Highlights for varenicline
varenicline Side Effects
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- acting aggressive, being angry or violent, or acting on dangerous impulses
- breathing problems
- changes in vision
- chest pain or chest tightness
- confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- new or worsening depression, anxiety, or panic attacks
- extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- pain in legs when walking
- problems with balance, talking, walking
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- ringing in ears
- seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
- sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg
- thoughts about suicide or dying, or attempts to commit suicide
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- nausea, vomiting
- strange dreams
- stomach gas
- trouble sleeping
varenicline May Interact with Other Medications
- alcohol or any product that contains alcohol
- other stop smoking aids
How to Use varenicline
Take this medicine by mouth after eating. Take with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
There are 3 ways you can use this medicine to help you quit smoking; talk to your health care professional to decide which plan is right for you:
1) you can choose a quit date and start this medicine 1 week before the quit date, or,
2) you can start taking this medicine before you choose a quit date, and then pick a quit date between day 8 and 35 days of treatment, or,
3) if you are not sure that you are able or willing to quit smoking right away, start taking this medicine and slowly decrease the amount you smoke as directed by your health care professional with the goal of being cigarette-free by week 12 of treatment.
Stick to your plan; ask about support groups or other ways to help you remain cigarette-free. If you are motivated to quit smoking and did not succeed during a previous attempt with this medicine for reasons other than side effects, or if you returned to smoking after this treatment, speak with your health care professional about whether another course of this medicine may be right for you.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not approved for use in children.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia or other mental illness
- heart disease
- if you often drink alcohol
- kidney disease
- peripheral vascular disease
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- an unusual or allergic reaction to varenicline, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Ask for ongoing advice and encouragement from your doctor or healthcare professional, friends, and family to help you quit. If you smoke while on this medication, quit again
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Sleepwalking can happen during treatment with this medicine, and can sometimes lead to behavior that is harmful to you, other people, or property. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor if you start sleepwalking or have other unusual sleep-related activity.
Decrease the amount of alcoholic beverages that you drink during treatment with this medicine until you know if this medicine affects your ability to tolerate alcohol. Some people have experienced increased drunkenness (intoxication), unusual or sometimes aggressive behavior, or no memory of things that have happened (amnesia) during treatment with this medicine.
The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
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Last Updated: September 1, 2016