Nicotine Lozenges: Changing the way you Breathe

Nicotine lozenges, such as NiQuitin, are used to help curb the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Caution is recommended before beginning any regimen which includes the use of substances such as nicotine.

Nicotine lozenges orange pill bottle

Akin to Nicorette, nicotine lozenges contain low amounts of nicotine, which is ingested orally. Instead of chewing them like the gum, they are more like a hard candy. The user places the lozenge in their mouth, allowing the lozenge to slowly dissolve. This allows the user to receive a steady stream of nicotine. However, nicotine lozenges may be difficult to use in certain situations or at certain functions where it may be considered to be inappropriate.

Why Choose Nicotine Lozenges?

Many people choose nicotine lozenges over patches or gums due to preference. Each method offers its own pros and cons, and lozenges carry with them the same. Some prefer the duration in which they receive their desired nicotine dose. Gums maintain the ability to be misused, purposefully or accidentally. Lozenges allow for a little more control due to the fact that they dissolve at a set pace. Unless they are chewed, they will administer a stream of nicotine in a time-release fashion.

Effectiveness

There are several different brands of nicotine lozenges. They go under the names Nicorette, Commit and Nicorette Mini. They are all made by the same manufacturer, though, so they all have about the same level of effectiveness. The only real difference is that the Mini will dissolve faster, which can mean that it starts working faster.

Both clinical trials and consumer reports have shown that these lozenges are quite useful for helping people to quit smoking. That is particularly true for people who have tried numerous other smoking cessation products without much success.  That is likely because the lozenges provide nearly instant relief from cravings. They also satisfy some of the oral fixation cravings that some people who used to smoke may have unconsciously. They may not realize they feel the need to have something in their mouth to keep it occupied, but the lozenge provides them comfort there regardless.

How much someone smokes or how long they have smoked will determine how often they need to take the lozenges.

There are a few side effects associated with these, but they are mostly mild. They include sore throat, oral discomfort, nausea and heartburn. More severe side effects relate to a nicotine overdose, which has been covered in the review already. As long as people are following the instructions for use exactly, there should be no danger of that occurring, though.

Strength & Usage

According to the American Cancer Society, nicotine lozenges are available in two strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg. Individuals may choose their desired strength based on the time between waking up and having their first cigarette. Manufacturing brands, such as NiQuitin, recommend using lozenges for 12 weeks. The recommended dose is one lozenge every 1-2 hours for six weeks, one lozenge every 2-4 hours for three weeks, then decrease to one lozenge every 4-8 hours for the remaining three weeks.

Nicotine Lozenge: Success Rates

Like many nicotine replacement therapies, the chances for success is approximately 1.5 to 2 times greater than attempting to quit cold turkey. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, after eight weeks the success rate for lozenges was 15.1%. The rate of success showed greater than the historical spontaneous quit rate of 5.0%.  It was also noted that participants had gained 3.0 to 6.3 lbs by eight weeks. The outcome suggests that lozenges may have a higher success rate than using gum, however, success rates are proven to be short-term.

Possible Side Effects & Warnings

According to drugs.com, it is recommended to avoid food or drinks for 15 minutes before, and during use.

Emergency medical assistance is also recommended any signs of allergic reaction become apparent. Symptoms include hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should discontinue use immediately and consult a doctor:

  • Irregular heartbeat, and/or fluttering in the chest.
  • Oral blistering.
  • Issues pertaining to the teeth or jaw.
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing, or any tightness of the chest.

Pros and Cons of Taking Nicotine Lozenges

Pros:

  • Works quickly
  • Easy to use
  • Helps with numerous cravings
  • Proven to work effectively

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some mild side effects
  • Can be abused, causing overdose

Taking the First Step

There are certain risks involved when using patches, gums, or lozenges. However, the dangers of smoking are not probable, they are certain. Smoking results in numerous adverse health effects, diseases, and death. Taking steps now greatly reduces the risk of contracting several forms of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, and lungs. There are many NRTs on the market. Proper research is recommended to discover whether nicotine lozenges are right for you.

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