FDA Approves Pfizer's 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.

CHANTIX is a non-nicotine pill.

CHANTIX is a non-nicotine prescription medicine specifically developed to help adults 18 and over quit smoking. Over 6 million people in the U.S. have already been prescribed CHANTIX.*

How is CHANTIX different from other smoking cessation products?

CHANTIX does not contain nicotine. It works in two ways. It targets nicotine receptors in the brain, attaches to them, and blocks nicotine from reaching them. It is believed that CHANTIX also activates these receptors, causing a reduced release of dopamine compared to nicotine.

It's recommended that you begin your CHANTIX treatment a week before you stop smoking completely. This gives CHANTIX a chance to build up in your body. You may smoke during the first week of your CHANTIX treatment, but you should stop smoking completely on Day 8 of your treatment.

This medication is used in combination with a stop-smoking program (e.g., education materials, support group, counseling) to help you quit smoking. Varenicline works by blocking nicotine's actions in the brain. Quitting smoking decreases your risk of heart and lung disease, as well as cancer.

When you smoke, the nicotine from your cigarette causes receptors in your brain to release several chemicals, including dopamine, which cause many of the positive feelings you get when you smoke. When you quit smoking, the lower levels of these chemicals cause the sometimes miserable signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Signs and symptoms such as irritability, insomnia and difficulty concentrating begin four to six hours after your last cigarette and can last a month or more after you quit smoking.

Nicotine replacement products, including the patch, gum and lozenges, and bupropion (Zyban), can help you stop smoking, in part, by continuing to stimulate the release of low levels of dopamine and other chemicals in your brain. In this way, these stop-smoking medications decrease your craving for nicotine and reduce the signs and symptoms of withdrawal.

Chantix works in this way, too. Chantix stimulates the release of low levels of dopamine and other chemicals in your brain to help reduce the signs and symptoms of withdrawal. In addition, Chantix blocks nicotine receptors in your brain. So if you lapse and have a cigarette, your cigarette doesn't stimulate your brain's receptors the way it did in the past. Cigarettes become much less pleasurable, and your desire to return to regular smoking again may be reduced.