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Nicotine lozenges are a form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). They usually come in different strengths and flavours. Lozenges work in a similar way to nicotine gum.
Lozenges are a fast-acting form of NRT that can be used in combination with nicotine patches.
Combination is the best way to use NRT to help you stop smoking. It is safe and recommended in Ireland's National Clinical Guideline on Stop Smoking Care.
Choosing the correct strength of nicotine lozenge
The strength of nicotine lozenge you should use depends on your level of addiction:
- Higher strength (4mg) - use this if you smoke your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking and smoke more than 20 a day.
- Lower strength (1.5 or 2mg) - use this if your first cigarette is 30 minutes or more after waking and you smoke fewer than 20 a day.
How to use nicotine lozenges
When you feel the urge to smoke, suck a lozenge until the taste becomes strong. Then rest it between your gums and cheek. Suck it again when the taste has faded.
Continue like this until the lozenge dissolves. Each lozenge should last 20 to 30 minutes.
We recommend you use 8 to 12 lozenges each day.
Continue to use the lozenges for up to 6 weeks while reducing the number of lozenges each day.
- do not chew the lozenge or swallow it whole
- do not eat or drink while the lozenge is in your mouth
- do not use more than 15 lozenges in one day
Stopping nicotine lozenges
If you’re still having nicotine cravings after 6 weeks, you can continue to use the lozenges. Keep gradually reducing the number of lozenges you use.
When you’re only using 1 to 2 lozenges a day, try to stop using them altogether.
If you are finding it hard to cut down, talk to your stop smoking advisor, pharmacist or GP.
Side effects of nicotine lozenges
You may have hiccups or irritation in your mouth or stomach with lozenges. This does not happen to everyone.