Quit Smoking using Prescription Medications Such as Chantix or Zyban.

Nicotine addiction is a chronic brain disease that may be successfully treated using quit smoking drugs such as Varenicline (marketed as Champix in Europe and Chantix within USA) and Bupropion (marketed as Wellbutrin, Zyban, Voxra, Budeprion, or Aplenzin.)

As with any quit smoking method, it is a good idea to apply a comprehensive quit smoking plan that includes sufficient user education about quitting smoking, and a strong support network. In the case of prescribed medication, it is especially important that users maintain a strong relationship with their physician.

The various prescription medications available can provide significant breakthroughs for people who feel uncomfortable using Nicotine Replacement Therapies and Cold Turkey methods.

The medical community conducts ongoing research into new technologies and there have been reports of new, vaccine style medications currently in development.


All prescribed medications come with side effects that must be considered in consultation with a physician. Prescribed medication also requires a strict adherence to guidelines and responsible use. Mixing prescription medication with alcohol or recreational drugs is a very dangerous thing to do and should be avoided at all costs. It should also be noted that the US FDA has issued public health warnings concerning both Varenicline and Bupropion. More information is available at the FDA website here…


Varenicline. (Chantix, Champix)

Also known at as Chantix or Champix, Varenicline is perhaps one of the most successful quit smoking medications to date.

How it works.

Varenicline is prescribed over an initial period of 12 weeks and may be extended in consultation with a physician if required.

As explained by Pfizer Inc;

CHANTIX is a non-nicotine prescription medicine. It works in two ways. It targets nicotine receptors in the brain, attaches to them, and blocks nicotine from reaching them. It is believed that CHANTIX also activates these receptors, causing a reduced release of dopamine compared to nicotine. – www.chantix.com

What are the Advantages?


  • Considered the most successful quit smoking prescription medication available.
  • Significantly reduces cravings for nicotine.
  • Works within a planned framework for quitting.
  • Often promotes a decline in cigarette consumption prior to quitting.
  • Encourages follow up consultation with a physician.
  • May provide breakthroughs for smokers who believe they can not quit.


What are the Disadvantages?

Varenicline may produce the following side effects.
Note: Individual user experience will vary.

  • Nausea.
  • Headaches.
  • Sleeplessness.
  • Vivid and abnormal dreams.
  • Change in taste.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Flatulence.
  • Constipation.



Marketed as Wellbutrin, Zyban, Voxra, Budeprion, or Aplenzin, Bupropion is an antidepressant medication that has also proven to be effective as a medicinal aid for quitting smoking.

While Varenicline has proven to be notably more effective, Buprobion is still successfully used as an alternative.

How it works.

Bupropion is generally prescribed over a 7 to 12 week course and works on a similar level to Varenicline, in that it influences both dopamine levels in the brain and acts as a stimulant to nicotine receptors in the brain.

According to wikipedia;

Numerous studies have provided evidence that bupropion substantially reduces the severity of nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.[12] For example, in one large-scale study, after a seven-week treatment, 27% of subjects who received bupropion reported that an urge to smoke was a problem, versus 56% of those who received placebo. In the same study, 21% of the bupropion group reported mood swings, versus 32% of the placebo group.[13] A typical bupropion treatment course lasts for seven to twelve weeks, with the patient halting the use of tobacco about ten days into the course. Bupropion approximately doubles the chance of quitting smoking successfully after three months. One year after treatment, the odds of sustaining smoking cessation are still 1.5 times higher in the bupropion group than in the placebo group.[12]
The evidence is clear that bupropion is effective at reducing nicotine cravings. Whether it is more effective than other treatments is not as clear, due to a limited number of studies. The evidence that is available suggests that bupropion is comparable to nicotine replacement therapy, but somewhat less effective than varenicline (Chantix). – www.wikipedia.com

What are the Advantages?


  • May reduce cravings for nicotine.
  • Works within a planned framework for quitting.
  • Encourages follow up consultation with a physician.
  • May provide breakthroughs for smokers who believe they can not quit.


What are the Disadvantages?

Bupropion may produce the following side effects.
Note: Individual user experience will vary.

  • Agitation.
  • Weight and Appetite Loss.
  • Constipation.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • The Shakes.
  • Insomnia.
  • Blurred Vision.
  • Increased Heart Rate and Irregular Rhythms.
  • Confusion.
  • Changes in hearing.


Additional Risks.

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States, has issued a warning that Varenicline and Bupropion have been linked to increased thoughts of suicide and potentially dangerous, self harming behavior.

The following excerpt is from the FDA website.
FDA’s request for additional warnings is based on a review of reports submitted to the agency since the time the products were marketed and on an analysis of information from clinical trials and scientific literature.

  • Some people who have taken Chantix and Zyban have reported experiencing unusual changes in behavior, become depressed or had their depression worsen, and had thoughts of suicide or dying.
  • In many cases, the problems began shortly after starting the medication and ended when the medication was stopped.
  • Some people continued to have symptoms after stopping the medication.
  • In a few cases, the problems began after the medication was stopped.

Neither Chantix nor Zyban contain nicotine and some of these symptoms may be a response to nicotine withdrawal. People who stop smoking may experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbances. However, some patients who were using these products experienced the reported adverse events while they were still smoking.

“The risk of serious adverse events while taking these products must be weighed against the significant health benefits of quitting smoking,” says Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States and we know these products are effective aids in helping people quit.”


For more detailed information, please visit the links below.

Acess the FDA Warnings website

Learn more about Varenicline (Chantix/Champix)

Learn more about Bupropion (Zyban)



  1. Thanks for the post Nancy. I think you hit the nail on the head. Planning is super critical to any quit campaign!

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