View Full Version : Nicotine Patch for ADHD


madadder
05-08-12, 03:38 PM
Since I have another month to wait for my appointment I've started looking at alternative ways to treat ADHD in the meantime. I've found evidence out there that nicotine may possibly help those with ADHD. For example here's one study back in 1999: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/news/19991202/nicotine-patch-help-concentration

At first I thought, it was a great excuse to start smoking again, but no, I haven't smoked in over a month so I don't want to start that up again. I'll let you guys know if I notice any major differences while using the patch.

T-Rex65
05-08-12, 03:48 PM
I sometimes use nicotine lozenges for the same purpose. I can't tell how much it helps with focus, but I do feel a little more awake after I've used one.

sarahsweets
05-08-12, 03:50 PM
I'll stick to smoking for now. I'm jury not ready

madadder
05-08-12, 07:57 PM
Well, it seemed to work well for me. Placebo effect or not, it was the motivation I needed to get off my butt. I cleaned the entire house, my wife came home to a nice surprise. I've had severe lack of motivation for the last couple of months. I should not have purchased the 21mg patch though. It was definitely too much nicotine for someone who hasn't smoked in a while. I ended up puking my guts out and my wife has no idea why :P.

Now that I think back though, (I'm in the Navy), and on the ship I was sporadically a fairly productive person and did well when at sea. During the night shifts underway I would smoke and smoke, and was very productive and got things done while others were sitting around playing video games. Maybe the cigarettes had something to do with that?? Recently though I've had such a difficult time mustering up the will to do even the smallest things, which is why I started to explore the add idea again in the first place.

spunkysmum
05-08-12, 08:06 PM
I have heard of this before, too. I've never tried it, though if for some reason I ever couldn't get any more Adderall, I'd consider it. I guess I'd have to start with the lowest dose though since I've never smoked once in my life. LOL

T-Rex65
05-10-12, 12:02 PM
Madadder, I think you can cut the patches down into smaller doses. Which is what I would do to save money.

artist79
05-10-12, 12:26 PM
After I heard about nicotine's affect on ADD I suddenly had a desire to try smoking even though I have never smoked before in my life. I'm that desperate for relief....though I wont' act on that feeling. That's a silly reason to start smoking. Question about the patch and gum though....can a person become addicted to nicotine by using those things if they have never used nicotine before?

Fuzzy12
05-10-12, 01:13 PM
I've read some studies on this as well. I tried nicotine gum but didn't notice a difference.

I used to smoke but quit almost 10 years ago (maybe that explains my apparent successful youth :rolleyes:).

I've just started this week ago. I don't want to advertise smoking but it's got a huge effect on me. I find it extremely soothing and relaxing and it does improve my focus and even motivation.

Sigh, I think, I should really stop again though. I'm not sure. What's worse? Stress or smoking related diseases? Right now I'm tempted to think that I prefer to smoke.

I guess the nicotine patch is a better and healthier alternative though. If I remember right, the test subjects in the study I read used a nicotine patch as well.

madadder
05-10-12, 02:32 PM
I don't think smoking would be as effective as the patch. The patch is a constant feed of nicotine vs spurts of it from cigarettes. I'm done smoking, I've thought about the concept of smoking as a whole. There's just no point in it. Why is nicotine being used as a tool to addict people to huffing poison???

I have noticed some differences while using the patch. I am able to construct thoughts a little better. I have more confidence when talking to people. I'm not so scared to speak, and words just flow better. I also have more will power to do the things I "should" do, but usually procrastinate. Last week I missed my assignment for my class, but did it yesterday for this week. I cleaned the house and have kept it clean. I also play a video game called day of defeat, it's a shooter and requires patience, quick reaction, focus and mental alertness. I had my best game yesterday in 6 months, which shows a sign that it might not be a placebo effect.

I also used to have crazy brain fog, and that may have correlated to the fact that I was an off and on smoker always trying to stop.

The patch makes me nauseas, sweat easier, pale, and tired looking. I have the 21mg patch and I wear it for an hour twice a day. I am going to switch to 7mg though.

madadder
05-10-12, 02:33 PM
I just typed all that on my iPhone :)

ana futura
05-10-12, 09:41 PM
I think I may try this out. I smoked on and off when I was younger, but I'm allergic to cigarette smoke, so it was usually a bad idea.

