Skip to content

The nicotine nasal spray (Nicotrol NS) has been found to more than double your chances to quit successfully! The spray is only available by prescription and can be more costly than other products.


How to Use Nicotine Nasal Spray

The nasal spray delivers nicotine to your body through your nostrils. Tilt your head back slightly when dispensing the spray and be careful not to sniff, swallow or inhale through the nose. Gently spray into your nose.

The amount of nicotine spray you should use depends on your needs. You should talk to your doctor about what makes sense for you. One dose is made up of one spray in each nostril. The suggested starting amount is one or two doses per hour. This may be increased to 40 doses per day if you smoke 20 cigarettes or more per day. Take at least eight doses (a total of 16 sprays – eight in each nostril) per day; anything less may not be helpful for you. Do not take two doses at one time.

The spray is not recommended for people with asthma. It can make the condition worse. You should also avoid the spray if you have a chronic nasal disorder such as an allergy, nasal polyps, nasal inflammation or sinusitis.



Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • Asthma
  • Nasal disorder or sinusitis
  • Heart attack, irregular heart rate, angina or uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Ulcers
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney or liver disease

IMPORTANT NOTE: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using nicotine replacement, stop using it and call your doctor immediately. Nicotine may cause harm to the fetus or baby.


Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are:

  • Using a non-nicotine stop smoking drug
  • Taking prescription medicine for depression or asthma; your prescription dose may need to be adjusted
  • Using a prescription and/or nonprescription medication(s), especially acetaminophen (Tylenol), caffeine, diuretics ('water pills'), imipramine (Tofranil), insulin, medications for high blood pressure, oxazepam (Serax), pentazocine (Talwin, Talwin NX, Talacen), propoxyphene (Darvon, E-Lor), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, Slo-bid), and vitamins.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is optimal to begin using the NRT products on the day you stop using tobacco. However, it is not essential to stop using tobacco products when you begin NRT products, if you are not able to stop using tobacco at that time. If you are using an OTC NRT while trying to quit smoking but slip up and have a cigarette, you should not stop using the NRT. You should keep using the OTC NRT and keep trying to quit. Call your doctor if you get too much nicotine (an overdose). Signs of an overdose may include dizziness, upset stomach, bad headaches, vomiting, cold sweats, confusion, blurred vision, hearing problems, weakness or fainting.

The nicotine spray may cause side effects. Stop use and ask a doctor if you develop allergies, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, bronchitis, nasal ulcers or blisters, or nosebleeds.



The nicotine spray has been found to be safe and very effective as a stop smoking aid. Using the spray as directed can prevent side effects or nicotine overdose symptoms.



Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence:  2008 Update.  Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2000). Reducing Tobacco Use: A report of the surgeon general. Atlanta, Georgia: USDHHS, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health, Office on Smoking and Health.

Please note, Helpline does not endorse specific products.  The names of NRT products are included to familiarize the consumer with the various products that are available.


Please note, National Jewish Health does not endorse specific products. The names of NRT products are included to familiarize the consumer with the various products that are available. 


This information has been approved by Thomas Ylioja, MSW, PhD (December 2018).