Nicotine Gum and Ulcerative Colitis

Introduction:

I was diagnosed with severe left sided Ulcerative Colitis in 2008. I have been on Colazal 3×3 with no complete remission over the 3 years. Prednisone seems to have little to no effect on my UC. I have used Rowasa and cort enemas with no improvement. My symptoms are exacerbated by asacol and I am allergic to sulfasalazine.

The Story Right Now:

My ulcerative colitis has been in a flare for 2 months. Doc put me on 40mg of prednisone that has not helped this time or in the past. I went in for my 5th colonoscopy last Friday and was told that my UC had spread throughout my entire colon. My options given at that time were Humira, Remicade, or colectomy. I did not like any of these options. I had read a few studies on the relationship between smoking and UC. Being a previous smoker I could see how this could work. Having quit 11 years ago I had absolutely no desire to start again. What I did do was buy some nicotine gum. After 3 days of 2X4mg nicotine gum my bowel movement’s have reduced to 1 yesterday and 2 today. Very encouraging results so far.

Submitted by Jaime


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14 Responses to Nicotine Gum and Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Kathy p July 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    The gum did not work so well for my husband. He uses a newer product developed in Europe called snus. U can find out more on http://www.northerner.com. That is were he orders from. Takes a while to get used to it. It’s a little packet u put in ur upper lip. The nicotine affect seems better compared to gum and it’s less expensive and less health risks compared to cigarettes.
    Kathy

  2. Trish July 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Got to be careful with Snus – it can cause cancer of the lip and tongue, according to Swedish friends of ours.

  3. Michael August 3, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Jaime-

    I wonder why your doc hasn’t suggested the purine analogues (e.g., Imuran). They are immuno-suppresants that sometimes work when 5-ASAs and steroids don’t (my wife is steroid resistant, and sulfasalazine doesn’t really help bring about remission, although I’ve been told it helps to retain remission).

    Anyway, I’m making my wife (3 years active UC) start chewing the gum today. It’ll bring back those days of when we quit smoking together (good times).

    Good luck with your UC.

    Michael

  4. Rosanne
    Rosanne March 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Glad to hear someone else tried gum instead of patches. I am a non smoker…before reading this I bought the 4 mg this past weekend. Crazy stuff….I got dizzy, nauseus and felt like a gorilla was on my chest! I spit it out…15 minutes I was better. So I decided to chew just 1/2 piece (2 mg) at a time. I have only done it 1x per day since Saturday (today is Thursday). I notice some difference…some solid poops….but still bleeding and and running. Tomrrow I will try the 1/2 piece 4 x in the day…see what happens. Will keep you all posted!!

    • Rosanne
      Rosanne March 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      Okay…here is my nicotine gum update….chewing only 1/2 piece of a 4 mg gum (2mg) seems to have cut down the mucus…however I cannot do it anymore. Each time I chew it, I feel like I have a golf ball wedged in my chest and I get dizzy. A short while after getting rid of the gum it clears up. So…I am not chewing the gum anymore! In the past I have had good luck with Mercaptopurine (6mp) and prednisone. Since I am already on the prednisone, doctor suggested, I decided last night to start the 6 mp again. Friday I have an office visit with my GI…and hopefully by then 3 days of 6 mp will have helped.

      Have any of you had UC for 30 years? Fortunately I have always been able to get over that hump with prednisone and more recently mercaptopurine.

      Like this site and all your input!

  5. Susan April 30, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    I have been on the gum for one week now; need to have some food to counteract dizziness; but a remarkable improvement; was having a terrible flare up for over 2 months; seems to happen to me in february , not sure if Vitamin D lack or not; sulfasalazine wasn’t helping and the pain and constant runs to the bathroom where making we a nervous wreck; I will continue on the gum, the urgency has subsided and more formed movements now; where is the medical profession in terms of research ………………

  6. Audrey October 17, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    I have had a bad flare up since June that did not improve even though I started taking high doses of slippery elm. Really didn’t want to go back on prednisone so as a last resort I started the nicotine gum. 2-3 2mg gum a day and I have had a vast improvement with no side effects. I’m feeling so grateful. People take going to the loo so for granted and for us suffering from UC it is such a source of stress for us. So to be able to go to the toilet normally it actually makes me want to cry with happiness. I was diagnosed in 1997 at age 17 now I am 33. Good luck to everyone and I sincerely hope that everyone finds something that works for them.

