What Is A Nicotine Prescription And When Do You Need It?

no smoking

Ever since the discovery and mass production of tobacco products ages ago, it’s been popularly used and sold worldwide for recreational use. They’ve been named as essential commodities for they were used to induce employees to work harder – people claim to feel relaxed and more focused after substance usage.

However, studies show how they badly affect your lungs and worsen pre-existing conditions. Many respiratory diseases have been diagnosed and caused by smoking and second-hand smoke. Cases rose alarmingly, affecting individuals of all ages. These made the governments of various countries restrict cigarette smoking, especially in public. 

The modern-day era led to the innovation of e-cigarettes, vapes, nicotine patches, and gums – agents that lessen the use of tobacco products. The aforementioned may help users in their weaning phase and reduce the development of smoking-caused lung conditions. Nowadays, a doctor can issue even a nicotine prescription for individuals who want to quit smoking. 

What’s Nicotine

Nicotine is the natural yellow liquid extraction from tobacco, serving as the most essential part of tobacco. It acts as a stimulant, activating and increasing the central nervous system (CNS) activities such as attention, energy, focus, libido, mood, and pleasure. Users also claim anxiolytic or sedative effects like reduced anxiety and others, making the consumer feel calm and composed. 

Further, nicotine’s a substance that’s said to stimulate dopamine production, a neurotransmitter linked to driving the brain’s reward system, alertness, motivation, pleasure, motion, and satisfaction. As a result, several evidence-based research literature concludes its effectiveness in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and is able to help them with their cognitive dysfunctions. 

What Are The Harmful Effects Of Nicotine

Despite the seemingly positive benefits of nicotine mentioned above, the cons greatly outweigh the pros. Here are the following reported disadvantages of nicotine consumption:

  • It has addictive properties that may alter the brain chemically and make the users crave for more; when the user suddenly stops smoking, withdrawal symptoms may occur such as anxiety, depression, irritability, stress, and difficulty focusing;
  • There’s increased blood glucose due to low insulin production by the pancreas;
  • The stimulated adrenaline hormone elevates blood pressure, breathing rate, heart rate, heart stroke volume;
  • Although it increases blood pressure, nicotine is a vasoconstrictor – it increases the risk of myocardial infarction (MI), aorta enlargement, and cerebrovascular disease (CVD);
  • Formation of plaque on the artery walls;
  • Due to hormonal imbalances, users may experience sleep disturbances, insomnia, and dizziness;
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth; and
  • Smoking while expecting a child has a high chance of affecting the baby’s health – lung diseases, heart anomalies, cognitive problems, behavioral problems, and other defects.

What’s A Nicotine Prescription

Smoking has long been considered a health hazard that causes chronic and life-threatening diseases to many. Thus, nicotine prescription is being issued to users who want to quit smoking and improve their overall health. 

Your general physician (GP) is authorized to provide a nicotine prescription. Nonetheless, if they decline or you don’t have a trusted GP, credible online clinic sites can easily help you get one. These sites are governed by qualified physicians and support staff to guide your journey. It’s also important that you find a clinic that’s verified by the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 

Here are the medications and treatments that require a nicotine prescription: 

  1. Bupropion is a nicotine-free drug used for smoking cessation and primarily to treat depression. Nicotine alters the brain chemically due to its addictive properties; hence, it helps in calming the brain and lessening cravings. In addition, smoking can cause elevated dopamine in your brain. When you suddenly stop, the drug mimics the effects of nicotine and stimulates dopamine production. 
  2. Varenicline is the latest drug in the market that helps smoke cessation. Nicotine acts as an aggressive stimulant and alters brain receptors. This drug’s components bind with the brain receptors and counteract the changes caused by nicotine’s addictive properties. It will effectively help in the early stages of weaning and reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Nicotine nasal sprays can immediately help you lessen your cravings. The physician will provide instructions on how to use it and the appropriate dosage. Many people combine this treatment with nicotine patches.
  4. Nicotine inhalers are used the same as asthma inhalers. The dosage and frequency depend on your smoking history, the intensity of cravings, and withdrawal symptoms. Some pharmacies sell inhalers without a prescription; however, this can lead to dangerous adverse effects when taken inappropriately.
  5. Nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges may be bought over-the-counter (OTC). But if you want to buy at a reduced price, you may ask your physician for a prescription. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) offers discounts to eligible individuals. 

Taking All Into Consideration 

Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health – it’s never too late to quit.  Nicotine prescription medications and treatments will effectively help you in your journey. An hour, a month, and a year of weaning can make a great change and impact your overall health.