What is Chantix?
Chantix (varenicline) is a medication that is an aid to help people quit smoking. Chantix functions principally in two ways: the first is that it activates certain portions in the brain that are affected by nicotine. It hits receptors known as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These parts of the brain are stimulated in a similar fashion that nicotine would stimulate them and they provide a mild nicotine-like buzz which can help smokers who have recently quit transition easier into a cigarette-free life! The second effect of the medication is that it attaches to those receptors and prevents nicotine from binding to it which has the result of mollifying the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
How Does Nicotine Affect the Brain?
Even outside of smoking traditional tobacco products, nicotine itself can give you a noticeable high or boost in mood that is described as mildly euphoric. This is the result of quick changes happening with your brain chemistry and it is typically felt within the first 10 seconds of taking a drag of a cigarette or consuming nicotine in various forms. In other words, it’s immediately gratifying—which is one psychological principle that is typically found in most things that are addicting.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are what nicotine binds to. These receptors are for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, but nicotine has a similar molecular structure and can bind to those receptors as well. The result is a dopamine release. Like most things that release dopamine, we tend to associate pleasure with the activity that elicits the release through associative memory and reasoning. These associative ties are quite strong, for example, imagine if on certain nights of the week you watched your favorite show. Every time this show comes on, you decide to have a drink. Eventually, you’ll associate the show with the pleasure you obtain from drinking alcohol and your opinion of the show may be better than if you were to have watched it completely sober.
Since Chantix will bind to the receptors that nicotine ordinarily goes to, it means that the nicotine you take in after smoking a cigarette has nowhere to go. You’ll notice that while Chantix is in your system, smoking will not carry the same joy that it ordinarily might. This can be a particularly enlightening experience, as many people understand logically that nicotine plays a big part in the addictiveness of cigarettes, but it’s hard to separate that from the sensation that smoking itself is enjoyable.
Why is Smoking So Addicting?
Smoking is a high addiction hobby for a reason, the first reason is because of the nicotine fix that you will require after consistently smoking. Nicotine withdrawals are quite well documented and so it’s clear that the need to smoke is very real.
Besides nicotine addiction, an underrated aspect of smoking is the breath component. When people smoke cigarettes, they are encouraged to take long, deep, and slow breaths that will also have the effect of making them relaxed. Slow, deep breathing is known to generate a parasympathetic response, and so simply breathing in a slow and controlled manner can offer a great deal of relaxation to people who are looking to quit smoking cigarettes.
You can break down smoking addiction into the three components of addiction, which is that it is either mental, physical, or social. Most powerful addictions are all three—smoking is one that strongly appeals to all three.
Nicotine is physiologically addicting, which is straightforward. However, many people might underestimate how much smoking cigarettes becomes a ritual and way to structure their day. It’s not uncommon for your average smoker to have a cigarette in the morning, one at lunchtime and one around dinner time. For many people, that’s the bare minimum of consumption for them, and they’ll often have cigarettes in between those times. The social addiction comes from the fact that being a smoker is almost like a label or a category, with numerous crackdowns over the years on public smoking and stigmatizing smoking in general, many smokers who are reluctant to quit consider themselves as part of a group. Besides that consideration, smoking is highly social in the sense that many people meet or have social interactions through smoking itself. If you go to a smoking area to have a cigarette you may begin a conversation with someone who has asked you for a cigarette or a light. Since these areas are small and concentrated, there’s not much else to do but socialize—it feels natural. This is one of the most difficult aspects in regards to quitting according to many smokers.
Quitting Smoking Using Chantix
Chantix is best used in conjunction with a program or plan that will help you quit. There are different strategies you can use to quit smoking using Chantix.
One way is to decide a proper date as to when you will quit smoking and then start using Chantix before that date. Continue to smoke in the overlapping period so you can see firsthand how Chantix starts to affect your perception of smoking. Since the nicotine you’re getting from smoking can’t bind to the appropriate receptors, you may begin to feel differently about smoking once you stop receiving a nicotine buzz from it.
It is always recommended as a general rule of thumb to start with a low dose and slowly gradate the dose higher so that minimal withdrawal effects are felt as you approach and pass the date you are officially quitting. Keep in mind that this is not prescribed medical advice, merely suggested usage by the drug manufacturer over a 3-6 month period. Additionally, it is recommended to take Chantix with a full glass of water after eating to prevent any stomach disturbances.
Chantix comes in two varieties: a starting month box, which contains 4 weeks worth of Chantix. One week is a starter dose which is a low dose that you are meant to use before your smoking quit date, and then 3 weeks of a higher continuing dosage.
The other box is a continuing month box. It contains a full 4 weeks of the same dose, use this box if you’ve already reached your quit date and are using Chantix to keep withdrawals at bay and to take the bite out of smoking.
Side Effects of Chantix
Side effects of Chantix can include:
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Insomnia or unusual dreams
- Changes in taste may occur
If you have any serious side effects that result in seizure, heart attack symptoms or sweating/shortness of breath, stop taking Chantix immediately and seek medical attention.
Chantix Prescription Assistance
If it helps, it’s worth it. According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths annually—or about 1 in 5 deaths in the United States are related to smoking. Tobacco-related deaths lead the way in preventable fatalities. Chantix can help you quit smoking and can make the process much easier. Cigarettes and tobacco products contain so many toxic compounds and carcinogens that it is imperative you quit smoking as soon as possible.
Rx Solutions has been helping many Americans afford prescription medications like Chantix for a discounted or reduced price. We do this by introducing our customers to manufacturer prescription assistance programs that are aimed at helping uninsured and underinsured Americans afford these life-changing medications.
If you would like to find out if you qualify for discounted brand name prescription medications such as Chantix, contact us here or call us at (888)-823-0042!