Do Patches just prolong the symptoms?

Hi guys! Well I'm on day three and would just like to say hi to everyone on here! So... Hi! It's good to be among fellow non-smokers going through this.

Okay quick question to you guys. I'm on 14mg patches which are certainly reducing the withdrawal symptoms compared to my usual cold turkey, but I'm still getting awful migraine, complete inability to concentrate and I feel like I want to go for a run as soon as the bedside light goes off at night! My skin is pastier than when I was smoking and I've broken out in acne, my eyes are bloodshot -I feel terrible!!

I wasn't expecting this to be easy, but I thought the patches would have helped a bit more. I've though about using the stronger 21mg ones, but to be honest I just want to get it all over with as soon as possible, and as long as I know that that the withdrawal symptoms will eventually fade away with the patches then I think I can handle them.

My fear is that the NRT is just going to prolong the withdrawal symptoms and I'm going to feel like this for months as I go through the step down program, rather than a couple of weeks as with cold turkey. The dilemma is that I know how horribly bad I get with cold turkey and I may as well not bother turning up for work!!

It's purely the physical effects which are getting to me, I still have absolutely no urge to put that filth in my lungs anymore which I feel great about!! Can't believe I did it for twenty years!!! I'm 33 and before quitting had smoked for longer than I'd been alive - scary stuff!

45 Replies

  • Hallo Chris!

    I'm going it CT and I am glad I went down this route because numerous times I have read on here how quitters have to go through 'withdrawal' again when they come off the patches so at least going CT gets it all out of the way!

    However, if NRT is substantially helping you stay off the smokes then just carry on.

  • Welcome Chris! :)

    I'm just gonna be honest and say it - patches always made it worse for me, and don't even start me on the gum... there I said it. Cold Turkey is the best method all round because eventually you will have to stop taking nicotine and it doesn't matter how much or how little you put in your system - when you break it off your body will want it. Why delay the inevitable?

    To me it's like ripping off a plaster. Do it quick and it'll hurt less!

    Good Luck, whatever you decide, we're all here for ya ;)

  • Yep, I agree, rip off the plaster, bite the bullet, ignore the steps and dive right in the pool and just quit. As long as your head is in the right place, you will succeed.

  • Thanks Guys

    ...for the good advice. Wow, it's true what they say - I had lunch which I normally skip at work and the headache is gone, well, almost. But I feel loads better. Smoking not also made me cough, it seems to have temporarily destroyed my common sense!

    I think I'll give the patches a week and try accelerating the step down by cutting them in half.

  • also, take it off at night, they can disturb sleep.

  • hehe, that's one of the great things about them - I'm getting some brilliant dreams! :D

  • Again, cheers all you guys, I think it's fantastic that you've all done so well and are here to help.

    The reasoning with the patches is that its mostly the physical side which gets me. I honestly feel like I'm going clinically insane with CT - last time I started getting shooting pains and all sorts, which may or not have been physcological - I don't know. I felt delerious, couldn't interact with people!! It really freaked me out just how bad it was, as I'm sure most of you can understand. I truly admire all you guys who have seen it through.

    Thanks Boudee, yeah I'm trying to. I'm listening to it and it's acting like a badly behaved kid. :mad:

    I've never been as determined to quit in 20 years as I am right now though and that's the good bit. I'm sitting in the office watching my colleagues nip out one by one for a lunchtime cig - and although I've been desperate at times to follow them, I'm incredibly consious now that it's only because my body wants the drug, not the cigarette. Which for me is a big step because it's been so much a part of my personality in the past as I'm sure it has been for all of you guys. The difference this time is that I think I've managed to mentally reduce it to what it really is, a crude drug deleivery system, whereas in the past it felt like I was giving up a part of myself. Still does a little bit, but it's kinda cool becasue I've decided that I don't want to be that person anymore. I'm going to be a brand new fit and healthy person. (Well, within reason hehe). Feels really great, like a complete reinvention. Sounds a bit corny but that's how it feels. :)

    The trick I'm employing is everytime I get a craving, I try and picture the way I used to feel every morning, all wheezy, dizzy and tired and unable to cope until I had one. It seems to be doing the trick.

    Sorry for wibbling on... but it feels good to write this down and share it. :)

  • Hi Chris,

    I am on day 3, and have just posted the same concerns with the lozenges, but after reading the replies here I am going to stick with them. I am ment to have 9-15 in a day and so far have had 5, so I presume the less I want a ciggy the less lozenges I will take.

