What is Varenicline?
Varenicline (Chantix) is a prescription drug and quit smoking aid. It does not have nicotine.
- It cuts cravings by tricking the body to feel like it is getting nicotine
- It blocks the pleasure of smoking
- Most health plans cover at least some of the cost
- Generic varenicline is now available at most pharmacies
- Full Prescribing Guide
- FDA Removes Boxed Warning
How to Get Started
Talk with your doctor before using varenicline, especially if any of these apply to you:
- Pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to get pregnant
- History of mental health conditions (symptoms may get worse while taking varenicline)
- Kidney problems or kidney dialysis
- History of heart or blood vessel problems
- Using other meds to quit smoking
Dose and Schedule
There are 3 ways to use varenicline. Talk to your doctor about which is best for you.
- Pick a quit date and start varenicline 1 week before your quit date. Take varenicline for 12 weeks.
- Start varenicline and pick a start date between day 8 and 35. Take varenicline for 12 weeks.
- Take varenicline for 12 weeks while you taper off cigarettes. Then stay on varenicline for 12 more weeks, for a total of 24 weeks.
Tips for Use
- Take varenicline right after eating with 8 ounces of water.
- If you quit smoking while on varenicline, still complete the full 12 or 24 weeks. This will help you stay quit.
- If you relapse, keep taking varenicline and get back to quitting.
- For free help and support, call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).
The most common side effect is nausea. Others may include:
- Throwing up
- Trouble sleeping
- If side effects don’t go away, your doctor may change your dose
- Varenicline can lower your alcohol tolerance
- Rare cases of seizures while on varenicline have been reported
Stop taking varenicline and call your doctor right away if you feel more agitated or depressed or have suicidal thoughts during or after use.
You CAN Afford to Quit