Nicotine Withdrawal

What is Nicotine Withdrawal?

Nicotine withdrawal is the set of physical and psychological symptoms that occur in people who suddenly stop using nicotine-containing substances after becoming physically dependent on them. Nicotine withdrawal typically includes increased cravings for nicotine, irritability and frustration, impatience, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, decreased heart rate, sleeping difficulties, decreased appetite, and various forms of depression.

Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal

The signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can vary from person to person, but here are some of the most common:

  • Cravings for nicotine
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Impatience
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression
  • Trouble enjoying activities as much

Treatment for Nicotine Withdrawal

The best treatment for nicotine withdrawal is to quit smoking or using other forms of nicotine. It is important to find strategies and methods to help you quit, such as support groups, quitting aids (including medications), and healthier lifestyle habits. For some people, medications can help reduce cravings and ease nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Examples of medications used to treat nicotine withdrawal include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), varenicline (Chantix), and bupropion (Zyban). However, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine which is the best treatment option for you.