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Patches

Nicotine patches may be purchased over-the-counter in a variety of locations (local and chain pharmacies, discount stores, etc.). Prices may vary between brands, with generic patches being the least expensive. 

The nicotine patch provides a safer, clean source of nicotine that enters the body slowly and in lower concentrations than in cigarettes. Patch therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated. The most common adverse reactions are skin irritation and sleep disturbance. You should place the patch on different areas of skin to reduce the chances of the skin becoming irritated. The nicotine patch helps satisfy your nicotine addiction so you can work on breaking the psychological part of your smoking habit. The full course of nicotine patch treatment starts with a 21mg patch for the first four to six weeks, a 14mg patch for the next two weeks and a 7mg patch for final two weeks.

During the last week, taper off the 7mg patch by reducing the hours you wear the patch daily until you reach zero (if you experience sleep disturbances, you can remove the patch at night):

How to Be Free of the Patch after Seven Days
  Continuous Patch Use:
Daytime-only Patch Use:

DAY 1

24 HOURS

16 HOURS

DAY 2

24 HOURS

16 HOURS

DAY 3

20 HOURS

16 HOURS

DAY 4

16 HOURS

16 HOURS

DAY 5

12 HOURS

12 HOURS

DAY 6

8 HOURS

8 HOURS

DAY 7

4 HOURS

4 HOURS

DAY 8

0 HOURS

0 HOURS

Based on a 7mg patch.

Caution

  • You cannot smoke while you are on the patch.
  • The safety of the nicotine patch for children and adolescents has not been studied.
  • If you are pregnant, check with your doctor.
  • If you have any underlying medical conditions, you should check with your physician before using any nicotine replacement therapy.
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