need to be on a low-salt diet before you use this medicine.
- You may still have cigarette cravings sometimes. Have a plan for situations where you may be tempted. This medicine is only part of a complete program to quit smoking.
- Stop using this medicine at the end of week 12, or as directed. Talk to your doctor if you still crave cigarettes after you have finished this program.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, diarrhea
- Severe sore throat, open mouth sores or blisters
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild nausea, constipation, heartburn
- Mouth, tooth, or jaw pain