Chantix (Varenicline)

Chantix (Varenicline)

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Description

CHANTIX (Varenicline) is a medication prescribed as an aid during smoking cessation. CHANTIX is a short-term medication that is taken over several months to help dampen cravings and response to nicotine.

CHANTIX binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which are the same targets as nicotine in tobacco. When CHANTIX binds to these receptors, it activates them but at a much lower level than nicotine. It also blocks nicotine from binding and activating these receptors, preventing the euphoria and addiction response caused by nicotine in the brain.

Directions

Take CHANTIX exactly as directed on the packaging. CHANTIX is typically first dispensed as a starter pack that contains both 0.5 mg tablets and 1 mg tablets.

After the starting pack, the typical maintenance dose of CHANTIX is 1 mg twice daily for 11 weeks. However, the dose may vary so take exactly as instructed by your physician.

Ingredients

The active ingredient is CHANTIX is varenicline.

Cautions

After approval by the FDA, patients have reported the following neuropsychiatric side effects:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mood
  • Completed Suicide
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Homicidal Ideation
  • Hostility
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide attempt

Most patients will not experience any of the above side effects, but if you do, please tell your physician or pharmacist immediately. You may need to stop taking CHANTIX and try a different medication for tobacco cessation.

Some patients taking CHANTIX have reported swelling of the skin, particularly in the face, mouth, limps, and throat. Stop taking CHANTIX if you experience swelling after taking it.

Some people have reported serious skin reactions like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Erythema Multiform after starting CHANTIX. Tell your physician if you have a history of these conditions.

Side Effects

The most common CHANTIX side effects reported in the original clinical trials were:

  • Abnormal Dreams
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

These side effects were also the most reported reasons for stopping CHANTIX. Stopping nicotine may also cause the listed side effects, so it is unclear how much nicotine withdrawal contributes to the adverse effects of CHANTIX.

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