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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Feb;142(1):18-23.

Effects of nicotine administered via a transdermal delivery system on vigilance: a repeated measure study.

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Université de Liège, Laboratoire de Psychopharmacologie, Belgium.


Fifteen 18- to 25-year-old male smokers were tested in a within-subjects design to determine the influence of a transdermal patch of 21 mg nicotine on vigilance. Subjects were tested on the RVIP test (Rapid Visual Information Processing test) 1.30, 3.00 and 6.30 h after patch application, to verify the involvement of the dose of nicotine on the performance. This study confirms and extends the increasing effects of nicotine on vigilance previously found with orally and transdermally given nicotine. Moreover, it showed that such performance was independent of the time of nicotine absorption (1.30, 3.00 and 6.30 h after patch application), which suggests that a relatively low dose of nicotine suffices to activate vigilance processing. Regarding motor performance, no convincing effect of nicotine was observed on reaction time.

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