Generic name: nicotine (transdermal) (NIK oh teen)
Brand name: Habitrol, Nicoderm C-Q, Nicotine System Kit
Dosage forms: transdermal film, extended release (14 mg/24 hr; 21 mg-14 mg-7 mg; 21 mg/24 hr; 7 mg/24 hr)
Drug class: Smoking cessation agents
What is nicotine?
Nicotine is the primary ingredient in tobacco products.
Nicotine transdermal (skin patch) is a medical product used to help you stop smoking and help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms as you quit smoking.
Nicotine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
Nicotine transdermal is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if nicotine is safe to use if you have ever had:
heart disease, irregular heartbeats;
a heart attack or stroke;
untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
blood circulation problems;
pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
a thyroid disorder;
liver disease; or
if your skin is sensitive to adhesive tape or bandages.
Do not use nicotine transdermal without medical advice if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can cause low birth weight, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Using a nicotine replacement product during pregnancy or while breast-feeding may be safer than smoking. However, you should try to stop smoking without using a nicotine replacement product if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Talk with your doctor about the best way for you to stop smoking.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
The nicotine transdermal patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Remove the patch before undergoing such a test.
How should I use nicotine transdermal?
Nicotine transdermal is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include counseling, group support, and behavior changes. Your success will depend on your participation in all aspects of your smoking cessation program.
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Start using the transdermal patch on the same day you stop (quit) smoking or using tobacco products.
Your patch strength and number of weeks of treatment will depend on how many cigarettes you smoked daily before quitting. Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Wash your hands after applying or removing a nicotine skin patch.
Apply the patch to clean, dry, and hairless skin on your chest or the outer part of your upper arm. Press the patch firmly into place for about 10 seconds to make sure it sticks. You may leave the patch on while bathing, showering, or swimming.
Do not wear more than one nicotine patch at a time. Never cut a skin patch.
Do not wear a nicotine patch at night if you have vivid dreams or trouble sleeping.
If a patch falls off, try sticking it back into place. If it does not stick well, put on a new patch.
You may wear a Habitrol patch for 24 hours.
You may wear a Nicoderm CQ patch for 16 or 24 hours (wear for 24 hours if you crave cigarettes when you wake up in the morning).
Remove the skin patch after 24 hours and replace it with a new one. Choose a different place on your body to wear the patch each time you put on a new one. Do not use the same skin area twice within 7 days.
After removing a skin patch fold it in half, sticky side in, and put it back into its pouch.
Do not use nicotine patches for longer than 8 weeks without the advice of your doctor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each patch in its foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Save the pouch so you can use it to throw away any used patches.
Keep both used and unused nicotine patches out of the reach of children or pets.
The amount of nicotine in a used or unused skin patch can be fatal to a child who accidentally sucks or chews on the patch. Seek emergency medical attention if this happens.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply a skin patch as soon as you remember. Do not wear a patch for longer than 24 hours. Do not use extra patches to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using nicotine transdermal?
Avoid using lotions, oils, or moisturizing soaps on the skin where you plan to wear a nicotine transdermal patch, or it may not stick well.
Nicotine transdermal side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using nicotine transdermal and call your doctor at once if you have:
fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest;
extreme weakness or dizziness;
severe nausea and vomiting; or
redness, swelling, or skin rash where a nicotine patch was worn (especially if these symptoms do not clear up within 4 days after the patch was removed).
Common side effects may include:
sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
dry mouth, upset stomach;
joint or muscle pain;
mild skin irritation where the patch is worn.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect nicotine?
Other drugs may affect nicotine transdermal, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Frequently asked questions
More about nicotine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- 180 Reviews
- Drug class: smoking cessation agents
- Drug Information
- Nicotine nasal, inhalation
- Nicotine Inhalation, oral/nebulization (Advanced Reading)
- Nicotine Nasal (Advanced Reading)
- Nicotine Oral, Oromucosal (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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