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Nicotine Chewing Gum
Consumer Medicine Information
Please read this leaflet carefully before you start to use NICORETTE Gum. This leaflet answers some common questions about NICORETTE Gum and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (also called NRT).
It does not contain all the available information or take the place of professional advice such as talking to your doctor or pharmacist or a counsellor experienced with helping smokers to quit.
All medicines have risks and benefits. You need to weigh the risks of taking NICORETTE Gum against the expected benefits it will have for you.
Use NICORETTE Gum as instructed and follow the advice given in this leaflet.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, you can seek the professional advice of your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What NICORETTE GUM is used for
How NICORETTE Gum works
Before using NICORETTE Gum
When you must not use NICORETTE Gum
Before you start to use NICORETTE Gum
Taking other medicines
Using NICORETTE Gum
How to use NICORETTE Gum
When to start using NICORETTE Gum
When to stop using NICORETTE Gum
If you use too much (overdose)
After using NICORETTE Gum
What NICORETTE Gum looks like
Where to go for further information
Manufacturer and supplier
NICORETTE Gum helps you to give up smoking by relieving the desire to smoke, as well as some of the unpleasant withdrawal effects which smokers experience when they stop smoking.
Dependence on nicotine can in some cases be transferred from cigarettes to NICORETTE Gum but it is less harmful and easier to break than smoking.
To successfully become a non-smoker it is important to understand how NICORETTE Gum works.
Smokers have both a physical dependence on nicotine (i.e. the body becomes dependent on nicotine) and a psychological (i.e. mental) dependence on the smoking habit itself.
When you give up smoking, your body will miss the effects of nicotine and you will miss the habit of smoking.
NICORETTE Gum helps you to tackle these two sides of the problem separately, instead of all at once.
It is your body's dependence on nicotine which causes withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop smoking. Nicotine is an addictive substance.
Symptoms of suddenly stopping smoking may include:
NICORETTE Gum is intended to ease such withdrawal symptoms by providing your body with nicotine. This leaves your mind free to concentrate on overcoming your psychological desire to smoke.
NICORETTE Gum releases nicotine into your saliva. The nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth and enters your bloodstream. Any nicotine that is swallowed in saliva is broken down in your stomach. It is therefore wasted. So it is important to chew NICORETTE Gum slowly so that the nicotine is released a little at a time and absorbed through the lining of the mouth.
This nicotine is sufficient to decrease the cravings for smoking. Unlike cigarettes NICORETTE Gum does not contain harmful tar and carbon monoxide.
NICORETTE Gum helps you give up smoking by relieving nicotine craving, but you will only be successful in becoming a non-smoker if you are determined to quit.
You will need to plan your stop-smoking programme.
You will also need the support of others, your family, your friends, your pharmacist, family doctor or practice nurse or any one of a number of "quit smoking" organisations.
Do not be afraid to seek support or advice.
For the NICORETTE programme to be effective you must not smoke at all while using NICORETTE Gum.
Do not use NICORETTE Gum if:
There is medical evidence that nicotine in any form may be harmful to an unborn child. If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, you should try to quit smoking without using nicotine products. However, if this is not possible, your doctor may advise you to use NICORETTE Gum.
Nicotine passes freely into breast milk and can affect the health of the baby. If you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed, you should try to quit smoking without using nicotine products. However, if this is not possible, your doctor may advise you to use NICORETTE Gum.
There is not enough information about the use of NICORETTE Gum in children.
You should not use NICORETTE Gum if the expiry date printed on the carton has passed or the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If you are uncertain whether you can use NICORETTE Gum, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not give NICORETTE Gum to anyone else to use without professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.
If you have any of the following, you should ask for your doctor's or pharmacist's advice before using NICORETTE Gum. These medical conditions may need consideration by or discussion with your doctor or pharmacist. You and your doctor or pharmacist can then weigh up the risk of using NICORETTE Gum against the benefits you will get if you stop smoking.
The medical conditions include:
If you have dentures, dental caps or partial bridges NICORETTE Gum may stick to your dentures, dental caps or partial bridges and therefore may cause damage to your dental work. It is important that your dental work is kept clean. You should stop chewing NICORETTE Gum if it is sticking to your dental work and discuss further use of NICORETTE Gum with your doctor and dentist.
