Monday, December 16, 2013

Nicotine Patch Information

Nicotine Patch Information

Nicotine patches can be used to assist you if you are trying to quit smoking. Nicotine patches are designed to provide a constant, low level of nicotine through your skin to prevent you from craving cigarettes and to decrease your symptoms of withdrawal.


A fresh patch should be applied to a clean, dry area of your skin, such as your upper arm or somewhere on your torso that is free of hair. The wrapper should be saved for disposal of the patch when it is removed. Firmly press the patch to your skin, checking the edges to make sure they are adhering well. Be sure to wash your hands to remove any nicotine that may be on them to prevent getting it in your eyes or nose where it can cause irritation. Depending on your brand of patch, you should remove the patch after the designated time and replace it with a fresh one in a different location. The used patch should be placed in the original wrapper for disposal. Make sure you dispose of it where children and pets are not able to reach it.

Side Effects/Allergies

Side effects can include high blood pressure, itching and burning in the area of the patch, nausea, dizziness and redness of your skin where you used the patch. Inform your doctor of any of these side effects. If you have ever been sensitive to nicotine or experienced an allergic reaction to it, consult your doctor before using a nicotine patch. Contact your doctor if you experience heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, or if you have redness, rash or swelling at the site of the patch that lasts more than four days.


Depending on the brand of patch you are using, they are available in one to three different strengths. Typically the beginning dose is one patch each day in the high strength. Your doctor may have you begin on a lower does if your weight is under 100 pounds, if you have heart disease or if you smoke less half of a pack each day. If you experience symptoms of a nicotine overdose you should seek immediate medical care. Symptoms may include blurred vision, abdominal pain, cold sweat, confusion, diarrhea, abnormal breathing, dizziness, hearing problems, fainting, drooling, low blood pressure, nausea, heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, severe headaches, sweating, salivation, upset stomach, tremor, vomiting, weakness and vision problems.

Drug Interactions

There may be adverse reactions associated with certain medications. You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: caffeine-containing drugs (No Doz), some blood pressure medications (Trandate, Minipress and Normodyne), some airway opening drugs (Dristan, Isuprel and Neo-Synephrine), drugs that contain acetaminophen, haloperidol, cimetidine, insulin, imipramine, oxazepam, lithium, propranolol, theophylline, pentazocine or any non-nicotine drugs used to quit smoking (Zyban).


Nicotine can be addictive and toxic. You should not use nicotine patches for a longer period than your doctor recommends. If you experience sleep disturbance or vivid dreams, you should remove the patch before bed. If a pouch is not sealed you should not use the patch. There have not been tests to determine the safety and effectiveness for use in children. Used patches can poison a child or pet, therefore care must be taken with their disposal.


The use of nicotine patches may cause certain medical conditions to become worse. Inform your doctor if you currently have, or have previously had a heart condition, diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies to drugs or adhesives, heart attack or heart disease, irregular heartbeat, liver disease, kidney disease, skin disease, stomach ulcer or overactive thyroid. While using a nicotine patch you should not smoke, chew or sniff tobacco of any type as it could result in an overdose.

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