Chantix (Varenicline) is used along with education and counseling to help people stop smoking. Varenicline is in a class of medications called smoking cessation aids. It works by blocking the pleasant effects of nicotine (from smoking) on the brain. When you stop smoking, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms with or without using medication such as Chantix. This includes feeling restless, depressed, angry, frustrated, or irritated.
Varenicline comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day at first and then twice a day in the morning and evening. Take varenicline with a full glass of water (8 ounces [240 mL]) after eating. Take varenicline at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take varenicline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of varenicline and gradually increase your dose over the first week of treatment.
It may take several weeks for you to feel the full benefit of varenicline. You may slip and smoke during your treatment. If this happens, you may still be able to stop smoking. Continue to take varenicline and to try not to smoke. You will probably take varenicline for 12 weeks. If you have completely stopped smoking at the end of 12 weeks, your doctor may tell you to take varenicline for another 12 weeks. This may help keep you from starting to smoke again. If you have not stopped smoking at the end of 12 weeks, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can try to help you understand why you were not able to stop smoking and make plans to try to quit again.
Varenicline may cause side effects including:
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away. Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS sections, stop taking varenicline and call your doctor or get medical help immediately:
In clinical studies, people who took varenicline were more likely to have a heart attack, a stroke, or other serious problems with their heart or blood vessels than people who did not receive this medication. However, people who smoke also have a higher risk of developing these problems. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking varenicline, especially if you have or ever had heart or blood vessel disease. Varenicline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Q: Why is Chantix prescribed?
A: Chantix is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help you stop smoking
Q: What kind of lifestyle changes should I make while taking Chantix?
A: Do not drink large amounts of alcohol.
Q: What if I miss a dose of Chantix?
A: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Q: How should I store this medication?
A: Chantix should be kept in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).