Chantix Warnings and Precautions
If you have kidney disease or any allergies, let your healthcare provider know before taking Chantix. Warnings and precautions also include telling your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and finding out how stopping smoking can affect the way your body handles other medications. Understanding Chantix warnings and precautions before taking the drug can help ensure a safe treatment process.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Chantix™ (varenicline tartrate) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any mental illness
- A history of suicidal behavior
- Heart disease
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Chantix include the following:
- There have been reports of suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior, or strange or aggressive behavior in people taking Chantix. However, it is not clear if Chantix itself or simply the act of quitting smoking caused these cases (since nicotine withdrawal can worsen psychiatric conditions). If you have any mental illness or if you have a history of suicidal behavior or thoughts, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking Chantix. If you notice any unusual behavior in yourself (or anyone else taking Chantix), please seek immediate medical attention.
- Like many medications, Chantix can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop unexplained swelling of the mouth or throat.
- Like many medications, Chantix can cause life-threatening skin reactions known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or erythema multiforme. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop an unexplained skin rash, especially if it involves mouth sores or any unusual symptoms.
- There have been reports of severe drowsiness and accidental injury (such as car accidents) in people taking Chantix. Be sure to see how Chantix affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
- In studies of Chantix in people with cardiovascular disease, the drug slightly increased the risk of chest pain (angina) and nonfatal heart attacks and strokes. If you have heart disease, you and your healthcare provider must decide if the benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the risks in your case.
- Chantix is unlikely to interact with most other medications (see Chantix Drug Interactions). However, the act of stopping smoking can affect the way your body handles other medications. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about how stopping smoking may affect the other medications you are taking.
- The kidneys help to remove Chantix from your body. If you have kidney disease, you may require extra monitoring by your healthcare provider and you may need to take a lower Chantix dosage.
- Chantix is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Chantix and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Chantix passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Chantix and Breastfeeding).