patches are usually sold in kits that contain enough patches to get most people
through the quitting process. Many brands come with different-sized patches
containing different strengths of nicotine. For the first few weeks, use a
large patch. 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.
With other brands, you use the same size of patch every week then simply stop
using the patch.
Nicotine patches are available in forms that supply a
constant dose of nicotine for either 16 or 24 hours.
patch may cause sleep disturbance, such as difficulty sleeping or unusually
vivid dreams. Removing the patch a few hours before you go to sleep may stop sleep
Choosing the right patch strength is important to your
success in quitting smoking. If you weigh more than
100 lb (45.36 kg), start with
the highest dose patch. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more help
choosing the right patch strength.
Use of nicotine patches usually lasts 8 to 10 weeks,
but this can vary with the individual and the brand of patch. If you feel you need to use the patch for a longer period of time, talk to your doctor.
How to use nicotine patches
Read and follow the directions enclosed with
the medicine as well as any given to you by your doctor.
patch to a clean, hairless place on the skin between the neck and the waist,
such as the upper arm, the shoulder, or the back.
Do not apply the
patch to the same location over and over again. Find several locations and
rotate among them. This will decrease problems with skin
Wear the patch all day. Do not put it on and remove it
as a substitute for a cigarette. Do not remove it in order to smoke a
Some brands of nicotine patches come in several
strengths. Use the largest (highest-strength) patch first, then switch to the
smaller (lower-strength) patches according to the schedule recommended by the
Replace the patch daily.
Your chances of quitting may be increased if you use
nicotine gum, inhalers, or lozenges or bupropion along with the patch. You can talk with your doctor about combining the patch with another nicotine replacement therapy or a quit-smoking medicine.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.