15 Feb stepping down on nicotine patches
One of the obvious challenges of using nicotine patches for cigarette or nicotine spray cessation, is when you step down. Usually, you would go from 21 mg to 14 mg and then to 7 mg and then to 0 mg. I have stepped down from 14 mg to 10.5 mg (half a 21 mg patch) today, and I feel like my world is completely topsy turvy.
Some of the symptoms that you might get when stepping down nicotine patches, are cravings for cigarettes, crankiness or tetchiness, a lack of concentration skills and increased hunger. I have had all of those things today.
It is important to keep your blood sugar level in a healthy zone, as nicotine causes your body to dump sugar into your bloodstream, and reducing nicotine can reduce the amount of sugar in your blood. You may eat more at meal times, but you might also find that you want to snack more as well. Try and choose healthy foods like vegetables and lean protein that will keep you feeling full.
Temporary discomfort for long term gain – nicotine patches
The good news is that these nicotine patch steps symptoms only last a day or so, until you get used to the new level of nicotine. It is such a good feeling to be almost three weeks free of the nicotine spray! I think I am going to win 🙂 It is finally behind me.
Nicotine patches are not addictive, so it is much easier to slowly reduce your level of nicotine with them. I would follow the directions on the packet, but this seems like uncharted territory. The usual recommendation is 6 weeks at 21 mg, or 14 mg (if you smoked less than ten cigarettes a day), two weeks on 14 mg or 7 mg and then 2 – 4 weeks on 7 mg for those who started at 21 mg.
I am going a bit freestyle – one week at 21 mg, two weeks at 14 mg, two weeks at 10.5 mg and two to four weeks at 5.25 mg. That is the plan 🙂 I think that everyone is different and it is important to find what works for you!