Tag Archives: Stop-smoking medication

Stop-smoking medication varenicline (Chantix)

Cigarette smokers who want to quit have several medications to choose from to help in their effort to stop smoking. Chantix works by blocking the effect that nicotine has on the brain. Chantix may make it easier to stop smoking.

Nicotine replacement products, including the patch, gum and lozenges, and the antidepressant bupropion (Zyban), can help you stop smoking, in part, by continuing to release low levels of dopamine 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 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.

While only a few studies have been performed, results show Chantix works better than a sugar pill (placebo) at helping smokers quit. Researchers found more people were able to remain smoke-free with Chantix. Participants reported reduced withdrawal signs and symptoms and reduced pleasure from smoking. In addition to medication, participants in the studies also received weekly counseling to help them quit.

Chantix also appears to work better than the antidepressant bupropion, though results have been mixed. One study found that Chantix worked better for only the first 24 weeks. Continue reading Stop-smoking medication varenicline (Chantix)