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What is varenicline (Chantix)?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Varenicline (Chantix) is approved by the FDA to help people quit smoking. It is thought to reduce nicotine cravings, block nicotine's effects, and make people feel more confident about quitting. If you use varenicline to help you quit, you'll probably take it for 12 to 24 weeks, starting 1 to 4 weeks before your quit day.

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Dr. Joseph I. Miller, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Varenicline, more commonly known as Chantix, is a new class of drugs which blocks the pleasant effects of nicotine on the brain. By doing this, it decreases the desire to smoke. The medicine requires a prescription and is usually taken two times a day. The medicine usually is well tolerated and one of the most mentioned side effects is vivid dreams. The drug usually is taken for three months, but the treatment duration needs to be planned with your doctor. Chantix is just one of several prescription aids to help stop smoking and the best program needs to be based on other health conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.