Canadian Users  
  Home | Product Information | Retailers | Smoke-Free Program  
How the Patch Can Help You Quit 
Be Smoke Free in 8-Weeks 
How to Use the Patch 
Quick Quit Tips 
Frequently Asked Questions 
Smoking and Your Body
When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine reaches your brain in just seconds after each puff. Your brain and body get used to functioning with a certain level of nicotine. Your nicotine level drops dramatically after your last cigarette, and then you begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings for nicotine, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping and increased appetite. Physical withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 24 to 72 hours after quitting, then decline over the next several weeks. However, some smokers may experience withdrawal symptoms for several months.
How the Patch Works
The patch helps you quit smoking by reducing your nicotine withdrawal symptoms. When you wear a patch, nicotine is gradually released into your bloodstream through the skin. This reduces the withdrawal symptoms that many people normally feel when they quit smoking because it replaces lower amounts of the nicotine that your body has become accustomed to from smoking.
This patch program offers three patches with different dosing levels. You can move to a lower dose patch by changing the patch you wear to gradually reduce your nicotine level over an eight-week period. This program will help to reduce your nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, headaches, difficult sleeping and concentrating, increased appetite, and craving for nicotine. By helping to reduce these physical withdrawal symptoms, the patch helps you concentrate on the psychological aspects of quitting and to change your habits that trigger your nicotine cravings.
Why Wearing a Nicotine Patch is Better than Smoking
By placing a nicotine patch on your skin, you arenít inhaling the harmful tars, toxins and chemicals found in cigarettes. These are the most dangerous parts of the cigarette.
Also, thereís no second-hand smoke or odors that can affect your family and friends because youíre not smoking when wearing the patch.
Benefits of Quitting
Most people recognize the risks of smoking, such as cancer, heart disease and emphysema, but many are not aware of the many immediate and long-term benefits of quitting.
Immediate benefits in the first days and months may include:
  • Breathing may get easier
  • Food tastes better
  • Sense of smell improves
  • Walking and exercise may become easier
Itís never too late to quit. Whether youíre 34 or 84, your body can cleanse and start to repair damage caused by years of smoking.
This patch program takes 8 weeks to complete. At the end of the program, you should stop using the patch. It is important that you keep using the patch until you have completed the entire program, and continue to use the support program when you need it.
It is important that you are committed and fully prepared to give up smoking. If you are under 18 years of age, ask a doctor before use.
If you smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day:
Begin with Step 1. Use the 21mg patch for 4 weeks, then the 14mg patch for 2 weeks, and the 7mg patch for 2 weeks.
      Weeks
      1 - 4

 
      Weeks
      5 and 6

 
      Weeks
      7 and 8

 
 
      Step 1
      21 mg/day
 
      Step 2
      14 mg/day
 
      Step 3
      7 mg/day

If you smoke 10 or less cigarettes per day:
Do not begin with Step 1. Begin with Step 2, the 14mg patch for 6 weeks, then the 7mg patch for 2 weeks. Completing the full program will increase your chances of quitting successfully. Stop at the end of 8 weeks.
                  Weeks
                  1 - 6

 
                  Weeks
                  7 and 8

 
 
                  Step 2
                  14 mg/day
 
                  Step 3
                  7 mg/day


Lowering your patch dosage over 8 weeks will help you overcome your physical cravings for nicotine. If you decide you feel you need to continue therapy after you complete 8 weeks of patch use, you should talk to your doctor.
Applying the Patch

1. Choose a clean, dry, nonhairy area of skin on your upper body or the outer part of your arm. Do not put a patch on skin that is very oily, burned, broken out, cut or irritated in any way. Immediately before applying the patch, wash your hands and the skin area with plain soap and water and dry completely. Avoid using any soap, lotion, hand cream, tanning lotion or oil, bath oil, or insect repellent that contains aloe, lanolin or glycerin. These products can leave a moisturizing film on your skin which can interfere with the adherence of the patch.

2. Do not remove the patch from its sealed, protective pouch until you are ready to use it. Carefully cut open the child-resistant pouch along the dotted-line as indicated. If the new patch is cut, throw it away. Discard the used patch you remove by folding it in half, sticky sides together, and putting it into the disposal tray enclosed in each package.

3. The side of the patch that contacts the skin is covered in a shiny protective liner. The liner has a precut slit to help you remove it from the patch. With the silver side facing you, pull the liner away from the patch, starting at the precut slit. Hold the patch at the edge (touch the sticky side as little as possible) and pull off the other piece of the protective liner. Throw this liner away.

4. Immediately apply the sticky side of the patch to your skin. Press the patch firmly against your skin with the palm of your hand for about 10 seconds. Make sure it sticks well to your skin, especially around the edges. Do not remove the patch and try to re-apply it elsewhere. Under these circumstances, the patch would not be expected to stick again.

5. When you have finished applying or removing the patch, wash your hands with water only. Nicotine on your hands could get into your eyes and nose and could cause stinging, redness, or irritation.

6. After 24 hours, remove the patch you have been wearing. Choose a different place on your skin to apply the next patch and repeat steps 1 through 5. Do not reapply a patch to a previously used skin site for at least one week. Do not leave the patch on for more than 24 hours because it may irritate the skin and loses strength after 24 hours. Do not wear more than one patch at the same time, and do not cut the patch in half or into smaller pieces to wear.