  7. mike21 February 15, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    Nicotine gum, really really works, I take 2Mg gum 2 times a day, and to be really honest, I am a normal person now,I go to bathroom 1 time a day, with normal looking stool, and no blood, no pain, no urgency, nothing, I love u love u love u Nicotine gum, u r my only life saver, I hate ulcerative colitis.

    • Girish April 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Mike,
      I am Girish from India. If you dont mind can you provide me with details of ulcerative colitis condition suffered by you. As even I am suffering from the same and is doing online document research on nicotine in treatment of ulcerative colitis. By profession I am also a medical specialist. But my consultant gastroenterologist only want to maintain me with mesalazine and steroids. On my own I am trying to figure out what can be best strategy, as medical fraternity is absolutely mum on this (I don’t know why?). So I am wondering if you are interested in talking I would like to share some facts? Also if you know some like minded people/individuals, we can also idscuss collectively rather than individually experimenting.

      Awaiting your reply.

      Thanks and Regards,
      Girish.

    • Paul September 27, 2013 at 5:02 am #

      Hi Mike,

      How long did it take to work and how long you been taking the gum.

      Did you get any side effects ?

      Thanks

      Paul

  8. mike21 April 17, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    Hi girish, I was suffering from uc, from last 3 years. my condition was really really bad, lots of blood with stool, urgency to go to bathroom All the time, severe pains on left part of my colon, loss of weight, etc etc, my life was so miserable, I was not even able to work or to continue my college, was stuck at home,due to all this uc. My doctors tried every kind of medicine, which includes, asacol at max dosage, azathioprine imuran,, prednisone, canasa, rowasa, and many others, but nothing worked for me. So I did some research online, tried some herbs, home made teas, but those also didnt worked, o also tried to manage my diet, but all in vain, so tried equate brand nicotine gum, 2mg, one time a day, and had immidiate results , on the very next day of using it, I increased my dosage to 4mg & that actually helped alot more, with in a week , I was a normal person, and was able to do all my work and go out with out any problems. Now I am living a very happy life, with no uc and no bathroom tension. everyone should give it a try, and hope it works for everyone, its equate brand nucotine gum 2mg, easily available at Walmart. Thanks, I hope my review help u guys. Thanks.

  9. Samuel August 9, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    I have a very similar situation. I was diagnosed with pancolitis about a year ago and started taking asacol 2×2 doses and 30mg prednisolone per day. At first everything seemed ok, but then as I gradually lowered the prednisolone dosage I started flaring worse than I had ever without any medicine, never had visible blood before. (Had an episode with Imural also that led to pancreatitis)
    After much trial and error I came to the conclusion that it was asacol which caused the worsened symptoms and unfortunately prednisolone masked the effects it had on me for a long time.
    I stopped eating asacol and my bowel movements became relatively normal compared to what it was.
    Soon afterwards I stoppped taking my medicine I started using nicotine gum and it has at least relieved me of all the urgency I’ve had before, I can’t say for sure that it keeps me in remission but like Jaime said, it’s looking promising.

  10. Nick D September 21, 2015 at 7:39 am #

    Hi everyone, I was diagnosed jut under 3 weeks ago, as soon as I know 100% it was UC I started chewing Nicotine gum (2 X 4 Mg a day) I was put on Mesalazine by Team of meds. Within 4 days my poo was back to normal and no blood (was going + 10 time a day) I was going 4 times but I was on holiday and eating like a horse. after 10 days going 203 max with very occasional blood but not too worried. Not sure if its the Mesalazine as this takes up to 14+ days to kick in. I’m taking both just to be safe and meeting medical team next week. I went for a 4 mile run yesterday and didn’t have to stop every mile or so to go to the toilet and I felt very emotional as running and cycling are a big part of who I am. I am age 57 and quit smoking about 18 years ago so I could tolerate nicotine well.

    im not a medical professional, and would advise you take advise from qualified people, but felt it would be good to share my experience. I pray it is working and not just a coincidence but I remain confident!

    Good luck!

  11. Nick D September 21, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    sorry not 203 time but 2 or 3 times lol

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