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Are Nicotine Patches OTC?

If you are looking for nonprescription ways to stop smoking, you may wonder if the nicotine patch (Nicoderm® CQ®) is available over-the-counter (OTC). Nicotine patches are available without a prescription and are commonly used to help people quit smoking.
These patches are applied to the skin every 24 hours. Your dosage will depend on how many cigarettes you smoke each day. This medicine works by continually releasing a small amount of nicotine, which helps reduce symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. The dosage amount of the patches is slowly decreased, which gradually weans you off nicotine.
Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects are possible and may include skin irritation, headaches, and sleep problems. Also, you may not be able to use the nicotine patch if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney problems, or high blood pressure.
(Click Nicotine Patch for more information on this OTC medication. This Web resource offers a complete look at this nicotine replacement therapy, including how it works, dosing guidelines, and general safety warnings to be aware of before using these patches.)
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