Health

Nicotine patches, how do they work?

A nicotine patch provides a lot of support for people willing to quit smoking. We all know that smoking is an addiction and it is very difficult to stop. However, the nicotine replacement therapy has proven to be very useful in this regard. The nicotine patch functions by releasing nicotine intermittently through the skin into the bloodstream.

When you smoke or inhale harmful substances, your lungs is at risk of malfunctioning. This is what is primarily responsible for lung infections, heart diseases, and some forms of cancer. Therefore, using a nicotine patch is regarded as a safer way to pass the substance into the body instead of smoking. Smoking and using nicotine patches are not equal from a pharmacokinetic point of view. This is because the concentration of nicotine deposits delivered into the body and supplied to the brain when you smoke exceeds the concentration of nicotine the body receives through a patch. This is why some people have suggested that the ability of a nicotine patch to reduce smoking is limited. That said, nicotine patches have helped so many people in their attempt to quit smoking. If you do not have access to a nicotine patch, a nicotine gum, inhaler, or lozenge are useful alternatives.

How does a nicotine patch work?

Typically, a nicotine patch is worn on the skin. Experts usually recommend using it for a period of 3 months and it is to be applied at 24 hour interval. It comes in different doses and the dose taken by a person depends on the level of reliance on cigarettes and how addicted the patient is. The 21mg dose is usually recommended for a person that smoked up to 15 sticks of cigarettes every day. Experts usually recommend using 1 nicotine patch every day. However, in some special cases, it may be recommended to use 2 patches every day. As the person progresses and the urge for cigarettes reduce, the strength of the patch may be reduced to nicotine 14mg patch. The migration to the 14mg patch usually takes place in the 6th week. As the patient shows further improvement, the patch strength may be further reduced to 7mg. This usually takes place between the 4th week and 8th week depending on how well the patient responds. If you smoke less than 15 sticks of cigarettes ever day, it may be recommended that you start with the 14mg dose of nicotine patch.

For a nicotine patch to work well, it has to be applied on a skin that is free from moisture content. If the surface of your skin isn’t dry, do not apply the patch. Also, you must avoid sing the patch on a hairy surface. The reason for this is that nicotine patches are capable of triggering skin reactions and irritation. Also, you are free to discontinue the use of the patch at night if you do not feel comfortable having it on our skin as you go to bed.

To make the most of a nicotine patch, do not use it for more than 24 hours. Make sure you discard each patch after use. You also have to be on the lookout for nicotine overdose. Hence, it is important to follow the recommendation and instruction of the experts and medical practitioners.