What is Varenicline used for?
Varenicline is commonly used to help you stop smoking.
How should I take Varenicline?
Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
Get counseling to help you quit smoking.
Take after eating with a full glass of water.
There are different ways that you can use varenicline to help you quit smoking. Talk with your doctor about when to start treatment with this drug and when to stop smoking.
How do I store Varenicline?
Varenicline is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Varenicline in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Varenicline that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Varenicline down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Varenicline?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Varenicline or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Tell all of your health care providers that you take varenicline. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
Accidents like car accidents have happened in people taking varenicline. Talk with your doctor.
Do not take this medicine for longer than you were told by your doctor.
Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
When you stop smoking, other drugs may be affected. Talk with your doctor.
Talk with your doctor if you have seizures or have ever had seizures.
New or worse mental, mood, or behavior problems have happened with varenicline. These problems include thoughts of suicide or killing someone else, depression, forceful actions, fury, anxiety, and anger. These problems have happened in people with and without a history of mental or mood problems. Watch people who take this medicine closely. If you think you have any of these problems, call your doctor right away. Call your doctor right away if you have any other signs like nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or any new or worse changes in mood or actions.
You may have signs of nicotine withdrawal when you try to quit smoking even when using drugs like this one to help you quit smoking. There are many signs of nicotine withdrawal. Rarely depression and suicidal thoughts have happened in people trying to quit smoking. Talk with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using varenicline while you are pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Varenicline during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Varenicline. Varenicline is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Varenicline?
Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Feeling confused.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Heart attack and stroke have rarely happened in people taking this medicine. However, smoking may also raise the chance for these events. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of heart attack like chest pain that may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach; sweating that is not normal; or feeling sick or throwing up. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of stroke like change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other; eyesight, speech, or balance problems; change in thinking clearly and with logic; or very bad headache.
- Sleepwalking has happened with varenicline. Sometimes, this can lead to harm to you or others. Call your doctor right away if you start to sleepwalk.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Varenicline?
Varenicline may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Varenicline?
Varenicline may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Varenicline?
Varenicline may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Varenicline.
What is the dose of Varenicline for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Smoking Cessation
Days 1 to 3: 0.5 mg orally once a day
Days 4 to 7: 0.5 mg orally twice a day
Days 8 to end of treatment: 1 mg orally twice a day
What is the dose of Varenicline for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Varenicline available?
Varenicline is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Varenicline, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Varenicline. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/varenicline.html. Accessed November 23, 2017
Varenicline. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a606024.html. Accessed November 23, 2017
Review Date: November 23, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019