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Although Nicotrol NS (nicotine nasal spray) is typically not recommended if a woman is breastfeeding, the risks posed to the infant if the woman continues to smoke may outweigh the risks the nicotine replacement medication presents. If a woman is unable to quit smoking "cold turkey," Nicotrol NS may be recommended and her infant monitored carefully.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Nicotrol NS?

Nicotrol® NS (nicotine nasal spray) is a prescription medication used to help people quit smoking (this is known as smoking cessation). This medication passes through breast milk in humans. However, it may be safer than smoking during breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before using Nicotrol NS.

More Information on Nicotrol NS and Breastfeeding

Nicotine, the active ingredient in Nicotrol NS, is known to pass through breast milk in humans, and may harm a nursing infant. It can increase the infant's heart rate, and may increase the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Nicotrol NS has not been studied in breastfeeding women. The levels of nicotine in breast milk from normal Nicotrol NS use are expected to be lower than the levels from smoking. In addition, Nicotrol NS does not contain the toxins found in cigarette smoke. Therefore, it is believed to be safer than smoking during breastfeeding.
Because of the possible harmful effects of nicotine to a nursing infant, women should first try to stop smoking without the use of a nicotine replacement medication such as Nicotrol NS. Realistically, however, this may be extremely difficult to do. Nicotine is highly addictive, and most people cannot just quit "cold turkey."
If your healthcare provider recommends using Nicotrol NS while breastfeeding, watch for any problems in your 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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