Chantix (Varenicline)

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    Chantix Dosage and Side Effects

    Are you wondering: how Does Chantix Work?

    Chantix (Varenicline), and the Chantix generic variations, is a prescription drug that is given to patients to help them quit smoking. This medication does not contain nicotine it works by blocking certain receptors in the brain to prevent the nicotine from binding to them. This process will help eliminate your desire to smoke and reduce withdrawal symptoms with stopping smoking.

    The active medicinal ingredient is Varenicline tartrate and is available in 0.5mg tablets which are white color and 1mg tablets that are blue color.

    Chantix is manufactured by Pfizer and also know as Champix in Canada.  This medication is available as a starter pack which has both the Chantix 0.5mg and 1mg tablets and a continuation pack of either 0.5mg or 1mg tablets.

    Chantix Dosage

    It is a popular smoking cessation tool and is often first that will come to mind when you think, "quit smoking pills". However, If you are not ready to quit smoking, do not take Chantix.

    Once you’ve determined that you are ready to stop smoking, follow the direction of physician and pharmacist on how to take Varenicline. In most cases, your doctor will increase your dose over time.  

    Unless directed by your doctor, do not take more than 2mg in a day. This medication is often taking for at least 12 weeks. And in some cases, you may need to take it again to be successful.

    Chantix Side Effects

    The common side effects of taking Chantix (Varenicline) include: Stomach pain

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dry mouth
    • Constipation, diarrhea, indigestion or gas
    • Changes in appetite and altered taste buds
    • Problems breathing
    • Rash
    • Sleepiness, sleeping disorders and difficulty sleeping
    • Vivid and unusual dreams

    Serious side effects of taking Chantix (Varenicline) include:

    • Mood changes, including depression
    • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of killing others
    • Swelling of the face, lips, throat, mouth and tongue
    • Skin sensitivity and life-threatening skin reactions
    • Fainting
    • Stroke, chest pain, heart attack and irregular heartbeat
    • Sudden kidney failure or kidney stones
    • Blood disorders

    Warnings and Precautions

    Take precaution while taking this medication, as the FDA has issued a black box warning that this medication has been associated with an increased risk of serious mental health problems, like suicidal thinking.

    It may cause patients taking this medication to have quick mood changes and become hostile, depressed and hostile.

    If you have existing mood problems, such as depression or have been suicidal in the past, you may see an increase in the associated symptoms.

    Varenicline has the following warning and precautions:

    • Avoid drinking alcohol, as it increases the intoxicating effects
    • Seizures
    • Do not take if you are under the age of 18 years
    • Do not take if you are allergic to it or its other ingredients
    • Varenicline increases the risk of heart conditions

    If you have the following conditions, speak to your physician about the risks and benefits associated with taking it:

    • Seizures
    • Heart disease
    • Regularly use alcohol
    • Mood problems or history of mood problems
    • Kidney problems

    It may cause unusual or vivid dreams. In some cases, taking this medicine may cause patients to not know if they are hallucinating or dreaming. Tell your doctor, if your dreams become severe.

    Varenicline may have an effect on the health of an unborn child. It is unknown if it is safe to breastfeed.

    Talk to your physician about the risks associated while pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Interactions with this medication

    As with all prescriptions drugs, tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to avoid interactions. 

    The following anti-smoking medications should be avoided:

    • Zyban or Aplenzin (bupropion)
    • Catapres (clonidine)

    To help your doctor and pharmacist to identify possible interactions with Varenicline, make a list of all of the prescription, nonprescription, vitamins and herbal supplements that you take and provide them with the list. A list of these medications will help you to avoid interactions.

    Avoid consuming alcohol while you are taking this medicine. Alcohol is may lower your tolerance for alcohol. If you continue to consume alcohol while taking this prescription medication, have less alcohol to see how you respond with this medicine The FDA has also reported that some people who consume alcohol while taking Varenicline may exhibit unusual acts of aggressiveness and experience blackouts.


    The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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