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Nicotine Polacrilex Chewing-gum, medicated

What is this medicine?

NICOTINE (NIK oh teen) helps people stop smoking. This medicine replaces the nicotine found in cigarettes and helps to decrease withdrawal effects. It is most effective when used in combination with a stop-smoking program.

How should I use this medicine?

Chew but do not swallow the gum. Follow the directions that come with the chewing gum. Use exactly as directed. When you feel an urgent desire for a cigarette, chew one piece of gum slowly. Continue chewing until you taste the gum or feel a slight tingling in your mouth. Then, stop chewing and place the gum between your cheek and gum. Wait until the taste or tingling is almost gone then start chewing again. Continue chewing in this manner for about 30 minutes. Slow chewing helps reduce cravings and also helps reduce the chance for heartburn or other gastrointestinal side effects.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • blisters in mouth

  • breathing problems

  • changes in hearing

  • changes in vision

  • chest pain

  • cold sweats

  • confusion

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • headache

  • increased saliva

  • nausea, vomiting

  • stomach pain

  • weakness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea

  • dry mouth

  • hiccups

  • irritability

  • nervousness or restlessness

  • trouble sleeping or vivid dreams

What may interact with this medicine?

  • medicines for asthma

  • medicines for blood pressure

  • medicines for mental depression

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. Only use the chewing gum when you have a strong desire to smoke. Do not use more than one piece of gum at a time.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from heat and light. Throw away unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes

  • heart disease, angina, irregular heartbeat or previous heart attack

  • lung disease, including asthma

  • overactive thyroid

  • pheochromocytoma

  • stomach problems or ulcers

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to nicotine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Always carry the nicotine gum with you. Do not smoke while you are using the chewing gum. Do not use more than 30 pieces of gum a day. Too much gum can increase the risk of an overdose. As the urge to smoke gets less, gradually reduce the number of pieces each day over a period of 2 to 3 months. When you are only using 1 or 2 pieces a day, stop using the nicotine gum.

If your mouth gets sore from chewing the gum, suck hard sugarless candy between pieces of gum to help relieve the soreness. Brush your teeth regularly to reduce mouth irritation. If you wear dentures, contact your doctor or health care professional if the gum sticks to your dental work.

If you are a diabetic and you quit smoking, the effects of insulin may be increased and you may need to reduce your insulin dose. Check with your doctor or health care professional about how you should adjust your insulin dose.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 2/21/2012
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.