One of the most exciting medical advancements in stop-smoking aids currently available is Chantix (medically, Varenicline; “Champix” in Europe): a nicotine-blocker that protects the brain’s receptors from being triggered by nicotine, thereby preventing those receptors from releasing the chemicals that produce satisfaction from smoking. Chantix is already helping more than 11 million people in their fight against the serious health problems and organ damage caused by smoking.
Chantix is now the #1 prescription stop-smoking aid, and the results have far exceeded expectations: with some studies showing as much as three times the success rate of other quitting methods. The FDA initially approved Chantix in 2006 and began a decade of intense scrutiny to thoroughly examine this innovative application of neurological science to everyday efforts to quit smoking. After an 8,000-patient study in 2016 established the neuropsychiatric safety of Chantix, the FDA cleared it for standard prescription labeling and announced the effectiveness of Chantix in helping smokers to obtain the substantial benefits of quitting, including lower chances of developing lung disease, heart disease, and some cancers. The FDA further noted that some benefits begin immediately or after a short time, including improvements in circulation, breathing, and the senses of taste and smell.
“Chantix makes quitting possible for everyone,
not just those with superhuman willpower.”
How Chantix Works
The objective of Chantix is simple and effective: to remove the satisfaction of smoking. Stimuli such as nicotine trigger the brain’s “feel-good” response by binding to certain receptors in the brain. Rather than forcing a person to fight against this powerful pleasurable response to smoking, Chantix reaches those neurological receptors ahead of time and guards them against the binding attempts of nicotine: preventing the battle against cravings from happening in the first place.
By stopping cravings at the neurological source, Chantix also defends against mid-quitting relapse. During the Chantix regimen, surrendering to a moment of weakness produces only a diminished level of satisfaction, removing one of the strongest incentives to resume the smoking habit. All of this is accomplished without any nicotine whatsoever. Chantix contains no trace of nicotine, allowing the body to begin flushing residual nicotine from day one and eliminating the risk of nicotine overdose present in other medications on the market.
The Chantix Regimen
The standard Chantix regimen takes only 9-12 weeks: dramatically faster than the many months of slower conventional stop-smoking aids and—in many cases—the years of stop-and-start quitting attempts. After a doctor prescribes Chantix, one can choose either a firm quit date 1-5 weeks in the future or plan to gradually reduce smoking frequency over the course of 12-24 weeks while taking Chantix. In either case, the Chantix regimen actually begins a week before a person stops smoking. This starts preparation of the neurological defenses against the very first nicotine withdrawal symptoms after the quit date: a significant advantage during the early days of smoking cessation when the risk of relapse is usually highest.
“Chantix is already helping more than 11 million people in their fight
against the serious health problems and organ damage caused by smoking.”
Medical advancements like Chantix are changing the game for millions struggling to quit smoking. People that have resigned themselves to fighting the same conventional battle against smoking over and over again are now discovering that the battle itself can be shrunk and won rapidly. Chantix makes quitting possible for everyone, not just those with superhuman willpower.
Side Effect Information
As with all other prescriptions, individuals should carefully discuss all of their prescribed medications, side effects, and personal history of any mental illness and/or allergic reactions with their doctor. While taking Chantix, operation of machinery should be avoided and alcohol intake should be reduced.
As the effectiveness of Chantix is based on its interaction with the brain’s receptors, the FDA has carefully monitored its neuro-psychiatric impact and has applied the agency’s highest scrutiny level for a decade. After a 2016 clinical trial involving over 8,000 patients, the FDA found no increased risk of any psychiatric problems among users without a prior history of mental illness.
In cases where any side effects occur, the individual should immediately consult their doctor. Individuals can expect and should guard against the nicotine withdrawal symptoms accompanying any stop-smoking method, including the urge to smoke, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, irritability, frustration, anger, feeling anxious, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, decreased heart rate, and increased appetite or weight gain. For those with pre-existing mental health problems such as depression or having suicidal thoughts, quitting smoking can worsen those problems.
Individuals should also suspend their Chantix regiment and call their doctor right away if any of the following rare side effects occur:
- Changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions;
- New or worse heart/blood vessel problems;
- Allergic reactions;
- Skin reactions or irritations;
- Nausea, vomiting, gas, or constipation; or
- Trouble sleeping or vivid and unusual dreams.
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