Prescription onlyClass: Respiratory

Chantix Alternatives

(varenicline)

Prescription onlyClass: Respiratory
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Compare Chantix (varenicline) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Chantix (varenicline) or used for similar purposes.

Chantix
(varenicline)

Zyban
(bupropion)

Pamelor
(nortriptyline)

Helps you quit smoking. Chantix (Varenicline) is a great way to help you quit smoking and stay off cigarettes, even though many people have nausea with it.Reduces nicotine cravings. Good for blocking the withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking. But you need to be okay with avoiding alcohol use and possibly using nicotine replacement.Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Chantix (varenicline)?
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Have you used Zyban (bupropion)?
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Reviews for Pamelor
79%
+21% better vs. Chantix
79%
+21% better vs. Chantix
21%
+21% better vs. Chantix
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • Nausea 20%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Headache 2%
  • Abnormal dreams 8%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Fatigue/malaise/asthenia 1%
  • Passing gas 3%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
More Chantix side effects »
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Joint pain 1%
  • Itching 3%
  • Rash 3%
  • Tremor 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Bronchitis 2%
More Zyban side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Pamelor side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
How it works
ChantixZybanPamelor
Chantix (Varenicline) binds to nicotine receptors in the brain, preventing actual nicotine from releasing dopamine. Lower dopamine levels cause fewer cravings and withdrawal symptoms.Zyban (Bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to change dopamine and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It helps improve your mood by altering the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other similar chemicals in your brain.
Type of medication
ChantixZybanPamelor
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
ChantixZybanPamelor
Risk factors for serious side effects
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • History of depression
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • History of seizures
Detailed Chantix (varenicline) risks & warnings »
  • History of depression
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawing from nicotine
  • Age 24 and younger
Detailed Zyban (bupropion) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of heart disease
Detailed Pamelor (nortriptyline) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Alcohol
ChantixZybanPamelor
No alcohol related info.
  • Higher risk of seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder or eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Food
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • You should always take Chantix (Varenicline) with food and a full glass of water to reduce side effects.
  • When you quit smoking, your food might taste better and your breath won’t smell like smoke.
No food related info.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
Weight
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • Patients taking Chantix (Varenicline) can gain weight if they substitute smoking for food.
No weight related info.No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • 44% of people taking Chantix (Varenicline) were able to quit during their initial 12 week treatment.
  • Quitting smoking can significantly lower your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
  • An occasional slip-up doesn't mean you have relapsed.
  • When you quit smoking, your food might taste better and your breath won’t smell like smoke.
  • You'll save a lot of money when you stop buying cigarettes.
  • Can help relieve the withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking.
  • Fewer sexual side effects compared to other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
  • Zyban (Bupropion) does not contain nicotine, so it is not dangerous if you continue to smoke. You can even use nicotine replacement like the patch while you are taking Zyban (Bupropion)
  • Has some stimulant effects, so it can be energizing.
  • Six out of every 10 people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Helpful with treating certain types of pain, like migraines or nerve-related pain.
  • Generally well tolerated and has fewer side effects than other medicines in the same class of drugs.
Downsides and risks
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • You can have withdrawal symptoms like irritability and difficulty sleeping once you stop smoking.
  • Patients taking Chantix (Varenicline) can gain weight if they substitute smoking for food.
  • Changing your daily smoking patterns and keeping yourself busy can be difficult at first.
  • Rarely, some people have had suicidal thoughts while taking Chantix (Varenicline).
  • Smoking can affect how some drugs work in your body. Once you quit, your doctor may need to adjust the doses of certain medicines you're taking.
  • Can be stimulating, so it can cause some anxiety or insomnia in the first few days.
  • Higher risk of seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder or eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol.
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink a lot.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • If you are a heavy smoker you may also need to use nicotine replacement like the patch.
  • Side effects are usually manageable, but can be annoying.
  • Increases the risk of falls, especially when used in the elderly.
  • There's an increased chance of it causing heart problems, especially in people with a history of heart problems.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ChantixZybanPamelor
  • Plan a quit date with your doctor and then start taking Chantix (Varenicline) 1 week before that date. Starting Chantix (Varenicline) before you quit helps build up the medicine in your body while you are still able to smoke a few more days.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you have depression or mental health problems.
  • Sign up for the easy-to-use GETQUIT Plan included in your Chantix (Varenicline) starter pack for strategies to keep you off cigarettes.
  • You should always take Chantix (Varenicline) with food and a full glass of water to reduce side effects.
  • The most common side effect is nausea, which can make you feel like you are going to throw up.
  • Quitting is hard. If you slip-up and have a cigarette, don’t give up. You can still keep taking Chantix (Varenicline).
  • Start treatment at least 1 week before target quit date and continue for 7-12 weeks. Can be used with nicotine replacement therapy. Take in the morning. Notify your healthcare provider for sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Needs to be taken every day for 1 to 2 weeks to start feeling better, and for 6 to 8 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.
  • It's important to keep taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline) even when you feel your symptoms are getting better.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more
More about ChantixSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Chantix (varenicline)?
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More about ZybanSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Zyban (bupropion)?
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More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it