Taking this medication requires a little bit of planning. You need a prescription from your doctor, and the drug works best if you start taking it before your quit date.
The standard way to use varenicline is to begin taking it 1 week before your quit date. There are also other ways to take it, but you and your doctor can decide which one will work best for you.
Most smokers take varenicline for 12 weeks. Your doctor may tell you to take it for another 12 weeks to help prevent you from starting to smoke again.
Always take varenicline with food and at least one glass of water.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, September 26, 2017
Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.