NicoDerm CQ Nicotine Patch: Dosage and Usage Guide
NicoDerm CQ patches can help you step into an effective quit. NicoDerm CQ's step-down program is designed to gradually reduce your dependence on nicotine and diminish cravings caused by nicotine withdrawal.
How NicoDerm CQ Nicotine Patches Work
NicoDerm CQ nicotine patches work to ease your withdrawal symptoms by replacing some of the nicotine your body was absorbing from cigarettes.
When you apply a patch, nicotine passes through your skin into your bloodstream. The patch delivers lower levels of nicotine into your body compared to smoking.i However, the dose is high enough to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.ii
Each step of the NicoDerm CQ program gradually reduces the amount of nicotine in your bloodstream. Over time your body gets used to less and less nicotine until you no longer need it. The program helps you to wean yourself off smoking within 8-10 weeks.
Three Steps of NicoDerm CQ Program
There are three steps in the NicoDerm CQ program – read our preparing to quit smoking checklist to get ready. Each step contains a different dose of nicotine that is delivered over 24 hours. Find out where to buy NicoDerm CQ.
- Step 1 – NicoDerm CQ patch with 21mg of nicotine
- Step 2 – NicoDerm CQ patch with 14mg of nicotine
- Step 3 – NicoDerm CQ patch with 7mg of nicotine
If you start with the NicoDerm CQ 21mg patch (Step 1), it should take 10 weeks to wean yourself off nicotine. If you start with the NicoDerm CQ 14mg patch (Step 2), it should take eight weeks.
Choosing the Right Step
The step you start with depends on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.i
- More than 10 cigarettes per day – Start with Step 1 (21mg). Your body is used to higher levels of nicotine than people who smoke fewer cigarettes. Choosing a lower dose such as a Step 2 or Step 3 patch could result in your body not getting enough nicotine to prevent cravings, which could lead to a smoking relapse.
- Less than 10 cigarettes per day – Start with Step 2 (14mg). Your body is used to lower levels of nicotine compared to someone who smokes more cigarettes. Choosing a higher dose could result in too much nicotine in your body, while skipping straight to the lowest dose of 7mg may not prevent nicotine cravings.
Following the Steps
It's essential to start with the right step for you and follow each step to ensure the best chance of quitting smoking. You should also use NicoDerm CQ along with an appropriate behavioral support program.
Step 1 should be used for 6 weeks by people who smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day. It provides a 21mg dose of nicotine into the bloodstream over 24 hours. NicoDerm CQ delivers nicotine faster than other nicotine patches, with nicotine levels rising within the first 4 hours, then slowly decreasing over the following 20 hours.
Step 2 is the starting point for people who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day. It delivers a 14mg dose of nicotine into the bloodstream over 24 hours. Its lower dose is more suitable for lighter smokers but may be too low for heavier smokers. Follow this step for 6 weeks.
Step 2 is also the second step for people who smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day and started on Step 1. Following 6 weeks on Step 1, you should then spend 2 weeks on Step 2.
The final step for all smokers. This step delivers just 7mg of nicotine into the bloodstream, further lowering nicotine dependency. Follow this step for 2 weeks to complete your quit journey.
i. Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Quitting Tobacco. Cancer.org. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking/nicotine-replacement-therapy.html. Acccessed 03/12/19.
ii. Managing Withdrawl. SmokeFree.gov. https://smokefree.gov/challenges-when-quitting/withdrawal/managing-withdrawal. Accessed 03/12/19.
Find out which step is right for you.
Step down as you progress.
As you move through your quit, your body will get used to less and less nicotine. When you graduate to each next step, you’ll receive a lower dose of nicotine until you no longer need any at all.
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