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Medicines Available to Help

Medicines Available to Help


Nicotine replacement therapy and other stop smoking medicines
There is a range of different treatments available that can double your chances of giving up smoking. All of these products are available on prescription from your doctor, so it doesn't have to cost you a fortune to quit!

You have probably heard about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (or NRT), but do you know about Zyban or Champix?
Nicotine replacement
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) works differently to cigarettes. It does not contain toxic chemicals like tar or carbon monoxide, and does not cause cancer. NRT is suitable for most people, however you should check with your doctor if you are pregnant, have a heart or circulatory condition or if you take regular medication.

There are lots of different products to choose from. The descriptions below will help you to understand your choices and we recommend that you speak to your doctor for further medical advice.
Product Type How it works
Nicotine gum When you chew nicotine gum, the nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth.
Nicotine patches Nicotine patches work well for most regular smokers and can be worn round the clock (24 hour patches) or just during the day (16 hour patches).
Microtabs These are small tablets containing nicotine which dissolve quickly under your tongue.
Lozenges Lozenges are sucked slowly to release the nicotine and take about 20-30 minutes to dissolve.
Inhalators Inhalators look like a plastic cigarette. The inhalator releases nicotine vapour which gets absorbed through your mouth and throat. If you miss the 'hand to mouth' aspect of smoking, these may suit you.
Nicotine nasal spray The spray delivers a swift and effective dose of nicotine through the lining of your nose.
Other stop smoking medicines that can help
Product Type How it works
Zyban (Bupropion Hydrochloride) Zyban is a treatment which changes the way your body responds to nicotine. You start taking Zyban 1 to 2 weeks before you want to give up and treatment usually lasts for a couple of months to help you through the withdrawal cravings. It's only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant.
Champix (Varenicline) Champix is a treatment that works by reducing your craving for a cigarette and by reducing the effects you feel if you do have a cigarette. You start taking tablets 1 or 2 weeks before you want to give up. Treatment normally lasts for 12 weeks. It's only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant. There have been some reports of people thinking about committing suicide who are taking Champix, however, it is very difficult to know if this is due to Champix as the act of stopping smoking itself can make people depressed. Please discuss this further with your doctor.
On prescription
Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Zyban and Champix are all available on prescription from your doctor. It doesn't have to cost you a fortune to beat the cravings and give up so why not speak to your doctor today?