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Linda asked...

My husband is using Nicorette patches but has crippling back pain...

My husband is using Nicorette patches but has crippling back pain which I understand is a side effect. The good news is the cravings are much less should he persevere with the back pain? Thanks

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The answer

Thank you for contacting health at hand

Sorry to hear of your husband’s experience with back pain. Back pain is not a listed side effect of Nicorette patches. Musculoskeletal side effects which have been reported include myalgia (pain in muscle) in the vicinity or region of the patch. This particular side effect is classed as ‘uncommon’ meaning it can affect between 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000 patients.

Treating back pain depends on how long you have had it for and how severe the pain is. Short term back pain can usually be treated with over the counter medicines or home treatments. Your symptoms should improve within 6 weeks.

Pain relief for back pain includes:

  • Paracetamol tablets are initially recommended
  • Anti –inflammatorys (NSAIDs) e.g. ibuprofen can be used in addition to paracetamol further pain relief
  • Codiene – this could also be added to paracetmaol (co-codamol) for additional pain relief and can be taken in addition to ibuprofen

Your GP or Pharmacist will be able to advise you on the most suitable pain relief taking other factors into account (e.g. pre-existing medical conditions or concurrent medication).

Additional treatments include hot and cold treatments e.g. hot bath, hot water bottle placed, ice pack, bag of frozen vegetables on affected area to ease pain. it isn’t advisable to place ice directly on affected area as it may cause cold burns. Wrap ice source in a cloth prior to using. It can be useful to alternate between hot and cold treatments.

If over the counter medication /alternative treatments fail to control your pain, speak to your GP for further assessment.

We hope that is of some assistance to you.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses