The nicotine patch is one of the popular smoking cessation aids used today. It is a small adhesive patch that is attached on the upper area of the arm. The main purpose of the patch is to wean off the nicotine from your body so you don’t crave for it no more. But just like other smoking cessation treatments, the nicotine patch has undesirable effects too.
How it Works
The nicotine patch is a form of nicotine replacement therapy. It works by supplying your body with a small amount of nicotine so you don’t have to crave for cigarettes (your primary source of the addictive substance). The patch therefore helps minimize the withdrawal symptoms. Although the use of nicotine-based smoking cessation products is no longer patronized today, many people still choose to go with them because they are unaware of the other options available to them.
Here are the top 10 side effects of nicotine patch:
- Skin irritation that ranges from mild to severe. In worst cases, the irritation last for four days and the affected area becomes swollen, itchy and reddish.
- Chest pain (also called angina)
- Nausea and dizziness which may come with vomiting.
- Intense palpitation (a very rapid heartbeat)
- Extreme weakness or fatigue which may prevent you from doing your usual routine, including exercise.
- Hives, wheezing, itching, and difficulty breathing and swallowing – these normally happen when you are allergic to the patch.
- High blood pressure. The rapid heartbeat causes elevated blood pressure. When unmanaged, this increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you have heart problems, talk to your doctor before using the patch.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Sleep problems
This is a very serious case that requires immediate medical attention. Otherwise, it may result to critical health complications, even death. The symptoms of nicotine overdose include vomiting, nausea, rapid heartbeat, trembling, blurry vision, excessive salivating, seizure, etc.
These are just some of the worrying effects of nicotine patch. However, it is worth knowing that not all people experience them and you may not experience all of these undesirable effects. If you are a smoker considering using nicotine patch to counter your addiction, it is important that you assess your medical history. Of course, this means consulting a doctor. If you are currently on medication, have experienced allergic reactions with certain drugs, and have other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, the more you need to have your health needs assessed. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, do not use nicotine patch.
There are other smoking cessation aids that you can try in case the nicotine patch doesn’t work for you. If you consider taking quit smoking drugs, among the leading medications are Zyban and Chantix. If you want a complementary approach, psychotherapy may help. Whatever it is that you plan to take, always check the pros and cons. Again, these treatments may work for some but not for all.