Indication

CHANTIX is a prescription medicine to help adults stop smoking.
For Healthcare Professionals

Common Questions | CHANTIX® (varenicline) | Safety Info

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Here you will find answers to some commonly asked questions about CHANTIX® (varenicline). Choose a topic from the tabs below, and click on a question to learn more. You should also talk to your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you may have.

Quitting with CHANTIX

What is CHANTIX?
CHANTIX® (varenicline) is a prescription medication to help adults stop smoking. Only a healthcare provider can prescribe it. Depending on your quit approach, you take it for 12 or 24 weeks (3 or 6 months).
How is CHANTIX different from nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs)?
CHANTIX is a nicotine-free pill. Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) like the patch, gum, lozenges, nasal spray, and inhalers contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider about the differences between CHANTIX and NRTs and which smoking cessation aid may be right for you. See how CHANTIX works.
Can I take CHANTIX with NRTs?
It is not known if CHANTIX is safe and effective when used with other stop smoking medicines. You should not use CHANTIX while using other medicines to stop smoking. Using CHANTIX with a nicotine patch may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and tiredness to happen more often than if you just use a nicotine patch alone. Tell your healthcare provider if you use other treatments to quit smoking. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about how to quit smoking.
How long will I be able to smoke when I take CHANTIX?

After you start taking CHANTIX, you can smoke up until your quit date, which depends on the quit approach you choose.

There are 3 approaches to using CHANTIX to help you quit. When taking CHANTIX, you can choose a quit date in a week or up to a month after starting CHANTIX. Or, if you're sure you're not willing or able to quit that abruptly, you start CHANTIX and then cut your smoking in half each month with the goal of quitting at the end of 12 weeks (3 months), or sooner. Learn more about the 3 quit approaches.

Taking CHANTIX properly

How do I take CHANTIX?

CHANTIX should always be taken after eating, with a full glass (8 oz) of water. During the first week of CHANTIX, your dose will gradually increase.

CHANTIX dosing at a glance*

Take 1 white pill (0.5 mg) daily

Take 1 white pill (0.5 mg) in the morning and 1 in the evening

Take 1 blue pill (1 mg) in the morning and 1 in the evening

*This dosing schedule may not be right for everyone—talk with your healthcare provider.

Most people will take CHANTIX for 12 weeks (3 months). If you have completely quit smoking by the end of 12 weeks, your healthcare provider may prescribe CHANTIX for another 12 weeks to help you stay smokefree. Or, if you and your healthcare provider decide that the Gradual Quit Approach is right for you, you will take CHANTIX for a total of 24 weeks.

Watch a video to learn more about getting started with CHANTIX.

What if I miss a dose of CHANTIX?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Just take your next dose at your regular time.
What if I slip up and smoke while taking CHANTIX?
You should try to stop smoking on your quit date, but if you slip up and smoke, keep trying. Some people need to take CHANTIX for a few weeks for it work best. Learn more about how you can stay on track with CHANTIX.
How long should I take CHANTIX?
Depending on the quit approach that you and your healthcare provider choose, CHANTIX will be taken for 12 or 24 weeks (3 or 6 months).
What happens if I quit smoking before I finish my CHANTIX therapy?

You should take CHANTIX for the full 12 or 24 weeks (3 or 6 months), depending on the quit approach you and your healthcare provider decide is right for you. Always take CHANTIX as prescribed.

Can I take CHANTIX again if I took it before and did not quit?
If you are motivated to quit smoking and did not succeed during prior CHANTIX treatment for reasons other than side effects, or if you returned to smoking after quitting, speak to your healthcare provider about whether another course of CHANTIX may be right for you.

Potential side effects

What is the most important information I should know about CHANTIX?

When you try to quit smoking, with or without CHANTIX, you may have symptoms that may be due to nicotine withdrawal, including:

  • Urge to smoke
  • Depressed mood
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Feeling anxious
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain

Some people have even experienced suicidal thoughts when trying to quit smoking without medication. Sometimes quitting smoking can lead to worsening of mental health problems that you already have, such as depression.

Some people have had serious side effects while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking including:

New or worse mental health problems, such as changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment, or after stopping CHANTIX. These symptoms happened more often in people who had a history of mental health problems before taking CHANTIX, than in people without a history of mental health problems.

Stop taking CHANTIX and call your healthcare provider right away if you, your family, or caregiver notice any of these symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to decide whether you should continue to take CHANTIX. In many people, these symptoms went away after stopping CHANTIX, but in some people symptoms continued after stopping CHANTIX. It is important for you to follow-up with your healthcare provider until your symptoms go away.

Before taking CHANTIX, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had depression or other mental health problems. You should also tell your healthcare provider about any symptoms you had during other times you tried to quit smoking, with or without CHANTIX.

What are the possible side effects of CHANTIX?

Serious side effects of CHANTIX may include:

  • See What is the most important information I should know about CHANTIX?
  • Seizures. Some people have had seizures during treatment with CHANTIX. In most cases, the seizures have happened during the first month of treatment with CHANTIX. If you have a seizure during treatment with CHANTIX, stop taking CHANTIX and contact your healthcare provider right away.
  • New or worse heart or blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems, mostly in people who already have cardiovascular problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any changes in symptoms during treatment with CHANTIX.

Get emergency medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of a heart attack, including:

  • Chest discomfort (uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain) that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, or feeling lightheaded associated with chest discomfort
  • Sleepwalking can happen with CHANTIX, and can sometimes lead to behavior that is harmful to you or other people, or to property. Stop taking CHANTIX and tell your healthcare provider if you start sleepwalking.
  • Allergic reactions can happen with CHANTIX. Some of these allergic reactions can be life-threatening.
  • Serious skin reactions, including rash, swelling, redness, and peeling of the skin. Some of these skin reactions can become life-threatening.

