Nicotine is available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking, including nicotine craving. It may be written as nicotine or nicotine polacrilex, which are different forms of the same basic ingredient.
Nicotine and nicotine polacrilex are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are safe when used as directed. They have been found to be most effective when a smoker who wants to quit completes the program as recommended on the product labeling. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, try to quit smoking on your own. You should only use quit-smoking products containing nicotine or nicotine polacrilex at the advice of a healthcare provider. While smoking cessation products are believed to be safer than smoking, the risks to your child are not fully known.