Compare Prescription Medication

All FDA-approved medications can help you manage cravings and nicotine withdrawal.

You’d put a bandage over a blister that’s irritating your foot on a hike so that you can keep going comfortably. Quitting medications make this climb a bit more manageable so you can actually enjoy the view along the way and get to the top.

Learn more about your options for the best medication to help you to quit.

Pros and Cons of Prescription Quitting Medications

Varenicline (Chantix®)

Pros of varenicline

  • Easy to use
  • Comes in a pill
  • Your chance of successful quitting with a single medicine is best with varenicline
  • Generally well tolerated
  • No known drug interactions

Cons of varenicline

  • Requires a prescription from a healthcare provider
  • Side effects are common (nausea, abnormal dreams, sleep disturbances)
  • It may cost more than other types of medications if you have to pay for it yourself

Learn more about varenicline

Bupropion (Zyban®)

Pros of bupropion

  • Easy to use
  • Pill form
  • Few side effects (most common are dry mouth and insomnia)
  • May be used in combination with nicotine replacement products (nicotine patches, gum, lozenge, or spray)

Cons of bupropion

  • Requires a prescription
  • Bupropion is not recommended if you have certain medical conditions, such as a history of seizures, or liver failure. Read Side Effects and Precautions of Bupropion for more information.
  • If you use MAO inhibitors (a certain kind of antidepressant), using bupropion at the same time may have dangerous side effects, such as very high blood pressure. Always check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before starting any new medication.

Learn more about bupropion

Nicotine Nasal Spray

Pros of nicotine nasal spray

  • Easy to use
  • Flexible dosing
  • Can be used in response to stress or cravings, and can help with cravings more quickly than other types of nicotine medications
  • Can be used with a nicotine patch for more support
  • Fastest delivery of nicotine of all FDA-approved products

Cons of nicotine nasal spray

  • Requires a prescription
  • Nose and throat irritation is common, but usually goes away after one week
  • In order to get adequate levels of nicotine, you must remember to use the nicotine nasal spray frequently during the day (once or twice per hour, up to five times per hour)
  • May cause nose bleeds

Learn more about nicotine nasal spray