Generic Name: varenicline (ver EN e kleen)
Brand Names: Chantix
What is Chantix?
Chantix (varenicline) is a smoking cessation medicine. It is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help you stop smoking. Chantix works in the brain to block the pleasurable effects of smoking. This helps to decrease your desire to keep smoking.
Chantix may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before using Chantix, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, circulation problems, kidney disease, or a history of depression or mental illness. You may choose from 2 ways to use Chantix. Ask your doctor which of the following methods is best for you: To improve your chances for successful smoking cessation, be sure to quit smoking on your planned quit date.
After you stop smoking, the doses of any medications you are using may need to be adjusted. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially insulin, blood thinners, or asthma medication.
Stop using Chantix and call your doctor at once if you have: any mood or behavior changes, confusion, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, extreme fear, or if you feel impulsive, agitated, aggressive, restless, hostile, depressed, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself. Chantix may impair your thinking or reactions. You may also have mood or behavior changes when you quit smoking. Until you know how the medicine and the whole smoking cessation process is going to affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be cautious and alert.
Before taking this medicine
To make sure you can safely take Chantix, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
heart disease, circulation problems;
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis); or
a history of depression or mental illness.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Chantix will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. It is not known whether varenicline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Chantix without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Chantix?
Take Chantix exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
You may choose from 2 ways to use this medicine. Ask your doctor which of the following methods is best for you:
Set a date to quit smoking and start taking Chantix one week before that date. This will allow the drug to build up in your body.
You may also start taking Chantix before you set a planned quit date. Once you start taking the medicine, choose a quit date that is between 8 and 35 days after you start treatment.
To improve your chances for successful smoking cessation, be sure to quit smoking on your planned quit date. Take this medicine after eating. Take the medicine with a full glass of water.
When you first start taking Chantix, you will take a low dose and then gradually increase your dose over the first several days of treatment. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
In most cases, treatment lasts for 12 weeks. Your doctor may recommend a second 12-week course to improve the chance that you will quit smoking long-term.
Use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. You should remain under the care of a doctor while taking Chantix.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid?
Chantix may impair your thinking or reactions. You may also have mood or behavior changes when you quit smoking. Until you know how Chantix and the smoking cessation process are going to affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be cautious and alert.
Do not use other medications to quit smoking while you are taking this medicine, unless your doctor tells you to.
Chantix side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Chantix: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have any mood or behavior changes, confusion, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, extreme fear, or if you feel impulsive, agitated, aggressive, restless, hostile, depressed, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or behavior.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
chest pain or pressure, tight feeling in your neck or jaw, pain spreading to your arm or shoulder, vomiting, sweating, general ill feeling;
feeling light-headed or short of breath;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding, blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
the first sign of any blistering type of skin rash, no matter how mild.
Less serious Chantix side effects may include:
nausea (may persist for several months);
stomach pain, indigestion, constipation, gas;
weakness, tired feeling;
dry mouth, unpleasant taste in your mouth;
sleep problems (insomnia) or unusual dreams.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Chantix?
After you stop smoking, the doses of any medications you are using may need to be adjusted. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or
asthma medication such as theophylline (Respbid, Theobid, Theoclear, Theo-Dur, Uniphyl).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Chantix. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
- Chantix (Advanced Reading)
- Chantix Start Month Pak (Advanced Reading)
- Chantix Starter Pack (Advanced Reading)
Compare with other treatments for:
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Chantix.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 2011-08-10, 1:42:08 PM.