Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Patches To Assist Stop Smoking

If you're looking to ease your way into giving up nicotine, the patch might be the right choice for you. During the course of eight to 10 weeks, you'll reduce the amounts of nicotine in your patch until you are able to stop using nicotine entirely.


If you've smoked for several years, your body has come to depend on receiving a daily dose of nicotine through the cigarettes you smoke. When you stop smoking, you begin to experience nicotine withdrawal and might be tempted to smoke again to relieve the symptoms. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include headache, irritability, trouble concentrating, food cravings, trouble sleeping and depression. These symptoms can begin a few hours after you quit. Using a patch supplies your body with nicotine so you don't feel a strong urge to smoke. Patches are sold without a prescription under brand names such as Nicoderm CQ, Habitrol and Nicotrol, and are also available generically. According to the American Heart Association, use of a nicotine replacement product doubles the chances that a person will be successful in quitting smoking.

Patch Placement

The patch should be applied to clean, dry skin on the upper body, such as the side, upper arm or stomach. Hairy areas should be avoided. In order to ensure that the patch adheres to your skin, hold it in place for about 10 seconds after applying. The patch should be worn as directed, usually for about 16 to 24 hours each day. Dispose of your old patch by folding the sticky sides together and placing the patch in the trash in the original packaging. Be sure to keep your patches out of the reach of pets or children.

Using the Patch

In most cases, you will start at the highest patch dosage available and use patches at that dosage for six weeks. After six weeks, it is recommended that you begin using a patch with fewer milligrams of nicotine for two weeks and then use an even smaller dosage for the final two weeks of a 10-week program. If you plan to use the patch for only eight weeks, you will still remain on the higher dosage for six weeks and then drop down to a lower dosage for the final two weeks.

Side Effects

Side effects usually occur during the first several days of use and might include dizziness, headache, drowsiness or being lightheaded. You might also experience an upset stomach or nausea. Irritation and redness can occur around the patch. Moving the patch to another area of the body might alleviate the problem. If you experience chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, anxiety, tremors or anxiety while wearing the patch, remove it and contact your doctor, or seek immediate medical assistance if symptoms are severe.


The patch can make some medical conditions worse and your doctor might not want you to use it if you've had a heart attack recently or have heart disease, irregular heart beats, chest pains, high blood pressure, liver disease, stomach ulcers, skin diseases, thyroid problems, kidney disease or certain allergies.

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