Nicotine lozenges (to be sucked)
What are the advantages of lozenges?
- A 2 mg lozenge is equivalent to a 4 mg gum.
- Lozenges can reduce or prevent weight gain after smoking cessation, like patches, gum, microtabs and other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), provided the right dose is used for a sufficiently long of time.
- Lozenges (like other NRT) quickly relieve irritability, food cravings, mood swings, concentration difficulties, the urge to smoke and other inconveniences that may occur during smoking cessation.
- Lozenges can greatly decrease or even completely eliminate these symptoms, provided they are used at the right dose. Therefore one should always choose the dose of medication using a nicotine dependence test.
- Lozenges exist in doses of 1 mg and 2 mg, while microtabs are only available in doses of 2 mg.
- Lozenges can be combined with other medication, such as the patch to increase your protection against cravings, snacking, mood swings and other symptoms.
- Scientific studies have shown that lozenges (and other NRT) increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. The Swiss drug authority, Swissmedic, officially recognizes the effectiveness of lozenges, registering them among medication to be given during smoking cessation.
What are the side effects?
Lozenges can have an unpleasant taste. In this case, just leave the lozenge against the inside of your cheek for a minute or two before resuming use.
In about 20% of patients treated with oral NRT (including chewable tablets), there are side effects, which are generally mild and limited to the duration of treatment. Some symptoms such as dizziness, headache and insomnia, may also be due to withdrawal symptoms that appear as part of smoking cessation. The following adverse reactions have been reported: mouth ulcers, irritation in the mouth, increased heart rate, heartburn, nausea, dizziness, hiccups, throat irritation.
How to use the tablets
The daily dose of 8 to 12 lozenges is usually sufficient to suck (1 mg or 2 mg lozenges, depending on the degree of nicotine dependence).
The maximum dose is 15 tablets per day, but the most common mistake is to take too low a dose, which increases the risk of relapse. We suggest you choose the dose depending on your level of nicotine dependence, by using this very short test for example.
You can also combine these lozenges with a patch in order to be protected against withdrawal symptoms throughout the day.
Treatment should last from 8 weeks to 3 months. If you interrupt the treatment, this will decrease your chances of success.
Tips from physicians specialized in smoking cessation
- If an unpleasant taste appears, keep the lozenge against your cheek for two minutes before resuming use.
- Avoid drinking coffee or fruit juice (acid) before and while taking the lozenges, as these drinks reduce drug absorption.
- Do not stop treatment prematurely as this will decrease your chances of success.