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Nicotine

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Absorbed through the skin

Nicotine skin patches are used to help you stop smoking. Nicotine is absorbed from the patch on the skin and enters the blood stream. This replaces the… Read more

Brand names include: Habitrol, Health Mart Nicotine Transdermal System

By breathing

Nicotine inhaler is used to help you stop smoking. Nicotine is absorbed in the mouth and throat and enters the blood stream. This replaces the nicotine… Read more

Brand names include: Nicorette Inhaler, Nicotrol

Into the nose

Nicotine nasal spray is used to help you stop smoking. Nicotine is absorbed in the nose and enters the blood stream. This replaces the nicotine you would… Read more

Brand names include: Nicotrol NS

Into the mouth

Nicotine oral chewing gum and lozenges are used to help you stop smoking. Nicotine is absorbed from the gum or lozenge in the mouth and enters the blood… Read more

Brand names include: Commit, Equate Mini Nicotine Lozenge - Fast Dissolving - Mint

Drug classes About this
Smoking Cessation Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Cost-Effectiveness of Varenicline, Bupropion and Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation [Internet]

Background Smoking is an important risk factor for several diseases, including different cancers, lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. About 21% of the Norwegian population are daily smokers.

No evidence of the efficacy of nicotine for Alzheimer's disease

Nicotine has been related to recovery of memory in humans and animal models and some observational studies have been compatible with a protective effect of nicotine inhalation against Alzheimer's disease. At present, there is great controversy over this possible effect of tobacco use, and evidence is inconclusive. This review found no evidence on which to recommend nicotine for Alzheimer's disease.

Nicotine for schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia tend to smoke heavily and to a greater extent when compared to other patient groups. In this review we aimed to investigate this by searching for good quality evidence from randomised controlled trials on the effect of nicotine for schizophrenia, and/or to ascertain whether nicotine modifies the side effects of antipsychotics. Unfortunately we found no trials that met our inclusion criteria to support or refute this. There is a need for good quality randomised controlled trials that investigate the effects of nicotine for schizophrenia.

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Summaries for consumers

No evidence of the efficacy of nicotine for Alzheimer's disease

Nicotine has been related to recovery of memory in humans and animal models and some observational studies have been compatible with a protective effect of nicotine inhalation against Alzheimer's disease. At present, there is great controversy over this possible effect of tobacco use, and evidence is inconclusive. This review found no evidence on which to recommend nicotine for Alzheimer's disease.

Nicotine for schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia tend to smoke heavily and to a greater extent when compared to other patient groups. In this review we aimed to investigate this by searching for good quality evidence from randomised controlled trials on the effect of nicotine for schizophrenia, and/or to ascertain whether nicotine modifies the side effects of antipsychotics. Unfortunately we found no trials that met our inclusion criteria to support or refute this. There is a need for good quality randomised controlled trials that investigate the effects of nicotine for schizophrenia.

Transdermal nicotine for the treatment of active ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is largely a disease of nonsmokers and patients who have quit smoking. Randomised controlled trials were therefore developed to test the hypothesis that nicotine patches can induce remission of a flare of ulcerative colitis. This review provides evidence that transdermal nicotine is superior to placebo (fake patch) for the treatment of active ulcerative colitis. However, patients treated with transdermal nicotine were significantly more likely to experience side effects than patients receiving placebo or standard medical therapy. Its use is therefore limited in some patients. The review did not identify any significant advantage for transdermal nicotine therapy compared to standard medical therapy.

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