Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nicotine Patches

A nicotine patch is specifically designed to help reduce your craving for nicotine. The way it does this is by delivering a steady dose of nicotine throughout your day. The patch works by delivering a regulated dose of nicotine into your bloodstream through the skin. This steady introduction of nicotine helps to maintain your nicotine level throughout the day. While this level is generally lower than if you were still smoking, it’s enough to eliminate withdrawal symptoms, especially the cravings.

The initial patch program goes on for about six weeks. This is the most difficult period and when the dosage will be highest. After this period, the patch prescribed will be of a lower dosage for two weeks and then a still lower dosage for the last two weeks. At this point, you should be smoke free.

A 21 mg dose Nicoderm CQ patch applied to the ...Image via Wikipedia
Most nicotine patches are not available over the counter. They must be prescribed by a physician. Since the average cigarette contains only one milligram of nicotine, the prescription will be based upon the number of cigarettes you normally smoke in a day. As in all nicotine replacement treatment programs, it’s vital to let your doctor know of any medical conditions you may have.

There is one brand that can be bought over the counter. It’s a fifteen milligram dose and is worn only during the day. Before you go to bed at night, you remove the patch and toss it out. In the morning, you start the day with a fresh one.

There can be some side effects when using a nicotine patch to quit smoking. These can include a rash or skin irritation such as itching or burning around the patch itself. On occasion, a patch can cause nausea or dizziness. In addition, you’ll want to refrain from smoking when using the patch. Otherwise, you risk the potential for a nicotine overdose. You can wear a nicotine patch on your arms, back, or any other place that’s hairless and clean and provides a good surface.

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