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What is Varenicline used for?

Varenicline is a smoking cessation drug, which is prescribed to help smokers stop smoking. This drug targets nicotine receptors in the brain as regular smokers are addicted to nicotine. It reduces smoking urge as well as nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as nicotine craving, restlessness, irritability, dizziness, constipation, and so on. This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

What is the recommended dosage of Varenicline?

The dosage of Varenicline prescribed to each patient will vary. Always follow your physician’s instructions and/or the directions on the prescription drug label. The following dosage information includes the common dose of Varenicline. If your dose is different, do not follow the dosage described below unless your physician has approved.

The recommended dosage of Varenicline is 1 mg twice a day for a period of twelve weeks. Before starting your course of Varenicline, it is recommended to fix a quit date to stop smoking. Start taking Varenicline one week before the quit date. Take this medicine after eating food.

What if you miss a dose of Varenicline?

If your physician has instructed or directed you to take Varenicline medication in a regular schedule and you have missed a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the doses unless otherwise directed.

What if you overdose on Varenicline?

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Varenicline, seek medical attention immediately.

What other drugs could interact with Varenicline?

  • Cimetidine
  • Insulin
  • Theophylline
  • Warfarin

It may be noted that drugs other than those listed above may also interact with Varenicline.

Usually drug interactions occur when it is taken with another drug or with food. Before you take a medication for a particular ailment, you should inform the health expert about intake of any other medications including non-prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines that may increase the effect of Varenicline, and dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals and herbal, so that the doctor can warn you of any possible drug interactions.

Varenicline can interact with blood thinners and nicotine replacement therapy.

Do let your doctor know if you smoke, consume alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or use illegal drugs as these may interfere with the action of your medication. Make sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you may have, or any family history of medical problems. Do not start or stop using any medicine without consulting your doctor.

What are the side effects of Varenicline?

Like other medicines, Varenicline can cause some side effects. If they do occur, the side effects of Varenicline are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and may require the individual to inform the doctor or visit the nearest hospital immediately.

It is pertinent to note that side effects of Varenicline cannot be anticipated. If any side effects of Varenicline develop or change in intensity, the doctor should be informed as soon as possible.

Varenicline can cause side effects such as nausea, constipation, headache, gas, insomnia, unusual dreams, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion. Some of the serious side effects of this drug are shortness of breath, depression, mood swings, rash, and difficulty swallowing. This is not a complete list of all side effects. Do concur with your doctor and follow his directions completely when you are taking Varenicline.

What are the questions to ask your doctor before taking Varenicline?

Is it possible for me to take Varenicline with other drugs?
Should certain beverages, foods and other products be avoided when I take Varenicline?
What are the possible drug interactions of Varenicline?
How will Varenicline work in my body?
How should Varenicline be taken?
How to reduce the risk of Varenicline drug interactions and side effects?


The health and medical information provided here is intended to supplement and not substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacists or other health care professional. Before using Varenicline, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, or a history of mental illness. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Caution needs to be exercised while driving or operating machinery.


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