Nicotine patches are one of the types of nicotine replacement therapy along with nicotine lozenges and nicotine gum in order to ease the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. A nicotine patch is also called as a transdermal patch that is applied on the skin and releases nicotine into the body to minimize the craving as the individual quits smoking. Take note that a nicotine patch is considered safe and effective but there are certain side effects that can occur such as skin reactions and even nicotine overdose.
How nicotine patches work
Nicotine patches helps an individual quit smoking by diminishing the cravings for cigarettes and other tobacco products since it releases a low level of nicotine. The nicotine patch is applied on a dry, clean and hairless part of the skin on the upper body such as the side of the stomach or the upper arm.
The patch is available in several dosages and steadily releases a small amount of nicotine into the body for 16-24 hours. The dosage is reduced as the craving for cigarettes subsides. The treatment usually lasts 8-10 weeks but it is already proven to be safe if used longer.
Potential skin reactions
When nicotine patches are used, there is possibility of skin reactions to occur. The common reactions such as redness, sore, rash, swelling and irritation can occur at the area where the patch was applied. If these do not go away on their own after several days, the doctor usually suggests treatment with hydrocortisone or other ointments. The location where the nicotine patch is applied must be changed every day to avoid skin reactions. Burning, mild tingling or itchiness are normal and typically lasts not more than an hour. You can provide relief to these symptoms by enrolling in a course on first aid today.
What happens during nicotine overdose and the possible side effects?
Nicotine overdose is considered rare. The symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, stomach upset, vomiting, headaches, fainting, weakness, blurred vision and dizziness. If the individual experiences any of these, the nicotine patch must be removed and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Vivid dreams and insomnia are also likely to occur and can be minimized by removing the nicotine patch before the individual goes to sleep. When handling the patch, you have to wash hands so that the nicotine will not get into the nose or eyes.
Considerations to bear in mind
You have to carefully read the label on the packaging in order to determine the right dosage for the individual. If the individual is currently breastfeeding or pregnant, a nicotine patch should not be used unless a doctor is consulted first.
A nicotine patch should not be used if the individual is under 18 years old unless a doctor is consulted. If non-prescription or prescription medications are taken, it is best to consult a doctor first before a nicotine patch is used since it can affect how some medications work.
For those who have diabetes, skin conditions or heart problems, it is best to consult a doctor regarding the nicotine patch first to make sure that it is safe. Always bear in mind that nicotine patches should only be used if the individual is trying to quit using tobacco products due to the possible side effects and the adverse effects.