Mental Health Home > Nicotine Patch Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of the nicotine patch include sleep problems, skin irritation, and nausea. In most cases, reactions to this medicine tend to be minor and easily treated. However, there are also some problems that are potentially serious and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, and severe skin irritation.

An Introduction to Side Effects of the Nicotine Patch

Just like any medicine, the nicotine patch (Nicoderm® CQ®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with the nicotine patch. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Nicotine Patch Side Effects

Some side effects of the nicotine patch are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Severe skin irritation, swelling, or redness that does not go away after four days
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (heart palpitations)
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Symptoms of a nicotine overdose, such as:
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Extreme dizziness
    • Extreme weakness
    • A rapid heartbeat
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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