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What should I know before trying nicotine replacement therapy?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Children and teens under age 18 should not use nicotine replacement therapy.

If you have an abnormal heart rhythm, Buerger disease, coronary artery disease, type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, pheochromocytoma, Raynaud disease, or hyperthyroidism, nicotine replacement therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you have asthma or COPD, intranasal nicotine replacement therapy can lead to side effects and should be avoided. Orally inhaled nicotine may also not be a good option for you.

If you have had peptic ulcer, nicotine replacement therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you have had esophagitis, nicotine gum may not be a good option for you.

If you have nasal polyps, intranasal nicotine replacement therapy can lead to side effects and should be avoided.

If you have phenylketonuria, nicotine lozenges may not be a good option for you.

Nicotine replacement therapy is the recommended first treatment for people with schizophrenia. But it does not seem to work as well as it does for people who do not have schizophrenia.

If you have had a recent heart attack, nicotine replacement therapy may not be a good option for you.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, you should not use nicotine replacement therapy.

Nicotine is passed into breast milk and may not be a good option for breastfeeding mothers.

If you have persistent nasal congestion (chronic sinusitis), intranasal nicotine replacement therapy should be avoided.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.