If you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription, in a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop, the way these medicines work may be affected once you stop smoking
These medicines may include:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines before you start to use NICORETTE Gum.
Do not chew NICORETTE Gum when eating or drinking. This causes excessive swallowing of nicotine, reducing the effectiveness of NICORETTE Gum. Do not drink acidic beverages, such as coffee or soft drinks, for 15 minutes before chewing as they can interfere with the absorption of nicotine.
To get the full effect from NICORETTE Gum these steps should be followed carefully:
NICORETTE Gum releases nicotine into your saliva. This nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth and enters your bloodstream. Any nicotine that is swallowed in saliva is broken down in your stomach. It is therefore wasted.
So it is important to chew NICORETTE Gum slowly so that the nicotine is released a little at a time and absorbed through the lining of the mouth. If NICORETTE Gum is chewed too quickly or for too long, a lot of saliva is produced and swallowed which reduces NICORETTE's ability to work effectively. Too much chewing may also produce an unpleasant strong taste, which is a useful sign that you should slow down or stop chewing. Chewing too quickly may at first irritate the throat or cause hiccups or make you feel sick.
So remember that if the taste is too strong you are chewing too fast!
You should discuss which strength of NICORETTE Gum you should use with your pharmacist. NICORETTE Gum is available from a pharmacy in 2 milligram (mg) and 4 mg strengths.
Usually, the 4 mg strength is recommended if you smoke 20 or more cigarettes in a day or are a smoker who has not been able to quit smoking using the 2 mg strength. Otherwise, you should use the 2 mg strength.
The amount of NICORETTE Gum you chew each day depends on your former smoking habits. Usually, it is recommended that a piece of NICORETTE Gum should be used when the urge to smoke is felt. Because nicotine is released from NICORETTE Gum at a slower rate than from a cigarette, it is important that you do not try to delay chewing in the hope that the urge to smoke will go away. NICORETTE Gum needs extra time to work and be effective.
The average dose tends to be in the range of 8-12 pieces of the 2 mg strength a day or 4-6 pieces of 4 mg gum a day.
It is recommended that you do not chew more than 20 pieces of 2 mg gum or 10 pieces of 4 mg gum in one day.
Set a Stop Smoking Day so that you can plan to be ready . This allows you to:
When your Stop Smoking Day arrives, stop smoking completely on that day and begin your NICORETTE treatment.
It is recommended that NICORETTE Gum be used for 12 weeks to help you get over your psychological desire to smoke. After 12 weeks, you should gradually reduce the number of pieces of NICORETTE Gum chewed each day. It should take another 4 weeks to step down to using 1 to 2 pieces per day. Don't be discouraged by this, it is all part of the quitting process.
When you reach this stage you can call yourself an ex-smoker, but there is still the chance that you may lapse back to your smoking habit, so always carry some NICORETTE Gum just in case you feel an urge to smoke.
The use of NICORETTE Gum beyond one year is not recommended.
Stop smoking completely when you start using NICORETTE Gum. Symptoms of nicotine overdose can occur if you smoke at the same time as you use NICORETTE Gum or if many pieces of NICORETTE Gum are chewed at the same time or rapidly one after the other.
Signs of overdose or poisoning include:
Keep NICORETTE Gum out of the reach of children. Seek medical advice immediately if a young child chews, swallows or sucks any quantity of NICORETTE Gum. Children have a greater risk of poisoning from NICORETTE Gum if accidentally chewed, swallowed or sucked. Young children can be poisoned by small amounts of nicotine.
In the event of yourself or another adult chewing or swallowing large quantities of NICORETTE Gum, seek medical advice.
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre for advice (telephone 13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital.
Nicotine like all other medicines may cause unwanted side-effects in some people.
Seek professional advice from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using NICORETTE Gum.
Do not smoke or use NICORETTE Gum or other nicotine medicines and see your doctor as soon as possible if you get:
Most of the undesirable effects reported by users of NICORETE Gum occur during the first weeks after beginning treatment and may be due to chewing incorrectly or to the effects of nicotine. Some are minor and temporary but others may need medical attention. The most common side effects are:
These may diminish during the first weeks of using NICORETTE Gum.
