Compare Chantix vs. Zyban

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Chantix (varenicline)

Prescription only

Zyban (Bupropion)

Prescription only
Helps you quit smoking.

Chantix (varenicline) is a great way to help you quit smoking, but you can run into more problems with it compared to other alternative aids.

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.

Upsides
  • Chantix (varenicline) improves your long-term chances of quitting smoking.
  • Doesn't cause weight gain unlike some other aids that help you quit smoking.
  • Safe to use if you have kidney or liver problems.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Can cause more nausea and mood side effects than other aids that help you quit smoking.
  • Can't use other aids that help you quit smoking while you're on Chantix (varenicline).
  • Chantix (varenicline) is prescription only, but most other aids that help you quit smoking aren't.
  • Drinking alcohol and using Chantix (varenicline) can cause you to be more drunk than usual.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
18possible side effects
  • Nausea
    30%
  • Trouble sleeping
    18%
  • Headache
    15%
  • Abnormal dreams
    13%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Stomach pain
    7%
  • Fatigue, discomfort, lack of energy
    7%
  • Gas
    6%
  • Dry mouth
    6%
  • Upset stomach
    5%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Sleep disorder
    5%
  • Abnormal sense of taste
    5%
  • Airway problems above the lung
    5%
  • Sleepiness
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Bigger appetite
    3%
  • Smaller or no appetite
    2%
See more detailed side effects
14possible side effects
  • Insomnia
    31%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Arthralgia
    4%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Neck pain
    2%
  • Increased appetite
    2%
  • Myalgia
    2%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Somnolence
    2%
  • Bronchitis
    2%
  • Dry skin
    2%
  • Taste perversion
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior and abnormal mood changes
    • History of depression
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • Use of alcohol
  • Nausea
  • Heart and blood vessel problems
    • History of heart problems
  • Seizures
    • History of seizure
    • Taking other medicines that raise seizure risk
  • Sleepwalking
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Hypersensitivity to Chantix (varenicline)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Psychiatric effects for quitting smoking
    • History of depression
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    • Withdrawing from nicotine
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 and younger
  • Seizures
    • Those taking large doses
  • Hypertension
    • Those taking MAOIs or using a nicotine patch
  • Angle-closure Glaucoma
  • Mania
  • Severe allergic reactions
See more detailed risks and warnings