What is varenicline?

Varenicline, available as the brand-name version Chantix or generic, is a quit smoking medication that does not contain nicotine. It is available in tablets by prescription only.

How does varenicline work?

  • Varenicline acts like nicotine, but it does not contain nicotine. It fools the receptors in your brain into thinking they have gotten a dose of nicotine, which makes cravings less intense and less frequent.
  • Length of treatment varies from 12 to 24 weeks. It may be several weeks before you experience the positive effects of varenicline.

How can I get varenicline?

  • If you have insurance, most health plans offer quitting medication at no or very low cost to members. Call the number on the back of your insurance card to check on your benefits.
  • You’ll need to get a prescription from your healthcare provider to use varenicline, whether or not it is covered by insurance.