Generic Name: varenicline (ver EN e kleen)Brand names: Chantix, Chantix Starter Pack
Varenicline is a smoking cessation medicine. It is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help you stop smoking.
Varenicline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Varenicline can cause drowsiness, which may impair your thinking or reactions. You may also have mood or behavior changes when you quit smoking. Until you know how varenicline and the smoking cessation process is going to affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be cautious and alert. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any mood or behavior changes, or if you feel agitated, hostile, depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or behavior.
Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all. Varenicline can cause persistent nausea for up to several months. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or is especially bothersome.
If you miss a dose, use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
There may be other drugs that can interact with varenicline. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
To improve your chances for successful smoking cessation, set a date to quit smoking. Start taking varenicline one week before your planned quit date.
When you first start taking varenicline, you will take a low dose and then gradually increase your dose over the first several days of treatment. Follow your doctor's instructions. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Take the medicine after eating.
In most cases, varenicline treatment lasts for 12 weeks. Your doctor may recommend a second 12-week course of varenicline to improve the chance that you will quit smoking long-term.
It is important to take varenicline regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your kidney function may need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.Store varenicline at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Varenicline dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Be sure to take the medicine after eating.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or behavior.Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
the first sign of any blistering type of skin rash, no matter how mild.
Less serious side effects may include:
nausea (may persist for several months);
stomach pain, indigestion, vomiting, constipation, gas;
weakness, tired feeling;
unpleasant taste in your mouth;
sleep problems (insomnia) or unusual dreams.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Smoking Cessation:
Days 1 - 3: 0.5 mg orally once a dayDays 4 - 7: 0.5 mg orally twice a dayDays 8 - end of treatment: 1 mg orally twice a day
After you stop smoking, the doses of any medications you are using may need to be adjusted. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or
theophylline (Respbid, Theobid, Theoclear, Theo-Dur, Uniphyl).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with or be affected by varenicline. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.