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.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Varenicline is an aid for smoking cessation.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common adverse effects of varenicline are:

Headaches, abnormal dreams and taste disturbance also are frequent side effects of varenicline. Varenicline is not addictive and is not a controlled substance; however, some patients may experience irritability and sleep disturbance if varenicline is abruptly discontinued. Varenicline may worsen symptoms of underlying heart disease. Patients may experience psychiatric symptoms such as behavioral changes, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal behavior during varenicline treatment. Patients should stop taking varenicline if psychiatric symptoms occur. Rare life threatening skin reactions and hypersensitivity reactions have been reported.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/27/2015



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