You might be aware that quitting smoking is an incredibly challenging task. If you've been a long-time smoker, cigarettes likely hold a significant place in your life. The reason for this strong bond is nicotine, as your body has developed a dependence on it. Nicotinell Patches offer a gradual approach over several months to assist you in your journey to quit.
What Are Nicotinell (Nicotine) Patches?
Quitting smoking involves tackling two aspects: the psychological dependence on cigarettes and the physical addiction to nicotine. The Nicotinell patch facilitates nicotine delivery into your bloodstream through the skin, aiming to reduce your daily cravings for nicotine gradually.
Nicotinell is not intended for short-term use, like during plane trips or other situations where smoking is impossible. Its primary purpose is to aid you in quitting smoking rather than serving as a cigarette substitute. For Nicotinell to be most effective, it requires a strong personal commitment to quit smoking. Relying solely on Nicotinell is not enough to break the habit entirely. Nevertheless, each nicotine patch helps alleviate numerous withdrawal symptoms and cravings, including those experienced during early mornings, which often occur when you stop smoking.
The Nicotinell Transdermal Patches contain the following active ingredient:
Nicotine (17.5mg per 10 cm² patch, 35mg per 20 cm² patch, 52.5mg per 30cm² patch).
In addition to the active ingredient, the patches also contain the following inactive ingredients:
- acrylate esters vinyl acetate copolymers;
- fractionated coconut oil;
- methacrylic acid esters copolymers;
- aluminized and siliconized polyester films.
These components are essential for the composition and function of the patch to deliver nicotine transdermally(through the skin) to aid in smoking cessation.
Nicotinell is available in 3 nicotine dosage strengths, each corresponding to a different patch size:
- Nicotinell Step 1 (30 cm² patch) 52.5mg nicotine patch (release rate 21mg nicotine per 24 hours).
- Nicotinell Step 2 (20 cm² patch) 35mg nicotine patch (release rate 14mg nicotine per 24 hours).
- Nicotinell Step 3 (10 cm² patch) 17.5mg nicotine patch (release rate 7mg nicotine per 24 hours).
How to Use
Selecting a specific day to quit smoking is highly recommended. Consider the following tips when choosing your quit day:
- Pick a day when you won't be surrounded by others who smoke.
- Opt for a day with minimal stress.
- Select a day close in the future to maintain motivation.
Inform your family and friends about your "quit day" target. This way, they can offer support and encouragement as you take control of your habit and transition into a non-smoker. Before quitting completely, prepare yourself by gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.
While using Nicotinell, it's essential to cease smoking entirely.
The Nicotinell course typically lasts 9 to 12 weeks, using one patch daily. Each patch is worn for 24 hours.
As the course progresses, the goal is to use lower-strength (smaller size) patches, aligning with your decreasing desire for nicotine. Nicotinell Patches are available in three nicotine dosage strengths:
- Nicotinell Step 1 (21mg/24 hours);
- Nicotinell Step 2 (14mg/24 hours);
- Nicotinell Step 3 (7mg/24 hours).
Choosing the appropriate strength to start with depends on your daily cigarette consumption. Refer to the information in the table to determine the right program for you. Your doctor may adjust the dosage accordingly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Make sure to select the program that best suits your needs.
End of the Program
If you smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day
Use Nicotinell Step 1 Patch, 21mg
Use Nicotinell Step 2 Patch, 14mg
Use Nicotinell Step 3 Patch, 7mg
You have successfully become a non-smoker
If you smoked less than 20 cigarettes a day
Use Nicotinell Step 2 Patch, 14mg
Use Nicotinell Step 3 Patch, 7mg
Continue with NicotinellS tep 3 Patch, 7mg
You have successfully become a non-smoker
To apply the Nicotinell patch correctly, follow these steps:
- Cut open the sachet along the dotted line and keep it for future disposal of the used patch.
- Peel off the protective liner from the sticky side of the patch.
- Choose a clean, dry, and non-hairy area of skin. Ensure the skin is free from creams, lotions, ointments, oils, or powders, including sunscreen products or insect repellents.
- Thoroughly wash and clean the area before applying the patch. If you've had a warm bath or shower, wait until the skin is cool and dry before applying the patch, especially in hot and humid weather, to ensure maximum adhesion.
- Do not shave the skin before application, as it may cause irritation.
