Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

New advice on NRT

The Committee on Safety of Medicines has recommended that use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) could be extended for the following patient categories:

  • Pregnant and breast-feeding women
  • Patients with heart disease
  • Patients with kidney / liver disease
  • Patients with diabetes
  • 12-18 year olds

An Expert Working Group considered the current evidence on the safety and efficacy of NRT and made recommendations to maximise the benefits and ensure that any risks there may be with NRT are balanced against the well-established dangers of continued smoking.

An information letter to healthcare professionals details the recommendations in full. There is also a question and answer document that provides additional information.

Manufacturers of NRT products are updating their patient information leaflets to contain the new recommendations however this will take some time. In the meantime supplies of the patient leaflet are to be made available online and from doctors, pharmacists and smoking cessation clinics.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the new recommendations and the implications it will have on current practice in the provision of NRT. Access to the patient information leaflet may also prove useful until NRT product information is updated.

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