Still, I liked it so much that I would brave an occasional asthma attack. Smoking always made me feel so clear headed and calm, I loved it, and would probably have done it more if I wasn't always trying to be health conscious.

I've wondered about nicorette gum too.

ana futura
05-10-12, 09:43 PM
I guess the nicotine patch is a better and healthier alternative though. If I remember right, the test subjects in the study I read used a nicotine patch as well.

Yes, it's MUCH healthier. Nicotine isn't really that bad for you, it's all the other crap and the smoke.

ana futura
05-10-12, 09:46 PM
After I heard about nicotine's affect on ADD I suddenly had a desire to try smoking even though I have never smoked before in my life. I'm that desperate for relief....though I wont' act on that feeling. That's a silly reason to start smoking. Question about the patch and gum though....can a person become addicted to nicotine by using those things if they have never used nicotine before?
Probably, yes. Nicotine is very addictive. But if you use the smallest quantity you need to get by it shouldn't be too hard to cut yourself off. Who cares if it's addictive if it's relatively harmless?

artist79
05-10-12, 09:58 PM
Probably, yes. Nicotine is very addictive. But if you use the smallest quantity you need to get by it shouldn't be too hard to cut yourself off. Who cares if it's addictive if it's relatively harmless?

I couldn't agree more with the "who cares if it's addictive". Addiction is way too feared. Yeah...good reason to fear addiction, but when a person is addicted to a drug they actually NEED, and will spend the rest of their life on...who cares. I had a freind who NEEDED lorazapan bad to control her chronic hives and it was hard for her to find a doctor to prescribe it because it's highly addictive. They would rather she suffer with a body completely swollen from head to toe with hives than be addicted to lorazapan and possibly get sued for prescribing an addictive drug. Stupid.

ana futura
05-10-12, 10:43 PM
The only real concern with nicotine is nicotine poisoning. It can be lethal, but poisoning is rather obvious- you'll get very naseuous and feel terrible. Madadder was likely experiencing nicotine poisoning. As long as you take a small dose you should be fine. All of nicotine's dangers are short term and caused by taking too much- there is no evidence that links it to cancer at all.

Ganjin
05-10-12, 10:51 PM
I used to be a pretty heavy smoker, especially when I was working on academics in college and grad school. In hindsight, heavy use of nicotine and caffeine was probably a form of self-medication. I've cut way back on the caffeine.

I quit smoking about six years ago, but I continue to be 'hooked' on nicotine gum... It does give me a nice pick up when I need it. And it is a lot cheaper and healthier than smoking.

Ganjin
05-10-12, 10:52 PM
I just typed all that on my iPhone :)

That's impressive. It would have taken me about 45 minutes...

madadder
05-11-12, 12:50 AM
That's impressive. It would have taken me about 45 minutes...

Thank you :cool:, it did take a while

I'm not sure if there's a big difference or not from when I'm using nicotine or not, but I'm starting to notice even more how much I forget things when ive been off the patch for several hours. I have such a hard time holding a thought before I lose it. For example, i was laying down, thinking, and decided that I wanted to research something, about something, but when I got to my computer I had forgotten what it was! Or for instance, in the morning, the mirror was foggy so i went to grab a rag in the kitchen, by the time i got to the kitchen i had forgotten why I was there. I had to stop and think why i would have needed to go to the kitchen. This is all too common, those are just a couple of examples out of a bunch just from today.

I think that my little memory problem is lessened though with nicotine. I'll keep trying to notice the difference, but things just seem "easier" in general without even thinking about it while on the patch. I also have a better ability to moderate myself in social situations, I don't get all worked up with anxiety inside when posed with a question or something. It's nice being able to regulate myself better, and work on my posture, reaction, body language, timely responses etc rather than just freezing up inside and getting nervous.

madadder
05-11-12, 12:56 AM
If anyone else tries this, and I stress that you should do your research first, because everyone's body is different and can react differently. But I would be curious to know your experiences with this. The tradeoff for me is quite large, the nauseating feeling is not very pleasant, but the mental tradeoff seems pretty good. I think that people around me can tell a difference, and social anxiety is something that I've been battling without any medications or treatment. I was just trying to willpower myself to being better, but to no success.