    Keep going ;)

    Belinda x x x

  • Hey Belinda, well done you too, yeah I think its worth giving them a chance. And thanks Smirn, I shall keep on wibbling then hehe ;)

  • hi , chris , im just ahead of you on day 4 , seems like your doin real well wibbling on there lol

    well this seems like the place to be , everyone here has helped me immensly (already) - so stick with it , sorry i have no advice on the nrt , other than to say if its working , stick with it, maybe the side effects u are experiancing , will only be short term - i had bad side effects with the champix tablets , but im glad i got through those days , because there working great now

    good luck

    blue xx

  • Word for today - Wibble or Wibbling. I like it:D

    Welcome Chris - I started my quit with patches, 21 mg, then 15 mg, then 10 mg. Nurse wanted me to go on 5 mg but I had had enough of them by then so went cold turkey and haven't looked back since. However, I am glad I used this method, not sure I could have done cold turkey straight off. Anyway, at the end of the day it is up to you how you do it. Of course, coming on here and getting help and support from the other guys helped a lot too so keep on posting Chris.

    Good luck.



  • Okay, the official word for today is wibble then! hehe. Well, I'm gonna wibble on!

    Man, this is rough. Everyone's gone to sit in the beergarden to enjoy the sunshine :( I think one of the worst things is when friends don't believe you've really quit because you've tried so many times before. Sick of hearing the old 'yeah, whatever', so I've stopped telling people, but I'm not going to even try going to the pub yet.

    So went to do my shopping and ASDA have kindly picked this week of all weeks to move the store around at random. Talk about cruel. I felt like a rat in a maze, and thought I was going to lose the plot when I found that the potato section had become the tomato section, the salad had moved 3 aisles up and the sausage rolls now only came in packs of 18. Grrrr. Do they know what that kind of thing does a person without nicotine??? Caught myself walking round aimlessly, muttering items of food and swear words angrily to myself and getting generally funny looks. I did three laps before I found the milk.

    Thanks for the kind words guys, it can only get easier.

  • lol - i counted 213 fag buts on the way to work today - :rolleyes: - were going MAD:eek:

  • Other Smokers

    Chris, it was the yeah 'whatever' crap that kept me smoking for so long.

    I've been free five weeks today and don't those stinky smokers hate me now!! I feel so good, i can't explain it either but they are sick as pigs, even one of them today talking at me across the office about how she loves the feeling of smoke going into her lungs!

    I carried on working but said to her 'That feeling you love is called suffocation'

    Her smoke buddy then informed me she was out on Saturday night for a few drinks and hardly smoked at all, it didn't bother her in the slightest (apparently)

    So I calmly mentioned that it obviously bothered her at some stage because she felt the need to smoke again at some point.

    You will come up against these people. I got weepy for a few days at the start and wanted to smoke, but that feeling goes and is replaced by something much better - freedom. I know those biatches want me back smoking with them. Luckily for me i don't like suffocation and every Saturday night for the rest if my life I will enjoy being a non-smoker!

    Hang in there! ;)

  • Damn WKD, there are some mean spirited people out there!!

    I actually feel sorry for those that smoke now. I see them as one of nico monster's many, many victims and that they are only smoking because their addiction forces them to. There really is no advantage to smoking.

    Then, I feel elated that I am not one of nico monster's victims anymore. No longer do I have to brave cold, windy weather just to, as you quite rightly say, suffocate my lungs.

    However, today I had my first strong pang in a long, long time. I was in the middle of a chore and I thought to myself 'gonna have a fag when I've finished this, nearly done...' :eek: Dunno where the 'ell it come from! It soon passed though. No harm done. I have also felt like I could smoke a fag and enjoy it. I still do a lil bit but I know it would be stupid of me to do that. Don't get me wrong. I don't want a fag really...I think its just my hormones. 'Women problems'.

  • Tsk @ womens problems LOL

    I still get that 'i'll just have a smoke and then....' feeling

    For a few seconds i'm like a rabbit in the headlights wondering what's wrong with me! Sometimes it's followed immediately by a 'crave' and other times I just think, oh that's right i stopped, DURR!

    It bothers me, but not enough to smoke.

    And yes, thank God I no longer have to stand out in all weathers to indulge in a 'habit' i 'enjoy'. ;)

  • PLUS! I would like to have a mini-rant.........

