Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
How do I use the patch?
Congratulations on your decision to quit
smoking. The nicotine patch your doctor has recommended will help make it easier
to quit. The instructions in this handout will help you use the patch the right
way. Be sure to stop smoking on the day you start using the patch. Smoking or
using other forms of tobacco while you’re using the patch may lead to
health problems. Do not let anyone else use the patch. Keep the patch away from
children and pets. Do not use the patch if you are pregnant, unless your doctor
knows you are pregnant and has told you to do so. If you are breastfeeding, talk
to your doctor before using the patch. You should also talk to your doctor
before using the patch if you are younger than 18 years old.
- Only open the sealed package when you are ready
to put on a patch.
- Peel the protective cover off the patch and throw
it away. Try not to touch the sticky side of the patch (the side with the
- Put one patch on a clean, dry area of skin that
isn't covered with hair, such as your stomach, upper arm or side. Do not put the
patch on burned, cut or sore skin.
- To apply the patch, place the sticky side on your
skin and press it firmly for 10 seconds with the palm of your hand. Make sure
the patch is flat and smooth against your skin.
- Wash your hands after putting on the patch.
Nicotine on your hands could get into your eyes or nose and cause stinging or
- Wear the patch for the amount of time shown on
the package. Most patches are worn for 16 or 24 hours. If you have sleep
problems when you have the patch on, you can take it off at bedtime and
put on a new patch in the morning.
- When you take off the old patch, fold it in half
with the sticky sides together. Put the old patch in the package from the new
patch or in the disposal tray provided. Put the package in the trash where
children and pets cannot find it.
- Put the next patch on a different area of skin.
Use a different area each day. You can use the old area again after waiting 1
What do I need to tell my doctor?
Please tell your doctor if you take any
medicines. The patch may change how some medicines work. Please tell your doctor
if you have any illnesses, including the following:
- Chest pains or a recent heart attack
- Heart disease
- Stomach ulcers
- Thyroid disease
- Skipped or irregular heart beats
- Allergies to tape, bandages or medicines
- Skin rashes or skin diseases
- High blood pressure
- Kidney or liver disease
Call your doctor if you get too
much nicotine (an overdose) from the patch. Signs of an overdose could be
dizziness, upset stomach, bad headaches, vomiting, cold sweats, drooling,
confusion, blurred vision, hearing problems, weakness or fainting. If problems
happen, take off the patch and call your doctor right away.
My skin tingles under the patch. Is
It is normal to feel mild tingling, itching or
burning when you put the patch on. This feeling usually lasts 15 minutes to 1
hour. When you take off an old patch, your skin may be red where the patch was.
Your skin should not stay red for more than 1 day. If the skin stays very red
for 4 days, or if it gets swollen or sore, do not put on a new patch. Call your
Can I wear the patch in the shower?
You can wear your patch when you bathe, shower,
swim or soak in a hot tub. Water will not harm the patch as long as it is firmly
What if the patch falls
If your patch comes off, put a new one on a
different area of skin. Change it again at the usual time the next day.