Nicotine inhalers generally consist of a mouthpiece and a plastic cartridge delivering nicotine by inhalation. The nicotine is extracted and absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Unlike many other forms of nicotine replacement therapy, some nicotine inhalers are not available over the counter and people need a prescription from their doctor. Success rates using the nicotine inhaler indicate that it nearly doubles quit rates. The brand most commonly used is the Nicotrol inhaler by Pfizer. Nicorette is another brand of inhaler and does not require a prescription.
Using The Nicotrol Inhaler
The recommendations are taken from the prescribing information for Nicotrol as a reference however you should consult with your physician before beginning therapy with the Nicotrol inhaler.
After placing the cartridge into your mouth, puff in either shallow or deep breaths, to bring the vaporized nicotine into the back of your throat. Users are generally instructed to puff frequently.
For best results, patients should be encouraged to use at least 6 cartridges per day at least for the first 3 to 6 weeks of treatment. In clinical trials, the average daily dose was >6 (range 3 to 18) cartridges for patients who successfully quit smoking. Additional doses may be needed to control the urge to smoke with a maximum of 16 cartridges dailyfor up to 12 weeks. Regular use of the nicotine inhaler during the first week of treatment may help patients adapt to the irritant effects of the product. Some patients may exhibit signs or symptoms of nicotine withdrawal or excess which will require an adjustment of the dosage.
Most people will need to gradually discontinue the use of the inhaler after the initial treatment period. Gradual reduction of dose may begin after twelve weeks of initial treatment and may last for up to twelve weeks. Recommended strategies for discontinuing use include suggesting to people that they use the product less frequently, keep a tally of daily usage, try to meet a steadily reducing target or set a planned quit date for stopping use of the product.