Stop taking CHANTIX and get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the face, mouth (tongue, lips, and gums), throat, or neck
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash with peeling skin
  • Blisters in your mouth

The most common side effects of CHANTIX include:

  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems (trouble sleeping or vivid, unusual, or strange dreams)
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Vomiting

Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having side effects such as nausea, strange dreams, or sleep problems. Your healthcare provider may want to reduce your dose.

Tell your healthcare provider about side effects that bother you or that do not go away.

These are not all the side effects of CHANTIX. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What can I do if I feel nauseous?
Nausea is a common side effect of taking CHANTIX. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having side effects such as nausea. Your healthcare provider may want to reduce your dose. Click here to learn more.
Who should not take CHANTIX?

Do not take CHANTIX if you have had a serious allergic or skin reaction to CHANTIX. Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the face, mouth (tongue, lips, gums), throat, or neck
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash, with peeling skin
  • Blisters in your mouth
What should I avoid while taking CHANTIX?

Use caution when driving or operating machinery until you know how CHANTIX affects you. CHANTIX may make you feel sleepy, dizzy, or have trouble concentrating, making it hard to drive or perform other activities safely.

Decrease the amount of alcoholic beverages that you drink during treatment with CHANTIX until you know if CHANTIX affects your ability to tolerate alcohol. Some people have experienced the following when drinking alcohol during treatment with CHANTIX:

  • Increased drunkenness (intoxication)
  • Unusual or sometimes aggressive behavior
  • No memory of things that have happened

Cost and support

How much does CHANTIX cost?
CHANTIX may be covered by many insurance plans. Cost may vary depending on your coverage. Call your health plan provider to find out more. Eligible patients may be able to save on CHANTIX. Learn more.
Can I save money on CHANTIX?

CHANTIX offers a savings card that eligible patients can use to save money on their monthly prescription of CHANTIX. Download a Savings Card to use when you fill your CHANTIX prescription at a participating pharmacy, and you may be able to save up to $75 per month (Terms and Conditions apply).

With the CHANTIX Savings Card:

  • If your out-of-pocket costs are $115 or less, you pay up to $40
  • If your out-of-pocket costs are more than $115, you save $75 off your costs

Offer can be used up to 6 times per calendar year.

What is the GET QUIT® Support Program?

GET QUIT serves as a guide through your quit journey and provides you with the tools and resources you may need to stay inspired.

Here’s what you’ll get if you join GET QUIT:

  • Information on what to expect while taking CHANTIX
  • A personalized dashboard, at your fingertips, to help track your quit journey
  • Check-in emails with tips to help you through your toughest moments
  • Tips on how to manage behaviors related to smoking

Talking to your healthcare provider

How do I get CHANTIX?
CHANTIX is available only by prescription, so you must speak to your healthcare provider to get a prescription. Talk to your healthcare provider or connect with one today about whether CHANTIX or another quit-smoking treatment may be right for you.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before starting CHANTIX?

See What is the most important information I should know about CHANTIX?

Before you take CHANTIX, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Use other treatments to quit smoking. Using CHANTIX with a nicotine patch may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and tiredness to happen more often than if you just use a nicotine patch alone.
  • Have kidney problems or get kidney dialysis. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a lower dose of CHANTIX for you.
  • Have a history of seizures
  • Drink alcohol
  • Have heart or blood vessel problems
  • Have any other medical conditions
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if CHANTIX will harm your unborn baby.
  • Are breastfeeding. It is not known if CHANTIX passes into breast milk. If you breastfeed and take CHANTIX, monitor your baby for seizures as well as spitting up or vomiting more than normal.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of some of your medicines when you stop smoking.

You should not use CHANTIX while using other medicines to quit smoking. Tell your healthcare provider if you use other treatments to quit smoking.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

For help starting the conversation with your healthcare provider, click here.

When should I plan to quit smoking when taking CHANTIX?

There are 3 ways to use CHANTIX to help you quit smoking. Depending on your quit approach, your quit date could be a week or up to a month after starting CHANTIX. Or, if you're sure you're not willing or able to quit that abruptly, you start CHANTIX and then cut your smoking in half each month with the goal of quitting at the end of 12 weeks (3 months), or sooner. Learn more about the 3 quit approaches.

Why should I quit smoking?

There are many health benefits of quitting smoking, starting on day 1.

  • 20 Minutes After Quitting
    Your heart rate may drop
  • 12 Hours After Quitting
    Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may drop to normal
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months
    After Quitting
    Your heart attack risk may begin to drop and your lung function may begin to improve
  • 1 to 9 Months After Quitting
    Your coughing and shortness of breath may decrease
  • 1 Year After Quitting
    Your added risk of coronary heart disease may be half that of a continuing smoker
  • 2 to 5 Years After Quitting
    Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder may be halved within 5 years. Your stroke risk may reduce to that of a non-smoker 2 to 5 years after quitting
  • 10 Years After Quitting
    The risk of dying from lung cancer may be half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancers of the kidney and pancreas may decrease
  • 15 Years After Quitting
    Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of
    a non-smoker

To find more information about the benefits of quitting, visit the Resources page.

Can e-cigarettes help me quit smoking?
While some people may use them to replace cigarettes or in addition to smoking, e-cigarettes are not FDA-approved as an option to help you quit. Talk to your healthcare provider or connect with one today to learn more.

CHANTIX has not been studied in patients using e-cigarettes and is not indicated for use in these patients.