Stop Smoking Pill
The Varenicline stop smoking pill (trade names Chantix and Champix) is a prescription quit smoking medicine, in the form of a tablet, that is used to treat nicotine addiction.
How does Varenicline work?
This stop smoking pill "binds to the nicotine receptors in the brain, and blocks them so that nicotine cannot bind to them. The reward of nicotine is reduced because nicotine can no longer stimulate the pleasure center by raising the dopamine level in the brain. This helps reduce cravings for cigarettes. It also seems to help reduce withdrawal symptoms when smokers quit".1
The Varenicline stop smoking pill should be taken whole, after a meal, with a full glass of water.
A single 0.5mg pill is taken for the first three days. Dosage in then doubled for the next four days: one 0.5 mg pill should be taken each morning and each night.
During the second week the dosage is doubled yet again. Typically one 1mg pill is taken each morning and each night. Most people will take CHANTIX for up to 12 weeks. If you have completely quit smoking by 12 weeks, your doctor may prescribe CHANTIX for another 12 weeks to help you stay cigarette-free.2
Active ingredient: Varenicline Tartrate
Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, croscarmellose sodium, colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, Opadry ® White (for 0.5 mg), Opadry ® Blue (for 1 mg), and Opadry® Clear (for both 0.5 mg and 1 mg).
Some people have nausea and trouble sleeping when they first start using this stop smoking pill but these particular symptoms usually tend to go away on their own.
Some people have also reported emotional changes such as depressed mood, agitation, changes in behavior (including hostility and aggressiveness), suicidal thoughts, and even suicide while using varenicline to try and quit smoking.1
|Precautions, warnings, contraindications, and side effects (see FDA package insert for complete list)||
|Varenicline stop smoking pill information source: (Fiore et al, 2008)|
aCost data were established by averaging the retail price of the medication at national chain pharmacies in Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, Milwaukee, WI , Sunnyside, NY, and listed online during January 2008 and may not reflect discounts available to health plans and others.
- ACS :: Cancer Drug Guide. Varenicline. July 2009. Available at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CDG/content/CDG_Varenicline.asp (accessed on 26 July 2009).
- Psifer Labs, MEDICATION GUIDE CHANTIX. 2009. Available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM088569.pdf (accessed on 26 July 2009).
- Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.