Nicotrol Inhaler and Breastfeeding

If you are nursing, it's generally considered safer to use the Nicotrol Inhaler (nicotine inhaler) than to smoke cigarettes. However, if at all possible, you may first want to try quitting smoking without nicotine replacement products. Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, excessive crying, and other symptoms in your child if you are using the Nicotrol Inhaler while breastfeeding.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use the Nicotrol Inhaler?

The Nicotrol® Inhaler (nicotine inhaler) is a prescription medication used as a smoking cessation aid (to help people stop smoking). It passes through breast milk in humans. However, it may be safer than smoking while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before using the Nicotrol Inhaler.

More Information on the Nicotrol Inhaler and Breastfeeding

Nicotine, the active ingredient in the Nicotrol Inhaler, is known to pass through breast milk in humans, and is harmful to a nursing infant. It can increase the infant's heart rate, and may increase the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The Nicotrol Inhaler has not been studied in breastfeeding women. However, with normal use, nicotine levels in breast milk are expected to be lower from Nicotrol Inhaler use than from cigarette smoking. In addition, the Nicotrol Inhaler does not contain other toxins found in cigarette smoke. For these reasons, the Nicotrol Inhaler is believed to be safer than smoking while breastfeeding.
It is generally recommended that women first try to stop smoking without using nicotine replacement products. Quitting smoking is extremely difficult to do, however, and medications such as the Nicotrol Inhaler may help. Keep in mind that Nicotrol Inhaler is not the only medication that can help you quit smoking (see Nicotrol Inhaler Alternatives).
If your healthcare provider recommends using the Nicotrol Inhaler while breastfeeding, watch for any problems in your nursing infant. Contact your child's healthcare provider immediately if your child experiences any of the following:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive or abnormal crying
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Anything else that just does not seem right.
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