T-Rex65
05-11-12, 04:09 PM
Yes, what everyone else said. Nicotine may be addictive, and it can do things like increase your heart rate and blood pressure. But so does every stimulant med I've tried for ADHD. And I don't think Nicotine is any worse, or any more addictive.

And the nicotine alone isn't nearly as bad as actually smoking. With smoking, you get the tar and the additives. With nicotine alone, your lungs should be fine.

And for those of you who enjoy the ritual of smoking as well as the nicotine, there is always the e-cig, which I haven't tried yet. I'm under the impression that the e-cig is as safe as the lozenges or gum, but I'm not sure about that. If anyone knows more about that, let me know.

ana futura
05-11-12, 05:19 PM
The tradeoff for me is quite large, the nauseating feeling is not very pleasant, but the mental tradeoff seems pretty good. I think that people around me can tell a difference, and social anxiety is something that I've been battling without any medications or treatment. I was just trying to willpower myself to being better, but to no success.

You're really not supposed to get the nauseating feeling though, that's a sign of poisoning. I wonder if a lower dose will still be effective?

It's not worth risking nicotine poisoning if that's the amount that needs to be consumed to be effective. I'm going to buy some gum or patches today and try them when my dex wears off. I'll report back.

ana futura
05-11-12, 09:50 PM
Dang, this stuff costs more than my meds do! I think I'm going to wait until I can get ahold of some from a friend to try it out.

I guess it would be silly to waste my money on it when I already have a prescription for something more effective.

Ganjin
05-12-12, 07:24 AM
Nicotine does make me feel more clear headed, and it helps stabilize my mood. I'm a lifelong coffee addict as well, all of which makes some sense since learning of ADHD just a couple of years ago.

I use the gum now, because it allows me to control precisely how much nicotine and when (kind of like Adderall IR). I used the patch years ago and so did my partner. Here are a few points of advice:

1. Be sure to take the patch off a couple of hours before bed time! This warning is on the label, but I used to forget all the time. Nicotine during sleep will give you some CRAZY dreams!

2. Do not apply the patch in the morning until you've had a little something to eat and you're well hydrated. My partner is a lot smaller than me (only about 110 lbs), and she made herself sick more than once in the morning when she applied the patch before breakfast. As long as she had eaten and was well hydrated, it did not make her dizzy or ill.

artist79
05-13-12, 10:07 PM
Nicotine does make me feel more clear headed, and it helps stabilize my mood. I'm a lifelong coffee addict as well, all of which makes some sense since learning of ADHD just a couple of years ago.

I use the gum now, because it allows me to control precisely how much nicotine and when (kind of like Adderall IR). I used the patch years ago and so did my partner. Here are a few points of advice:

1. Be sure to take the patch off a couple of hours before bed time! This warning is on the label, but I used to forget all the time. Nicotine during sleep will give you some CRAZY dreams!

2. Do not apply the patch in the morning until you've had a little something to eat and you're well hydrated. My partner is a lot smaller than me (only about 110 lbs), and she made herself sick more than once in the morning when she applied the patch before breakfast. As long as she had eaten and was well hydrated, it did not make her dizzy or ill.

I tried to patch today. I cut it in half. The first thing I noticed as a nonsmoker who has never been exposed to nicotine, is at first I felt a quick rush of heat. Is that normal? It happened maybe 2 times total. Also, it was very itchy at first but thankfully that went away after a short time. I noticed a definite difference. My head was way clearer. I was able to be proactive today even. I still want to talk to my doctor about treatment of course, but I can't deny this is a definite help in the meantime.

ana futura
05-13-12, 10:11 PM
Is anyone using the patch in addition to meds?

madadder
05-14-12, 02:15 AM
That's great artist. I've discovered that the patch helps you reach rem sleep too. There was a study with rats that showed that nicotine prevented mental decline when rats were introduced to sleep deprivation. There was another study in older folks experiencing mental decline. The nicotine pat h actually improved their mental decline by some percentage while those on placebo had declined. Contradicting to this was a 1990 study that showed that nicotine had a negative affect on part of the brain, I forget the details tho.

