Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is taking Chantix a safe way to quit smoking?"
I want to start taking Chantix to stop smoking but I have heard some really bad stories especially what it does to people when they are sleeping. Is it safe or should I go another route to quit?
The decision about whether or not to take Chantix to quit smoking is one that you and your doctor should make after you have an extensive conversation about the pros and cons of this method. Lately, more of the potential side effects of Chantix have become more publicized making patients that take Chantix or may take Chantix more nervous about using it. Many of the side effects such as nightmares and the interaction with other medications are certainly common and should be looked at carefully. My approach to this problem is to first establish how dedicated the patient in question is to quitting smoking. I would never initiate any therapy for someone that was not committed. Being only partially committed to quitting means that you won't be successful. Once someone is 100% dedicated to quitting, then I start them on nicotine replacement therapy through the patch, the gum or some combination of the two. In addition, quitting help lines and support groups that meet can be very helpful. If these fail, then I would talk to the patient about starting something like chantix. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss what other options there are besides Chantix and hold off until these have been tried. Good luck.
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