    Why do smokers keep telling me now how much they enjoy smoking? Maddy is right, they are mean spirited. Are they justifying their drug addictions to me or themselves? See in the past i've cracked because of it, but this time - HELL NO!

    The next person who is mean to me is gonna get it in the neck, i know i should feel sorry for them BLAH BLAH but i'm gonna be horrible right back and mention their honky breath or yellow fingers LOL

    Rant over!

  • You tell 'em Wkd. If they're mean enough to try and rub your nose in 'how great' their addiction is, then maybe they deserve a harsh word or two. Hell, given my mood today, I don't think I could have kept my mouth shut :o

    They're jealous Wkd. Pure and simple. You've done something they can only dream of right now so when they have their lil digs, just you remember that. You are the one who has the upper hand and it is you who will have the last laugh. Hell, you're having it now!

    Why do some people have to be so spiteful and nasty? I guess some don't realise they're doing it (thats how bad their addiction is) and all we can do is pity these people who justify their addiction as enjoyable. Yeah sure, at the time we thought it WAS enjoyable at the time, but we are wise to it now and more fool those who are the REAL victims!!!

  • Go on there WKD!! LOL Bunch of little tinkers the lot of 'em. Truth is I remember ribbing my friend when he quit although I don't feel very good about that now hehe (and in my defence he had become a real pain in the backside, wouldn't stop preaching at me and it was either that or shove a sock in his mouth!) I think its just a self defence thing so that you don't have to come to terms with reality and face the fact that people really do quit. I hated even the thought.

    Isn't that great though Maddy, not having to bookend every action of the day with a ciggy anymore!! No more cold and standing out in the rain!! Wahey! Found something much better than NRT too.... Cadburys :D (in moderation of course ;) )

    Bring on day 4!!!! Night all and thanks again so much for all of the support today!!:)

  • You're right Maddy, thank God I read the book and remember that smokers will say anything to stop themselves looking stupid!

    Maybe the next time a smoker tries to justify to me that they enjoy smoking or the one i love.... i can go for hours without a smoke and it doesn't bother me (bollox)......

    I'm just going to announce that I can go for hours without eating a carrot and it doesn't bother me!

    I do feel sorry for them because for long enough i envied those that had the guts to stop - and the grass IS greener over here!

    Aw, see i'm pitying them again, I just wish they would quit justifying it to themselves, and either STOP smoking or STOP telling me LOL

  • Its great to be free of the weed Chris! Being freed from the all consuming habit is one of the biggest things I will ever achieve. Hell, that applies to all of us. I mean, its a big thing stopping smoking. It seriously impairs our health and our wallet so to break free from the addiction is definitely worth shouting about! I feel bloody great. I don't plan my life around cigs anymore and I can do things straight away instead of 'after I've had a fag!!' God, if I had a penny for every time I said that! I know there are millions of others too that used to think that line every day too!

    Gawd, we were terrible weren't we? lol But its all good. We are now freeeeeeeee!!

  • I'm just going to announce that I can go for hours without eating a carrot and it doesn't bother me!


    Oh my god that would be funny as hell if you were to say that!!! LOL ohmigawd! :D:D

  • LOL yeah I was the same. Used to drive people mad.

    Every meeting and every family visit having to plan in advance when you were going to be able to cram one in.

    I remember being on holiday in the middle of nowhere last year and my Dad accidentally threw away the last of my ciggys while he was tidying up. I went bonkers, I was actually going through the bins to find them, with everyone watching, isn't that awful?!!!

    Never again. Never ever ever again.

  • I'm sure we've all got some pretty sad stories to tell Chris so don't feel too bad about scavenging! I know I have scavenged in the past. Isn't it mad how we let a drug make us do shit like that???

    As you say, never, ever again! Ever. What say we claim our lives back?! :D

    Have a lovely smoke free Day Four tomoz Chris! :)

  • keep it up if it works

    ive gone cold turkey a few times always gave in on day 5 i am now using the nrt inhalator , to me is just like taking a cig have only used 2 of my 12 day allowance in 3 days so although i may be putting of the invitable i do believe its helping to take away the associations which i couldnt do on my own , id say keep going or try another product . I did patches first made me very jittery , hyper etc ........with the patch you get a constant supply of nicotine with the inhalator you can get the supply as and when you feel you need it......may be worth giving it a whirl. There is a mint like substance in the inhalator which gives you the smoking sensation in the back of your throat (no it doesnt taste like menthols at all and no you cant taste mint!).

