Nicotine polacrilex

Name: Nicotine polacrilex

Why is this medication prescribed?

Nicotine chewing gum is used to help people stop smoking cigarettes. Nicotine chewing gum should be used together with a smoking cessation program, which may include support groups, counseling, or specific behavioral change techniques. Nicotine gum is in a class of medications called smoking cessation aids. It works by providing nicotine to your body to decrease the withdrawal symptoms experienced when smoking is stopped and as a substitute oral activity to reduce the urge to smoke.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using nicotine gum,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: insulin; medications for asthma; medications for depression; medications for high blood pressure; and other medications to help you quit smoking.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a heart attack, heart disease, irregular heart rate, ulcers, diabetes, or high blood pressure not controlled by medication; if you are under 18 years of age; or if you are on a sodium-restricted diet.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using nicotine gum, stop using it and call your doctor.
  • do not smoke cigarettes or use other nicotine products while using nicotine gum because nicotine overdose can occur.

What side effects can this medication cause?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using nicotine gum and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • mouth, tooth, or jaw problems
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • weakness
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • difficulty breathing
  • rash
  • blisters in the mouth

Nicotine gum may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets. Wrap used pieces of nicotine gum in paper and throw them away in the trash. Store nicotine gum at room temperature and away from light, excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Other names

  • nicotine polacrilex
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