Generic Name: Habitrol Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Habitrol® (nicotine) used for?

Habitrol® is a medical product used to aid in smoking cessation in adults. Using a controlled amount of nicotine helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking.

Habitrol® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I take Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Nicotine transdermal is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include counseling, group support, and behavior changes. Your success will depend on your participation in all aspects of your smoking cessation program.

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Your patch strength and number of weeks of treatment will depend on how many cigarettes you smoked daily before quitting. Follow the guide in the patient instructions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Apply the patch to clean, dry, and hairless skin on your chest or the outer part of your upper arm. Press the patch firmly into place for about 10 seconds to make sure it sticks. You may leave the patch on while bathing, showering, or swimming.

If a patch falls off, try sticking it back into place. If it does not stick well, put on a new patch.

Remove the skin patch after 24 hours and replace it with a new one.

Choose a different place on your body to wear the patch each time you put on a new one. Do not use the same skin area twice within 7 days.

Do not wear more than one nicotine patch at a time. Never cut a skin patch.

After removing a skin patch fold it in half, sticky side in, and put it back into its pouch.

Wash your hands after applying or removing a nicotine skin patch.

You may wear a Habitrol® patch for 24 hours.

You may wear a Nicoderm CQ patch for 16 or 24 hours (wear for 24 hours if you crave cigarettes when you wake up in the morning).

Do not wear a nicotine patch at night if you have vivid dreams or trouble sleeping.

Do not use nicotine patches for longer than 8 weeks without the advice of your doctor.

How do I store Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Habitrol® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Habitrol® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Habitrol® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Habitrol® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Habitrol® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Do not smoke or use other nicotine products (including snuff, chewing tobacco, or nicotine gum, lozenges, inhaler, or nasal spray) while you are using nicotine transdermal.

Keep both used and unused nicotine patches out of the reach of children or pets. The amount of nicotine in a used or unused skin patch can be fatal to a child who accidentally sucks or chews on the patch.

The nicotine transdermal patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Remove the patch before undergoing such a test.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Habitrol® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Habitrol®. Habitrol® is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Habitrol® and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest
  • Extreme weakness or dizziness
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Redness, swelling, or skin rash where a nicotine patch was worn (especially if these symptoms do not clear up within 4 days after the patch was removed)

Common side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams
  • Dry mouth, upset stomach
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Mild skin irritation where the patch is worn

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Habitrol® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Habitrol® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Habitrol® (nicotine)?

Habitrol® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Coronary heart disease, chest pain (angina), or heart rhythm disorder
  • Circulation problems, Raynaud’s syndrome
  • A history of stroke, blood clot, or heart attack
  • Untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • A history of seizures
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • A thyroid disorder
  • A stomach ulcer
  • Asthma, bronchitis, or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland)
  • If you have skin problems that will interfere with wearing a skin patch
  • If your skin is sensitive to adhesive tape or bandages


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Habitrol®.

What is the dose of Habitrol® (nicotine) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Smoking Cessation


Recommended dose:

  • First cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up: 4 mg
  • First cigarette more than 30 minutes after waking up: 2 mg

Recommended regimen:

  • Weeks 1 to 6: 1 piece of gum orally every 1 to 2 hours
  • Weeks 7 to 9: 1 piece of gum orally every 2 to 4 hours
  • Weeks 10 to 12: 1 piece of gum orally every 4 to 8 hours
  • Maximum dose: 24 pieces/day


Recommended dose:

  • First cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up: 4 mg
  • First cigarette more than 30 minutes after waking up: 2 mg

Recommended regimen:

  • Weeks 1 to 6: 1 lozenge orally every 1 to 2 hours
  • Weeks 7 to 9: 1 lozenge orally every 2 to 4 hours
  • Weeks 10 to 12: 1 lozenge orally every 4 to 8 hours
  • Maximum dose: 20 lozenges/day


Initial Treatment:

  • Recommended dose: At least 6 cartridges inhaled once a day for the first 3 to 6 weeks
  • Maximum dose: 16 cartridges/day
  • Duration of therapy: Up to 12 weeks

Gradual Dose Reduction: Duration of therapy: Up to 12 weeks

Nasal Spray:

Initial Treatment:

  • Recommended dose: 1 to 2 sprays in each nostril every hour for up to 3 months
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg/day


  • STEP 1: 21 mg patch transdermally once a day
  • STEP 2: 14 mg patch transdermally once a day
  • STEP 3: 7 mg patch transdermally once a day

More than 10 cigarettes/day: Step 1 for 4 weeks, then step 2 for 2 weeks, and finally step 3 for 2 weeks

10 cigarettes/day or less: Step 2 for 6 weeks, then step 3 for 2 weeks

What is the dose of Habitrol® (nicotine) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Habitrol® (nicotine) available?

Habitrol® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Gum
  • Lozenge
  • Inhaler
  • Nasal spray
  • Patch

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Habitrol®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: September 11, 2017 | Last Modified: September 11, 2017

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