Varenicline is a drug used in conjunction with counseling and education from a physician or psychiatrist to help adults 18 and over quit smoking. The drug is usually used by individuals who desire to stop smoking, or need help in quitting smoking due to chronic dependence, addiction, or past failed attempts. Users of varenicline may smoke during the first week of their treatment, but are encouraged to stop smoking on a specific quit date, which can be determined by the smoker or smoker"s physician. The drug works by stopping the pleasant effects of nicotine, from smoking, on the brain. Varenicline requires a prescription and may be prescribed for other uses. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
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Varenicline is a nicotine agonist that helps to block receptors in the brain from nicotine. The drug helps to stimulate the nicotine receptors in the brain, helping to reduce cravings and effects of tobacco. Varenicline aids in reducing the symptoms associated with smoking cessation. Unlike other smoking cessation aids, Varenicline Does not contain nicotine.
Varenicline is also used in combination with behavior changes and counseling to help stop smoking. The prescription drug last twelve weeks and should not be stopped until an individual has reached that mark.
Below you will find the different uses for Varenicline:
- Smoking Cessation
Varenicline dosage depends heavily on the individual taking the drug. The following dosages are averages and differ among individuals. Follow advice and directions from your medical professional for the best results. Length of dosage: 12 weeks (3 months).
- Day 1-3: .5 mg once a day
- Day 4-7: .5 mg twice a day
- Day 8 to end: 1mg twice a day
Varenicline Side Effects
While taking varenicline, individuals may experience varying side effects. Please note that not all side effects are listed here. Some individuals may experience neuropsychiatric events while taking varenicline. Prior to taking varenicline you should tell your doctor or pharmacist of any other medications you"re taking or plan to take, and allergies to any other medications. If you experience severe side effects, consult with your doctor immediately or seek proper medical attention. Confer with your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Unusual dreams or nightmares
Some side effects of varenicline can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or side effects, stop taking varenicline immediately and seek medical help:
- Swelling of the face, lower legs, ankles, feet, hands, neck or eyes
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Unexplained rash
- Swollen, red or blistering skin
- Pain, squeezing or pressure in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained sweating
- Slow or difficult speech
- Sudden weakness or numbness, especially on one side of the body
- Pain or discomfort in back, neck, stomach, or one or both arms
If combined with other medications or substances, individuals may experience severe side effects. You should consult with your doctor before taking varenicline. Below are a list of drugs and substances that have been linked to interact negatively with varenicline. Please note that this list does not include all possible drug interactions.