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  #1  
Old 03-18-2004, 04:29 PM
wolfsbane wolfsbane is offline
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Why can't I cut nicoderm patches in half?

Trying to qit smoking here. A friend gave me a dozen 21 mg (the strongest) nicotine patches. I am thinking I will only need the strongest ones for the first few days. After that, you're supposed to drop down to 14 mg, then 7 mg. Only thing is these things are expensive as hell (over $40 per pack).

I did some research on the net, all the literature on these patches warns not to cut patches in half or into smaller pieces. My question is: why not? What would be the harm? Or would it render the pieces useless somehow?
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2004, 04:46 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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I imagine they're timed delivery. You'll get half of 21 milligrams, but twice as fast.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2004, 05:00 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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It is a SIN to cut nicoderm parches in half. You will go to HELL if you do it.
You probably get some loss of nicotine out the open side of the cut, so that a 21 cut in half is more like 8 than 11.5, plus the bit of ooze that leaks is toxic, and could shoot into your system faster than intended.
That said, my wife cut her patches in half, and they worked fine; course she started smoking again in 6 months...
As with all non-approved medical procedures, you assume the risk. The company didn't apply for approval from the FDA for half patches, and thus half patches are NOT proven "safe and effective."
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2004, 05:02 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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From here:
Quote:
NicoDerm CQ® provides a unique therapeutic approach to smoking cessation. The NicoDerm CQ patch is designed to provide the fastest delivery of medicine in a dosage form that maintains its effectiveness for a full 24 hours. The availability of enough medicine to fight your cravings and provide 24 hours of treatment can be compromised if the patch is cut in half. Extensive clinical testing has established the appropriate amounts of nicotine to be included in each of the three "steps" of NicoDerm CQ®. Cutting any of the patches in half is not recommended as it may alter the controlled release.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2004, 05:41 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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It is not only nicoderm but other drugs as well. They say the same thing about the Scop patch for seasickness. It seems the patch is made in a certain way and if you cut it then the stuff just oozes out the cut side and does not permeate through the patch as it is supposed to.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2004, 09:29 PM
Manduck Manduck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfsbane
Trying to qit smoking here. A friend gave me a dozen 21 mg (the strongest) nicotine patches. I am thinking I will only need the strongest ones for the first few days. After that, you're supposed to drop down to 14 mg, then 7 mg. Only thing is these things are expensive as hell (over $40 per pack).
When I used Nicoderm, the instructions were to use the full strength patches for 6 week (not a few days), then 2 weeks on medium strength, then 2 weeks with the weakest strength. As far as the expense goes, remember that the idea is that you won't have to spend any money on cigarettes, so financially the patches are a big win IF they work. So it's in your interest to be sure that they do work for you, so you should maximize the chance of them working by using them the way you're supposed to. There's no point in saving $20 by cutting them in half if the result is that you return to smoking afterwards.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2004, 10:19 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Here's Alza's (used in nicoderm) first patent on nicotine transdermal patches: 5,004,610 (April 91)
The patch consists of a backing, a nicotine reservoir, a diffusion rate limiting membrane, and a glue that holds the patch to the skin.
When you cut a patch in half, you cut the reservoir open, and break the membrane's seal to the backing on one side. If the reservoir were liquid, it'd all run out when you cut the patch. However, the reservoir appears to be a gel of some sort. This means that the nicotine wont all ooze out at once. However, you've still got a hole in the reservoir from which nicotine can escape, and an open path around the membrane through which nicotine can reach the skin at an uncontrolled rate.
How well a cut patch performs depends on the viscosity of the reservoir gel, how hard, and in what direction, you rub the patch when you put it on, and how much of a fluid path develops around the missing membrane seal.
Alza has probably tested all these variables, and dozens more, but they're not about to tell us what their results were. That could cut into profits.
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2004, 10:42 PM
Adoptamom_II Adoptamom_II is offline
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Without knowing all of the warnings the previous posters have shared, I cut a patch in half to extend the life and save a few bucks. This was eight years ago, and frankly I thought I was going to die a slow and horrid death as a result. My heart started racing, my entire body flushed, I was sweating profusely and couldn't stop vomiting. It appears that when I cut the patch that allowed the nicotene to be released almost all at once rather than time released. Don't do it!
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2004, 10:43 PM
Cillasi Cillasi is offline
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If you smoke more than 1 pack a day, you probably need the 21mg patch. The way you can modify how much nicotine you receive is to only wear them during waking hours. I don't know anyone who smokes while sleeping, so why you need a 24-hour nicotine infusion beats me. I guess it's to keep the cravings at bay when you wake up.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2004, 03:04 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cillasi
I don't know anyone who smokes while sleeping, so why you need a 24-hour nicotine infusion beats me. I guess it's to keep the cravings at bay when you wake up.

