When using the nicotine patch (Nicoderm® CQ®), your initial dosage will depend on how many cigarettes you smoke each day. There are three available strengths of the nicotine patch:
Nicotine patch 21 mg per 24 hours
Nicotine patch 14 mg per 24 hours
Nicotine patch 7 mg per 24 hours.
If you smoke more than 10 cigarettes each day, the recommended initial dosage is one 21-mg patch applied every 24 hours for six weeks. After six weeks, you should apply one 14-mg patch every day for two weeks. For the final two weeks, you will use one 7-mg patch each day.
In general, it is recommended that the nicotine patch be used for no longer than 8 to 10 weeks. However, some people may need to continue to use the patch for a longer period of time. If you feel that you still crave cigarettes after you complete treatment with the nicotine patch, talk to your healthcare provider.
(Click Nicotine Patch to learn more about when and how to use this nicotine replacement therapy to ensure a safe, effective treatment process.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Nicotine. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2011. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed March 1, 2011.
Nicoderm CQ Web site. Available at: http://www.nicodermcq.com/. Accessed March 1, 2011.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 27, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed March 1, 2011.
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