Guide to the nicotine microtab including how to use, side effects and pros and cons.

nicotine microtab
What is the nicotine microtab?
The nicotine microtab comes in the form of a small white sublingual tablet.

This means that for the nicotine to be released from the tablet and absorbed into the bloodstream, it must be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve slowly.

Nicotine microtabs contain 2 mg doses of nicotine each, however only 1 mg is actually absorbed by and enters the body. Unlike cigarettes, the microtab does not contain any dangerous chemicals, toxins or substances. Similar to other forms of nicotine replacement therapy products, nicotine microtabs can help to relieve the withdrawal symptoms experienced when a smoker stops smoking cigarettes.

How do nicotine microtabs work?

When you feel like you need to smoke a cigarette you place one nicotine microtab under the tongue and let it dissolve slowly. As the tablet starts to dissolve, nicotine is released and is absorbed into the body through the lining of the mouth.

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It is important that you let the tablet dissolve slowly, which takes about 20 - 30 minutes, and that you do not swallow, suck or chew it. This would make the microtab ineffective.

For the first three months it is advised to take 1 or 2 tablets an hour. For most people between 8 - 12 microtabs a day are sufficient, although heavy smokers may need to take more in order to control their cravings. No more than 40 microtabs should be taken in one day.

After the three months, you should really look to reducing the number of microtabs that you take each day, thus reducing the amount of nicotine that is entering your bloodstream.

Once you find that you are only taking one or two microtabs a day, you should be ready to stop using the nicotine replacement therapy and give up altogether. In any case it is not recommended that you take any form of NRT for longer than six months.

What is the success rate?

A number of studies have proven that using any form of NRT can increase your chances of successfully giving up smoking by 50% compared to solely using your willpower alone.

Is this method safe?

Microtabs are generally safe for most people to use, however if you have or have had any serious illness or you are pregnant, breast-feeding or under the age of 18, you should consult your doctor before taking any form of NRT. If you are unsure, then it is best to speak with your doctor anyway.

If you are using nicotine microtabs you should under no circumstances smoke, as this can lead to a nicotine overdose. Symptoms of a nicotine overdose include sickness, cold sweats and dizziness.

You should also adhere to the recommended dosage and not consume more than 40 microtabs a day.

Some reports have stated that after using the nicotine microtabs people have experienced heart palpitations. If this is the case, stop using the microtabs immediately and make an appointment to see your doctor.

Are there any side effects?

As with any of the nicotine replacement therapy products, side effects have been reported. Some are common and mild and will quickly disappear, as the body gets used to the new medicine. Others may be more severe and if they occur, a doctor should be informed.

All forms of NRT affect different people in different ways and side effects may not even occur in some people.

Some of the side effects that have been experienced by users are:
  • Dry and sore mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Unpleasant taste and feeling in the mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Palpitations
  • Stomach upset
  • Coughing
  • Hiccups
  • Heartburn
  • Sickness
  • Breathlessness
Some of these side effects may be caused by taking too many microtabs, in which case, you should try to reduce the amount that you are using.

What are the advantages of using this method?

  • Nicotine is absorbed much more readily through the lining of the mouth than through the stomach.
  • Microtabs have been found to control cravings well.
  • They are small and unobtrusive.
  • Microtabs have very few side effects.
  • You can regulate and control how much nicotine goes into your body.
  • The microtabs is effective in both low and heavy dependency smokers.

Are there any disadvantages?

  • They leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • They can be costly.
  • You may suffer with a sore mouth.
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