CHANTIX™ (varenicline) Tablets
CHANTIX™ tablets contain the active ingredient, varenicline (as the tartrate salt), which is a partial agonist selective for α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. Varenicline, as the tartrate salt, is a powder which is a white to off-white to slightly yellow solid with the following chemical name: 7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6,10-methano-6 H -pyrazino[2,3-h]benzazepine, (2 R,3 R)-2,3-dihydroxybutanedioate (1:1). It is highly soluble in water.
CHAMPIX is indicated as an aid to smoking cessation treatment.
Media Articles Related to Chantix (Varenicline)
D.C. Week: Of Travel Bans and Chantix
Source: MedPageToday.com - medical news plus CME for physicians [2014.10.18]
(MedPage Today) -- Recess notwithstanding, Congress had advice on Ebola.
Keep Chantix Black Box Warning, FDA Panel Says
Source: Medscape Psychiatry & Mental Health Headlines [2014.10.17]
An FDA panel recommends waiting for data from an ongoing study designed to capture serious neuropsychiatric adverse events related to Chantix before making a final decision on the black box warning.
Medscape Medical News
FDA Panel: Chantix Boxed Warning Should Stay (CME/CE)
Source: MedPage Today Psychiatry [2014.10.16]
(MedPage Today) -- Some panelists said it doesn't go far enough.
Pfizer, FDA Square Off on Chantix Psych Risk
Source: MedPage Today Pediatrics [2014.10.15]
(MedPage Today) -- Agency staff say black-box warning on smoking-cessation aid should stay.
Morning Break: Ebola Scares, Chantix Faceoff
Source: MedPage Today Psychiatry [2014.10.14]
(MedPage Today) -- Health news and commentary from around the Web, gathered by the MedPage Today staff.
Published Studies Related to Chantix (Varenicline)
Effects of 21 days of varenicline versus placebo on smoking behaviors and urges
among non-treatment seeking smokers. 
Varenicline promotes smoking cessation and reduces urges to smoke. However, the
mechanisms associated with these effects and their time course are not well
The effects of extended pre-quit varenicline treatment on smoking behavior and
short-term abstinence: a randomized clinical trial. 
Preclinical research and learning theory suggest that a longer duration of
varenicline treatment prior to the target quit date (TQD) would reduce smoking
rates before cessation and improve abstinence outcomes. A double-blind randomized
controlled trial tested this hypothesis in 60 smokers randomized to either an
Extended run-in group (4 weeks of pre-TQD varenicline) or a Standard run-in group
(3 weeks of placebo, 1 week of pre-TQD varenicline); all the participants
received 11 weeks of post-TQD varenicline and brief counseling...
Smoking cessation pharmacogenetics: analysis of varenicline and bupropion in
placebo-controlled clinical trials. 
Despite effective therapies for smoking cessation, most smokers find quitting
difficult and most successful quitters relapse. Considerable evidence supports a
genetic risk for nicotine dependence; however, less is known about the
pharmacogenetics of smoking cessation... Different loci are associated with varenicline vs bupropion
response, suggesting that additional research may identify clinically useful
markers to guide treatment decisions.
Effects of varenicline and bupropion on cognitive processes among
nicotine-deprived smokers. 
Nicotine deprivation is associated with craving, negative affect, and difficulty
concentrating, which may contribute to subsequent relapse... Identifying these mechanisms may help in the development of new
Results of an initial clinical trial of varenicline for the treatment of cocaine
agonist seemed to be a likely candidate for treating cocaine dependence... CONCLUSIONS: Varenicline appears to decrease cocaine use and reward, suggesting
Clinical Trials Related to Chantix (Varenicline)
Study of Mood Effects of Varenicline (Chantix) in Depressed Outpatient Smokers [Recruiting]
This study will assess whether varenicline (chantix) has antidepressant properties when used in addition to other psychiatric medication. It will also assess whether varenicline improves the inability to feel pleasure (i. e. anhedonia), and if it is well-tolerated when used with psychiatric medications.
Enrolled patients will be assessed for improved mood, improved anhedonia, overall sense of health, side effects as well as tobacco use for 6-8 weeks.
Medication will be provided free of charge.
Varenicline and Bupropion for Smoking Cessation [Recruiting]
This study provides an opportunity to combine varenicline and bupropion SR and capitalize on
the potential additive benefit. The investigators hypothesize that this will further
increase long-term (â‰Ą 6 months) smoking abstinence rates.
