A nicotine patch sticks to your skin and slowly releases nicotine into your bloodstream. Many kits come with different-sized patches that vary in nicotine strength. The starting patch size depends on how much you smoke now. For example, if you smoke heavily, you may use a large patch for the first few weeks. Then use medium-sized patches for the next few weeks, and use the smallest patches—which contain the least nicotine—during the last few weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more help choosing the right patch strength. Replace the patch daily. Choose a clean, hairless place on the skin between the neck and the waist, such as the upper arm, the shoulder, or the back. To help avoid skin irritation, do not apply the patch to the same place every time.
By using the patch, you can taper off your smoking or your use of smokeless tobacco. The patch can help relieve your withdrawal symptoms. The patches are usually used for 8 to 10 weeks, but it can vary with each person and with the brand of patch. If you feel you need to use the patch for a longer period of time, talk to your doctor.
Current as of:
August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine & Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health
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