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Varenicline oral tablet dosage: A detailed guide

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Doctors prescribe varenicline oral tablet to help stop smoking. You take it by mouth twice per day.
Medically reviewed by Paul Hetrick, PharmD
Updated on

This article describes varenicline oral tablet’s dosages and strengths and gives details on how to take it. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for varenicline. To learn more about varenicline, talk with your doctor.

Varenicline oral tablet is a generic version of the brand-name drug Chantix. Varenicline also comes as a nasal spray, but that form is brand-name only. It isn’t described in this article. To learn more about that form, talk with your doctor.

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Form and strengths of varenicline

Varenicline oral tablet comes as follows:

  • Form: tablet that you swallow
  • Strengths: 0.5 milligrams (mg), 1 mg

Dosage of varenicline

This article describes the recommended dosages for varenicline oral tablet. The drugmaker provides these dosages. In some cases, doctors may adjust your dosage from those shown below.

If your doctor prescribes this medication, you should follow the dosage they prescribe. Your doctor will determine the dosage that best meets your needs. Do not change your dosage of varenicline oral tablet without your doctor’s recommendation.

Usual recommended dosages of varenicline in adults

You can take varenicline by mouth with or without food. You should begin taking varenicline tablets a week prior to the date you set to stop smoking. You could also quit smoking between days 8 and 35 of varenicline treatment.

Dosage to help stop smoking

  • Starting dosage week 1: Take 0.5 mg once daily for days 1 to 3; then take 0.5 mg twice daily for days 4 to 7
  • Maintenance dosage: Take 1 mg twice daily for 12 weeks
  • Maximum daily dose: 1 mg twice daily

Dosing can continue for an additional 12 weeks to improve long-term success. This is a total of 24 weeks of treatment.

Dosages of varenicline in children

Varenicline is not recommended for use in children 16 years old or younger. The effectiveness has not been determined. The usual dosage for helping stop smoking is:

  • Starting dosage week 1: Take 0.5 mg daily for days 1 to 3; then take 0.5 mg twice daily for days 4 to 7
  • Maintenance dosage: Take 1 mg twice daily for 12 weeks
  • Maximum daily dose: 1 mg twice daily

Frequently asked questions

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about varenicline oral tablet and its dosage.

What is the varenicline starter pack dose?

The varenicline starter pack contains the first month of treatment. This includes 11 tablets (0.5 mg each) for week 1. You should take 1 tablet each day for days 1 to 3. For days 4 to 7, you should then take 1 tablet twice a day. The starter pack also includes 42 tablets (1 mg each) that should be taken twice daily.

The varenicline starter pack makes it easier to keep track of which day of treatment you’re on and if you took your medication. But it’s not required to start taking varenicline.

Speak with your doctor if you have additional questions about the varenicline starter pack.

Is varenicline 2 mg dose twice daily appropriate to take?

No. The maximum dosage of varenicline is 1 mg twice daily, which comes out to a 2 mg daily dose. Doses higher than this were not shown to be more effective. They also had more side effects, like nausea and vomiting.

Speak with your doctor if you have concerns about your varenicline dosing.

Varenicline coupon

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Overdose of varenicline

It’s important that you do not take more varenicline oral tablet than your doctor prescribes. Doing so can lead to harmful effects.

What to do if you take too much varenicline

If you think you’ve taken too much varenicline, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.

Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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