This question seems to keep popping up. The problem is that there have not yet been any significant studies conducted to test the safety of combining Chantix with Nicotine Replacement Therapies, such as the Patch or the Gum. It just hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet. The official line from Pfizer on their website is that they “do not recommend using the Patch with Chantix.” Probably good advice at this point, until there have been some actual studies done.
So the official word from Pfizer is that combining the patch with Chantix is “not recommended.”
Because you are here, you are obviously interested in making your quitting experience as smooth as possible. So here are some options for you to consider:
If you are already using the Nicotine Patch to quit smoking – consider stepping down quickly. Buy the weakest patch available and wear that for 2 or maybe 3 days at the most. Then take them off and be done with patch for good. Remember that the patch is putting an addictive drug into your body, and eventually you are going to peel off that last patch and go without. Most people fail when using the patch because they do not anticipate the withdrawal symptoms when they finally take off that last patch. People also get discouraged when using the patch because they often times will still crave cigarettes.
Recognize that NRT products (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) generally do not work.
I realize that this is debatable, but it coincides with my experience as well. I tried with the patch many times and failed. Cold turkey–along with a variety of additional tips and strategies–is what finally worked for me. The studies showing how great the patch works do not usually include long term results. Studies that look at long term success rates start to show how the gum and the patch are not effective. Don’t let this discourage you though. You can still quit successfully, with or without the patch. Just realize that it is probably just as difficult with the patch as it is going cold turkey. No one likes to hear that. They want an easier, softer way–a comfortable withdrawal with no ill side effects–so the idea of a Nicotine patch is very seductive. Don’t be fooled by this. Using the patch may actually lower your chances of success in the long run.
So if you have to choose between the two, I recommend that you stick with Chantix. There are a number of tips and strategies on this website that can be combined with Chantix to help ensure your chances of success. Alternatively, you could always go ahead and try the nicotine patch out, and if that works for you–great! If it doesn’t, the option of using Chantix and other techniques and strategies will always be there for you. The ultimate goal of quitting is so precious that it really doesn’t matter how you get there–freedom from cigarettes has a near infinite value to anyone who enjoys their life. So go ahead and try whatever grabs your fancy….but never give up the fight just to return to mindless smoking. You can achieve freedom from Nicotine!