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Chantix (varenicline)

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Updated November 30, 2008

Drug Class:

Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription medication prescribed to help people stop smoking.

The Risks of Smoking

Forms:

  • 0.5mg (white) tablets
  • 1mg (blue) tablets

Dosage:

Most people will take Chantix for up to 12 weeks. If you have stopped smoking by 12 weeks your doctor may prescribe a second 12 weeks to help you stay cigarette free. The dose is slowly increased over the first week:
  • Day 1 to Day 3 - 1 white tablet (0.5mg) each day

  • Day 4 to Day 7 - 1 white tablet (0.5mg) in the morning and 1 in the evening

  • Day 8 to the end of treatment - 1 blue tablet (1mg) in the morning and 1 in the evening

Note: Your doctor may adjust dosing so it is right for you.

Instructions:

Take Chantix as follows:
  • Choose a smoking quit date.

  • Start Chantix 1 week before your quit date. You can smoke during this time but make sure you quit on your quit date.

  • Take Chantix after eating, with a full eight-ounce glass of water.

  • Follow your prescribed dosing schedule.

  • If you miss a dose, take one as soon as you remember.

  • If you remember a missed dose close to the scheduled time for your next dose, just take your next dose. Do Not Take a Double Dose to Catch Up

Side Effects to Report to Your Doctor:

The most common side effects include:
  • nausea/vomiting
  • changes in sleep and dreaming patterns
  • constipation
  • gas

There are other, less common side effects. If you notice any changes in your physical or mental condition after starting Chantix, notify your doctor.

Special Precautions:

Tell your doctor about any of the following before starting Chantix:
  • if you have kidney disease or are on dialysis, your doctor can adjust your dose accordingly

  • if you are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant

  • if you are breastfeeding

  • if you are taking prescription drugs such as insulin, asthma medications, or blood thinners

  • Chantix is not recommended for people under the age of 18

Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over the counter medications you take before starting Chantix.

For More Information:

Detailed information about Chantix can be found in About.com's Drug Finder

Source: Pfizer Labs; "Chantix Patient Information"; New York, May 2006.

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