Nicoderm CQ Nicotine Patches: A Review

People who are trying to quit smoking attempt to do so through various means. The nicotine patch (an example of nicotine replacement therapy) is a way to help the body adapt to the fact that a smoker has stopped smoking. It works by partially replacing the nicotine that would have otherwise been gotten from smoking tobacco, into the body and thus reducing the effects of nicotine withdrawal and this will reduce the smoker’s urge to smoke. The ultimate aim is that the body will be gradually weaned off the nicotine over a period of weeks or months.

Nicoderm CQ Nicotine Patches

Nicoderm CQ nicotine patches are a form of nicotine replacement therapy and work by introducing nicotine into the body. They come in the form of bandage-like strips with the adhesive side containing a layer of nicotine. This nicotine is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The nicotine being delivered into the blood helps curb effects that result from nicotine withdrawal leaving the user to fully concentrate on quitting smoking with more ease. The patch is thin and transparent and as such is hardly noticeable.

How Do Nicoderm CQ Nicotine Patches Work?

Nicoderm CQ nicotine patches feature an Extended Release SmartControl technology which regulates the rate at which the nicotine is delivered into the bloodstream. It allows the nicotine to be delivered quickly but steadily throughout the day (up to 24 hours) and thereby keeping nicotine cravings at bay.

The Nicoderm CQ Nicotine patch has four layers that serve different functions:

  • Adhesive and Release Liner: this layer serves as both the delivery method through the skin and also the means by which the whole patch is held in place as it sticks to the skin.
  • Rate Controlling Membrane: This layer is responsible for regulating the rate at which the nicotine is released into the body
  • Drug Reservoir: This layer holds all the nicotine that is steadily being delivered into the bloodstream.
  • Clear Occlusive backing: this final layer protects the whole assembly from water, impurities or damage. It is transparent so that the patch does not stick out like a tattoo on the skin.

It has even been known for Nicoderm CQ nicotine patches to still be effective when the user wakes up in the mornings meaning that the urge to smoke at that time is also vastly reduced. Nicoderm CQ Nicotine Patches come in various step-down options that allow the user to gradually lower the amount of nicotine being delivered to the bloodstream over time depending on how heavily the user used to smoke before switching to nicotine patches. The aim is to make it easier for the user to gradually reduce the dosage of the nicotine being delivered through the patches as well till they are no longer necessary. Nicoderm CQ nicotine patches allow the user to deal with his/her smoking cessation and success can be achieved in as little as 8 to 10 weeks.

Do Nicoderm CQ Nicotine Patches Have any Side Effects?

Like most drugs, nicotine patches also have possible side effects. Most people experience no side effects at all or, at most, just a few of them. It is worth noting that a doctor that has prescribed this solution to help with smoking addiction has determined that the benefits outweigh the risks. Some of the more common side effects include: 

  • Itching or redness at the points on the skin where the patch is applied
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Allergic reactions

These symptoms are not exhaustive and if any serious side effect develops after using the Nicoderm CQ Nicotine patch, it should be reported immediately to a physician. A physician should also be consulted before using this patch if the user is pregnant, allergic to nicotine, under medication or has any other terminal illness.

Nicotine patches are perhaps not the first things that come to mind when it comes to positive side effects but there is ongoing research that seems to suggest this. Nicotine patches may be useful in relieving the symptoms of mental health conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and depression. Nicotine patches may also help ease the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis and relieve post-surgical pain.

Success Rates of Nicotine Patches

It has been shown that users of the nicotine patch have a success rate of quitting smoking that is twice the rate of people who have been given placebos. People who have been given placebos, in turn, are about twice as more likely to give up smoking than those who have been given nothing at all. This means that nicotine patches increase the chances of quitting smoking successfully by about a factor of 4. Those are pretty good odds.

There is new research by Duke University Medical Center where it was found that using nicotine patches even before quitting smoking can double success rates. The usual recommendation is for nicotine patches to be used only after a smoker has quit smoking. The reason for this is a fear of nicotine overdose that can result from the extra nicotine from the patches in addition to that from the cigarettes. But it seems that this assumption may be false and not only that, it seems it may have an opposite effect to what one would normally expect. First, this research shows that using nicotine patches while smoking does not constitute an extra danger and second, it suggests that it might actually lead to the smoker smoking fewer cigarettes as a result.

Jed Rose, the director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Research Center stated that using nicotine patches before quitting smoking leads to a reduced number of cigarettes smoked by smokers as the patches quench the smokers’ need for nicotine in their system and even makes smoking less enjoyable. Despite this research, there are persistent warnings against using nicotine patches while still smoking.

The research involved about 400 individuals who were regular one pack a day smokers. They were randomly selected into one of four groups for two weeks:

  • Those on placebo patches while smoking
  • Those on standard nicotine patches while smoking
  • Those allowed to continue smoking their regular cigarettes
  • Those made to smoke a different brand of cigarettes with low tar/nicotine.

After two weeks of being in their respective groups, they were asked to quit smoking completely and were all given nicotine patches with reduced dosages to use for 10 weeks. The major finding of the research showed that 22% of those that were on nicotine patches while smoking were able to stay off smoking for at least 10 weeks compared to only 11% of those who were on placebos. This means that nicotine patches made it possible for twice the number of people willing to quit to be successful. As for the almost 80% that did not meet the 10-week target, it shows that a strong will to quit smoking is the other ingredient required to make smoking cessation through the use of nicotine patches a success. There were no discernable differences between those that were smoking their regular cigarettes and those that were smoking low tar/nicotine cigarettes.

Mr. Rose further asserted that using this procedure can help filter people who nicotine patches will benefit and those it won’t so that other methods can be tried for those that nicotine patches are not effective for.

The Imperial Cancer Research Fund General Practice Research Group published research that was carried out on 1686 heavy smokers who have been smoking averagely 24 cigarettes for averagely 25 years each. The aim of this research is to get the subjects to quit smoking for at least the last 4 weeks of the total 12 weeks of nicotine patch treatment. The smokers were divided into two halves and one-half were placed on placebo treatment and the other half were placed on nicotine patch treatment. Smoking cessation was confirmed in 99 subjects among those placed on placebo treatment which constitutes about 11.7% of them. Smoking cessation was observed in 163 subjects among those placed on nicotine patch treatment which constitutes about 19.4% of them. This shows that there is a positive effect of nicotine treatment on those who have a real desire to quit smoking

Other sources place nicotine replacement therapy at a success rate from 19% to 26% and it is further stated that even over prolonged use, nicotine replacement therapy is far safer than smoking.

From all the information that has been gathered and analyzed, it is safe to say that nicotine patches and Nicoderm CQ Nicotine Patches, in particular, are effective ways for those with a real desire to quit smoking. It is not a magical product that will make the user quit overnight but when used correctly with a lot of willpower, it can help make the quitting process a lot more bearable and effective.