Combining Quit Smoking Medicines

Combination NRT (nicotine replacement therapies)
Combo Medication icon

Using combination NRT starts with putting on a patch each morning to get a steady level of nicotine all day. Then you also use a nicotine medicine like the lozenge or gum that works more quickly to help deal with urges or cravings when you feel them coming on. You can also talk with your healthcare provider about other combinations of quit smoking medicines that may improve your chances of quitting for good.

 

Pros:

  • Using two nicotine replacement medicines (NRTs) together is more likely to help you quit successfully than using one alone.
  • Patch will reduce your withdrawal symptoms throughout the day while lozenge or gum will quickly help deal with any breakthrough cravings.
  • You control how often you use the lozenge or gum, so you won’t get more nicotine than you want.
  • You have added flexibility lowering the amount of nicotine you get when you are ready to stop using NRT.
  • May be able to use a lower dose or amount of lozenge or gum than you would if you were using them without the patch.
  • Available without a prescription (over-the-counter).

Cons:

  • If you are paying for the medicines yourself, using two medicines will cost more than using one.

Possible Side Effects (and what you can do about them):

  • You can get the same side-effects using combination NRT that you get from the individual medicines (you can try lower doses to minimize side effects).

Precautions:

  • Before starting combination therapy, check out the precautions for each individual medicine.

The quit-smoking medicines talked about on this website are approved by the FDA for adults to use to quit cigarettes. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or younger than 18, you should not use these medicines without talking to your doctor. If you use tobacco products other than cigarettes (like cigars, chew, snuff, hookah, or e-cigarettes), talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider or call the quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) to get help with quitting. All the ways to use medicines presented here are reviewed in Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General (Chapter 6)pdf icon. Some of the ways have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.