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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1993 Jul;54(1):98-106.

Serum nicotine and cotinine levels during nicotine-patch therapy.

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Division of Community Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.


We related serum nicotine and cotinine levels while subjects were smoking their usual numbers of cigarettes to levels while wearing a nicotine patch under carefully controlled, smoke-free conditions in a clinical research center. Twenty-four volunteers who needed intensive treatment for severe nicotine dependence were admitted to the clinical research center and were treated with a 22 mg transdermal nicotine patch each day and an intensive smoking-cessation program. Serum nicotine and cotinine levels, withdrawal symptoms, and hours and quality of sleep were noted. The steady-state serum nicotine and cotinine levels produced with the nicotine patch were lower than those observed when the subjects were smoking. Mean nicotine and cotinine levels were inversely related to mean withdrawal scores for the first 6 days. A fixed dose of transdermal nicotine will not be effective for all smokers. Individualization of therapy should be based on objective biologic measures such as serum cotinine and subjective assessment of withdrawal relief.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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