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*Available for adults 18+ in all 48 continental US states. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

K Health memberships are not insurance and exclude ancillary services (e.g., labs, equipment, cost of medication, etc). Medical care is provided by K Health’s affiliated professional corporations. See Terms of Service.

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What is Chantix?

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Varenicline (Chantix) is a prescription smoking cessation aid used to help people stop smoking.

Smoking can pose a dangerous risk to your health, including increasing your risk of heart and lung disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Varenicline, sold under the brand name Chantix, is a prescription medication belonging to a class of drugs called smoking cessation aids. When used alongside education and counseling, it can effectively and safely help people stop smoking.

If you want to learn how to stop smoking, talk to your health care provider about whether or not Chantix can help.

How does Chantix work?

Chantix is available in tablet form and taken orally. It works by preventing nicotine stimulation and lessening nicotine’s effects on the dopamine system, ultimately blocking the more pleasing and addictive effects of nicotine on the brain.

Your provider will work with you to make a plan for how to use Chantix to help you stop smoking. In most cases, there are three ways that you can use Chantix:

Select a date to quit: Select a date to stop smoking and start taking Chantix one week beforehand. You can continue to smoke during the first week of taking the medication, but be sure to stop smoking on the date you’ve selected.

Start with Chantix: If you’re unsure about which date will be best for you to stop smoking, you can start by taking Chantix first. After you start the medication, you can stop smoking between 8-35 days after starting the medication.

Quit smoking slowly: If quitting smoking progressively is easier for you than quitting suddenly, you can start taking the medication and work with your provider to stop smoking slowly over 12 weeks of treatment. In this case, you’ll work with your provider to reduce your smoking habits in specific increments. Over the first four weeks, you’ll aim to smoke just half of your daily number of cigarettes. For the next four weeks, you should continue to reduce your daily amount of cigarettes so that you’re only smoking one quarter of your original daily quota. During the final four weeks of treatment, you should continue limiting your daily amount of cigarettes until you are no longer smoking by week 12 (or sooner).

When used properly and alongside education and counseling, Chantix more than doubles the chance of quitting smoking at six months when compared with placebo.

Do you need a prescription for Chantix?

Yes, Chantix is only available through a health care provider’s prescription. But you don’t have to visit a provider in person to obtain a prescription. You can also connect with a health care provider online to get a prescription for Chantix.


Chantix is usually prescribed in 0.5 mg and 1 mg tablets. Your provider will usually start you on the lower dose of Chantix and gradually increase your dose over the first week of treatment.

Depending on your plan to quit smoking, you may only need to take Chantix for 12 weeks. But if you’re still smoking by the end of your first 12 weeks of treatment, your provider may recommend taking Chantix for another 12 weeks.

Side effects

Side effects are possible when taking Chantix. The most common side effects that occur in roughly 10-40% of patients include:

  • Nausea
  • Strange dreams or nightmares
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Less common side effects that can occur in 1-10% of patients include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Chest pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive gas
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Rash
  • Drowsiness
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting
  • Upper respiratory tract disorder

Additional uncommon but possible side effects include:

  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Joint stiffness
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nose bleeds
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Respiratory disorder
  • Toothache
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Chantix may not be right for everyone, especially adults who have a history of kidney disease, seizures, or are currently taking blood thinners.

Before taking Chantix, it’s important to talk to your provider about your medical history, any existing medications, supplements, or vitamins you’re currently taking and whether or not you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant while taking Chantix.


The cost of Chantix may vary depending on your insurance coverage and the rates at your local pharmacy. The cost for one-month’s supply of Chantix can vary between $190-$590.

Can you get Chantix online?

Yes, if your provider recommends this medication for you, you can obtain a prescription for Chatix online.

Shopping for prescription medication online can help to keep costs low and it can be an easy and convenient way to get your prescription for Chantix at the lowest price.

Your K Health unlimited membership includes:

  • 24/7 text-based Urgent Care

  • Flexible appointments for ongoing care

  • Low-cost generic meds delivered to your door

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