Does Chantix (Varenicline) Cause Dizziness Or Vertigo?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Chantix (Varenicline) can cause symptoms of vertigo such feeling dizzy.

Question

Took the first 5 days of the Chantix starter pack. Day 5 had a normal day, took the am dose at same time as I took the others. 13 hrs later, had the most severe vertigo attack with extreme vomiting. Full stroke work up negative. Stopped taking the medicine. Took this medication 3 yrs ago for months and never had this reaction. Should I blame the Chantix for the vertigo episode since everything else was ruled out clinically

Asked by Bzgirl On Jul 30, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jul 31, 2018

Chantix (Varenicline) is used in aiding in smoking cessation.   From the drug manufacturer’s patient website, the most common side effects seen with Chantix (Verenicline) include:

  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems including trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams
  • Constipation
  • Gas 
  • Vomiting


Looking further into the prescribing information for Chantix (Varenicline), vertigo is reported as an infrequent side effect.  Vertigo can be defined as a type of dizziness described as a spinning or swaying movement.  Dizziness is also reported by the manufacturer as a frequent side effect.  


It is possible that the side effects that you experienced can be attributed to the Chantix (Varenicline). Vomiting and dizziness or vertigo can also be side effects seen in other conditions such as migraines or uneven pressure in the middle ear.  The best course of action would be to now contact your doctor or other health care provider to discuss your next steps if you have not done so already.


There are other options to aid in smoking cessation than Chantix (Verenicline) if you and your doctor determine that it is not worth the risk of side effects to give Chantix (Varenicline) another try. 

About the Pharmacist

Ms. Jennifer Hauder RPh

Jennifer Hauder is a registered pharmacist in the state of Illinois. She has over 10 years experience as a pharmacist in the retail and pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) settings. She became a pharmacist due to her interest in healthcare and the opportunity to help others with their healthcare needs. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and two black labs Lucky and Charms.

About Chantix (Varenicline)

Chantix (varenicline) is a smoking cessation drug that acts as a nicotine receptor agonist. Chantix works by providing similar effects as nicotine, to help with withdrawal symptoms when smoking decreases or stops while also blocking the effects of nicotine if the user were to relapse and smoke. Chantix also helps to reduce nicotine cravings. Chantix therapy can be initiated a few different ways, but is most often started 1 week before a scheduled "quit date". Most often, Chantix is started at a low dose through the use of 'titration packs' and is gradually increased to reduce the incidence of side effects. Chantix should be taken after eating with a full glass of water.

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