Chantix (Varenicline)

How Chantix works

Varenicline works as a partial Nicotinic receptor agonist. This is a bit different than the reuptake inhibitor action of Buproprion which is also a niciotinic receptor antagonist. What this means is that Varenicline can partially prevent Nicotine from binding to the Nicotinic receptor thus reducing its effects on the body. As a result, smoking cigarettes while taking Varenicline doesn’t “work as well” and over time can help quit the addiction. Furthermore, Varenicline partially stimulates the receptor but does not create the full Nicotine effect on the release of dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for the “feel good” effect of Nicotine and one of the major reasons it is so addictive.

Using Chantix for Quitting Smoking

Chantix is prescribed as a twelve-week program. When you pick up the medication from your pharmacy, you will receive one starting month pack and two continuing month packs. During the first week, take one white pill every day for days 1-3. During days 4-7, take two white pills every day: one in the morning and one in the evening. For weeks 2-12, take two blue pills every day: one in the morning and one in the evening.

Success Rate

Chantix has been shown to have a 44% success rate after three months. At the one-year mark, Chantix reportedly has a 22% success rate, versus 16% for Buproprion.

Warning Label (Partial)

Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping CHANTIX. If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems before taking CHANTIX, as these symptoms may worsen while taking CHANTIX.