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Precautions and Warnings With Nicotine Patch

Specific Precautions and Warnings With the Nicotine Patch

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this patch include the following:
  • The nicotine patches may cause skin burns if worn during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure. Remove your patch if you need to undergo an MRI. Clear patches are less likely to cause a problem.
  • The nicotine patch is intended for transdermal use only, which means it should only be applied to the skin. Do not take it by mouth, chew it, swallow it, or use it in any other way than directed. Also, do not use patches that are cut, damaged, or otherwise altered.
  • This medication may cause vivid dreams or nightmares. If you experience these side effects, try taking the patch off before bed. If the vivid dreams and nightmares persist, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • The nicotine patches may cause skin irritation, such as redness, itching, or burning. This irritation usually subsides within a few days after removing the patch. Contact your healthcare provider if the irritation does not go away within four days, is severe, or is accompanied by skin swelling or a rash.
  • Stop using nicotine patches and contact your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms of nicotine overdose, including:
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • A rapid heartbeat.
  • Because it contains nicotine, the nicotine patch can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Stop using it and contact your healthcare provider if you experience an increase in blood pressure or a fast, irregular, or forcefully beating heart.
  • Nicotine may delay healing of peptic ulcers (sores in the stomach or upper intestines). Talk to your healthcare provider before using this medication if you have peptic ulcer disease.
  • If you have skin problems, or an allergy to adhesive tape, you may have an increased risk for skin irritation from nicotine patches.
  • The amount of nicotine in the nicotine patch is enough to poison a child. Store unused patches and dispose of used patches in areas that are safe from children. Even used patches contain enough nicotine to harm a child.
  • The nicotine patch is a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it may harm an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this patch during pregnancy (see Nicotine Patch and Pregnancy).
  • This medicine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Nicoderm CQ and Breastfeeding).
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