Anyone tried the Nicotine Patch?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 12/23/2007 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone tried using the nicotine patch to go to remission? I have just started 6-MP, but I'm still on 10mg of steriods a day after six months of various doses and am eager to get off it. Since nicotine is reported to have a faster effect faster than 6-MP (1 month vs 3), perhaps I could get off the steriods faster if I use the patch.  It doesn't appear that nicotine has any undesirable health effects. I've never smoked. My only real concern is addiction, and whether its hard to get off the patch after a couple months of using it.
Ben, 38
Symptoms started 10/06, diagnosed 4/07.
Currently on 8.75mg Prednisone (w/calcium), trying Sulphasalazine.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 12/23/2007 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
My GI says nicotene isn't effective. we've talked about it because I told him at one point I would start smoking if it would make me well (which he was very against, but that's a different story). he said - and I REALLY trust my GI so I tend to believe what he says - that studies indicate that smokling helps because of the carbon monoxide. In other words, the act of inhaling smoke. he said that pure nicotene, via a patch, doesn't have sustained benefits for UC.
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent)
Various vitamins, a probiotic and fish oil.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 12/23/2007 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Nicotine increases your heart rate, constricts your blood vessels and significantly raises your blood pressure. It's also highly addictive, some say as addictive as heroin. If you'd rather chance that than stay on the pred, that's your choice. But never think it has no bad effects.

Studies I've seen indicate it may be the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke that affects the inflammation.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Intolerant to Asacol and rectal mesalamine preparations.
On Prednisone then Entocort 2001-2006 with only short periods off. 
Current meds are Colazal, Azathioprine and Remicade.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4506
   Posted 12/23/2007 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey...I just responded to the "UC and smoking" post, but I'll put it here, too. A detailed "patient education handout" on UC that my GI gave me says: "Studies show that nicotine patches help to induce remission and reduce symptoms in almost 40% of patients who use it for four weeks. A 2002 study further reported that nicotine patches improved the effectiveness of mesalamine enemas. Side effects, particularly in nonsmokers, include nausea, lightheadedness, and headache. Investigators are studying methods of applying nicotine directly into the colon."

It sounds like the side effects (at least short term) are tolerable...kind of like side effects of smoking a cigarette if you don't smoke. I bet they'd go away after using them for a while, but I've never used a patch.
23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - as needed for flares
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D) for Osteopenia; flaxseed

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 12/23/2007 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been using the patch continuously for a year and a half after quitting smoking, which really really helped ny UC for a long time. It worked until I had to take flagyl and humatin this past summer and I am still a mess despite the patch, entocort, salofalk enemas, and pentasa. I would only recommend the patch if you are willing to deal with the agitated, slightly nauseous, dizzy feeling they give. If you persist, you get used to it all, and you keep weight off or lose weight on it too, because of the metabolism 5% boost it gives. High blood pressure risks are no joke, though.
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