Evaluation of Varenicline (Champix) in Smoking Cessation for Patients Post-Acute Coronary Syndrome (EVITA) Trial [Not yet recruiting]
The EVITA study is a clinical trial that will test the effect of varenicline (ChampixĂ˘Â„Â˘), a
new drug used to help people quit smoking, in patients who have suffered a heart attack.
Varenicline has been recently shown to increase the number of otherwise healthy people who
quit smoking compared to placebo (sugar pill). Although varenicline has been shown to reduce
smoking in healthy populations, its effectiveness in patients recovering from a heart attack
is unknown. The EVITA trial will help answer this question.
A total of 300 patients who have recently suffered a heart attack and are active smokers
will be recruited in the study. For twelve weeks, half the patients will receive varenicline
and the other half will receive placebo pills. Patients will be followed for a period of 12
months. During this time, patients will receive telephone calls and go to clinic visits in
order to assess if they are smoking. These follow-ups will also assess any side effects and
clinical events such as another heart attack or hospitalization that patients may have had.
Smoking cessation will be checked using exhaled carbon monoxide readings and self-reports.
The EVITA trial will be the first study to examine the use of varenicline in patients who
have recently had a heart attack. These patients, if they continue to smoke, are at high
risk of having another cardiac event. If varenicline is shown to be useful in this
population, it will have a major impact on prevention of cardiac events in patients who have
suffered a heart attack.
Does Varenicline Influence Alcohol Consumption in Alcohol Dependent Individuals? [Recruiting]
The aim of the present clinical trial is to investigate whether 14 weeks of treatment with a
prescription medication for smoking cessation (European trade name: Champix(R); US trade
name: Chantix(R)), can reduce alcohol consumption in alcohol dependent individuals.
Study of Varenicline (Champix) for Smoking Cessation/Reduction in Patients With Bipolar Disorder [Recruiting]
Bipolar Disorder is a chronic relapsing mental disorder characterized by periods of
elevated, expansive and irritable mood, often alternating with periods of significant
clinical depression. People with Bipolar Disorder are typically heavy smokers who have
difficulty quitting, and this is associated with significant tobacco-related medical illness
The proposed study will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled 10-week clinical trial of the
safety and efficacy of varenicline (ChampixĂ˘Â„Â˘) in thirty subjects with Bipolar I Disorder.
This medication is the latest first-line pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation and has been
shown to be efficacious for smoking cessation, but has not yet been systematically studied
in persons with Bipolar Disorder.
Reports of Suspected Chantix (Varenicline) Side Effects
Abnormal Dreams (1126),
Suicide Attempt (766),
Drug Ineffective (604),
Suicidal Ideation (572),
Feeling Abnormal (516), more >>
PATIENT REVIEWS / RATINGS / COMMENTS
Based on a total of 44 ratings/reviews, Chantix has an overall score of 6.84. The effectiveness score is 8.68 and the side effect score is 6.05. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst. Below are selected reviews: the highest, the median and the lowest rated.
Chantix review by 51 year old female patient
|Overall rating:|| || |
|Effectiveness:|| || Highly Effective|
|Side effects:|| || Mild Side Effects|
|Condition / reason:|| || SMOKING CESSATION|
|Dosage & duration:|| || 1 MILLIGRAM (dosage frequency: twice a day) for the period of 4 MONTHS|
|Other conditions:|| || NONE|
|Other drugs taken:|| || NONE|
|Benefits:|| || ALLOWED ME TO QUIT SMOKING WITHOUT THE PHYSICAL WITHDRAWL|
|Side effects:|| || OCCASSIONAL NAUSA SHORTLY AFTER TAKING, OCCASSIONAL GAS, SLEEPING DIFFICULTY|
|Comments:|| || 1 TABLET IN THE AM ONE IN PM|
Chantix review by 25 year old female patient
|Overall rating:|| || |
|Effectiveness:|| || Highly Effective|
|Side effects:|| || Severe Side Effects|
|Condition / reason:|| || Quit Smoking|
|Dosage & duration:|| || 1 mg taken twice a day for the period of 2 weeks|
|Other conditions:|| || None|
|Other drugs taken:|| || None|
|Benefits:|| || I quit smoking!!!! And so did my husband who was also taking it. I smoked about 1 pack a day and he smoked about 2 packs a day. Our lives have changed because of this drug and our children will be healthier too!|
|Side effects:|| || Severe nausea and drowsiness. After the pill in the morining I would get extremely nauseous and sleepy. |
