varenicline, Chantix

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GENERIC NAME: varenicline

BRAND NAME: Chantix

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Varenicline is an oral drug that is used to promote cessation of smoking. It competes with nicotine from cigarettes for binding to nicotine receptors in the brain. Although varenicline stimulates nicotine receptors like nicotine, it blocks the stronger stimulation by nicotine. Therefore, smokers do not experience the full effect of smoking while taking varenicline. The FDA approved varenicline in May 2006.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 0.5 and 0.1 mg

STORAGE: Varenicline should be stored at room temperature, 15 to 30 C (59 to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Varenicline is an aid for smoking cessation.

DOSING: The recommended dose is 0.5 mg daily for 3 days followed by 0.5 mg twice daily for 4 days, then 1 mg twice daily for the remainder of the treatment period. Duration of therapy is 12 weeks. If treatment is successful, an additional 12 weeks is recommended to increase the chance of long-term abstinence. Those who do not respond or return to smoking after treatment should be encouraged to try again.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Administering varenicline with the nicotine patch may lead to additional adverse effects.




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