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Smoking in Cancer Care (PDQ®)

  • Updated: 05/08/2013

Table 5. Varenicline

 Brand Dose Side Effects Warning/Precautiona 
RxChantix0.5 mg/d, days 1–3; 0.5 mg bid, days 4–7; then 1.0 mg bid through week 12Nausea, insomniaRisk of toxicity higher in patients with impaired renal function.
Not tested in children and pregnant women.

bid = twice a day; Rx = prescription.
aIt is recommended that clinicians closely monitor all patients taking varenicline and bupropion hydrochloride (HCl). The premarketing smoking cessation studies of these medications excluded patients with serious psychiatric illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder), suggesting that the safety of these medications for these patients has not been investigated.[15,18] Therefore, during smoking cessation, it is important to especially monitor patients with preexisting psychiatric illness who are receiving varenicline and bupropion HCl for smoking cessation.


  1. CHANTIX (varenicline) Tablets. New York, NY: Pfizer Inc., 2012. Available online. Last accessed October 17, 2013. 

  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.: Information for Healthcare Professionals: Varenicline (Marketed as Chantix) and Bupropion (Marketed as Zyban, Wellbutrin, and Generics). Rockville, Md: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2009. Available online. Last accessed February 26, 2014.