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#1
Old 12-17-2002, 04:37 PM
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Location: Queens, NY
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Using a generic nicotine patch - Are they just as good?

This is really a question to people who have quit using a nicotine patch or have knowledge in the nicotine patch field.

A little backbround:

So I wanted to quit smoking but I knew from past experience that I would need help. No big deal. I am man enough to admit that I couldn't do it alone.

Anyway, I started in mid October using Nicoderm CQ brand patches. The program is set up into 3 steps.

Step One:
21 mg patch per day for 6 weeks - No major setbacks. A few moments of angst but I got through the 6 weeks with relative ease.

Step Two:
14 mg patch per day for 2 weeks - By now many of the smoking habits were being washed away or replaced. Doing good so far.

Step Three:
7 mg patch per day for 2 weeks - Here in lies the problem.

I went to the drug store on Sunday to pick up my final two weeks worth of patches. The damn Duane-Read (NYC drug store chain) was out of NicodermCQ - Step Three. So I wound up buying the Duane Read brand patches. I looked quickly at the box and noticed that they were 7 mg which was exactly what I needed. Then I noticed the price was much cheaper than NicodermCQ and I felt like I was a moron for buying the namebrand this whole time.

So I get home and take the box out the bag and take a closer look and notice that it is only one week worth (7 patches). That explains the much cheaper price. Also their program is designed for only 8 weeks instead of 10. Why? I don't know.

Ok so I have been using these generic patches for the past two days and they do not seem to be as effective. Is this a normal feeling in the final stages of "the patch"? Is it psychological? Could these patches be defective? Should I go out and get the name brand and ditch these?

The only other times I have felt the burden of quitting is on the few days that I forgot to put the patch on before I left for work. I made home w/o smoking but at least I knew why I felt that way.

Anyone have any insight?

Thanks in advance.

BTW, I am on my way home now so I am going to check the expiration date to make sure they didn't expire.
#2
Old 12-17-2002, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Saint Paris, Ohio
Posts: 982
The generic patches were not as effective for me as were the name-brand ones for 1 simple reason:

They generic ones kept falling off.

I got frustrated after the 3rd time and decided to just quit without them.

I guess the sticky-stuff must suck on the generic ones.
#3
Old 12-18-2002, 11:20 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Queens, NY
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I don't have a problem with them staying on. The adhesive works fine. It is now day three (of week 9) and I feel a little better than yesterday but not as well as I think I should.

The generic patch says it expires in January 2003. Damn! Thats only two weeks for now. Could the patch have dried up?

Any help out there? I guess if I had caffine consumption paranoia and asked for advice in GQ I would have gotten a slew of support and responses.
#4
Old 12-18-2002, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 335
I got the patch too and tried it, but the dosage must have been too strong - I was clammy, sweaty, and shaking like a tree. I had to pull it off in the middle of the work day to avoid having a heart attack. I was using "Walgreens" brand... but it's tough to use the patch when you are only a 5-10 cigarette/day smoker. I ended up getting the gum to curb cravings... it works ok... although I haven't completely quit yet, just tapering off at this point. My brother quit by using the patch, he swore by it - and he was a 2-pack/day Marlboro Reds smoker.... I'd say, don't switch patch names/brands if you are on a regimen... be safe and stick with what you've been using all along.
#5
Old 12-18-2002, 11:42 AM
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NYR407, I think what you are feeling is just the lowering of your nicotine level. Did you notice this when you went from 21 to 14? I quit last year using the patches (then STUPIDLY started again after 3 months, but that's a different story). When I lowered from 21 to 14, from 14 to 7, and from 7 to 0, I had problems the first day or two.

Honestly, I don't know if the generics are really any different, but I don't trust the quality of generic anything. That's just me.
#6
Old 12-18-2002, 11:45 AM
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Thanks Jellen and Krispy.

Jellen, did you start with the right dosage? If you only smoke 5 to 10 a day you are supposed to start with stage 2 (14 mg). You might have been giving yourself more nicotine than your body was used to. On the other hand you might have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Who am I to say.

I always would take mine off before I went to bed. I would have crazy ass dream (or at least remember them) if I kept the patch on.

I am definately going to buy the NicodermCQ brand when this box runs out. However I think NCQ comes 14 per box (like the other stages) so I'll have an extra weeks worth of patches. I guess I will hold onto them in case I have any relapses.

Thanks and good luck to you.
#7
Old 12-18-2002, 11:50 AM
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Thanks TYM. I don't remember felling like this after I went from 21 to 14 but I could have selective memory.

I am definately going back to NCQ and hopefully I won't relapse after the program is done. Did you go back 3 months after you were done with the patch or 3 months including the time with the patch? Just curious.
#8
Old 12-18-2002, 12:18 PM
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I was not careful when I chose the patch that was right for me and it was for "smokers over 10 cigarettes per day"... apparently I am classified as a "pleasure smoker" (i.e. when drinking, after a meal, on the phone), so I'm not sure what would work best for me. I just remember someone telling me about the patch - our bodies LOVE routine and consistency, that's why it's good to ween yourself off like you are doing. I tried cold turkey as well, that was a complete flop. Hey, but quitting smoking is a huge and wonderful step - I wish you the best of luck!
#9
Old 12-18-2002, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NYR407
I am definately going to buy the NicodermCQ brand when this box runs out. However I think NCQ comes 14 per box (like the other stages) so I'll have an extra weeks worth of patches. I guess I will hold onto them in case I have any relapses.