    I have tried patches , gum , and the inhalator is by far the best product i have found that does help. the capsule will last 20 minutes (of inhaling not product life) , 20 mins in the same as 2 cigs! 1 puff on a cig = 10 inhales on inhalator , around 10 puffs is enough for me!!!!!!!!!

    Also with the patches i once put it on in the eve hoping it would make morning easier but i so could not sleep so dont do this . It also hurt my arm like made would constantly ache ........maybe your not getting on with them as your body is getting constant nico rather than bits of!

    Yes im sure CT is the best method to go but does not work for all......

    good luck to you!


  • Hey Casey, thanks! My patch is being better today, I think I'm getting used to the lower steady stream of nicotine, but to be honest the dreams are great. I'm just waking up earlier which is no bad thing really. I was in the States last night on holiday and it was incredibly vivid!

    Plan is to start cutting them down at the weekend and accelerate the process. I'm a weak willed wimp and I've tried CT before - it's too much of a fall and I need a stepladder. I think I've just come to associate it with pain. The thought of the inhalator is very tempting, and I suppose you can still do that inside the pub hehe. But I couldn't trust myself not to suck on it like a lollipop! How long have you gone now?


  • Keep going mojo - that's whats worrying me about the patches too. Took mine off for the first time last night to try and get a proper nights sleep. Woke up this morning feeling fine but after half an hour it hit like a ton of bricks and I almost ran to the shop to get a pack. I'm gonna start cutting them in half at the weekend, and then try and half them again every week. Really wean off them slowly.

    Did you step down off them Mojo or did ya just cut them out altogether?

  • I used patches in one of my other quits and I did feel the cravings really bad at first when I came off them but I found nicotine chewing gum excellent for the odd time when the craves hit you, they only have very small amounts of nicotine, anything is better than having a ciggie...

  • Hey Rick - hang in there! :D

    I feel for you - I'd hate to be feeling like I'd just quit all over again.

    My partner has done exactly the same as you at the same time, and quite frankly he is a nightmare at the moment.. but there's no chance of telling him that as he'll either 1. bite my head off or 2. tell me he's fine and that it's me with the problem because I am a pyscho with mad female hormones!! :eek:

    So at least you have looked at yourself and seen that it could be the lack of nico to your system.. so that's good, but also know this mister.. it aint gonna last! You will go back up again soon and the fall will be less each time!

    Stay strong my fwend! :p :D

  • Lady Sa

    Have you and me gotthe same partner HEHE. Linda xx

  • Lady Sa

    Have you and me gotthe same partner HEHE. Linda xx

    Oh dear Linda!! I would say swap but looks like we'd be no better off.. !! :(;)

  • Cheers Sa, I will be staying strong, I am adement not to go back this time, this is my 3rd big stop, and I said my final.

    I really do think the sun and blue skys we seem to be having here are not helping, the are obvioulsy triggering a trigger of some sort.

    I will resist. 99% of the day is fine, no issue, its just sorting this 1% of cravings thast seem to be 200% worse than they were.

    Im not backing out, staying strong and moving on, choosing life and all that... :D

    Hoep you are staying focused yourself Sa, better than the other day?

    Yes thank you .. feel like I've turned a bit of a corner personally but other issues (i.e relationship); are making it seem more of a struggle to resist for me too at the moment!

    The sun & blue skys should be helping you dude, not adding to your problems!! Why do you think they are triggering a trigger....? (feel the need to say trigger again as in Only Fools and Horses...!) :D

    You're super strong this time Rick - you aint caving for nuffink.. maybe you're at a "lookin into it" too much stage? I know you have been befroe and I have too, and it doesn't help... you need to let it all go for a bit I think! Just a thought! :confused:

  • The blue skies and sunshine make me want to skip barefoot across the park singing "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music Tra La La La....." :D:D:D:D

  • Blimey girl.. can I have some of what you're on today!!? ;):D

  • Mmmmmm beergarden :(

  • Well, tried the beer garden and it sucked - big time. Sat in the freezing flipping cold while my mates chain smoked around me telling me that I should just cut down instead and calling me miserable because I wasn't having a laugh. My one mate who's never smoked couldn't understand what the big deal was and just thinks I'm being very weird. Couldn't leave cos I had to meet someone I hadn't seen in years, and by the time he arrived I was so on-edge and strung out I could barely string a sentence together. Arrgh.

