Mental Health Home > What Is Nicotine Patch Used For?

How Does This Medication Work?

This medicine is a nicotine replacement patch. It contains a small amount of nicotine that is absorbed through the skin into your bloodstream. When nicotine patches are used daily, the level of nicotine in your blood remains relatively constant. This helps reduce symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, including nicotine craving, associated with quitting smoking. Over time, the dose of nicotine is reduced, and eventually stopped completely.

Is It Safe for Children to Use the Nicotine Patch?

It is unknown whether the nicotine patch is safe or effective for children. Therefore, it should not be used in people under 18 years of age without a healthcare provider's approval. The amount of nicotine contained in each patch is enough to harm a child, so keep this medication out of the reach of children.

Is It Safe for Older Adults?

Yes -- older adults can use this medication. The nicotine patch is thought to be as safe and effective in older adults as it is in younger age groups.

Can the Nicotine Patch Be Used Off-Label?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for treating something other than smoking cessation. This is called an "off-label" use. Some off-label uses for the nicotine patch may include:
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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