Chantix (Varenicline)

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What is Chantix (Varenicline) prescribed for?

Chantix is a medication that is made for helping an individual to stop smoking. To increase your chances, take this medication with a stop-smoking program that includes education, support and counselling. There are a lot of major health benefits in quitting smoking, such as a lower risk of heart and lung disease as well as cancer.  This medication works by blocking nicotine’s effect in the brain, that makes you want to smoke.

This medication comes in two doses which are 0.5mg/1mg and 1mg. Remember your dose is based on your medical background and your overall response to the treatment. If your doctor or pharmacist has given you some information in the form of a pamphlet, take the time to read up on this drug, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, please consult your doctor.

This medication is to be taken by mouth and can be taken with food, or without. However each treatment is different.

There are various ways to take this medication. One method is to set a date to quit smoking before beginning the treatment. Then begin to take the medication as directed to you by your doctor, about 1 to 2 weeks before your quit date.  Take one 0.5MG tablet once a day for 3 days, than increase it to one 0.5MG tablet twice a day for 4 days.  When the dose is slowly increased to lessen any chances of suffering from the side effects. It is ok to smoke during this time frame; however you must stop smoking on the quite date. For the rest of the treatment, take your dose twice a day. The treatment period usually lasts for 12 weeks.

Another way to make use of this medication is to start taking the drug before you choose a quit date. Start by taking a 0.5MG tablet and increase the dose as directed to you by your doctor. Pick a quit date that is between day 8 and 35 of the treatment.  You must stop smoking on the date you have picked. Take the dose you have been prescribed for the rest of the treatment.

However, if you are unable to pick a quit date, your doctor may direct you to start taking this medication to gradually reduce your smoking with a goal to help you quit by the end of the treatment. Follow your doctors directions precisely, and reduce your smoking habits as your doctor has prescribed.

It is always best to speak with your doctor on any kind of allergies you may have, do inform you doctor especially if you are allergic to Varenicline, or of any other various allergies you may have.

Before taking this medication, one of the best things you can do is inform your doctor of your medical history, especially if it includes the following; kidney disease, mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression), heart/blood vessel disease (such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke), seizure.

This drug may also make you more sensitive to alcohol (including increased drunkenness, unusual behavior, and limited or no memory of things that happened). Limit alcoholic beverages. Be aware of how alcohol affects you while taking this medication.

Nausea, headache, vomiting, drowsiness, gas, constipation, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, or changes in taste may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these serious side effects, which are; burning feeling in feet/toes, unusual pain in the legs when walking.

If any of the following happens to you such as; seizure, symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating), signs of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, confusion), harmful behavior to self/others/property. Stop taking this medication and seek medical attention right away.

This medication may cause some rare mental and mood chances, even after you have discontinued use of this medication.  Drinking alcohol during this time may increase the risk of these mental and mood changes. Quitting smoking may also cause the mental and mood changes. At this point stop taking the medication and speak with your doctor right away.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What is Varenicline?

Varenicline is the active ingredient found inside the brand-name medication Chantix. When in the form of Chantix, it comes as a tablet, which is taken by mouth, very minimally metabolized by the liver and excreted largely unchanged via urine with a 24 hour half-life. We carry the brand-name medication, Chantix, in 1mg tablets for those who are mid-way through treatment. We also have a starting kit, containing 11 of the 0.5mg tablets and 14 of the 1mg tablets, for those who haven’t started treatment yet. You will require a valid prescription to obtain this medication.

 

What is Chantix used for?

Chantix is used as a method to quit smoking, usually taken alongside a stop-smoking program. There are many different health benefits to quitting smoking, such as a lower risk of heart and lung disease and cancer. Additionally, quitting smoking can improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and it can help make food taste better and reduce coughing and shortness of breath.

 

How does Chantix work?

Chantix works in two ways to help you quit smoking – which is even more effective when the person is already motivated to quit and/or is also participating in behavior modification and counseling support. Firstly, Varenicline partially activates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain which are normally affected by nicotine; this helps give the patient a mild nicotine-like effect without smoking and helps to ease symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Secondly, Varenicline has a unique ability to stop nicotine from binding to those receptors, so if the patient decides to smoke, it may not give them the same effect it would normally and helps to decrease the urge or need to smoke.

 

How to use Chantix?

Chantix is a 3 (sometimes 6) month treatment; during this time, you should only take Chantix the way your doctor has prescribed it to you. Unless your doctor says otherwise, you should always take your dose immediately after eating – this helps to combat nausea – followed by an 8oz glass of water. Swallow the tablet whole; do not chew or crush it.  You should set a specific day to quit smoking and begin treatment one week before this date. If after 12 weeks, you haven’t shown any improvement with your smoking habits, you should consult with your doctor.

