Chantix and alcohol is a deadly combination and can cause serious Chantix side effects. Find out the possible side effects of Chantix with the consumption of alcohol.
Chantix and alcohol - A Brief Introduction
Varenicline is the drug that is available with a brand name Chantix and it is manufactured and promoted by Pfizer pharmaceutical company. It is widely prescribed by the doctors to addictive smokers to help them give up their smoking habit. Chantix is as a smoking cessation aid that is prescribed for smokers that are seeking to get rid of smoking.
Chantix is basically indicated as part of a broader anti-smoking therapy that involves counseling assistance, behavior modification, and support.
The best added advantage from using Chantix is that it is a non-nicotine anti-smoking product and it is effective in preventing nicotine withdrawal symptoms unlike many other smoking cessation products. It works by binding to the nicotine receptors in brain and inactivates the reaction of pleasure centers in the brain thus reducing the desire to smoke.
This article highlights about the Chantix effect on alcoholism, Chantix and alcohol interaction, and its side effects, that are encountered by the smokers on Chantix therapy.
Chantix and alcohol - Effect on alcohol cravings
Chantix is a potent smoking cessation drug and has been known to reduce the alcohol cravings in smokers. The drug contains an active ingredient varenicline that works by curbing the alcohol cravings in smokers. Apart from helping smokers to quit smoking, it fights against alcohol addiction by blocking the stimulation of nicotine acetylcholine receptors, or nAChrs in the brain.
Hence Chantix plays a dual role in curbing both nicotine and alcohol dependence in both smokers as well as in alcoholics. Moreover, expert health care professionals claim that their patients had lost interest on alcohol just few days after prescribing the Chantix medication. There are many more reports to support this claim.
Chantix and alcohol - Worth the Risks?
Chantix is an anti-craving medicine that assists the smokers who are seeking to quit their smoking habit. Recently, it has been detected that the drug is effective in reducing the alcohol cravings in its users. Therapeutically, Chantix works by interrupting the reward center in the brain that encourages people to get addicted to alcohol. It interrupts the positive response from reward center and gradually changes its response to unpleasantness during alcohol intake.
Moreover, Chantix therapy is used as an addition to a multi-faceted therapy that includes intake of nutritional foods or supplements, lifestyle modification, counseling assistance and support. This conjunction therapy contributes to a successful recovery program and increases the chances to get rid of both smoking as well as alcoholism.
Chantix and alcohol is Not Recommended
Chantix drug is currently not approved for alcohol addiction however patients are keen to get the drug prescribed by their physician after finding compelling evidence that claims its efficacy in alcohol dependence. It is imperative for the Chantix users to tell their health care professional about their psychiatric illness if it has been encountered in the past.
Moreover, it is necessary for every physician to carefully prescribe Chantix after thoroughly monitoring the patient's behavior irrespective of whether the patient experienced behavioral changes in the past or not. Additionally, it is required to check for behavioral changes while on Chantix therapy as well as after the completion of Chantix course.
How Can Chantix (Varenicline) Affect Your Alcohol Intake?
The reason behind the Chantix playing two in one role is that it functions in alcoholics by attacking the same pleasure center in the brain that responds to the nicotine products. It has a potent effect on the brain receptors by blocking the release of dopamine during smoking.
Hence, Chantix works with the same mechanism of action to curb many other addictions like substance addiction as well as behavioral addiction like gambling. Moreover, alcohol affects the same brain receptors that are analogous to and affected by the nicotine from tobacco. In this way, Chantix may be effective in reducing the appetite for alcohol in heavy alcoholics. However, alcoholic abuse and alcoholism researchers are aiming to begin with their clinical trials based on this concept.
Some studies of Chantix and alcohol
According to a nonrandomized pilot study, it has been demonstrated that varenicline, an active component of Chantix reduced the alcohol desire in both occasional and heavy alcoholics by increasing the unpleasantness of alcohol. In this study, the Chantix users experienced severe dysphoria after the intake of alcohol and gradually developed disliking for alcohol.
According to reports, the varenicline blocked the pleasure response from brain centers and subsequently altered the response to unpleasantness. The alcoholics felt it less enjoyable and the effects were independent from the adverse reactions of Chantix.
Combination of Chantix and alcohol
It is not advised to take Chantix with heavy dose of alcohol to avoid drug interactions. Although, small amounts of alcohol would be fine and may not cause major side effects. According to ABC news, it has been reported that a patient on Chantix therapy developed hallucinations and serious behavioral changes after alcohol intake.
Moreover, the news also claimed that Chantix is widely used by about millions of people and no such violent reports have ben encountered in contrary to the allegations based on the combination of Chantix and alcohol.
Reportedly, many patients claimed that Chantix causes irrational behavior pattern, nightmares, and broad mood swings with contemplated suicide. Half of the cases were involved in moderate to heavy intake of alcohol while few cases encountered the same experience without an intake of alcohol.
In addition, no clinical studies have provided evidence to support the negative effects of alcohol in patients on Chantix therapy. Hence, it is recommended to avoid alcohol over-dosage as it is dangerous in either ways unless on Chantix therapy or not.
Side effects of Chantix and alcohol intake
Smokers with simultaneous intake of Chantix and alcohol are more likely to develop severe confusion. In severe cases, consuming both Chantix and alcohol at the same time drives the smokers to undertake suicidal actions. Therefore, it is not recommended to take Chantix and alcohol simultaneously.
According to clinical trials, Chantix and alcohol caused severe nausea in smokers and caused vomiting.
Additionally, they also presented with serious, life threatening allergic reactions. On experiencing severe side effects, the patients should immediately discontinue the medication and seek emergency medical help. However, it has been reported that these findings were not triggered by the alcohol intake and appeared to be due to the drug interaction.
Chantix and alcohol Side Effects
Commonly, combined intake of Chantix and alcohol can result in certain side effects like hallucination, behavioral alterations, severe aggression and violent behavior. It is imperative to recognize these side effects as alcohol interaction with the drug and seek immediate medical help in order to prevent disastrous outcome.
More Chantix and Alcohol Indications
Some of the commonly encountered side effects due to a combination of Chantix and alcohol include headache, nausea, gas formation, abnormal or unusual dreams, stomach upset, broad mood swings, and increased appetite, vomiting, and altered taste sensation.
It is advised to consult your physician on experiencing these side effects persistently.
The serious side effects of using Chantix and alcohol include severe allergic reactions like urticaria or itching, rashes, hives, breathing difficulty, swelling of the face, mouth, lips or tongue, tightness of the chest, fainting, behavioral changes, hoarseness, changes in heartbeat.
Other Chantix and Alcohol Side Effects
Chantix side effects may also include chest pain, memory loss, hallucinations, mood disorders, sleeping problems, mental illness, depression, suicidal ideation or actions, seizures, or unusual dreams, severe or persistent nausea, red, swollen, blistered or peeled skin, and alterations in vision.
It is advised to immediately seek medical support on encountering any of these side effects to avoid negative outcome.