Chantix is a smoking-cessation aid that works a little differently than other products people use to try and kick the habit. When you are ready to butt-out, talk to your doctor about a prescription for Chantix or Chantix Starter Pack if you have never taken this stop-smoking aid previously. The active ingredient of Chantix is Varenicline, a relatively new drug compared to other stop-smoking aids because it contains no nicotine.
Chantix targets the nicotine receptors in your brain and attaches to them. This blocks the nicotine from coming into contact with these receptors and as time goes on, these receptors begin to disappear so eventually your craving for nicotine is reduced so you no longer crave a cigarette.
Chantix can be started before your quit date to give your body time to build the drug up in your body which can improve your chances of being successful. You may be surprised at how fast your body starts to regain some of its vim and vigor starting in as little as a couple of days of not smoking! To increase your chance of success, use this medication with a stop-smoking program that includes education, support, and counseling.
Nicotine affects almost your entire body, especially your brain where neurotransmitters such as dopamine are responsible for feelings of pleasure. As nicotine and dopamine receptors interact, your brain begins changing how it makes and responds to dopamine and more nicotine receptors are created. Your brain becomes conditioned to feel that it only needs to produce dopamine in response to nicotine rather than in response to its natural function. This is why smoking can be so hard to stop because this process can continue for a long time so your cravings will try to get the better of you.
It is unknown whether Chantix is harmful to an unborn or nursing baby so tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breast-feeding before you start this medication. Provide a list of current OTC or Rx medicine you are taking, including dietary and vitamin supplements and herbal remedies, and discuss any existing medical conditions or allergies you are being treated for.
Do not take other smoking cessation aids while taking Chantix as you may experience unintended reactions. Chantix may make you drowsy, dizzy, lose consciousness, or make it difficult to concentrate. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: burning feeling in feet/toes, unusual pain in the legs when walking.