Study finds full use of nicotine-patch therapy may prevent relapse

PHILADELPHIA Future ex-smokers who utilize a nicotine-patch therapy longer may be less likely to relapse, according to a study published in Tuesday’s edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American College of Physicians.

Over the course of a placebo-controlled trial from September 2004 through February 2008, 568 adult smokers were randomly assigned GlaxoSmithKline’s Nicoderm CQ for the product-recommended eight weeks followed by use of a placebo patch for 16 weeks or use of the Nicoderm CQ patch for the full 24 weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, those participants who had used the Nicoderm patch for a full 24 weeks were 19.2% more likely to have quit smoking altogether.

Extended therapy not only reduced the risk for lapse, but also increased the chances of recovery from lapses, according to the journal report.

There were differences in side effects and adverse events between the two groups.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.