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A nicotine patch helps you quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco. The patch looks like a large bandage. The outer part of the patch sticks to your skin, while the inner part presses against your skin and slowly releases nicotine into your skin.
Patches may also give you a constant dose of nicotine for either 16 or 24 hours. The 24-hour patch may cause sleep problems, such as trouble sleeping or unusually vivid dreams. Removing the patch a few hours before you go to sleep may stop the sleep problems.
Here's how to use the patch.
Read and follow the directions that came with the medicine as well as any directions your healthcare provider gave you.
Choosing the right patch strength is important to your success in quitting smoking. The starting patch size depends on how much you smoke now. Talk to your healthcare provider for more help choosing the right patch strength.
It's important to use a new patch each day and to 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 cigarette.
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 healthcare provider.
Adaptation Date: 5/18/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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