What Are the Dangers of Nicotine Lozenges?

Nicotine lozenges are an orally-administered smoking cessation aid indicated to help people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes. This treatment is administered as a lozenge, which slowly dissolves within the mouth. Nicotine lozenges work by helping to control the side effects of nicotine withdrawal. People should be aware of the potential dangers of nicotine lozenges before beginning to use this treatment.

Nicotine lozenges sit in blister packs on a white counter. (Image: phatscrote/iStock/Getty Images)

Side Effects

The primary side effects of lozenge use include sore throat discomfort or heartburn, a painful burning sensation felt at the top of the stomach, according to PubMed Health. People who develop severe side effects, such as heart rate irregularities or unusual mouth sores, should seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible.

Overdose

Improper use of nicotine lozenges may put people in danger of developing a nicotine overdose. Overdose symptoms require immediate medical attention and include dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and a rapid heart rate, MedlinePlus warns.

Withdrawal

Prolonged use of nicotine lozenges may elevate a person's risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon ending treatment. Symptoms of withdrawal, such as nervousness, headache, irritability or tobacco cravings, can be uncomfortable, RxList reports. People should consult a physician to determine the best way to limit the risk or severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Medication Interactions

People who take certain types of antidepressant medications, such as bupropion, or asthma medications, such as theophylline, may be at risk of experiencing severe side effects if these drugs are used in conjunction with nicotine lozenges, according to Drugs.com. To avoid these complications, people should review all current medication use with a physician before taking nicotine lozenges.

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