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Home > Tobacco Use Cessation Program > Didactic Components > Use of the Nicotine Patch

Use of the Nicotine Patch

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE FIRMLY COMMITTED TO GIVING UP TOBACCO. YOU MUST STOP TOBACCO USE ON THE DAY YOU START USING THE PATCH.

 

  • This medicine should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Women: Nicotine patches should not be used with women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • When the patch is worn, nicotine is released through the skin into the bloodstream. Nicotine patches may help relieve symptoms of nicotine withdrawal such as irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, difficulty in concentration, and restlessness.


How to Apply a Patch

(Read patient instructions that come with patches)

  1. Choose a non-hairy, clean, dry area of your body or the upper, outer part of your arm.
  2. Remove the patch from its protective pouch.
  3. Hold the patch at the edge and apply the sticky side to your skin. Press firmly with the palm of your hand for about 10 seconds. Wash your hands.
  4. After approximately 24 hours, remove the patch you have been wearing. Choose a different place on your skin to apply the next patch. Do not return to a previously used skin site for at least one week.
  5. Fold the used patch in half with the sticky side together. After you have put on a new patch, take its pouch and place the used, folded patch inside of it.


If Your Patch Gets Wet

Water will not harm the patch. You can bathe, swim, use a hot tub, or shower while wearing a patch.


PRECAUTIONS:

 

What to Ask Your Dentist

Ask your dentist about possible problems with nicotine therapy. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medical problems including:

* recent heart attack * overactive thyroid * skin diseases

* severe or worsening heart pain * kidney or liver disease * stomach ulcers

* rashes from adhesive tape or bandages * irregular heart beat * diabetes (insulin)

* high blood pressure * allergies to drugs

 

If You Are Taking Medicines

Patch use, together with stopping smoking, may change the effect of other medicines. It is important to tell your dentist all the medicines you are taking.

 

What to Watch For (Adverse Effects)

You should not smoke while using the patch. It is possible to get too much nicotine (an overdose), especially if you use the patch and smoke at the same time. Signs of an overdose might include bad headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweat, blurred vision, difficulty with hearing, mental confusion, and weakness. An overdose might cause you to faint.

 

If Your Skin Reacts to the Patch

When you first put on a patch, mild itching, burning, or tingling is normal and should go away within an hour. After you remove a patch, the skin under the patch might be somewhat red. Your skin should not stay red for more than a day. If you get a skin rash after a patch, or if the skin under the patch becomes swollen or very red, call your dentist. Do not put on a new patch.

 
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