Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Unwanted Effects From The Nicoderm Patch

Nicoderm CQ is the brand name of a nicotine patch prescribed to help people quit smoking. CQ stands for "Committed Quitters." The patch was available only by prescription until 1996, when the United States Food and Drug Administration approved it for over-the-counter sales. You can purchase Nicoderm CQ in three different strengths, and it's designed to be part of an 8- to 10-week smoking-cessation program. The patch supplies your body with some nicotine so you don't experience strong withdrawal cravings that compel you to smoke.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects are related either to the body adjusting to the Nicoderm CQ patch or to any withdrawal symptoms from decreasing nicotine intake. If these effects occur, they usually only last a few days. They include anxiety, headache, dizziness and light-headedness, drowsiness, facial flushing, insomnia, indigestion and nausea.

Skin Side Effects

The Nicoderm patch can cause skin under and around it to become red, itchy or irritated, with possible stinging or burning sensations. You can try placing the patch in a different area, and if the irritation does not disappear after a few days, consult with your physician. People with skin problems may not be good candidates for Nicoderm CQ.

Serious Side Effects

You shouldn't smoke while using Nicoderm CQ. Although rare, serious side effects are more likely to occur if an individual smokes while using the patch because of the possibility of nicotine overdose. If any of these effects occur, they may indicate cardiovascular problems, and you should stop using the patch and seek immediate attention from a doctor. These side effects include chest pain; difficulty breathing; irregular heartbeat or palpitations; severe headache; severe dizziness; slurred speech; tremors; weakness on one side of the body; numbness or tingling in hands and feet; or swelling of hands, feet or ankles.

Mental Side Effects

Mental and psychological side effects also are rare, and if they occur, you should stop using the patch and consult with a doctor. These effects include depression or other mood changes, abnormal dreams, nervousness and anxiety, and confusion.


Nursing mothers should not use the patch because nicotine passes into breast milk. Additionally, the Nicoderm CQ patch can interfere with insulin, beta-blockers, propoxyphene and xanthines.

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