Generic Name: Varenicline (var-EN-i-kleen)
Brand Name: Chantix
Serious mental or mood problems (including depression, suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts) and completed suicides have been reported in patients taking Chantix . Nicotine withdrawal may also have contributed to some of these events. However, these events have also occurred in patients who continued to smoke. These events have occurred both in patients with and without a history of mental or mood problems. Safety and effectiveness of Chantix in patients with a history of serious mental or mood problems (eg, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression) have not been confirmed.
Watch patients who take Chantix closely. Stop taking Chantix and contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood, hostility or agitation, or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
Discuss the benefits and the risks of Chantix with your doctor. Discuss any other questions or concerns with your doctor.
Chantix is used for:
Helping people to quit smoking cigarettes.
Chantix is a smoking cessation agent. Chantix works in the brain by blocking the pleasurable effects of smoking. This helps to decrease your desire to smoke.
Before using Chantix :
Some medical conditions may interact with Chantix . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of kidney problems or dialysis, mental or mood problems (eg, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia), or suicidal thoughts or actions
- if you have tried to quit smoking before and experienced any unusual symptoms or side effects
- if you are using other medicines to quit smoking
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Chantix . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Nicotine replacement therapy because the risk of nausea, headache, vomiting, dizziness, stomach upset, and tiredness may be increased
How to use Chantix :
Use Chantix as directed by your doctor. Check the label on Chantix for exact dosing instructions.
- Chantix comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Chantix refilled.
- Set a date to quit smoking. Start treatment with Chantix 1 week before your quit date.
- Take Chantix by mouth after a meal with a full glass (8 oz/240 mL) of water.
- Take Chantix on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Chantix at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- Even if you smoke after your quit date, continue to try to quit.
- If you miss a dose of Chantix , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Chantix .
Important safety information:
- Chantix may cause drowsiness, dizziness, fainting, or vision changes. Chantix may also cause trouble concentrating, hallucinations, muscle cramps, or seizures. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use caution if you drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks while you are taking Chantix .
- Tell your doctor about any other medicines that you take. If you are taking certain other medicines (eg, insulin, theophylline, warfarin), quitting smoking may affect their actions or side effects. Your dose of these medicines may need to be changed. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Some patients have experienced changes in behavior or mood while taking Chantix . Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; aggressive, agitated, or abnormal behavior; personality change; thoughts of hurting other people; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
- People who try to quit smoking may experience symptoms that could be caused by nicotine withdrawal. These may include the urge to smoke, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, irritability, frustration, anger, feeling anxious, trouble concentrating, restlessness, decreased heart rate, and increased appetite or weight gain. Some patients may experience worsening of mental health problems they already have, such as depression. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of any of these problems. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Lab tests, including kidney function, may be performed while you use Chantix . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Chantix with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Chantix should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Chantix while you are pregnant. It is not known if Chantix is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Chantix .
Possible side effects of Chantix :
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Constipation; gas; headache; increased appetite; nausea; stomach upset; strange dreams; taste changes; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); behavior changes; chest pain; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; memory loss; new or worsening mental or mood problems (eg, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, depression, nervousness, thoughts of hurting other people); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent nausea; suicidal thoughts or actions; trouble sleeping; vision changes; vivid, strange, or unusual dreams.