Chantix uses are primarily concerned with decreasing the effects of nicotine withdrawal to help people quit smoking. It is different from other smoking cessation medications in that it does not contain nicotine. On occasion, healthcare providers may also recommend "off-label" Chantix uses. For example, early animal studies suggest that it may be an effective treatment for alcoholism, although more research is needed.
Quitting smoking has many beneficial effects. It improves lung function, decreases cancer risk, lowers blood pressure, and decreases your chance of heart disease. Unfortunately, most people find quitting smoking to be very difficult. This is most likely due to the addicting effects of nicotine. It usually takes people several attempts to successfully stop smoking.
Chantix has been shown to increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. Studies have shown that it may be more effective than Zyban® (bupropion SR), another smoking cessation medication.
Chantix works in a unique manner. Although the drug does not contain nicotine, it binds to nicotine receptors in the brain. This helps people quit smoking in two different ways. First, when Chantix binds to the nicotine receptor, it blocks nicotine from binding, which prevents some of the pleasurable effects of smoking. Second, Chantix acts a little like nicotine when it binds to the receptor, which helps to decrease the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Chantix is not approved to help children or adolescents stop smoking. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children or adolescents.