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The nicotine patch is a product that can help people quit smoking by continually releasing a small amount of nicotine into the bloodstream. The medicine comes in is available without a prescription and is applied to the skin once a day. Side effects that have been reported with the patch include skin irritation at the application site, such as redness, itching, and burning.

What Is the Nicotine Patch?

The nicotine patch (Nicoderm® CQ®) is a nonprescription medication used to help people stop smoking, also known as smoking cessation. It helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms that occur when people stop smoking cigarettes.
(Click What Is Nicotine Patch Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, the nicotine patch can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
Common side effects of the nicotine patch include (but are not limited to) irritation at the patch site, such as:
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning.
(Click Nicotine Patch Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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