- Ensure the skin is not broken or inflamed in any way, such as sunburn, rash, or eczema.
- You can apply the patch on your chest, back, upper arm, or hip. Avoid areas where the skin folds when sitting or exercising.
- Place the sticky side of the patch onto the chosen area of skin and press firmly with the palm of your hand for at least 20 seconds. After that, run your fingers around the edge to ensure a firm adhesion.
- Do not lift the edge to check if the patch has stuck, as this may cause it to come loose.
- Once applied, do not remove and re-apply the patch elsewhere, as it may not adhere if re-used.
- When it's time to replace the Nicotinell patch after 24 hours, choose a different location for the new patch.
- To dispose of the used patch, fold it in half with the sticky side inwards and carefully place it back into the original sachet. Discard the used patch properly, keeping it out of the reach of children or pets. Do not flush it down the toilet.
Following these instructions will help ensure proper application and disposal of the Nicotinell patch, enhancing its effectiveness while maintaining safety.
Here are some additional important points to keep in mind while using the Nicotinell patch:
- You can swim, bathe, or shower with the patch on. However, wait at least one hour after applying the patch before engaging in sweaty or wet activities. This will help ensure better patch adhesion.
- Avoid using bath oils or shower gels with oily ingredients before or after applying the patch, as they may affect patch adhesion.
- Despite taking preventive measures, be aware that excessive sweating or oily skin can lead to poor patch adhesion. Very hot or humid conditions can also affect how well the patch sticks to the skin.
- If the patch falls off, you can secure it back in place with medicinal adhesive tape or apply a fresh patch and continue as usual. Replace the patch at the regular time the following day.
- Avoid using soap directly on the patch or the skin surrounding it.
- Refrain from smoking while using the patch, as nicotine will still be in your system for several hours after removing the patch.
- If you forget to change the patch at the usual time, change it as soon as you remember and then replace it at the usual time the following day.
- It is advisable not to apply the patch to a previously used skin site for three days.
- Never wear more than one Nicotinell patch at a time.
- Nicotinell Patches should not be used for periods longer than three months. Follow the recommended course duration and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need to use NRT for an extended period.
Use Nicotinell exactly as instructed to receive the full benefits of the program. Following the recommended course duration and gradual reduction is essential. Quit smoking completely while using Nicotinell. Continuing to smoke while wearing the patch may lead to increased side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you continue to smoke while using Nicotinell. Inform all healthcare professionals, including doctors, dentists, and pharmacists, who are treating you about your use of Nicotinell Patches.
Do not stop using Nicotinell Patches suddenly. Abruptly discontinuing the use of the patches may result in side effects similar to those experienced when quitting smoking abruptly.
Important Warning Information
Smoking offers no health benefits, making quitting highly advisable, and Nicotinell can assist in this endeavor. Generally, the well-established dangers of continued smoking significantly outweigh any potential side effects associated with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). However, if you are hospitalized due to a heart attack, severe heart rhythm disorders, or a stroke, it is recommended to attempt quitting without using NRT unless your doctor advises otherwise. Once you are discharged from the hospital, you may consider using NRT under the guidance of your doctor.
It's essential to be cautious, though, as using NRT can sometimes trigger allergic reactions, such as swelling of the lips, face, and throat (angioedema) or an itchy skin rash (urticaria), especially if you have a history of such reactions.
Avoid using the Nicotinell Patch under the following circumstances:
- if you are a non-smoker;
- if you are under 12 years old;
- after the expiration date;
- if you have an allergy to nicotine or any component of the patch;
- if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering;
- if you have a generalized skin disorder like psoriasis or dermatitis;
- if you have had a recent heart attack or stroke;
- if you have uncontrolled or worsening angina (chest pain);
- if you have severe arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat);
- if you have severe high blood pressure;
- if you have other heart or blood vessel disease;
- if you have diabetes;
- if you have kidney or liver problems;
- if you have hyperthyroidism (a disorder of the thyroid gland);
- if you have phaeochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland);
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding;
- you are aged 12 to 17 years old.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines you currently take, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. It is crucial to share this information so that your healthcare provider can assess whether quitting smoking might impact the effectiveness of these medications. They can provide appropriate advice and guidance based on your situation.
