A nicotine patch is a transdermal patch that releases nicotine into the body through the skin. It is used as an aid in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a process for smoking cessation. The first study of the pharmacokinetics of a transdermal nicotine patch in humans was published in 1984 by Jed E. Rose, Ph.D., Murray E. Jarvik, M.D., Ph.D. and K. Daniel Rose, and was followed by publication by Rose et al. (1985) of results of a study of smokers showing that a transdermal nicotine patch reduced craving for cigarettes. Frank Etscorn filed a patent in the United States on January the 23rd 1985 and was issued the patent on July 1, 1986. The University of California filed a competing patent application nearly 3 years after Etscorn's filing on February the 19th, 1988, which was granted on May 1, 1990. Subsequently, the U.S. Patent Office declared an interference action and, after a thorough review of conception, reduction to practice and patent filing dates, issued on September 29, 1993 a priority decision in favor of the Rose et al. patent. Eventually New Mexico Tech and Etscorn won discovery.
Dozens of clinical trials have shown that the patch approximately doubles success rates over placebo treatment. Placebo tests show a 5.9% success rate, in comparison to the 7.2% blind active tests, and the 10.8% open tests.
Studies are being conducted about the use of transdermal nicotine patches to treat anxiety, depression, and inattentiveness in subjects with ADHD.[verification needed]
Transdermal nicotine patches can be used to relieve ulcerative colitis symptoms. However, this is not the case with Crohn's disease, a similar health condition, where smoking and nicotine intake in general worsen the disease's effects.
^Rose, J. E.; Herskovic, J. E.; Trilling, Y.; Jarvik, M. E. (1985). "Transdermal nicotine reduces cigarette craving and nicotine preference". Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics38 (4): 450–456. doi:10.1038/clpt.1985.203. PMID4042528.edit
^Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. April 2009