|Comments:|| || I couldn't even keep my head up at work because I was so drowsy. I would have to go lay down in the break room. It got so bad I had to quit taking it. But I decided since it had been 2 weeks smoke free I wouldn't start again just because I couldn't handle the pills. My husband and I have been smoke free for 1 year 2 months!|
Chantix review by 25 year old male patient
|Overall rating:|| || |
|Effectiveness:|| || Marginally Effective|
|Side effects:|| || Extremely Severe Side Effects|
|Condition / reason:|| || Smoking Cessation|
|Dosage & duration:|| || 1mg taken 2 times a day for the period of 12 weeks|
|Other conditions:|| || past history of depression, PTSD|
|Other drugs taken:|| || alcohol, caffeine, marijuanna|
|Benefits:|| || helped somewhat in minimizing the cravings and anxiety while taking it but still required substantial will power to quit. Considering the absolute hell I went through to quit I will probably never go back to smoking.|
|Side effects:|| || acute nausea, mental fog, vivid dreams, poor sleep quality, sore eyes, constipation, uncontrollable flatulence, euphoria, turned to dark depression, Psychosis NOS, Major Depressive Disorder, Suicidal ideation, self detrimental behaviour, emotional lability, agression, rage, panic attacks, hallucination, Somatoform Disorder, Delusional Parasitosis, Cholinaergic Prurritus, Hyperacusis, Severe sleep depervation; excessive dreaming, inability to sleep deeply, feeling half awake while sleeping, waking up with sore eyes., Brain Fog, lowered inhibitions, hair roots hurting, excessive hair loss, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, puffy bags under eyes, excessive weight gain, gingivitis, prostate pain, inability to feel orgasm, decreased ability to maintain and achieve erections, anhedonia. |
|Comments:|| || I took Champix in March of '08 and I am still suffering from most of the side effects of this poisonous drug. I started to feel some of the bad effects (nausea, mental fog, trouble sleeping, sore eyes, constipation, gas) of Champix while taking it but I was determined to quit smoking. For the first month I felt exceptionally good and I was telling everyone how great it was but the euphoria came crashing down and I went into a deep depression. I was able to make it through the full 3 month course but when I stopped taking it is when I really got messed up. I developed Psychosis NOS, Major Depressive Disorder, suicidal, Emotional instability, aggression, rage, panic attacks, hallucination, Somatoform Disorder, Delusional Parasitosis (bug crawling sensations all over my body), Hyperacusis (sensitivity to certain frequencies of sound causing severe pain and pressure in my ears), Severe Insomnia, Memory Loss, Brain Fog, Lowered Inhibitions, Hair was constantly hurting all of the time and lost lots of it (27 year old male), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (started as extreme constipation and gas, fatigue, Severe Eye pain, unsightly puffy bags under eyes, excessive weight gain, gingivitis, prostate pain, black out and become out of control when drinking, decreased sexual pleasure and ability to maintain erections. I think that is everything!!! I went to the psych ward recently due to being suicidal and at a breaking point with my symptoms and I was treated like scum and given brain damaging neuroleptic (anti-psychotic) drugs against my will. I have made some small improvements since taking Champix but it looks like the nightmare will never truly end. If you are one of the many that gets burned by this medication be warned that the doctors will probably not be able to help you and will most likely deny that anything is even happening to you or that it is related to Champix and the side effects may be permanent. I had a similar reaction in respect to rage and disinhibition from taking Zoloft when I was younger which altered my life substantially and now Champix has put the nail in the coffin. Apparently these two drugs have a similar mechanism but Pfizer with held this information and marketed the drug in a deceiving way not mentioning any of the neuro-psychiatric and mind altering side effects of the drug when it first hit the market in order to boost sales of their poison. The medical community has know for quite some time that dopamine plays a role in mood regulation and the fact the Champix targets the “pleasure centre” of the brain makes them grossly negligent for not investigating this further and informing consumers. Many people including myself (I turned down a prescription of Zyban due to my experience with Zoloft) would not have taken it if we would have been informed of the risks and Pfizer knew that. SHAME ON THEM FOR RUINING MY LIFE AND MANY OTHERS INCLUDING THOSE WHOM ENDED THE MISERY BY TAKING THEIR OWN LIFE.
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED
Page last updated: 2014-10-18