Friday, February 8, 2013

Proper Utilization Of The Nicotine Patch

Trying to quit smoking? Well, you're in luck. Gone are the days of "cold turkey" with all the attendant trauma and odd effects that entails. The nicotine patch allows you to slowly wean yourself away from nicotine by stepping your nicotine intake down in steady increments. The nicotine patch is a transdermal patch that transfers controlled amounts of nicotine through your skin. Many people have finally found success with this tool, and many wish the patch had been around when they were trying to quit.


Do not use the patch if you are pregnant, unless your doctor has instructed you to do so. Likewise, talk to your pediatrician before using the patch while breastfeeding. Keep the patch out of reach of children and pets. People under the age of 18 should discuss use of the patch with their physician first. Do not smoke or use any tobacco products after applying the patch as this can cause health problems. Make sure you discuss the patch with your doctor if you take any medicines, as the patch changes the way some medicines work. If you have any chronic illnesses; skin problems; ulcers; heart, kidney, or liver problems or disease; thyroid disease; or diabetes, discuss patch use with your doctor before starting to use nicotine patches.

Applying the Patch

Do not open the sealed package until you are ready to apply the patch. After opening the patch, dispose of the protective cover in a safe place where children or pets can't get it. Avoid touching the sticky side of the patch. Place the patch on a dry, clean area of skin on your upper body. Choose an area that is not covered with hair. Your stomach, side or upper arm are good choices. Do not put the patch on skin that is cut, sore or burned.

Place the sticky side of the patch on your skin and press firmly for 10 seconds with the palm of your hand to ensure the patch is smooth against your skin. Wash your hands after putting on the patch to avoid getting the nicotine in your eyes or nose.

Wearing the Patch

Most patches are worn for 16 to 24 hours. Read the package carefully and wear the patch only for the amount of time specified. Some people have trouble sleeping while wearing the patch. If this occurs, remove the patch and apply a new patch in the morning.

Removing the Patch

When you remove a patch, fold it in half with the sticky sides together and place the used patch in the packaging from the new patch or in the disposal tray if one was included. Dispose of the used patch in a safe place where children and pets won't get into it. Put a fresh patch on a different area of skin and use a different area for each new patch. Wait at least a week before reusing an area of skin.

When to Call Your Doctor

If you have signs of a nicotine overdose, take off the patch and call your doctor immediately. These signs include upset stomach, dizziness, serious headaches, cold sweats, vomiting, drooling, blurred vision, confusion, hearing problems and weakness or fainting.

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