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NICOTINE (Skin Patch)

Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? Yes
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antismoking agent


    As an aid to stop smoking, used in conjunction with a comprehensive behavioral smoking cessation program.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to use:
Apply skin patch to clean, non-hairy site on the trunk or upper outer arm.

When to take:
Daily. Remove old patch and apply new patch to new location on the skin. Follow directions in the instruction packet that comes with the prescription.

If you forget a dose:
Remove old patch and apply new patch as soon as you remember, then return to regular schedule.

What drug does:
Delivers steady but gradually reduced supply of nicotine to the body for relief of smoking withdrawal symptoms. Reduces craving for cigarettes.

Time lapse before drug works:
2 to 4 hours.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


None expected.


    Overdose unlikely to threaten life. If person uses much larger amount than prescribed, call doctor, poison-control center or hospital emergency room for instruction.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    None expected.


    Itching, redness, burning or skin rash at site of patch.


    Diarrhea, dizziness, indigestion, nervousness, strange dreams, muscle aches, constipation, sore throat, nausea, increased cough, pain, change in taste, excessive tiredness, change in menstruation, insomnia, headache.


    Mild chest pain, sinusitis, stomach pain, vomiting, dry mouth, numbness or tingling in hands or feet.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to nicotine or any of the components in the skin patch.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you have a skin disorder (such as eczema).
  • If you are using other skin patch medication.
  • If you have cardiovascular or peripheral vascular disease.
  • If you have liver or kidney disease.
  • If you have hyperthyroidism, insulin-dependent diabetes, pheochromocytoma, peptic ulcer disease or high blood pressure.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Tobacco smoke and nicotine are harmful to the fetus. The specific effects of nicotine from the skin patch are unknown. Discuss the risks of both with your doctor.

Drug passes into breast milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
Not recommended.

Prolonged use:
Use for longer than 3 months not recommended.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
No problems expected.

Adverse reactions and side effects related to nicotine withdrawal may continue for some time. Entire course of treatment should take 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the size of the initial dose.


  • Advise any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you take this medicine.
  • May affect results of some medical tests.
  • Keep both the used and unused skin patches out of the reach of children and pets. Dispose of old patches according to package instructions.
  • For full benefit from this treatment, stop cigarette smoking as soon as you begin treatment.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------- -----------------------
Acetaminophen Increased effect of acetaminophen.
Beta-adrenergic Increased effect of beta blocker.
Bronchodilators, Increased bronchodilator effect.
Caffeine-containing Increased effect of caffeine.
Imipramine Increased effect of imipramine.
Insulin May require insulin dosage adjustment.
Isoproterenol Decreased effect of isoproterenol.
Labetalol Increased effect of labetalol.
Oxazepam Increased effect of oxazepam.
Pentazocine Increased effect of pentazocine.
Phenylephrine Decreased effect of phenylephrine.
Prazosin Increased effect of prazosin.
Theophylline Increased effect of theophylline.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased cardiac irritability.
Caffeine drinks. Increased cardiac irritability.
Cocaine: Increased cardiac irritability.
Foods: No proven problems.
Marijuana: Increased toxic effects.
Tobacco: Increased adverse effects of nicotine.

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