Using NRT - should I still be getting withdrawal etc?

Hi, I'm a bit confused about what I should be expecting to feel - I've given up smoking using NRT (Patches, spray and inhalator for going out), on my 4th day now.

I'm guessing that my body will still be affected as it gets rid of all the other poisons, but as I am still getting nicotine, should I still be getting withdrawal symptoms? Could I be getting too much nicotine - I only smoked around 6-7 a day??!! :confused:

8 Replies

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  • Hiya CJen. It does seem to be quite a lot of nicotine, then again though it just depends on how often you use the inhalator and spray, and what strength the patches are. Haven't you got a smoking cessation clinic or nurse where you live, she would be the best person to ask for advice. Another thing, how do you intend, weaning yourself off the nicotine? Well done on your four days though. David

  • Thanks for the advice, I'm going to make an appointment to see my GP first to see what she says as I'm on antidepressants as well. My biggest worry I guess is that I'll slide into a major depression again - which is why I've been a bit ott in getting nicotine. I must admit that I'm a bit worried that a smoking cessation nurse might not fully understand the depression side :(

    I am going to try cutting a patch in half (paid £18 for a box of the stronger ones!) and see how I go with that and the other two nrts :)

    As for weaning off the nicotine, I haven't planned that bit yet - again that might mean talking to my GP. I tried to come off my antidepressants last year, and failed 3 times, causing me to slide back down and know I'm on a higher dose (hence the fear). The ADs weren't 'addictive' but the withdrawal made me so ill physically and mentally - I think I may be stuck on it for life. It's not ideal, as it can cause high blood pressure and some other stuff, but it's better than major depression.

    I guess I have the same opinion about nicotine - hopefully I will be able to come off it, but it might take longer, or it might just prove impossible. I know that's contrary to the general opinion on the forum, and it's not exactly what I want, but it's still better than smoking.

    Sorry for another long post, it's just hard to explain in fewer words.

  • Thanks for the advice, I'm going to make an appointment to see my GP first to see what she says as I'm on antidepressants as well. My biggest worry I guess is that I'll slide into a major depression again - which is why I've been a bit ott in getting nicotine. I must admit that I'm a bit worried that a smoking cessation nurse might not fully understand the depression side :(

    I am going to try cutting a patch in half (paid £18 for a box of the stronger ones!) and see how I go with that and the other two nrts :)

    As for weaning off the nicotine, I haven't planned that bit yet - again that might mean talking to my GP. I tried to come off my antidepressants last year, and failed 3 times, causing me to slide back down and know I'm on a higher dose (hence the fear). The ADs weren't 'addictive' but the withdrawal made me so ill physically and mentally - I think I may be stuck on it for life. It's not ideal, as it can cause high blood pressure and some other stuff, but it's better than major depression.

    I guess I have the same opinion about nicotine - hopefully I will be able to come off it, but it might take longer, or it might just prove impossible. I know that's contrary to the general opinion on the forum, and it's not exactly what I want, but it's still better than smoking.

    Sorry for another long post, it's just hard to explain in fewer words.

    i know where u are coming from on the drepression side of things

    but some of the depression could be worse because u smoked

    i have suffered depression on and off for the last 10 ish year and since quitting once i got the first month out of the way i have had no relapses of depression my mood has been considerably better all of the time and even at low points in the monthly cycle [sorry men of the forum] my mood still does not dip into depression where as it used to

    u may be surprised and at some point be able to come off the tablets in the future

    i would never have believed smoking could make the depression worse i always believed it help me when i was low but i was very wrong about that

  • i know where u are coming from on the drepression side of things

    but some of the depression could be worse because u smoked

    i have suffered depression on and off for the last 10 ish year and since quitting once i got the first month out of the way i have had no relapses of depression my mood has been considerably better all of the time and even at low points in the monthly cycle [sorry men of the forum] my mood still does not dip into depression where as it used to

    u may be surprised and at some point be able to come off the tablets in the future

    i would never have believed smoking could make the depression worse i always believed it help me when i was low but i was very wrong about that

    I think you're right - I've read that it's a bit like alcohol in that you feel better at first, but in the long term it makes you worse (and I should know!).

    I guess I'm just worried about the short term. I don't understand the brain chemistry behind it all, so I get scared :rolleyes:

    Definitely going to get a GP appointment and take it from there.

    Thanks for your words, it's good to hear from someone who has been through similar.

  • HI ..

    The NRT is easy to come off ... im on 7mg now

    the smoking cessastion nurse's are lovely at my drs

    i see them every 2 weeks .. they are so supportive and pleased

    they have extended the time for the patchs .. i smoked heavy

    so ive had each amount for longer 21mg for 8 weeks

    14 mg for 4 weeks and now 7 mg for 4 weeks

    they have said they would rather i continue to take NRT than

    go back to smoking ...

    the patch's completley remove any cravings ..

    and i use the inhalator freely when i feel like it ..i am using it far less now .. than at the begining

    im amazed how well the NRT works

    i am on citalopram for depression .. have been for 4 years

    i was scared off being to upset

    and of major craves when i first quit

    but have genuinely enjoyed most of the quit

    and i too feel more uplifted and less blue since i have quit

    my self esteem has gone up a notch or 2

    i overall feel much better and healthier

  • Thanks Boo & RBB, this is really encouraging to hear.

    I found out yesterday that nicotine amplifies the effect of my AD (venlafaxine), which is probably why when I tried to use half a patch yesterday I felt really blue. It might be that I have to up my AD dose when I come off the NRTs. I'm sure DR/Nurse will advise.

    Hopefully when my lungs heal a bit more I'll be able to do more exercise and get some natural endorphins.:)

    Here's a happier, healthier future :)

  • well done on being brave and getting this far it is scary when u have experienced depression

    Riverbecameroad i was on citalopram on each of my depressions

    i have felt more mentally stable since quitting than i have all my life

    stay strong and keep posting

    pm me if u want

  • Congratulations on the 4 days, you are doing great.:D

    The difference between NRT and smoking is that cigarettes are a far more effective nicotine delivery system. They give the immediate hit which the body has become accustomed to and it is that hit which you are experiencing cravings for. It is also highly likely that you are craving the release of dopamine which results from the nicotine hit.

    There is still withdrawal with NRT, whenever you step down the amount of nicotine you put into your system your body will crave the amount it is used to, for example when dropping down to a lower strength patch. It passes reasonably quickly but I found it best to find a fairly comfortable amount (I was on lozenges) and stick to that until I was ready to stop totally, i.e. just have 1 period of withdrawal.

    Really the physical withdrawal from stopping nicotine isn't terrible, 3 weeks and its done. The hardest thing is getting shot of the habit side as we have associated smoking with dealing with all sorts of situations and emotions, which makes it hard for us to believe we can get by without smoking. IMO quitting is 95% psychological, which isn't to say its easy to crack as anyone that has suffered from an eating disorder would tell you the mind can be a tough opponent, but its all about learning how to live without without that little white crutch. Ultimately, though, practice makes perfect!

    Quitting will often bring with it some depression and you are right to seek medical advice if you are prone to it, over the years I have come across many who seem to self medicate their depression by smoking.

    While I have never had full blown depression I have suffered with low moods, the doctor gave it some technical name I don't remember. For me exercise is a great help, I also found that bananas and chocolate helped too (even more need to exercise after) however now that I am 3 years clear of smoking I am far less prone to feeling down.

    Good luck and all the best

    Nic

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