Just to let you know, once you are nicotene free for 72 hours, the nicotene will be out of your system and any relapse feelings you are having are psychological, and using the patch will not help. In fact, it will re-introduce nicotene to your body, and could make things worse. I know what it's like to be in nicotene withdrawal (I quit cold turkey about 9 months ago), so I feel for you. Keep at it, and remember that once you are off the patch, you will probably have a few really bad days as your body experiences its first completely nicotene-free days, but if you can stick it out, it will start to get better quickly after the 3rd day or so. It sounds like you are dealing well with the psychological cravings, so it should be pretty easy for you after that.

Good luck!
#10
Old 12-18-2002, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NYR407
Did you go back 3 months after you were done with the patch or 3 months including the time with the patch? Just curious.
It was three months including the patch. I was patch-free for about a month. People kept telling me "don't drink coffee, don't go to bars, don't hang out with smokers, etc", but none of that was a problem for me. Nobody told me not to go to work!
#11
Old 12-18-2002, 12:51 PM
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Posts: 10,310
NYR407 - Most of those drugstore generics have moneyback guarantees if you're not satisfied. I'd say take back the remainder and buy the Nicoderm.

StG
#12
Old 12-18-2002, 02:46 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll take all your advice into consideration.

TYM, I have been going to bars and everything else I assoiciated with smoking since I started the patch. I figured if I could not smoke that soon after I quit then I should be able to make it 10 weeks later when I am off the patch. So far so good for me. Maybe if you won the lottery you would have made it.

I will remember the 72 hour rule after I am off the patch and look forward to the days when I won't have any withdrawals. Hopefully my New Years Eve won't be adversely affected.

Happy Holidays everyone.
#13
Old 12-18-2002, 04:20 PM
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I've had no problems with generics, on Teusday I finished the whole 8-week plan using Kroger's generic patches. The only time I had trouble keeping them on was once when a patch got wet beforehand, and they'd get a little loose if I just slapped them on instead of holding them for 10 sec like the directions say.

I'm willing to bet that it was the 14-7 switch that got you; for me it was a lot rougher to switch down to 7 than it was to go from 21-14. Hmm... now that I think of it, in order of difficulty it was:

Starting the patch (cigs-21)
Third step (14-7)
Quitting the patch (7-none)
Second step (21-14)

The nice thing about the patch versus cold turkey is that I've had two months to get out of the habit of smoking; now when I want a cig I'll chew some gum or eat a carrot or something similar, I don't think of 'go and have a smoke'. The final withdrawal has been much easier so far; I tried going cold turkey a while back and after about 5 days just got overwhelmed by it.
#14
Old 12-18-2002, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Riboflavin
and they'd get a little loose if I just slapped them on instead of holding them for 10 sec like the directions say.
Just FYI, holding the patch on for 10 seconds is to get it started. They are pressure activated. You probably weren't getting your full dose then, either.
#15
Old 12-19-2002, 09:36 AM
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Good luck Ribo. How do you feel w/o the patch? If the 72 hour rule holds true you should be clean by the weekend.

Does anyone know how many cigs it takes in a day to get 21 mg of nicotine? I know the program says that if you smoke 10 of more in a day then start with 21 mg. But how is that the same if I smoke 11 a day or 25 a day?

I am thinking now that perhaps I may have been smoking somewhere between 14 and 21 mgs a day and now that I am on the 7 mg patch that I started to feel the withdrawal more.

Another thing I noticed is that when I was on the NCQ patches my skin would be much more red when I removed the patch. That leaves me thinking that this generic brand doesn't penetrate my skin as well.

Thanks again.
#16
Old 12-19-2002, 01:37 PM
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I used to smoke 30 to 60 cigarettes a day. It's funny, I was a basket case on the patch without good mental prep, and I went back to smoking. It was virtually painless when I quit cold turkey with the right mental preparation and attitude, and I'm now 27 months nicotine-free, and certain I will remain so for the rest of my (now likely to be much longer) life.
#17
Old 12-19-2002, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NYR407
[B]Good luck Ribo. How do you feel w/o the patch? If the 72 hour rule holds true you should be clean by the weekend.
It's that same irritating 'I'm in the mood for a cig' that I've had most of the time for the 2 months I've been on the patches. Manageable (unlike my attempt at CT), but not real fun. At this point my big motivator for not 'just having one' to take a break from the annoyance is that I've already put up with this crap for two months, I'm not going to 'just have one' and have to go through it all again.

BTW, does anyone have a cite for the 72 hour rule? I've heard it before, but I've never seen a real source for it, just people who heard it from somewhere. When I went cold turkey I didn't notice any real difference between the second day and sixth day (when I gave up on it), and I've stopped smoking for more than 72 hours due to a cold before, so I'm kind of skeptical of it.

To ramble onto a related topic, I think it probably would have been better for me to try to permanently quit starting around june instead of october. I don't like smoking as much in hot weather, and summer time usually doesn't have a whole lot of extra stress. I've been not-smoking during the best time of year for smoking (nice cool weather, lots of being outside in the trees, arrgghh) and have all of the additional holiday stress (family, new year 'what did I do this year' worries, etc.) going on right at the time I'm finally going off the patch. I would recommend trying to time it so that you'll be doing your not-smoking at times without extra stress and outside of whenever you most like to light up, though in my case I pretty much just got irritated one weekend and said 'that's it, I'm going on the damn patch on Monday'.
#18
Old 12-19-2002, 05:03 PM
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Riboflavin, I don't have time to search for a direct link right now, but I got a lot of information from whyquit.com.
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