Nicotine gum: side effects?

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Nicotine gum can help quit smoking, but side effects include headaches, excess saliva, and an irregular heartbeat. Misuse can worsen side effects, and an allergic reaction is possible. Consult a doctor before using.

Chewing nicotine gum can be an effective way to quit smoking, but it can also have some unpleasant side effects. Many of these are mild, such as headaches and excess saliva, if the gum is used correctly, and can subside once a person’s body gets used to the treatment. The more serious side effects of nicotine gum, such as an irregular heartbeat and difficulty breathing, often occur as a result of an allergic reaction, not using it as directed, or a nicotine overdose. Those who decide to use this treatment should consult a doctor about possible side effects and how best to avoid them.

Most nicotine gum side effects are relatively minor and sometimes resolve after a period of time. Due to exposing the inside of the mouth and throat directly to the gum, many of the problems that come with chewing occur in these areas. Users may experience a tingling sensation as they chew and may develop irritation or sores inside the mouth or throat. Extra saliva may also be produced, which can lead to excessive swallowing. Nicotine often reduces blood flow to the mouth, which can potentially lead to gum disease if used for long periods of time.

A number of other mild side effects of nicotine gum can also occur. Many users experience headaches when using it for the first time. Upset stomach and heartburn are also common; people who already experience recurring heartburn may not want to use nicotine gum for this reason. The jaw muscles can become tired and sore, while the throat muscles can feel constricted.

Misuse can make the side effects of nicotine gum worse. Gum is designed to be chewed slowly, usually over the course of half an hour; when chewed too quickly, users may experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. Those who use more than directed, or continue to smoke while chewing gum, risk a nicotine overdose. This condition can cause some serious and dangerous symptoms including irregular heartbeat and chest pain, ringing in the ears and vision problems, or even seizures.

Although it’s relatively rare, some people are allergic to nicotine gum. Specific side effects of an allergic reaction can include swelling in the mouth or throat, hives, and difficulty swallowing and breathing. People who suspect they have a nicotine gum allergy should notify their doctor immediately.

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