What is varenicline?

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.

Precautions

Before using varenicline, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, or a history of mental illness.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether varenicline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old.

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 are going to affect you, Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be cautious and alert.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a varenicline overdose are unknown.

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.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any mood or behavior changes, or if you feel agitated, 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 may include:

  • nausea (may persist for several months);
  • stomach pain, indigestion, vomiting, constipation, gas;
  • weakness, tired feeling;
  • increased appetite;
  • unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • headache; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia) or unusual dreams.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

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:

  • insulin;
  • 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.

Other Names

Chantix, varenicline, and Chantix Starter Pack

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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