Combination therapy means using two types of nicotine products, such as the nicotine patch and nicotine lozenge, at the same time. You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist first before using combination therapy. They may recommend combination therapy if you have had cravings or not succeeded in quitting when using a single nicotine replacement product in the past.
Research suggests that using combination therapy increases your chances of quitting compared to using one product alone, and that it is better at suppressing cravings. Some experts advise that most addicted smokers would benefit from using combination therapy. Research suggests that suppressing cravings on your quit date in particular may increase the chance of success. However, living in a smoky home and having quick and easy access to cigarettes can work against you, even when you use combination therapy.
Combination therapy has been approved for the use of the 15 mg 16 hour patch or the 21 mg 24 hour patch with the 2 mg nicotine gum, 2 mg nicotine lozenge or the 1.5 mg mini lozenge. After applying the patch to reduce withdrawal symptoms, the nicotine lozenge is used to relieve cravings, which can be triggered by old smoking situations or emotions. The product information recommends using at least four lozenges per day, and no more than 12 lozenges per day. The Consumer Medicine Information sheet that comes with the lozenges will tell you how long you should use them and how to stop using them.
The 15 mg and 21 mg patches are available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), making them much cheaper. For more information, read Buying the patch.