Chantix vs Wellbutrin – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences


It is the brand name of a drug called varenicline that was designed specifically to interact with the nicotine receptor in the brain. It is in a class of drugs called partial cholinergic nicotinic agonists.

This medication works by interfering with the receptors in the brain which respond to nicotine. This weakens the symptoms which come with nicotine withdrawal and reduces the amount of mental and physical pleasure an individual receives from smoking.

According to recent studies, 44 percent of study participants were able to quit smoking after 3 months of using this product. Quitting smoking can lower your chances of having heart disease, lung disease, or getting some forms of cancer that are related to smoking tobacco.


It is a smoking cessation medicine that is used together with counseling support and behavior modification to help the patient to stop smoking.


This medication comes in 1.0 mg (blue tablet) and 0.5 mg (white tablet). The initial recommended dosage is 0,5 mg (white tablet) per day for the first three days. Then, starting the fourth day, the recommended dosage is 1 mg (blue tablet) two times per day in the morning and evening. You will take the treatment for about 12 weeks.

Note – if you have completely stopped smoking at the end of the treatment, your healthcare provider may tell you to take this medication for another 12 weeks (it will help keep you from starting to smoke tobacco again).

Side Effects And Precautions Of Varenicline

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • nausea (may persist for a few months);
  • tiredness;
  • constipation;
  • dry mouth;
  • indigestion;
  • unpleasant taste in the mouth;
  • gas;
  • headaches;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • unusual dreams;
  • weakness;
  • vomiting.

Rare side effects may include:

  • strange dreams;
  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • aggression;
  • thoughts about hurting yourself;
  • slurred speech;
  • sleepwalking;
  • blisters in your mouth;
  • mood or behavior changes;
  • sudden numbness;
  • hostility;
  • problems with balance;
  • agitation;
  • depression;
  • skin rash which spreads and causes blistering;
  • redness of the skin;
  • sweating;
  • pain spreading to the shoulder;
  • chest pain.

According to data, some users have experienced nightmares, hallucinations, or euphoria. Also, people quitting smoking tobacco commonly have nicotine withdrawal symptoms which may include:

  • sweating;
  • intense cravings for nicotine;
  • insomnia;
  • tingling in the hands;
  • anxiety;
  • intestinal cramping;
  • irritability;
  • nausea;
  • weight gain;
  • depression;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • a sore throat;
  • coughing;
  • headaches.


It is the brand name of a drug called bupropion that affects the balance of dopamine and noradrenaline, natural chemicals which are found in the brain and affect the mood.


This medication is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, major depressive disorder (a mood disorder that affects how you think and feel), and to help people quit smoking tobacco.


The usual recommended dose for smoking cessation is 150 mg once per day for the first 3 days and then two times per day for 7 to 12 weeks. The usual recommended dose for the seasonal affective disorder is 150 mg once per day in the morning. The dose (for some people) may be increased to 300 mg once per day.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Bupropion

Common side effects may include:

  • dry mouth;
  • agitation;
  • vomiting;
  • constipation;
  • tremors;
  • migraines;
  • insomnia (sleep problems);
  • rapid heartbeat;
  • headaches;
  • nausea;
  • hostility;
  • dizziness;
  • itchiness;
  • excessive sweating;
  • hives;
  • blurred vision;
  • taste disorders;
  • visual disturbance;
  • sweating;
  • irregular heartbeat;
  • rash.

Rare side effects may include:

  • high blood pressure;
  • chest pain;
  • hallucinating;
  • flushing;
  • blisters;
  • rapid heartbeat;
  • hoarseness;
  • confusion;
  • muscle pain;
  • problems swallowing;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • anorexia;
  • joint pain;
  • swelling of the throat, face, tongue, eyes, lips, hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs;
  • irrational fears;
  • seizures;
  • ringing in the ears.

To make sure this drug is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • high blood pressure;
  • spinal cord tumor;
  • a history of heart attack;
  • narrow-angle glaucoma;
  • liver disease;
  • seizures;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • heart disease;
  • a history of head injury;
  • if you regularly drink alcoholic beverages;
  • any mental illness;
  • kidney disease.

Because a dangerous drug interaction could occur, do not use a monoamine oxidase inhibitor within two weeks before or after you take this medication. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors include tranylcypromine, selegiline, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, phenelzine, and linezolid.

Chantix vs Wellbutrin – Differences

Chantix (active ingredient – varenicline) was developed mainly to help people quit smoking. This medication works by stimulating nicotine receptors in the brain.

Wellbutrin (active ingredient – bupropion) belongs to a group of medications called antidepressants, that work by affecting certain natural chemicals in the brain. This antidepressant is used as an aid in smoking cessation treatment as well as to promote emotional recovery in people with depressive disorders.

In conclusion, both medications can help people quit smoking, however, varenicline is more efficient than bupropion, according to a 2013 Cochrane meta-analysis. Also, both have plenty of side effects for the mind and body.

Natural Remedies To Quit Smoking

#1 Lobelia

The active ingredients in this plant are thought to have similar actions on the body as nicotine. Therefore, lobelia has been promoted to help individuals fight the adverse effects of nicotine withdrawal. Also, it is used for breathing problems including bronchitis, asthma,  shortness of breath, and whooping cough.

#2 Licorice Stick

Licorice root is an excellent natural remedy to use for when you feel the need to smoke tobacco. Moreover, licorice promotes the action of adrenal hormones, that can be useful in the withdrawal phase when someone quits smoking cigarettes.

#3 Oats

It helps to flush out the harmful toxins from the human body while reducing the craving for smoking.

#4 Reduce Your Stress Levels

Tai Chi is a type of martial arts that promotes relaxation and fitness. It also helps people quit smoking more easily. For instance, smokers who had three one-hour sessions per week of Tai Chi quit smoking in comparison to people who didn’t, according to a study done at the University of Miami.

#5 Valerian

It is a powerful sedative herb that helps with anxiety, restlessness, and stress which come with quitting smoking.

Image source – @Getty & Shutterstock

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