With the patch on when I sleep though, I dream way more. So that must be a good sign of rem sleep.

artist79
05-14-12, 09:16 PM
That's great artist. I've discovered that the patch helps you reach rem sleep too. There was a study with rats that showed that nicotine prevented mental decline when rats were introduced to sleep deprivation. There was another study in older folks experiencing mental decline. The nicotine pat h actually improved their mental decline by some percentage while those on placebo had declined. Contradicting to this was a 1990 study that showed that nicotine had a negative affect on part of the brain, I forget the details tho.

With the patch on when I sleep though, I dream way more. So that must be a good sign of rem sleep.

I already dream a ton without the patch. I made sure to take it off at least an hour before I went to bed. I heard a warning that it's not good to sleep with. Not sure though. Thought it was in this thread but don't feel like backtracking to find out. lol It's so wierd to discover nicotine has some positive effects on people's health. Very strange.

madadder
05-15-12, 12:22 AM
True, nicotine has a very bad reputation! Overall it didn't help my forgetting things with the snap of a finger, but it was just easier to process information and reply which is priceless. I've decided to stop using the patches due to the negative effects though. I just feel overall unhealthy using these patches. It makes me very thirsty, and has some bad effects on my GI system. So, with the nicotine I've concluded that the cons outweigh the pros for myself.

Shevey
05-15-12, 01:00 AM
Interesting. It would certainly explain why my father and sister smoked/smoke so dang much and can't seem to quit, other than the addiction factor. Was just reading this too...

http://health.msn.com/health-topics/adhd/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100144227

T-Rex65
05-17-12, 09:46 AM
Is anyone using the patch in addition to meds?

Yes. I take bupropion XR and adderall XR, and sometimes adderall IR. The nicotine lozenges are just another tool in my arsenal, which I use as needed. Some days I may end up taking 8mg, other days I don't touch it. Although that my change if I try the patch and discover that it works better than the adderall XR for all day assistance.

As for the cost, yes, it's pricey. But I waited for a Buy One Get One 1/2 Off sale on the generic version at CVS, and combined that with a coupon. The cost is the same no matter what dosage you buy. So I purchased the higher dosage lozenges, and then split them in half.

Spacemaster
05-17-12, 02:50 PM
This is all rather interesting... *walks to store for a pack of ciggies* J/K. I may just have to try it out though...

Shevey
05-20-12, 12:09 AM
BTW, just wanted to report back that I tried this and had some good and bad experiences. The good is that it did give me some energy because I've been having some issues with one of my meds making me so fatigued that I'm sleeping 18-20 hours a day. I'll be bringing that up with the pdoc on Tuesday, but until then I needed /something/ to get me going as I'm temporarily off Vyvanse until I see the pdoc after developing a petechial rash, etc.

Anyway, it did give me some get up and go, but not as much as I'd like. I had focus and drive to get things done, which was nice... until I started sweating. It was a really hot day and I was just plain sweating from being hot, but it upped how much nicotine was getting into my system. I ripped the patch off ASAP when I started dry heaving. Yeah, that wasn't fun...

Sir5r1
05-20-12, 11:21 AM
I just quit cigarettes and went to an e-cigarette.
You can get the nicotine from the e-cigarette without the tar.
The tar is the irritant and what makes cigarettes carcinogenic.

Don't smoke!

sarahsweets
05-20-12, 02:11 PM
I'll just keep smoking my nicotine. I smoke organic. I figure I'll just get organic cancer.;)

Shevey
05-22-12, 09:16 PM
Bleh, sorry I got the patches now because I spent $30 on something I cannot return/exchange and they're way too strong. Besides, I seem to have found the correct dosage for my Vyvanse (I don't even crave caffeine today... crazy!) so the patches are pointless at the moment. Crappy!

ana futura
05-22-12, 09:32 PM
Bleh, sorry I got the patches now because I spent $30 on something I cannot return/exchange and they're way too strong. Besides, I seem to have found the correct dosage for my Vyvanse (I don't even crave caffeine today... crazy!) so the patches are pointless at the moment. Crappy!

Did you try cutting them up?

Shevey
05-22-12, 09:58 PM
Did you try cutting them up?

Yeah, but it still seemed to be too strong and I'd get the dry heaves. Doesn't matter so much anymore since my Vyvanse seems to be working correctly now with the dose increase today. Only time will tell though...

ana futura
05-22-12, 10:11 PM
I'm gonna try the gum I think. I need something for coverage in the evening when I'm doing school work, but I can't handle a full day of meds.