How to take Chantix: During the first 3 days of treatment; take one 0.5mg tablet per day. The following 4 days (days 4-7 of treatment); take one 0.5mg tablet twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Quit day (8th day of treatment): take one 1mg tablet per day for the remainder of treatment. Some doctors may prescribe 1mg tablet twice per day for the remainder of treatment, in which case, take one in the morning and one in the evening.

 

How much does Chantix cost?

It depends on a few factors; the main factor being if you purchase the medication locally (in the United States) or internationally. For example, when you order internationally through My Drug Center, you can find a supply of 28 (1mg) Chantix tablets for $85.00, which is (on average) about 2.5 times cheaper the same supply in the United States.

 

How long does it take for Chantix to start working?

The exact length of time will vary between each individual due to personal factors. Peak concentration of the drug is seen after 3-4 hours of administration and after multiple oral doses, a steady-state condition is seen within 4 days. From there, it may take a few weeks for the medication to show clinical improvement and you may still experience cravings from time to time. Many patients are smoke-free at the end of the 12th week however in some cases it may take longer. If you are still struggling after the 12th week, you should consult with your doctor.

 

What are the side effects of Chantix?

Some common side effects of Chantix include nausea, headache, vomiting, drowsiness, gas, constipation, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, or changes in taste. Keep in mind, most side effects – such as the ones mentioned – are normal and should not alarm you; they should subside overtime. However, if they do not go away or become worse, you should consult with your doctor. Be aware, there are side effects which have not been listed here.

 

When did Chantix come out?

Chantix was first approved for marketing in 2006. The company who makes Chantix, Pfizer, is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

 

How long does Chantix stay in your system?

Chantix has a half-life of about 24 hours (1 full day); this means after one day, 50% (half) of the medication will be cleared from the system. It takes about 5 half-lives for a medication to completely clear from the system. Therefore, it may take up to 120 hours (5 full days) before it has completely cleared from your body. Keep in mind, this is only an estimation; the exact amount of time will vary depending on personal factors.

 

Where to buy Chantix?

You can purchase Chantix from the comfort of your own home when you order this product internationally. My Drug Center offers you Chantix for a lower international cost compared to that of local United States pharmacies. When you order through My Drug Center, not only will you find affordable prices, but the medication can be shipped right to your door. Visit My Drug Center and click “How to Order” to learn how to place an order online OR you can call our toll free number of 1-877-385-8998 to speak with a representative who can place an order for you. Keep in mind; you will require a valid prescription to order this medication.

 

What is the difference between Chantix and Wellbutrin?

Chantix (Varenicline) and Wellbutrin (Bupropion) are two medications which may be prescribed for the same reason; to help you quit smoking. This may make you wonder what the differences between the two are, which may also help you determine which is best for you. There are some minor differences, such as half-life of the medications and their side effects, and some more major differences, such as the drug class, active ingredient, approval date, drug interactions, and whether or not a generic is available. Keep in mind, there are likely various other difference between the two which have not been listed here.

The half-life of a medication determines how long it takes for half of the medication to clear the system, which will be different when taking Chantix or Wellbutrin. Chantix has a half-life of 24 hours where Wellbutrin has a half-life of 30 hours. Another minor difference is side effects and the frequency of each. Many of the side effects that can occur are similar but depending on which of the two medications, those side effects may be more or less frequently seen. For example, headache is a side effect that may occur when taking Wellbutrin or Chantix, but the probability is different; there is a 26% probability of headache when taking Wellbutrin and a 15-19% probability when taking Chantix. Additional side effects and their probability are as follows: dry mouth (Wellbutrin: 17%, Chantix: 4-6%), nausea (Wellbutrin: 13%, Chantix: 16-30%), constipation (Wellbutrin: 10%, Chantix: 5-8%), and loss of appetite (Wellbutrin: 5%, Chantix: 1-2%).

Onto bigger differences, you have the drug class and active ingredient. Drug classes are based on the chemical type of the active ingredient or the way it is used to treat certain conditions. Chantix and Wellbutrin share different active ingredients from different drug classes. Chantix is made up of a nicotinic agonist smoking cessation aid called Varenicline and Wellbutrin is made up of an aminoketone antidepressant called Bupropion. Subsequently, this means that these two medications will also work differently to help you quit smoking. Generic medications are replicas of the brand-name medication, commonly sold for much less than the brand with all the same therapeutic effects and benefits; Wellbutrin has a generic alternative available but Chantix does not. This may actually be due to our next difference; approval date. Wellbutrin has been on the market since 1985, about 21 years before Chantix was approved in 2006. Chantix is a much newer medication than Wellbutrin; newer medications usually don’t have generic alternatives due to patent laws. The final major difference listed here is drug interactions. Drug interactions are drugs that can react with your medication and cause adverse effects, such as intensified or unexpected side effects. Chantix has a significant lower amount of drug interactions (7), roughly 411 fewer than Wellbutrin, which as 418 drug interactions.

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