Nicotine (Absorbed through the skin)

Nicotine (NIK-oh-teen)

Helps you quit smoking.

Brand Name(s):

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Nicotine, Health Mart Nicotine Transdermal System, Leader Nicotine Transdermal System, Nicoderm CQ, Nicoderm CQ Clear, Nicotrol, Premier Value Nicotine Transdermal System, Sunmark Nicotine Transdermal System

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to nicotine.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
  • Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
  • NicoDerm® CQ:
    • This is a 3-step program. If you smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day, start with step 1 followed by step 2 and step 3. If you smoke 10 or fewer cigarettes per day, start with step 2 followed by step 3.
    • Begin using the patch on the morning of your quit day, even if you are not able to stop smoking immediately.
    • Apply the patch at about the same time every day to skin that is clean, dry, and free of hair.
    • The patient instructions will show the body areas where you can wear the patch. When putting on each new patch, choose a different place within these areas. Do not put the new patch on the same place you wore the last one. Be sure to remove the old patch before applying a new one.
    • Do not put the patch over irritated skin. Do not use creams or lotions, including sunscreen, on the skin where you apply the patch, because it may not stick well.
    • Apply a new patch if one falls off.
    • If you have vivid dreams or sleep problems, remove the patch at bedtime and apply a new one in the morning.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time. If you feel you need to use this medicine for a longer period of time, talk to your doctor.
  • Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should only use this medicine as directed by a doctor. Smoking can seriously harm your unborn child. Try to stop smoking without using medicine. Although this medicine is believed to be safer than smoking, the risks of its use during pregnancy are not fully known.
  • Tell your doctor if you have heart disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, or you had a recent heart attack. Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to adhesive tape.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • High blood pressure
    • Increase in heart rate
  • The opaque NicoDerm® CQ patch may cause skin burns if you have a procedure called a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. You must remove the patch before an MRI.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dizziness, headache, upset stomach, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats, blurred vision, trouble hearing, confusion, fainting, or weakness
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild skin redness, itching, burning, or tingling where you wear the patch
  • Vivid dreams or trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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