Seek professional advice if you are not sure.
Some effects, such as dizziness, headache, sleeplessness and mouth ulcer may be withdrawal symptoms due to low nicotine levels.
If any of these effects do not go away, or you have any other undesirable effects during use, tell your pharmacist or doctor REMEMBER - that NICORETTE Gum is not intended as an alternative to smoking and that your aim is to overcome your need for nicotine by the end of the treatment period.
The expiry date of NICORETTE Gum is on the label of the carton and on the foil of the bubble pack. Do not use NICORETTE Gum if the expiry date has passed. Leave all pieces in the bubble pack until immediately before use.
Store NICORETTE Gum in a cool place where the temperature stays below 25°C. Exposure to temperatures greater than 25°C (e.g. if carried in a shirt pocket or stored in a car glove box for long periods) may cause deterioration of the Gum.
KEEP NICORETTE GUM OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
When NICORETTE Gum is no longer needed, dispose of it carefully, where children or animals cannot get it.
There are four flavours of NICORETTE Gum:
NICORETTE Freshmint and
NICORETTE Gum comes as square-shaped pieces of chewing gum in two strengths, 2 milligrams (mg) and 4 mg.
The 2 mg strengths of Nicorette Classic, Mint and Citrus are a beige colour.
The 4 mg strengths of Nicorette Classic, Mint and Citrus are a yellow colour.
The 2 mg strength of Nicorette Freshmint has a white coating.
The 4mg strength of Nicorette Freshmint has a cream coloured coating.
The 2 mg strength is available in packs of 30 and 105 pieces and the 4 mg strength is available in packs of 30 and 105 pieces.
NICORETTE Gum can be identified by an Australian Register Number which is found on the carton:
AUST R 12515 for the 2mg strength
AUST R 12516 for the 4mg strength
AUST R 45840 for the 2mg strength
AUST R 45839 for the 4mg strength
AUST R 115009 for the 2mg strength
AUST R 115010 for the 4mg strength
AUST R 62298 for the 2mg strength
AUST R 62189 for the 4mg strength
The active ingredient in NICORETTE Gum is nicotine polacrilex.
NICORETTE CLASSIC Gum:
Other ingredients in both strengths of NICORETTE CLASSIC Gum are chewing gum base, sodium carbonate anhydrous, glycerol, sorbitol powder, sorbitol solution, haverstroo flavour ZD49284, and flavour for smoker 846422.
An ingredient found only in 2 mg Nicorette Classic Gum is sodium bicarbonate.
An ingredient found only in 4 mg NICORETTE CLASSIC Gum is quinoline yellow.
NICORETTE MINT Gum:
Other ingredients in both strengths of NICORETTE MINT Gum are chewing gum base, xylitol, sodium carbonate anhydrous, magnesium oxide, menthol and peppermint oil.
An ingredient found only in 2 mg NICORETTE MINT Gum is sodium bicarbonate.
An ingredient found only in 4 mg NICORETTE MINT Gum is quinoline yellow.
NICORETTE Freshmint Gum:
Other ingredients in both strengths of NICORETTE FRESHMINT Gum are chewing gum base, xylitol, peppermint oil, sodium carbonate anhydrous, acesulfame potassium, levomenthol, magnesium oxide light, acacia, titanium dioxide, and carnauba wax.
An ingredient found only in 2mg NICORETTE FRESHMINT Gum is sodium bicarbonate.
An ingredient found only in 4mg NICORETTE FRESHMINT Gum is quinoline yellow.
NICORETTE CITRUS Gum:
Other ingredients in both strengths are chewing gum base, sodium carbonate anhydrous, xylitol, magnesium oxide light and blood orange flavour.
An ingredient found only in 2 mg NICORETTE CITRUS Gum is sodium bicarbonate. An ingredient found only in 4 mg NICORETTE CITRUS Gum is quinoline yellow.
If you need further information on NICORETTE Gum call 1300 362 486.
NICORETTE Gum is supplied in Australia by:
Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
32 Cawarra Road, Caringbah
NSW 2229, Australia
This leaflet was prepared in November 2004
Regular Strength & Extra Strength
Nicotine Chewing Gum
VERSION: C003 (Freshmint)
Published by MIMS/myDr January 2006