FDA approves varenicline (Chantix) to help people quit smoking

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FDA approves varenicline (Chantix) to help people quit smoking

Ready to quit smoking? A new drug may help you kick the habit.

What happened? If you're ready to quit smoking, a new medication may help you kick the habit.

Varenicline (Chantix) is the latest addition to the arsenal of quit-smoking aids approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Like other similar products, Chantix helps ease nicotine withdrawal symptoms. But there's a twist. The drug also blocks the effects of nicotine if you begin to smoke again.

Chantix is a prescription medication sold in tablet form. It's intended to be taken for 12 weeks. If you quit smoking during that time, your doctor may prescribe Chantix for another 12 weeks to enhance long-term success. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, gas, headache and insomnia.

Researchers found Chantix to be more effective than a placebo in helping people quit smoking. In two studies, Chantix helped more people quit smoking than did bupropion (Zyban) — the only other nicotine-free drug used as a quit-smoking aid.

What does this mean to you? Smoking is a difficult habit to break. But, if you're a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do to promote good health.

When you're ready to quit smoking — whether it's your first attempt or you've been trying to quit for years — Chantix may provide another option for you to consider. Ask your doctor if Chantix or another quit-smoking aid may be right for you.

Last Updated: 05/12/2006
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