Nicotine patch helps you to stop smoking by reducing the withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation.
This medicine is meant to be taken as part of a complete smoking cessation programme that should include patient education and counselling.
Apply Nicotine patch on your skin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not apply more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Instructions for application:
- Wash your hands before applying the patch.
- Remove the patch from the protective foil pouch and peel away half of the liner. Do not touch the sticky side with your fingers.
- Apply the sticky part of the patch to a clean, dry, hairless area of the skin such as the hip, upper arm or chest.
- Peel away the other half of the liner. Press firmly on the skin for 10 to 20 seconds with your palm or finger tips to ensure that the patch stays on the skin. To avoid loss of Nicotine through evaporation, the patch should be applied immediately after the removal from the protective pouch and liner.
- Apply the patch at around the same time every day.
- Nicotine patch must be kept on continuously until it is time to replace it with a new patch. Replace the patch every 24 hours. Change the site of application every day to avoid skin irritation. For example, if you put the patch on your right hip on the first day, put it on your left hip on the second day, and so on. Do not use more than one patch at a time.
- Wash hands after applying or removing the patch.
- After removing the patch, fold the sticky sides together, put back in empty pouch, and place it in a rubbish bin.
Do not apply the patch on broken skin.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition.
Nicotine patch must be used regularly for it to be effective. Continue using this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop using it suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not apply more than what is instructed by the doctor to make up for the missed dose.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease e.g. chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, recent stroke or heart attack
- stomach ulcer
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- overactive thyroid
- phaeochromocytoma (tumour of the adrenal gland)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not smoke cigarettes once you start Nicotine therapy. There may be a risk of Nicotine overdose.
If you are going for certain diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), inform your doctor that you are using Nicotine patch.
For as long as you are using this medicine, you may need to have regular monitoring of your cardiac status (heart rate and blood pressure) to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you how often you need to have them.
What lifestyle changes can I make to help myself quit smoking?
Do not give in to cigarette cravings even for one single puff alone. It is better to avoid groups or places which may encourage smoking. Engaging in sports or exercise and eating healthy foods are effective methods in countering such cravings.
Communicate with others and establish a support group. Always remind yourself about the benefits of quitting smoking e.g. reduced risk of developing diseases, improved general health, increased life expectancy.
Nicotine patch may cause any of the following side effects: irritability or aggression, depressed mood, restlessness, poor concentration, increased appetite, weight gain, urges to smoke, vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, redness, itching, and rash at the application site.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience signs and symptoms of nicotine toxicity such as headache, dizziness, confusion , irregular pulse, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, salivation, cold sweat , weakness, hearing and visual disturbances.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for smoking cessation e.g. bupropion, varenicline
- stomach medicine e.g. cimetidine
- medicine for irregular heartbeat e.g. adenosine
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Nicotine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.