Medicines for smoking

Medicines make it easier for most people to quit smoking. The most common drugs contain nicotine. For example, they are available as chewing gum and patches. The drugs reduce your smoke and your withdrawal symptoms during the time you get used to smoking. There are also nicotine-free medicines available for prescription.

If you want to end up with a nicotine addiction, you will get the best results if you combine medicines with other treatments such as counseling and support. You can read more about it in the text Help to quit smoking.

Different types of drugs for smoking

There are various types of drugs used to help quit smoking:

  • Nicotine Drugs. They can be purchased without a prescription.
  • Medicines without nicotine. They are available as prescription tablets.

Nicotine drugs are primarily used. If that doesn’t help, you can try drugs without nicotine. Sometimes nicotine drugs can be combined with drugs without nicotine to enhance the effect of the treatment.

Nicotine Medications

Nicotine drugs are also called nicotine substitutes. They replace the nicotine you are used to smoking. Nicotine drugs almost double the possibility of becoming smoke-free. This is especially true if you receive counseling and support at the same time.

Nicotine drugs are very helpful when you want to quit smoking, but so far there is no evidence that they work when you stop smoking.

In USA you can buy nicotine drugs in the following form:

  • chewing gum
  • band-Aid
  • inhaler
  • tablet placed under the tongue, so-called travel tablet
  • lozenge
  • oral cavity powder in serving bag

The different types of nicotine drugs produce approximately the same effect. You choose the kind of nicotine drug that suits you best. Some may have a hard time chewing gum, others have delicate skin and will not tolerate the patches. You can easily adjust the dose yourself with all medicines except with patches.

Who is the nicotine drug for?

The nicotine drugs are tested for you who smoke 10 cigarettes a day or more. There is not as much knowledge about those who smoke less or sniff. Those who smoke more than about 15 cigarettes a day and are heavily addicted can combine different types of nicotine drugs. You can then use patches that give a uniform nicotine level and supplement with chewing gum, tablets or other products that you take by mouth to suppress the smoke suction for the moment.

Nicotine drugs can be purchased without a prescription

You can buy nicotine drugs without a prescription at a pharmacy. Many products can also be purchased at grocery stores and other places where you can buy tobacco. You who are under the age of 18 cannot buy nicotine medicines without a prescription, but must have a prescription from a doctor. Nicotine drugs are not included in the high-cost protection, but when printed on prescription they become exempt from VAT, which lowers the cost.

Side effects

Nicotine drugs do not produce as many side effects, but it is easy to believe that the withdrawal symptoms are side effects. The side effects you can get from nicotine drugs are, for example, itching and rash of the patches and pain in the jaws of the chewing gum. You can also get headaches, dizziness and stomach upset.

Examples of nicotine drugs

  • Nicorette Inhaler
  • Nicorette Microtab, resoriblett
  • Nicorette, transdermal patch, chewing gum, oral spray, lozenge
  • Nicotinell, lozenge, transdermal patch, chewing gum
  • NiQuitin, transdermal patch, chewing gum, lozenges
  • Zonnic, oral cavity powder, oral cavity spray.

This is how nicotine drugs work

Nicotine is a nerve poison that is formed in the tobacco plant to protect the plant against pest insects. When you inhale tobacco smoke, the nicotine quickly goes into your bloodstream. Within ten seconds it reaches the brain and then the rest of the body.

The nicotine contained in drugs is taken up much more slowly. Most slowly, the levels of nicotine in the body rise with patches.

The drug replaces the nicotine loss

Medicines with nicotine give your body nicotine in a much less harmful way than when you smoke a cigarette, because you do not inhale burnt tobacco. When you use drugs with nicotine, you avoid withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, anxiety, concentration difficulties and smoking.

When and for how long should I take nicotine drugs?

You can start taking nicotine drugs 1-2 weeks before the smoking cessation. Taking nicotine drugs before smoking cessation often causes you to smoke fewer cigarettes before quitting completely.

The treatment usually takes 2-3 months depending on which nicotine drug you use. Towards the end of treatment, it is time to reduce the dose of nicotine medication and finally cease completely.

What if I take too much or too little nicotine?

You can become addicted to nicotine drugs if you are very addicted to nicotine. But compared to smoking, it is better for health to use nicotine drugs. This is because what is most harmful about smoking are the 8000 other substances in the smoke.

The risk is that you are taking too little nicotine medication, or taking it too short, than taking too much. An important reason why nicotine drugs sometimes do not help is that you do not take the recommended dose.

Medicines without nicotine

There are two different substances used in drugs without nicotine in smoking cessation. They are varenicline and bupropion.


Vareniclin is a secondary drug for smoking cessation. It is found in the drug Champix and provides a stimulant similar to nicotine, though weaker. At the same time, varenicline blocks the nicotine that enters your body. It makes it pointless to smoke to try to enhance the nicotine effect.

The high cost protection applies to Champix if you receive motivational support at the same time. Motivational support is usually about either visiting a diplomatic weaner or by quitting the smoking line.


Bupropion is a secondary remedy for smoking cessation. It is found in the drug Zyban and suppresses the withdrawal symptoms and reduces the smoke suction. When you use the medicine you also get motivational support.

Medicines containing bupropion are usually used alone but can in some cases be combined with nicotine drugs.


When you smoke, your body is used to getting a certain amount of nicotine. If you quit smoking and your body no longer receives any nicotine, you may experience so-called withdrawal problems. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and cause you to start smoking again.

A common symptom of abstinence is that you feel a strong smoke. The smoke suction usually lasts for 20-30 seconds. Smoke extraction can be experienced many years after the smoking cessation.

Here are some other common withdrawal problems:

  • You feel anxiety and anxiety.
  • You have trouble concentrating.
  • You’re down.
  • You feel restless.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You get easily annoyed.
  • You get increased appetite

Withdrawal symptoms usually disappear after 1-2 weeks after you stop smoking. Smoke suction and increased appetite may persist for longer.

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