    Been fine up to now, but I really feel like I'm losing my marbles. This is just a rubbish way to feel. :eek:

  • Cheers Rick, I think I got a bit too sure of myself and wasn't prepared for that. Sorry about the rant!! I was in a complete tantrum when I got back, had to go and lie in the bath for a couple of hours just to chill! :eek:

    It is weird though and very sobering to look at your mates and see how smoking even takes priority over friendship and support. Like they were putting up a shield of smoke to protect them from the non-smoker! I've resigned myself to the fact that I just have to stay away from the pub for a while which is actually pretty cool - I could do with being a hit healthy for a bit.

    Hope you're feeling better mate. :) This sunshine is gorgeous and I know exactly what you mean!

  • Well, tried the beer garden and it sucked - big time. Sat in the freezing flipping cold while my mates chain smoked around me telling me that I should just cut down instead and calling me miserable because I wasn't having a laugh. My one mate who's never smoked couldn't understand what the big deal was and just thinks I'm being very weird. Couldn't leave cos I had to meet someone I hadn't seen in years, and by the time he arrived I was so on-edge and strung out I could barely string a sentence together. Arrgh.

    Been fine up to now, but I really feel like I'm losing my marbles. This is just a rubbish way to feel. :eek:

    Well done Chris for resisting that nasty evil weed. It took me 2 months before I went into a pub after quitting and then it was only because we were being picked up from there to go on hols. I found it easier with the no smoking ban in place and even at the airport while the others were gasping for a cig I found I wasn't even thinking about having one. What I am trying to say is it does get better.

  • Thanks Jan :)

    I think I'm just gonna give the pub a wide berth from now on. All of my friends smoke and refuse to sit inside with a passion. They just can't stop telling me how much they love smoking. Well, they're gonna have to love it without me around for a while.

  • Thanks Jan :)

    I think I'm just gonna give the pub a wide berth from now on. All of my friends smoke and refuse to sit inside with a passion. They just can't stop telling me how much they love smoking. Well, they're gonna have to love it without me around for a while.

    Some friends - you go for it Chris and show them you can do it:D

  • Thanks guys :) I'm really liking Joel, those videos are great! Watching that one about undercutting was brilliant and explained a lot. I thought the lads were chain smoking around me last night out of macho spite, but they weren't, they were just smoking like they've always done and like I used to, I must've just noticed it because I wasn't doing it.

    Anyway, joining the gym tomorrow - into week 2 with a big health kick! Pizza, Doritos and a seriously large bar of wholenut choc tonight though to make up for not being out on a Friday. Baby steps and all that hehe :D

  • when i was about a month into my quit i got v v drunk grabbed a fag and sucked with gusto - took it down, blew it out and............walked away. That is when i knew i was gonna succeed. And now i dont even want to do that, still get the odd prat trying to goad you into it tho.

    oh sorry answer to thread question .......yes

  • scientifically YES patches prolongue the symtpoms.

  • hi chris and all

    I gave up on the 18/2/08 using patches(21mg) AND lozenges (4mg) as was completely determined togive up this time! managed to get to step down week on the patches and still used the lozenges tooo (infact I think I upped them again for a while) and then the easter hols arrived and I ran out of patches so decided to give up on the lozenges too! suffered flu symptoms all holiday and was glad to go back to work :D Have struggled with my happiness meter ever since cravings just overwhelming sadness that comes and goes...bought a vbottle of Kalms last weekend and am giving them two weeks to settle me down and then it's off to complain to the doctor ....why BECAUSE they don't tell you on the packet, nor when they are naggng you that if you have had a 'life threatening' bout of depression in the past it can return when you come off nicotine ....stop I don't want to put you off or give you an excuss to stop stopping., just to let you know whats happened to us and to encourage you that it is 'normal' tell someone, get support and if it's still rough consider getting some advice from the doctor about controlling depression (nicotine is a mild anti depressent). If anyone wants copies of the papers that back this up please don't hesitate to ask)

    Sorry for long post ....signed up cos I was feeling miz so think it's off to the docs for me this week if work dosen't help!:o

  • okk so will go somewhere else for support depression was not from me it was postnatal happened on two occassions and on the second occassion I very nearly died. I was extremely frightened when these feelings suddenly returned whilst giving up smoking I had not been aware that it was possible sorry if I have introduced a 'downer' to the site I certainly had no intention of feeling like this when I gave up and am trying my hardest to NOT be sad :( will crawl back under my stone and confirm that forums are a carp form of support!

You may also like...