Diabetes Planned Visit Notebook

36.91 Handout—Nicotrol NS

Summa Health System developed this fact sheet for patients who smoke tobacco. Care providers give it to patients during diabetes planned visits, and it is part of the Diabetes Planned Visit Notebook.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Family Medicine Center of Akron Summa Health System

Nicotine Nasal Spray

Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking. The Nicotine Nasal Spray (Nicotrol ®NS) your doctor has recommended will help make it easier to quit. The instructions in this handout will help you use the Nicotrol ®NS the right way. Be sure to stop smoking on the day you start using the Nasal Spray. Smoking or using other forms of tobacco while you're using the Nicotrol ®NS may lead to health problems.

Do not let anyone else use your Nicotrol ®NS. Keep the Nasal Spray away from children and pets. Do not use the Nasal Spray if you are pregnant, unless your doctor knows you are pregnant and has told you to do so. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using. You should also talk to your doctor before using the Nicotrol ®NS if you are younger than 18 years old.

Dosage: One dose is considered two sprays (one in each nostril) which are equal to 1 mg nicotine.

Apply one spray in each nostril. Use the spray one to two times each hour while you are awake. Use the spray at least 8 times a day. Do not use it more than 5 times an hour or 40 times in a day. Because you are already addicted to nicotine in cigarettes, it is possible to stay dependent on the nicotine in the Nicotine Spray. You should use the Nicotrol ®NS for 8 weeks following which you can begin to discontinue over the next 4-6 weeks. Do not use longer than 6 months. Studies show no increase in effectiveness is using longer than 6 months.

Side Effects: During the first week or so most people experience the following side effects: hot, peppery feeling in the back of the throat or nose, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, or runny nose. Side effects will lessen for most people in a few days.–don't stop using the nasal spray. Be sure to use regularly for the first week to help adjust to the side effects. Wait 5 minutes before driving. If you have hay fever or sinus infection, ask your doctor about using one of the other forms of nicotine replacement therapy.

If you have any serious side effects or have side effects that last longer than one week, call your doctor.

How to get the nasal spray: You can only get the nasal spray with a doctor's prescription.

Directions on how to use the Nicotrol ®NS:

  • Follow the package instructions for proper usage of this product.
  • Breathe through mouth.
  • Spray only once in each nostril. Do not sniff or inhale while spraying.
  • If nose runs, gently sniff to keep the Nasal Spray in nose. Wait 2-3 minutes before blowing nose.
  • Place cap back on bottle after use.
  • Store at room temperature, away from children or pets.
  • If you don't use the Nasal Spray for 24 hours, prime pump in tissue 1 or 2 times.
  • Most vials contain 100 doses (200 sprays) but excessive pumping will reduce the amount of medicine available for use. Avoid excessive priming.
  • Be sure to read the package instructions before using this product.
  • Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and mouth. Follow packages instructions if bottle breaks-avoid contact with skin. Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin and can cause nicotine overdose.

Nicotine overdose symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Drooling.
  • Cold sweat.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Hearing difficulties.
  • Weakness and confusion.
  • Upset stomach.

What do I need to tell my doctor?

Please tell your doctor if you have any illnesses, including the following:

  • Chronic nasal problems such as nasal allergies, inflammation, sinusitis or nasal polyps (growths.)
  • Heart problems (recent heart attack, irregular heartbeat, severe or worsening heart pain).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Drug allergies.
  • Thyroid disease.
  • Diabetes requiring insulin
  • Skipped or irregular heart beats.
  • Allergies to tape, bandages or medicines.
  • Kidney or liver disease.

Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking-the dosages may need to be changed. Check with your doctor before taking any new medicine while taking the Nicotrol ®NS.

Keep out of reach of children and pets. Nicotrol ®NS can cause serious illness in children and pets—even in very small amounts. If a child handles or uses Nicotrol ®NS, call a doctor or Poison Control Center. When the bottle is empty, replace cap and throw away out of reach of children and pets. Even empty bottles contain enough nicotine to seriously harm children and pets.

Information for the Nicotrol ®NS nicotine nasal spray was obtained from the Pfizer consumer health care website: www.nicotrol.com. Be sure to read enclosed instructions with your product before using.

Community Resources:

Consider taking a free quit smoking class: call 330-861-7179 for list of free local classes and/or call the Ohio Quit line at 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669) for support. These programs can help you with the habit part of smoking. Quitting may take practice, not everyone can quit the first time.

People who choose to call the Ohio Quit Line or take a quit smoking class are 5 times more likely to succeed than those who try to quit on their own.

Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created January 2008
Internet Citation: 36.91 Handout—Nicotrol NS. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/education/curriculum-tools/diabnotebk/diabnotebk3691.html