Chantix

What is Chantix?

Chantix is used as a smoking cessation medicine or treatment. It is used together with behavior modification and counseling support to help you stop smoking cigarettes. Chantix works in the brain to block the pleasurable effects of smoking. This helps to decrease your desire to keep smoking.

Chantix may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Chantix

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

Use Chantix exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Chantix 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 Chantix and the smoking cessation process is going to affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be cautious and alert. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any mood or behavior changes, or if you feel agitated, hostile, 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 are more likely, and you may have none at all. Chantix can cause persistent nausea for up to several months. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or is especially bothersome.

If you miss a dose, use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

There may be other drugs that can interact with Chantix. 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.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Chantix?

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

FDA pregnancy category C. Chantix 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 this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Chantix without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take Chantix?

Take Chantix exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

To improve your chances for successful smoking cessation, set a date to quit smoking. Start taking Chantix one week before your planned quit date.

When you first start taking Chantix, you will take a low dose and then gradually increase your dose over the first several days of treatment. Follow your doctor's instructions. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Take the medicine after eating.

In most cases, Chantix treatment lasts for 12 weeks. Your doctor may recommend a second 12-week course of Chantix to improve the chance that you will quit smoking long-term.

It is important to take this medication regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

To be sure Chantix is not causing harmful effects, your kidney function may need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking Chantix?

Chantix 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 Chantix 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

Chantix side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Chantix: 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, hostile, 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
  • the first sign of any blistering type of skin rash, no matter how mild.

Less serious Chantix 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. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Chantix?

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 Chantix. 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.