Warnings
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, only use this medicine on the advice of your healthcare provider. Smoking can seriously harm your child. Try to stop smoking without using any nicotine replacement medicine. This medicine is believed to be safer than smoking. However, the risks to your child from this medicine are not fully known.
  • Do not use if you continue to smoke, chew tobacco, use snuff, use nicotine gum, or use another nicotine patch or other products that contain nicotine.
  • Ask a doctor before use if you have heart disease, have had a recent heart attack, or have an irregular heartbeat. Nicotine can increase your heart rate.
  • Ask a doctor before use if you have high blood pressure not controlled with medication. Nicotine can increase your blood pressure.
  • Ask a doctor before use if you have an allergy to adhesive tape or have skin problems because you are more likely to get rashes with patch use.
  • Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking a prescription medicine for depression or asthma. Your prescription dose may need to be adjusted.
  • When using this product, do not smoke, even when not wearing the patch. The nicotine in your skin will still be entering your bloodstream for several hours after you take off the patch.
  • When using this product, if you have vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, you may remove the patch at bedtime and apply a new one in the morning.
  • Stop use and ask a doctor if skin redness caused by the patch does not go away after four days, or if your skin swells, or you get a rash.
  • Stop use and ask a doctor if irregular heartbeat or palpitations occur.
  • Stop use and ask a doctor if you get symptoms of nicotine overdose, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness or rapid heartbeat.
  • Keep unused and used patches out of the reach of children and pets. Used patches have enough nicotine to poison children and pets. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Discard used patches in the enclosed disposal tray. Do not wear more than one patch at a time.
  • Do not cut the patch in half or into smaller pieces.
  • Remove the patch prior to undergoing any MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) procedures.
  • Do not leave the patch on for more than 24 hours because it may irritate your skin and it loses strength after 24 hours.
  • Stop using the patch at the end of 8 weeks. The patch has been tested in 3 month studies and long term studies have not been conducted. If you still feel the need to use the patch, talk to your doctor. The patch will not work for everyone.

  • Tape a list of your reasons for quitting on the mirror and go over them daily.
  • Tell close friends or family members and ask for the specific help you think you will need from each of them.
  • Know your "triggers" and practice your coping strategies.
  • Change your routines (for example, sit in a different chair, not your normal smoking chair.)
  • Plan how you will spend all the money you save from not smoking.
  • Freshen your environment. On the day before your quit date, clean your clothes, car and any rooms where you spend a lot of time.
  • Throw away any remaining cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters the night before your quit day.
  • Have plenty of low-calorie snacks available.
  • Use the patch as directed

Q. What if my patch comes off?

A. If your patch falls off, put on a new one. Then remove this new patch at your regular time to keep your schedule the same. When applying the patch, be sure to press it firmly onto your skin with the palm of your hand for about 10 seconds, making sure that the patch sticks well, especially around the edges.

Q. What if I get my patch wet?

A. Water will not harm or affect the patch you are wearing. You can take a bath or a shower or swim while wearing the patch.

Q. What if my skin reacts to the patch?

A. When you first put on the patch, mild itching, burning, or tingling at the application site is normal and should go away within an hour. After you remove a patch, the skin under the patch might be somewhat red. Your skin should not stay red for more than a day. If you have a skin rash or redness caused by the patch that does not go away after 4 days, or your skin swells, call your doctor. Do not put on a new patch. You may be allergic to one of the components of the patch.

Q. How should I store the patches?

A. Keep the patch in its protective pouch until you are ready to use it. Store your patches between 68 – 77į F, because the patch is sensitive to heat. Storage conditions outside of this range could lead to a decrease in adhesion. The means the patch should not be stored. The inside of your car, for example, can reach much higher temperatures in the summer. Keep all unused patches out of the reach of children and pets.

Q. How do I dispose of the patch?

A. After you remove the patch, fold it in half with the sticky side together and place it in the disposal tray provided in the package. Keep all used patches out of the reach of children and pets.

Q. What if I canít sleep?

A. You should wear the patch 24 hours a day. This may help overcome your morning cravings for nicotine. However, if you have vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, you may remove the patch at bedtime and apply a new patch the following morning. The patch should be applied at approximately the same time each day.

Q. What if I slip?

A. If you slip and have a cigarette, this is not a relapse back to smoking. Donít let this mistake make you feel like a failure or giving up. Get back on track immediately. Donít smoke another cigarette. Figure out why you slipped and how, in the future, you will deal with the people, places or feelings that led to smoking. Do whatever works for you. The point is that slips, like mistakes, can be great learning experiences.

Q. Will I gain weight?

A. Itís perfectly normal to gain some weight when you stop smoking, but there is no reason to panic. Sometimes the weight change is simply the result of a change in your bodyís metabolism caused by your bodyís withdrawal from nicotine. Your metabolism is returning to that of a nonsmoker. If you use food as a substitute for cigarettes, you could also gain weight, but there are many ways to control it.

These are some general tips to control your weight by watching what you eat when trying to quit:

  • Replace fattening snack foods with healthy, low-calorie snacks.
  • Keep low-fat, low-calorie snacks in the car.
  • Broil, boil, poach, or steam food instead of frying.
  • Remove fat from meat and skin from poultry.
  • Eat slowly and youíll feel full sooner on less.
  • Try eating several small meals a day instead of three large ones.
  • Drink a large glass of water before a meal.

Q. Are there any side effects?

A. You may experience one or more of the following side effects while wearing the patch: nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea, nervousness or restlessness, headache, vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, and irritability.

If you experience any of the following side effects, remove the patch immediately and call your doctor: severe skin irritation or discoloration, irregular heartbeats or palpitations, severe chest pain or tightening, or symptoms of nicotine overdose such as extreme paleness, cold sweat, nausea, abnormal salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe headache, disturbed hearing or vision, dizziness, mental confusion, or weakness.


  Home | Privacy Policy | Legal Statement | Contact Us
  © 2006 Novartis Consumer Health Inc. All rights reserved.