Driving or operating machinery
Using the Nicotinell Patch as per the recommended dose shows no evidence of driving or operating machinery risks. However, it's essential to remember that smoking cessation can lead to behavioral changes in some individuals. These changes may vary from person to person and can include mood swings, irritability, restlessness, or changes in concentration.
While Nicotinell itself is not likely to cause issues with driving or machinery operation, it's essential to be aware of any behavioral changes that might occur while quitting smoking. If you notice any significant changes in your behavior, it's best to exercise caution while engaging in activities that require focus and attention, such as driving or operating machinery. If you have concerns or experience any unexpected effects during your smoking cessation journey, seek advice from your healthcare provider.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
If you are pregnant, it is important not to use the Nicotinell Patch, and you should aim to quit smoking without using nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine, in any form, may pose harm to your unborn baby. However, if you find it challenging to quit without NRT, consult your pharmacist or doctor before starting any program.
If you decide to use NRT during pregnancy, the decision should be made as early as possible, and the usage should be limited to 2-3 months. Products taken intermittently, like gum, are preferable over nicotine patches. Nevertheless, patches may be more suitable if you experience nausea or sickness.
During breastfeeding, nicotine is excreted in breast milk; even therapeutic doses may affect the child. Similar to smoking, NRT should be avoided while breastfeeding. However, if quitting without NRT is not feasible, seek advice from your healthcare provider before starting any program. In such cases, refrain from using the Nicotinell Patch while breastfeeding. Intermittent NRT products like chewing gums may be used instead, ensuring they are used immediately after breastfeeding to minimize the amount of nicotine transferred to the baby.
Nicotinell Patches should not be used for children under the age of 12. For children aged 12 to 17, it's essential not to use Nicotinell Patches longer than 12 weeks. If you require usage beyond this period, discussing this with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance is crucial.
Removing the patch before undergoing any MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) procedures is essential.
The nicotine present in Nicotinell Patches may cause reactions similar to those experienced when smoking, such as dizziness, headache, nausea (feeling sick), or sleep disturbances. These reactions are usually mild, but you must inform your doctor or pharmacist if they concern you.
The patch can cause skin irritation. To reduce this, apply the patch to a different skin area each day. However, if you experience severe redness, swelling, itching, a burning sensation, blisters at the patch site, or develop a rash (like an itchy red rash or hives), remove the patch immediately and promptly consult your doctor or visit the Accident & Emergency department at the nearest hospital. These symptoms could indicate an allergic reaction to Nicotinell.
Keep Nicotinell Patches out of the reach of children at all times. Nicotine is a highly toxic substance and can be life-threatening to children. Each Nicotinell patch is enclosed in a child-resistant sachet. Disposing of used patches carefully is crucial to prevent accidental exposure to children.
Using other products containing nicotine or continuing to smoke while wearing a Nicotinell patch can potentially lead to nicotine overdose. However, if Nicotinell is used correctly, the likelihood of overdose is low.
Signs and symptoms of nicotine overdosage may include pallor, sweating, nausea, excessive salivation, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, hearing and vision disturbances, tremors, confusion, weakness, fainting, and breathing difficulties. If you suspect an overdose, remove the patch immediately, wash the area with water (without using soap), and dry it. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor, or visit the hospital casualty department.
It is crucial to keep used and unused Nicotinell Patches out of the reach and sight of children. Nicotine doses that adult smokers tolerate can cause severe poisoning and even be fatal to small children. In case of overdose or suspected overdose, seek immediate medical advice or contact a Poisons Information Centre. Swift action is vital in such situations to ensure the safety and well-
being of individuals, especially children.
Keep the patch in its original sachet pack inside the carton until you can use it. Taking the patch out of its sachet may affect its integrity. Store the patches below 30°C (86°F). Avoid storing the patch in the refrigerator, even during hot weather, as this can lead to a loss of adhesion and affect its effectiveness.
Do not store the patch or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink, as heat and moisture can potentially damage the medication.
Avoid leaving the patch in the car or on windowsills, as exposure to heat and dampness may degrade the patch. Store the patches in a place where children cannot reach them. A locked cupboard, at least one-and-a-half meters above the ground, is a safe location for storing medicines.
Following these storage instructions will help maintain the quality and efficacy of the Nicotinell Patches until you are ready to use them while also ensuring the safety of children and avoiding any potential damage to the product.