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Quitting Smoking Using The Nasal Spray

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the nicotine nasal spray in March 1996, for sale by prescription only.

Some facts about nicotine nasal spray:

  • The nicotine is inhaled into the person's nose from a pump bottle, and absorbed through the nasal lining into the bloodstream.

  • Nasal and sinus irritation is the most common side effect of using the nicotine nasal spray. Most people can tolerate the irritation, but the nicotine nasal spray is not recommended for people with nasal or sinus conditions, allergies or asthma.

  • Generally, you should not use the nasal spray for longer than six months.

  • There are approximately 100 doses per bottle. You can use the spray up to five times an hour and up to 40 times a day.


Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS is used to help smokers quit smoking.

How It Works:

Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS provides nicotine via the nose in order to maintain a smoker's nicotine blood levels. Smokers have a dependence upon nicotine and quitting suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms. The dependence varies depending upon the number of cigarettes smoked.
Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS is about as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit, however it is absorbed faster and more similarly to the nicotine in cigarette smoke.

Side Effects:

Nasal irritation, nose bleeds, watery eyes, and ear sensations are side effects that can occur with Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS. Dependence on the Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS may be a problem and its rate is estimated to be as high as one third to one half of smokers who use it to quit.

Cautions for People:

Smoking cessation with Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS requires behavioral modification as well. People must realize that they may need life style changes, support from family and friends, as well as will power to successfully quit smoking. During any change in behaviour effecting health care it is important to follow the advise of a qualified healthcare provider.

Drug Interactions:

Nicotine Nasal Spray or Nicotrol NS may affect levels of drugs like theophylline in the body, however because it is a nasal spray, these interactions may not be common.

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Updated February 2019