What is this medicine?
NICOTINE (NIK oh teen) helps people stop smoking. The patches replace the nicotine found in cigarettes and help to decrease withdrawal effects. They are most effective when used in combination with a stop-smoking program.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Habitrol, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart disease, angina, irregular heartbeat or previous heart attack
- high blood pressure
- lung disease, including asthma
- overactive thyroid
- seizures or a history of seizures
- skin problems, like eczema
- stomach problems or ulcers
- an unusual or allergic reaction to nicotine, adhesives, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is for use on the skin. Follow the directions that come with the patches. Find an area of skin on your upper arm, chest, or back that is clean, dry, greaseless, undamaged and hairless. Wash hands with plain soap and water. Do not use anything that contains aloe, lanolin or glycerin as these may prevent the patch from sticking. Dry thoroughly. Remove the patch from the sealed pouch. Do not try to cut or trim the patch. Using your palm, press the patch firmly in place for 10 seconds to make sure that there is good contact with your skin. After applying the patch, wash your hands. Change the patch every day, keeping to a regular schedule. When you apply a new patch, use a new area of skin. Wait at least 1 week before using the same area again.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you forget to replace a patch, use it as soon as you can. Only use one patch at a time and do not leave on the skin for longer than directed. If a patch falls off, you can replace it, but keep to your schedule and remove the patch at the right time.
What may interact with this medicine?
- medicines for asthma
- medicines for blood pressure
- medicines for mental depression
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
You should begin using the nicotine patch the day you stop smoking. It is okay if you do not succeed at your attempt to quit and have a cigarette. You can still continue your quit attempt and keep using the product as directed. Just throw away your cigarettes and get back to your quit plan.
You can keep the patch in place during swimming, bathing, and showering. If your patch falls off during these activities, replace it.
When you first apply the patch, your skin may itch or burn. This should go away soon. When you remove a patch, the skin may look red, but this should only last for a few days. Call your doctor or health care professional if skin redness does not go away after 4 days, if your skin swells, or if you get a rash.
If you are a diabetic and you quit smoking, the effects of insulin may be increased and you may need to reduce your insulin dose. Check with your doctor or health care professional about how you should adjust your insulin dose.
If you are going to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure, tell your MRI technician if you have this patch on your body. It must be removed before a MRI.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- changes in hearing
- changes in vision
- chest pain
- cold sweats
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- increased saliva
- skin redness that lasts more than 4 days
- stomach pain
- signs and symptoms of nicotine overdose like nausea; vomiting; dizziness; weakness; and rapid heartbeat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- dry mouth
- nervousness or restlessness
- trouble sleeping or vivid dreams
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from heat and light. Store in manufacturers packaging until ready to use. Throw away unused medicine after the expiration date. When you remove a patch, fold with sticky sides together; put in an empty opened pouch and throw away.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.