Nicotine Patch





A Nicotine patch is a transdermal patch which releases nicotine into the body through the skin. This is used as an aid in the nicotine replacement therapy. In the year 1985, a study was conducted on smokers to show that transdermal nicotine patch actually reduced cravings for cigarette was published for the first time. Nicotine Patch is a medication that helps in replacing the nicotine in cigarettes. It is a part of the stop smoking program and it is the most important thing you can do to improve your health.

Nicotine Patch Dosage

Nicotine Patch Pictures

The nicotine patch dosage will depend on the number of cigarettes you take in a day. The treatment with nicotine patch will not last more than 8 to 10 weeks. Also the patch should to be left on the skin more than 24 hours.

Nicotine Dosage Direction:

Cigarettes per Day                               Dosage Amount

10 cigarettes                                                21 mg patch (6 weeks)

Less than 10                                                  14 mg (2 weeks)

1 cigarette                                                    7 mg (2 weeks)

Nicotine Patch Usage


A Nicotine patch looks much like a bandage with adhesive and is available in a variety of sizes. Larger patches deliver a high dosage of nicotine. Once you apply a nicotine patch you are supposed to wear it throughout the dosage period and not removing it for once. It takes about 3 hours for the nicotine to start working. After 3 hours, the patch seeps into the skin and then into the bloodstream. The patch releases nicotine slower than a cigarette. It should be put on only when the smoker feels craving.

How to Use Nicotine Patch?

Here are some important things to keep in mind while using a Nicotine Patch:

  • One new patch is to be applied to the skin after every 24 hours.
  • When applying the patch, remove it from its pouch, remove the patch backing and immediately press the patch onto the skin. Hold the patch in place for 10 seconds.
  • The patch should be applied to a hairless, clean and dry area. The patch should not be applied to any sensitive or irritated part of the skin. No soaps, lotions, creams and oils should be applied to the area before applying the patch. A new skin area has to be chosen for the next new patch, the previous area should be avoided for atleast one week.
  • A new patch should be applied at the same time everyday to maintain the level of nicotine in the blood.
  • Never use damaged patches, or cut the patches. If you do so, it will affect the amount of medication released from the patch and you may get either too much or too little of the dosage.
  • Wash your as soon as you have applied the patch or after removing it. This is done as the nicotine in your hands can cause eye irritation and redness.
  • If you are experiencing sleep problems or having unusual dreams remove the patch before you go to sleep. If you start craving cigarettes when you wake up, you may feel the urge to wear the patch only after 24 hours.
  • You must not wear the nicotine patch more than 24 hours. Since. After 24 hours of usage the patch loses its strength and you may have a skin irritation as well. Also, one must not wear more than one patch at a go as it will cause overdose.
  • Once a patch has been used it should be disposed carefully by folding the sticky sides together and putting it back into the original pouch. After this, the patch should be discarded into a place out of reach of children.
  • If you are in doubts about anything related to your dosage of the nicotine patch, you must talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • The patch should be used as instructed if you want the medication to work properly.

Nicotine Patch Side Effects

Just like any other medicine Nicotine Patch can cause side effects. Though, not everyone have problems with the medication. The side effects that occur generally minor and some do not require any treatments.

Nicotine Patches Image

Here is a list of the side effects that occur due to Nicotine Patch:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Severe skin irritation, swelling or reddening that does not go after four days
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Chest pain or angina
  • Increased heart palpitations

Some of the allergic side effects are:

  • Unexplained sudden rash
  • Wheezing
  • Itching sensation
  • Hives
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Sudden swelling of mouth, lips or throat

Symptoms of Nicotine overdose are:

  • Extreme feeling of weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Extreme dizziness

Nicotine Patch Precautions

There are a few precautionary measures that should be taken by those using Nicotine Patch.

  • Patients with chronic airway disease or nasal disorders including allergies, nasal polyps rhinitis and sinusitis.
  • Patients should be advised and encouraged to quit smoking totally before starting with the nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Patients are strongly instructed not to swallow, inhale or sniff the patch through the nose.
  • If the patient is going to have an MRI test, it is better to remove the patch before the test. This is so as the aluminum contained in these patches might cause severe skin burn.
  • The smoker should not expose the skin area under the patch to direct heat sources like hot tubs, direct sunlight, heating pads, heat lamps, electric blankets, heated water beds and saunas.
  • Strenuous exercise may raise the body temperature of the patient. This may cause increased absorption of nicotine through the skin.
  • Also, consult your doctor if you are allergic to nicotine or to adhesive tape.
  • If you are a pregnant mother, stop smoking without the help of nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine from smoking sometimes passes into the breast milk which could bring about undesirable effects on the unborn baby in the foetus.
  • Before using the medication you must mention your medical history to your doctor if you have the following- intolerable chest pain, irregular heartbeat, blood vessel diseases or recent heart attack.
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