Also indexed as: Habitrol®, Nicoderm®, Nicorette®, Nicotrol®, Nicotrol® Inhaler, Nicotrol® NS, Prostep®
Nicotine is available in various forms as an aid to quitting smoking. Nicotine skin patches are available in nonprescription and prescription strengths. Nicotine gum is available without prescription. Nicotine nasal spray and oral inhaler are available by prescription.
Interactions with Herbs
Lobelia is the plant from which the drug lobeline was isolated. Lobeline produces effects similar to nicotine.1 Combined use of nicotine and lobeline may increase the risk of nicotine side effects. No interactions have been reported with nicotine and lobelia, and in fact research has suggested lobeline may be useful as an aid to stopping smoking.2
Interactions with Foods and Other Compounds
Absorption of nicotine from nicotine gum requires mildly alkaline saliva.3 Acidic foods and beverages (coffee, colas, fruit, fruit juices, and others) may reduce nicotine absorption. This potential interaction may be avoided by chewing nicotine gum one hour before or after consuming acidic food and beverages.
Summary of Interactions for Nicotine Alternatives
|Depletion or interference||None known|
|Adverse interaction||None known|
|Side effect reduction/prevention||None known|
|Supportive interaction||None known|
|Reduced drug absorption/bioavailability||Acidic foods and beverages|
|Other (see text)||Lobelia|
For the convenience of the reader, the information in the summary is categorized as follows: “Depletion or interference” indicates the drug may deplete or interfere with the absorption or function of the supplement or herb. “Adverse interaction” indicates that the supplement or herb used together with the drug may result in undesirable effects. “Side effect reduction/prevention” indicates the supplement or herb may reduce the likelihood and/or severity of a potential side effect caused by the drug. “Supportive interaction” indicates the supplement or herb may support or aid the function of the drug. “Reduced drug absorption/bioavailability” indicates that the supplement or herb may decrease the absorption and/or activity of the drug in the body. An asterisk (*) next to an item in the summary indicates that the interaction is supported only by weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
1. Threlkeld DS, ed. Miscellaneous Products, Smoking Deterrents, Lobeline. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, Mar 1993, 736i.
2. Davison GC, Rosen RC. Lobeline and reduction of cigarette smoking. Psychol Rep 1972;31:443–56.
3. Threlkeld DS, ed. Miscellaneous Products, Smoking Deterrents, Nicotine. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, Aug 1993, 736a–6h.
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