Nicorette Inhaler- Is it right for me?

How does the Nicorette Inhalator work?

Firstly, let us describe the appearance of the inhalator so you know what we are dealing with. The Nicorette Inhalator consists of a plastic outer tube, or mouthpiece, and a nicotine cartridge which is loaded inside. The nicotine cartridge is packaged in a transparent tube sealed at the ends by aluminium foil. The inhalator mouthpiece comes in two parts. These are separated and a nicotine cartridge is inserted in the middle. The mouthpiece is reassembled taking care to align the two marks on the outside of the mouthpiece together. This breaks the aluminium seal on both ends of the nicotine cartridge. The inhaler is now ready to use and the cartridge should be used within the next twelve hours or so. To seal the mouthpiece of the Nicorette Inhalator in between use, you need to turn the two pieces of the inhaler in opposite directions so that they are no longer aligned.

To use the Nicorette Inhalator you puff on it like a cigarette. You can control the amount of nicotine that you get by changing how you puff on it. You can deeply inhale like you would smoking a cigarette or use more shallow puffs if you are used to smoking cigars. As you do so, nicotine is vaporized and becomes absorbed through the mucus membranes lining the mouth. You will also be able to taste the familiar menthol taste that has been added to the nicotine cartridge. The amount of nicotine you get is less than you would receive from a cigarette, approximately one-third. The inhaler does not contain the other carcinogens and toxins that are so harmful to your body. Soft drinks, coffee, tea, fruit juice and other acidic beverages can adversely affect how you absorb the nicotine so you should avoid drinking them fifteen minutes before using the Nicorette Inhalator.

The Nicorette Inhalator cartridge contains 15 milligrams (mg) of nicotine.

Is the Nicorette Inhalator right for me?

Adults and children over 12 years of age can use the Nicorette Inhalator. You should not use Nicorette Inhalator if you are a non-smoker. It is not for use by those who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, because of the potential risk to the foetus. Because nicotine passes into breast milk, the inhalator is not to be used by those who are breast-feeding. If you have recently had a stroke or heart attack, or suffer from heart disease, including palpitations and uncontrolled angina, then you should not use the Nicorette Inhalator. The inhalator is not suitable for use by people who are allergic to nicotine or sensitive to menthol.

You are not to continue to smoke while using the Nicorette Inhalator. Doing so carries a slight risk of an overdose of nicotine, or even poisoning. Symptoms of a nicotine overdose include nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, an irregular pulse or abdominal pain.

The Nicorette Inhalator should be used with caution if you have asthma or chronic throat diseases. Caution should also be taken if you have gastritis, duodenal or gastric ulcers because of the effects that nicotine can have on the stomach. If you have an irregular heartbeat, hypertension, or peripheral vascular disease then caution is also required. This is because of the tendency of nicotine to increase blood pressure and impair the cardiovascular system by constricting the blood vessels. Using the Nicorette Inhalator may have a detrimental effect if you already suffer from kidney or liver disease. If you have hyperthyroidism, phaeochromocytoma or diabetes, then caution is also advised. If you are taking other medications and you are unsure of what effect these will have when used in conjunction with the Nicorette Inhalator then you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.

The Nicorette Inhalator is a good choice for those with dentures or dental bridgework because, unlike NRT gum, there is no risk of damaging them. The inhalator helps smokers if they still have the urge to put something in their mouth. Some smokers turn to food to satisfy this urge and this is part of the 'weight gain once you stop smoking' equation. Be aware that using the inhalator in public can attract attention because people may not know what it is you are puffing on. This is worth consideration if you are a particularly self-conscious person.

Does Nicorette Inhalator have any side effects?

If you do experience side effects they are most likely to occur early in the treatment. The most common side effects when using the Nicorette Inhalator is a slight cough or irritation of the mouth and throat. The mouth is now the area utilized for the absorption of nicotine and it may take time to get used to this. These symptoms should become reduced over the first three weeks of use. Other possible side effects include a headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sinusitis, mouth ulcers, an upset stomach and hiccups. While none of these are likely to be serious, if they persist or you are concerned about them, you should consult you doctor or pharmacist. Remember that symptoms such as headaches, nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness and weakness are also signs of nicotine overdose. Symptoms such as headaches, lethargy or dizziness, however, can also be indictors of nicotine withdrawal due to your body experiencing a reduction in the levels of nicotine present in your system.

How long should I use the Nicorette Inhalator?

The Nicorette Inhalator is intended to be used for a period of at least three months in order to give you the best chance to quit smoking. If you stop using the inhalator before the 12 weeks are up you will still find your body craving nicotine and may still experience the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It is during this time that you are most likely to start smoking again. It does, however, depend on the individual. The more you used to smoke during a day then the greater your chances of experiencing symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

You should use the inhalator whenever you feel the urge to smoke. In this regard, you can puff on the inhalator the same way that you would a cigarette.

After about 40 twenty minutes of use, either with deep inhalation or shallow puffing, you will have used up all the nicotine in the cartridge and it should be replaced. There is no point in continuing to use the cartridge after all the nicotine is gone because you will not derive any real benefit from it. You can expect to feel relief from nicotine cravings around half an hour after you start an inhalator session.

A recommended programme for Nicorette Inhalators lasts around 18 to 20 weeks. In the first 12 weeks, when you will experience the most pronounced symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, you would be expected to use between 6 and 12 cartridges a day. In weeks 13 and 14 this can be reduced to about 3 to 6 cartridges per day. For weeks 15 and 16, only using around 1 to 3 cartridges is a realistic target. Then in weeks 16 and 18 you can reduce the number of cartridges used to only 1 or 2. It may take you a longer or shorter time until you feel you can comfortably stop using the inhaler. Once you have the number of cartridges used down to 1 or 2 a day you are probably ready to stop using the Nicorette Inhalator. You should be able to stop using the Nicorette Inhalator after 6 months of use but you may feel confident of doing so before this time.

The Nicorette Inhalator is not intended for use longer than nine months of treatment but some heavy smokers may require further use of the inhalator. This is certainly preferable to them relapsing into smoking again but they should check with their doctor or pharmacist if they have any concerns regarding the extended use of the inhalator. Only they can advise you whether the benefits of stopping smoking outweighs the risks, if any, from prolonged use of the Nicorette Inhalator. Remember that the guide outlined above is only that - a guide. The dosage that best suits each individual will vary depending on many factors, including the nicotine intake they have conditioned their body to expect. Once you have tried the inhalator a few times you will discover what works best for you. You should not use more than 12 inhalator cartridges a day unless you are directed to do so by your doctor.

The Nicorette Inhalator can be used on a temporary basis, during any period requiring an abstinence from smoking. For example, a long-haul flight. It is suitable for times were you must remain in a non-smoking area or in a situation where you must refrain from smoking.

Although you should not smoke and use the Nicorette Inhalator at the same time, you can use the inhalator to reduce the amount that you smoke. This is done by using the inhalator between smoking episodes with the intension of reducing the amount you smoke when you do resume. If you have not seen a reduction in the amount that you smoke after 6 weeks of using an inhalator you should see you doctor or pharmacist.

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