Exactly. Especially for heavy smokers who have a strong craving for nicotine when they wake up. Been there, done that. It makes a difference. Though now, they sell 16 hours patches intended to be removed when you go to sleep, I wouldn't advise those.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2012, 08:34 AM
rogofam rogofam is offline
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Try this

You should be able to pull only half the backing off the patch. You would be effectively being exposed to 1/2 the patch with not cutting the membrane. The next day you could remove the other 1/2 and use the same patch. Why not?
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2012, 08:40 AM
Shakester Shakester is online now
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When I was giving up smoking, I cut patches in half. I had no problems. There's no "membrane" - at least not on the ones I used.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:05 AM
Qwakkeddup Qwakkeddup is offline
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Cold turkey on my 5th week here, I have seen people using the patches, too much wiggle room for abuse. My wife would take the patch off, then smoke a cigarette, she was just using them to get through work/ school where she couldn't smoke. My Mother on the other hand, would smoke while wearing the patch. It only takes three days for your body to clear the nicotine. Kicking the habit is the hard part and the patches don't really help with that.
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:12 AM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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You don't cut the patch in half. That's completely ineffective. Both halves will still come crawling after you.
You need to shoot the patch in the head. Twice, if possible (zombie thread).




Patches are about the same cost as a similar number of packs. I guess if you don't smoke a pack a full pack a day then the math may be off. But the savings in the long run are so worth it, a bit more on the front end to make it count will pay for itself many times over.

The Patch isn't a panacea. Of course people 'cheat' while wearing it. But it really does cut wayyy down on the instant jones and pressing need for a smoke. The hand/cultural habit is still there, but it helps let you concentrate on one aspect of quitting at a time.

Last edited by Rhythmdvl; 05-15-2012 at 09:13 AM..
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:14 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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This is a controlled release thread.
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:15 AM
vd vd is offline
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I assume at some point in the last 8 years that wolfsbane has figured it out for him/herself.
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  #17  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:31 AM
redtail23 redtail23 is offline
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Actually, current recommendations are a two-level system. You wear the patch to keep a maintenance-level dose of nicotine in your system, and then use an instant-dose method (e.g., gum, lozenges, inhaler) when you get a craving. Plus, of course, all the other stuff to break the physical/emotional/mental habits of smoking.
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  #18  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:32 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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It's weird reading this without looking at the date then seeing Q.E.D reply.
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  #19  
Old 05-15-2012, 10:09 AM
Seydell Seydell is offline
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When I quit smoking I cut patches in half with no ill effects (both Nicoderm and CVS brands).
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:27 AM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is online now
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Why is Q.E.D.s link sourced from a dental website?
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  #21  
Old 05-15-2012, 12:15 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Why is Q.E.D.s link sourced from a dental website?
Well, given that he posted it seven and a half years ago, and is no longer with us, it's doubtful that we'll ever know.
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  #22  
Old 05-15-2012, 12:35 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Why is Q.E.D.s link sourced from a dental website?
IIRC he had a habit of googling stuff and posting very quickly.
In this case, I'd say it really doesn't matter where it came from if the information was good.
Oh, wait, ya know what, it was probably to help people quit smoking before having wisdom teeth pulled.
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  #23  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:47 PM
ChickenLegs ChickenLegs is offline
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When I used the patches, I noticed that the surface area of the different dosages was exactly proportional to the designated mg of nicotine. Since they were all designed to act over the same time period, logic tells you that they're all the same, except for the surface area, which controls dosage.

Anything else is marketing BS to get you to buy smaller patches for the same price as larger ones. Cut them.
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  #24  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:50 PM
ChickenLegs ChickenLegs is offline
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Originally Posted by ChickenLegs View Post
When I used the patches, I noticed that the surface area of the different dosages was exactly proportional to the designated mg of nicotine. Since they were all designed to act over the same time period, logic tells you that they're all the same, except for the surface area, which controls dosage.

