Does Chantix work for people who want to quit smoking? Clinical studies conducted indicate that Chantix can be an effective part of a campaign to help people quit smoking.
Does Chantix Work to Help People Quit Smoking?
The results of studies conducted that attempted to answer the question, "Does Chantix work?" are somewhat encouraging.
- Chantix was found to give better results than a placebo (sugar pill).
- People who used Chantix were more likely to stay smoke-free than those who did not use this medication.
- Participants in the study stated that if they smoked while using Chantix that the experience was less pleasurable than in the past.
- Withdrawal symptoms were less problematic for people who used Chantix.
How Chantix Works
When people take a drag off of a cigarette, the nicotine from it stimulates their brain to produce more of a compound called dopamine. This gives a feeling of pleasure, and this is why smokers feel good when they have a cigarette. When you stop smoking, you don't get the same feeling because your brain isn't producing as much dopamine. Using Chantix causes the brain to release dopamine, and this will help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. In addition, Chantix blocks the brain's receptors that are normally stimulated by nicotine. Smoking a cigarette doesn't give the same level of pleasure as it used to, and the person is less likely to light up while taking the medication.
How To Take Chantix
If you and your doctor decide that taking Chantix is the right choice for you, you should begin taking it approximately seven days before your quit date. You will be taking the medication for 12 weeks. At first, you will take it once a day, and then your dose will be bumped up to twice a day.
If the dose is increased as you take the medication, you are less likely to experience the types of side effects that smokers can experience, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cravings for sweet foods
Once you have taken Chantix for the first 12-week period, your doctor may suggest that you take it for an additional three months to increase your chances of remaining a non-smoker.
Using Chantix can result in some side effects, but you are less likely to experience nausea if you take the medication after eating. Taking Chantix with a large glass of water may also help.
Not All Chantix Users Stay Smoke Free
Quitting smoking can be a very difficult thing to do. It's not uncommon for someone to try quitting a number of times before they are able to remain smoke-free for the long term. Most of the participants in the Chantix studies didn't quit for good, but that doesn't mean that the medication didn't work.
It does mean that Chantix is a tool that can be used to make nicotine withdrawal symptoms less problematic. However, being well motivated to quit smoking goes a long way toward determining whether someone will succeed or not.
Counseling Is Part of the Solution
If you are interested in quitting smoking, relying on Chantix alone may not be enough to help you kick the habit for good. In addition to using this medication, you may want to consider counseling as part of your overall plan.
Smoking is both physically and psychologically addicting. While using Chantix can help you get over the hump as far as the physical symptoms are concerned, this is only part of the story. You originally continued smoking because you got some kind of benefit from it.
Counseling can help you to figure out why you continued to smoke and help you come up with alternate patterns of behavior now that smoking won't be part of your life anymore. By using a variety of methods in your campaign to stop smoking, you have a better chance of succeeding.