DON’T GO THROUGH A ROUGH PATCH: Why Nicotine Patches Aren’t Worth Your Health

7%: Nicotine Patch Success Rate

As far as the nicotine patch goes, the most common complaints I hear are skin irritation, headache and pain radiating from the area.

This product employs the theory of harm reduction, no different than the methadone program. Methadone still kills you, just not as fast as heroin does.

Nicotine Patch

Studies suggest that you truly would have to be a superhero to quit while using the nicotine patch if you’d already attempted using it once and relapsed. The only two patch user “recycling” studies ever conducted both show that nearly 100% of second-time nicotine patch users relapse to smoking nicotine within six months.

Many people report to me that as the patch wears off, they smoke with it still on! This is dangerous as it can lead to nicotine overdose which can cause chest pain, irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, along with severe dizziness, blurring of vision and seizures.


Side Effects


Below are the side effects from the product insert.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • anxiety
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • headache
  •  insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • irritability
  • mild itching, burning, redness, or tingling in the area where the patch was applied
  • upset stomach


Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:


  • chest pain
  • feelings of dependence on the medication or difficulty stopping the medication after your treatment is done
  • irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations
  • leg pain
  • severe stomach upset that does not go away
  • skin rash or swollen skin
  • skin redness caused by the patch that does not go away after 4 days


Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:


  • symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face and throat)


Symptoms of overdose:


  • abdominal or stomach pain
  • cold sweat
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • disturbed hearing and vision
  • drooling
  • extreme exhaustion
  • pale skin
  • rapid heartbeat
  • tremors

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.