1 What is Habitrol?

Brand: Habitrol, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol

Generic: Nicotine

Habitrol is applied on the skin to help you in the cessation of smoking. Nicotine enters the skin after absorption from skin.

This acts as a replacement of smoking and hence makes the withdrawal effects of nicotine less severe. The dose of nicotine is tapered off until it is ceased completely.

This medicine is available without a prescription; however, you have to give a proof that you are over 18. This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Patch, Extended Release

2 What To Know Before Using

Before using Habitrol, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:


If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems

The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children.

The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, therefore its safety and efficacy have not been established in older age group. However, geriatric population is more prone to having kidney, liver and heart problems.


Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “D” category, which means that clinical trials on pregnant women have revealed harmful effects to the developing fetus.

Drug Interactions

Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together.

So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug. This medication should be used cautiously with tegafur.

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart or blood vessel disease

3 Proper Usage

To use Habitrol properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The patches should be used exactly as directed on the instruction booklet. You should also join a stop-smoking program which will also provide education, psychological support, and counseling. 

The strength or dosage of the patches will be tapered off over a few weeks until its use is stopped. This is the case with most of the patches. If it is available in only a single strength, use the patch as mentioned in the booklet.


This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions To Take

Before using Habitrol, there are some precautions you must take. It is important that you finish the NicoDerm program. If you want to use it any longer, talk to your doctor.

If you are pregnant, only use the patches if directed by your doctor. Try to stop smoking without the patches because nicotine can harm your child.

Mild itching, burning, or tingling may occur when the patch is first applied. This should go away within 24 hours. Call your doctor if you have a rash or if your skin is swollen or red. Do not put on a new patch.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Habitrol. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • pounding in the ears
  • Nervousness
  • Hives, itching, rash, redness, or swelling of the skin
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose:

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms. Also contact your health care professional immediately, if you have overdosed on this drug. If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.