Anything else is marketing BS to get you to buy smaller patches for the same price as larger ones. Cut them.
P.S. They don't work very well. The method to quit smoking with the best proven results is cold turkey. That doesn't sell well, though.

Also, I quit for a year (to the day) using this BS book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Easy-Way-S.../dp/1402718616

Then I decided not smoking sucks, and started again. Now I'm happy. Whew.

Last edited by ChickenLegs; 05-15-2012 at 09:50 PM..
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  #25  
Old 05-15-2012, 10:21 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cillasi View Post
I don't know anyone who smokes while sleeping, so why you need a 24-hour nicotine infusion beats me.
I've known several heavy smokers who woke up during the night to have a cigarette. They couldn't sleep a whole night without being woken by their need for nicotine.
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  #26  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:24 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenLegs View Post
When I used the patches, I noticed that the surface area of the different dosages was exactly proportional to the designated mg of nicotine. Since they were all designed to act over the same time period, logic tells you that they're all the same, except for the surface area, which controls dosage.

Anything else is marketing BS to get you to buy smaller patches for the same price as larger ones. Cut them.
No, logic does not tell you that. Intuition, maybe, but not logic. There are all sorts of reasons (see above about the materials being squooshed into a thin layer) for patch manufacturing differ with dosage.

The patch works extraordinarily well for some people (hello there!) and not for others.

But honestly, I miss smoking
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  #27  
Old 05-16-2012, 05:11 AM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manduck View Post
As far as the expense goes, remember that the idea is that you won't have to spend any money on cigarettes, so financially the patches are a big win IF they work.
The downside is that, at least when I was using the patch, they cost twice as much as a carton pack of cigarettes and lasted seven days as opposed to ten.

The generic Walgreen's patches are cheaper and just as effective as NicoDerm.
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  #28  
Old 07-05-2013, 06:27 PM
motafina motafina is offline
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after a couple of weeks of wearing the step 2 patch, i just tried cutting it in half because i wanted to lower the dosage. well, i don't know how they did it but apparently that doesn't work. it made me feel like i was going to puke and fall over... i wouldn't recommend anyone to try that. i guess i will just try stopping all together since the physical cravings have gone away.
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  #29  
Old 07-06-2013, 01:32 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Re-re-animated participants:

How many zombies here quit (and stayed quit) smoking? How many give credit to the patch?

We're smoke-free in the Devil household, and must give humongous credit to the patch. It was 'us' that quit---but the patch kept the level of community homicides down to a small number. Anyone else have success?
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  #30  
Old 07-06-2013, 11:54 PM
nion nion is offline
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It took three goes, but the patches eventually worked for me.

I blame the first two failures to extreme stress. The third time found me in calmer times. The patches took care of the chemical needs and allowed me to focus on the habitual addictions related to my smoking. I am very much a creature of habit, and cigarettes had come to punctuate my day in a regular and rigid way. Being free of the chemical urge, I could learn to fight the OCD-like urge.

I have been smoke-free for nearly two and a half years now.

For the record, I did NOT cut any patches in half. Also, the price went down with the size of the patch. Just saying.

I think what it comes down to is each person is different and needs to handle their addiction differently. In my case, using gum or lozenges would not have worked. I'd be taking those at regular intervals instead of smoking and end up nowhere. I actually proved this with an e-cigarette. It supplanted the real thing, but I kept on going. Eventually I reverted back to the real thing. Others can use these quit-aids and successfully work themselves free. It just all depends.

Those who quit cold turkey are free to, and should be proud of themselves. However, I'm tired of hearing how anyone can do it and they just need more willpower. Being that I've heard nicotine addiction being called worse than cocaine addiction, I question that. Maybe some people have an easier time of it, but a lot don't. I went cold turkey for nine days once. I started again after a moderately stressful day left me in the fetal position shaking and miserable. Having it out of your system doesn't quiet the monsters craving nicotine in your brain, it makes them SCREAM. Things to consider...
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  #31  
Old 08-31-2013, 05:39 AM
BudBoy BudBoy is offline
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Of course you can cut them in half.

