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Nicotine gum

Overview:
Nicotine gum is available in strengths of 2mg and 4mg (for people who smoke more than 18 cigarettes a day). You are required to take 12 to 15 pieces of gum daily at a rate of one per hour. You would have to chew the gum gradually till you get the strong taste that releases the nicotine into your blood stream. Nicotine gum is available without prescription. But many people keep away from it as the taste is intolerable, and you are also required to keep the gum for a long period of time in your mouth. It is not suitable for people who wear dentures.

How is Nicotine Gum used?

You need to know the proper way to consume nicotine gum for the best health results. Nicotine gum should be taken only under prescription.

Some of the standard methods of nicotine gum usage are as follows:

  • Nicotine gum should be chewed, it should't be swallowed
  • Follow directions given on the label
  • Stick to the directions given by your doctor
  • Generally, you can start off with the 2mg gum
  • Heavy smokers(who smoke 25 or more cigarettes a day) should start with 4mg
  • You can chew one piece of gum every one or two hours, or whenever you get the urge
  • Nicotine gum should be chewed slowly till you get the tingling feel in your tongue
  • Once you get the tingling feel stop chewing and place it in your cheek and gum till the feeling ends
  • Start allover again when the tingling taste goes off, and repeat the process for at least half an hour
  • If you chew the 2mg gum, don't go more than 30 pieces a day; however don't exceed 24 pieces in the case of the 4mg gum
  • Gradually reduce the amount after 2 to 3 months

Given below are some suggested tips that would assist in slowly reducing the nicotine gum intake:

  • Try reducing 1 piece of nicotine gum every 4 to 7 days
  • Reduce the chewing time to 15 minutes instead of 30 , after 4-7 days
  • Replace one piece with one or more sugarless gum after 4-7 days
  • Start replacing 4 mg to 2 mg gradually
  • You can consider stopping the use of nicotine gum when you can cope up with your craving with a piece or a two.

It is feasible to use nicotine for 3 months; but you should never exceed 3 months.

Precautions & Warnings

It is mandatory to consult a doctor before you start using nicotine gum if you are under any of the following situations and circumstances

  • If you are taking prescription as well as non-prescription medicines like acetaminophen, diuretics, caffeine, high blood pressure medicines, insulin, pentazocine, propoxyphene, propranolol, theophylline and Vitamins.
  • If you have a medical history of angina, irregular heart rate, ulcers, heart attack, uncontrolled high blood pressure, dental disorders or overactive thyroid
  • If you a pregnant or breast feeding woman, as there are chances of nicotine gum harming the fetus
  • If you are smoking or using any nicotine products as there are chances of nicotine overdose

Persons taking nicotine gum should also try to avoid eating and drinking (acidic beverages) for around 15 minutes before and during chewing the nicotine gum.

Side-Effects:

Nicotine gum may cause certain severe as well as moderate side effects that may go off with time. However consult your doctor if the following side effects don't go away:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Ulcer of the mouth
  • Pain of the jaw muscle
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach

Remember that you need to call the doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Disturbances in the heart rhythm
  • Seizures or fits

Storage:

  • Keep nicotine gum in tight containers out of children's reach
  • Store it at room temperature away from heat and moisture
  • Dispose off the gum once it is outdated
  • Take the advice of the pharmacist for a proper way of disposal

Brands:

Nicotine gum is available under the following brands:
  • Nicorette®
  • Nicorette® DS
  • Nicotine Polacrilex

 

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