Chantix Patient Information

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What Chantix Is:

Chantix™ is the brand name for varenicline tartrate, a smoking cessation drug developed by Pfizer, Inc.

Chantix was developed specifically for quitting nicotine and has two very unique qualities.

First, it mimics nicotine - a low dose of it - which eases withdrawal.

Second, Chantix blocks nicotine from binding with receptors, rendering it ineffective. If a person smokes while on this drug, they get none of that nicotine boost; smoking is bland.

Where to Get Chantix:

Chantix is available by prescription only.

When discussing Chantix with your doctor, be sure to mention any of the following if they pertain to you:

  • Other quit aids you're using.  
  • All other prescription medications you're using, including insulin, asthma medicines and blood thinners.
  • Nonprescription medications you use, including vitamins, pain relievers, herbal remedies, and supplements.
  • Kidney problems including dialysis treatments.
  • You drink alcohol.
  • You have a history of seizures.
  • You have a heart or blood vessel problem.
  • You're pregnant or planning on it.  It's not known whether Chantix could hurt your unborn child.
  • You're breastfeeding.  It's not known whether Chantix passes through breast milk.  You and your doctor should evaluate whether you should take Chantix or breastfeed.  You should not do both.

How to Use Chantix:

There are two ways to start Chantix therapy:

1.  Choose your quit date and then start taking Chantix 7 days before you quit smoking.

2.  Begin taking Chantix and choose a quit date that is between 8 to 35 days of treatment.

Starting Chantix while you're still smoking allows the drug to build up in your system, making it much easier to stop smoking when your quit date arrives.

Chantix comes in two strengths:  

  • .5mg - white pill
  • 1 mg - blue pill

Following your physician's specific instructions, you'll begin with a low dose of Chantix once a day, gradually increasing dosage until you're taking 1 mg tablets twice daily. Always take Chantix with a full glass of water and after eating.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.  However, if it's close to time for the next dose, just wait and take that dose, skipping the missed dose.

If you slip and smoke a cigarette, continue using Chantix and try again. It can take a few weeks for this therapy to take hold for some people, so don't give up.

How Long to Use Chantix:

Chantix is typically prescribed for up to 12 weeks, but your doctor will be able to create a treatment plan that suits your needs best. 

Common Chantix Side Effects:

Typical side effects of using Chantix include:

  • nausea
  • Gas
  • vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Disruptions in dream patterns

There are other less common and potentially serious side effects associated with Chantix.

Your doctor will be able to help you decide whether Chantix poses a significant risk for you.

In Summary:

It's important to remember that quit aids are exactly what the name implies - aids. Without resolve and determination to quit smoking, there isn't a quit aid on the planet that can help you. With it, any quit aid you choose has the ability to be of great help.

If Chantix appeals to you, discuss it with your doctor and get started! There's no time like the present to quit smoking.

Resources to Help You Quit Smoking:

Your Quit Smoking Toolbox
The quit smoking toolbox gives you links to information and the support necessary to build a solid quit smoking program for yourself.

Choosing a Quit Aid
Learn about the nicotine patch, gum, inhaler, nasal spray and nicotine lozenges. You'll also find information about alternatives to NRT's, such as bupropion(Zyban or Wellbutrin), acupuncture and hypnosis.

Online Smoking Cessation Support Forum
Join our very active smoking cessation support community. Support from those who know what you’re going through is invaluable. You may visit as a guest and browse, or register (free) to join the discussions and post messages of your own.

Source: Medication Guide Chantix (varenicline)Tablets. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088569.pdf Accessed on 06 October 2014.

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