These days patches have moved on so much since the fluid/gel construction and if you cut one in half nothing toward will happen i.e. it won't 'leak' (certainly not any that I've come across anyway!).

It's a simple scientific fact:

25 mg patch
Surface area: 22.5 cm2
Release period 16 hours

The patch releases EVENLY over the patch's whole surface area.

Therefore cutting a 25mg patch in half will simply release 12.5mg of nicotine in that same 16hr period.


Some may think you will get 'twice the rate' of absorption - not the case

Think of it this way...
Cut one in half and wear one on each arm - full patch split into two - exactly the same effect as designed - full 25g in 16hrs. You don't get double the hit!
So, instead, just wear one half patch and keep the other for the next day, easy and obvious.

SAVE yourself a small fortune and buy the strongest patches and cut them to your needs.
Be aware of the 'active' surface area - so halves and quarters are probably best as you then don't have any wasted areas that are only glue.



Anything else is marketing BS to get you to buy smaller patches for the same price as larger ones. Cut them.

(PS. Used this method myself VERY successfully to completely quit from 40 a day)

Last edited by BudBoy; 08-31-2013 at 05:43 AM..
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  #32  
Old 08-31-2013, 07:37 AM
Shakester Shakester is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Re-re-animated participants:

How many zombies here quit (and stayed quit) smoking? How many give credit to the patch?

We're smoke-free in the Devil household, and must give humongous credit to the patch. It was 'us' that quit---but the patch kept the level of community homicides down to a small number. Anyone else have success?
Patches plus nicotine lozenges*, coming up to the third anniversary of my last smoke.

*In much the same way as you definitely CAN cut the patches into smaller doses, you can break/crumble the lozenges.
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  #33  
Old 09-01-2013, 10:04 AM
eltro102 eltro102 is offline
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maybe if you wrapped half the patch in something which would block the nicotine from diffusing through, like clingfilm or tape (and then swap the covering to the other side for the next day)
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  #34  
Old 09-01-2013, 10:24 AM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltro102 View Post
maybe if you wrapped half the patch in something which would block the nicotine from diffusing through, like clingfilm or tape (and then swap the covering to the other side for the next day)
That's a good idea, but if the active ingredients can flow or diffuse from one half to the other, you might get a larger does the first day. You could experiment with covering slightly more than half the patch, to counter that. Or you could fold the patch in half, and hope the crease blocks flow from one half to the other.
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2013, 10:19 AM
R-alphamethylphenethylamine R-alphamethylphenethylamine is offline
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I'm no doctor, or lawyer, or financial adviser, or clergy, or anyone you should listen to, but...

I've tried using a strip of clear tape, shiny side to the patch, through the middle or across the outsides of the patch. It works ok, but I find the glue doesn't always wear well enough to stay put the second time, even if half of it is fresh the next day. I don't know how impermeable it is either, so after a few hours you may be getting more nicotine than you planned.

I've had decent results with halving the transparent gel-reservoir patches using a particular method:

1. heat a thin, blunt straight-edge metal instrument like a steel ruler or putty knife on the stove or something. You've probably got a lighter you shouldn't be carrying any more anyway, but if you use it just be careful to heat the tool evenly and not to leave soot all over it. Or blow up a lighter in your hand. I hear that's unpleasant. The metal only needs to be 300-400 degrees F, so if it starts to change color it's too hot.

2. Leaving the backing on, fold the patch over a raised object to force the gel out of the area to be cut

3. Stand the tool on it's corner just below the fold and rock it down onto the patch to seal the patch's backing down to the layer underneath the gel. Push down hard enough to deform the backing, but if you go straight through the whole stack you risk welding the backing to the top layers and tearing it open again when you peel it off.

You shouldn't have to to tear or cut the patch apart, and if you can squeeze the fill out of your seam you shouldn't use it. That rate-limiting membrane needs to be the only route out of the patch for the nicotine and whatever they use to make it permeate your skin.

The rationale here is that the different dosages of patch do seem to be cut to size from a single sheet with a hot die (think cookie cutter) in manufacture. I've never taken the factory tour, but look really closely at the original outside edges. I don't know how they make these otherwise.

Your mileage may vary, of course. All the risk is yours, so be careful.
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