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Chantix (varenicline)


Uses

 

Chantix is an effective agent to treat nicotine addiction and is known as a partial nicotinic agonist. It works by mimicking the effects that nicotine has on the brain to reduce cravings and urges to smoke. It is highly effective in helping patients to quit smoking.

 

 

How to Use

 

Choose a date to quit smoking. Start taking this medication 1 week before your quit date. Another option is to start taking Chantix and then choose a quit date between 8-35 days after the date you start taking Chantix.

 

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Take this medication after a meal.

 

Do not take this medication more often than directed. Take it exactly as prescribed.

 

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is already almost time for your next dose, take only that next dose. Do not double up on any dose.

 

 

Important Information

 

Visit with your doctor regularly while on this medication. There are lots of helpful tips that can make it easier to quit smoking such as using tooth pics or lollipops when you first quit, avoiding being in rooms, areas, and situations where you commonly used to smoke, replacing smoking with a new activity such as exercising or a new hobby,  and having a support network of friends and family.

 

This medication can make your mouth dry, drinking water, chewing sugarless gum, or sucking on candy can help reduce this side effect.

 

Watch for  mood changes  or thoughts of suicide, especially when first initiating this medication. Report these side effects to your doctor as soon as possible.

 

Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or engage in other activity that requires fine motor skills until you are sure of how this medication affects you. This medicine may make you drowsy or dizzy in the beginning. Standing up gradually and slowly can decrease dizziness.

 

 

Be sure that your prescribing doctor is aware if you have any of the the following conditions before taking this medication

 

Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, other mental illnesses, heavy drinking, heart conditions, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, seizure disorders, stroke history, previous suicidal thoughts or actions, a history of allergic reactions, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

 

 

Side effects that should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider

 

Allergic reaction(hives, itching, swelling of the face or mouth), trouble breathing, vision changes, chest pain, trouble speaking, confusion, heartbeat changes, lightheadedness, dizziness, falls, fever, leg pain, walking or balance changes, weakness or numbness of the face, legs or arms, suicidal thoughts or actions, mood changes, bleeding or bruising that is unusual, excessive fatigue, changes in passing or amount of urine.

 

 

Other Side Effects

 

Nausea, headache, constipation, flatulence, vomiting, stomach gas, insomnia, vivid or strange dreams.

 

 

Adult Dose

 

Smoking Cessation

 

Chantix is taken 7 days before the “quit date” or beginning of smoking abstinence.

 

Days 1-3: 0.5 mg by mouth once daily.

 

Days 4-7:  0.5 mg by mouth twice daily.

 

7th day to 12th week: 1mg by mouth twice daily.

 

 

Sources

 

1. Chantix (varenicline) [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Labs; 2014.

 

2. Chantix® oral tablets, varenicline oral tablets[package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Labs; 2014.


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