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How Much Does Chantix Cost?

writtenByWritten by: Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa is a MSN prepared Registered Nurse with 10 years of critical care experience in healthcare. When not practicing clinical nursing, she enjoys academic writing and is passionate about helping those affected by medical aliments live healthy lives.

Read more posts by this author.

January 21, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

Find Out the Cost of Chantix

According to the CDC, 14% of adults aged 18 years or older currently smoke cigarettes. This means that 34.1 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes, and of those, 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and accounts for 480,000 deaths per year (1 in 5 deaths).

Smoking cessation has been the goal of many health care professionals over the years. Nicotine gum, patches, and inhalers have all graced the market in an attempt to fight smoking addiction. One of these drugs is called Chantix (varenicline), which is a tablet taken to aid in smoking cessation.

Chantix is a smoking cessation aid that works by blocking nicotine from reaching receptors in the brain, which breaks the pleasure cycle of habitual smoking. This prevents cravings by releasing small amounts of dopamine, another brain chemical.

Keep reading to find out how much Chantix costs, as well as how it works and whether it is covered by insurance.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

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How Much Does Chantix Cost?

Chantix pricing in the United States varies depending on insurance coverage and the amount of time you take Chantix. Generally speaking, Chantix tablets cost $9.49 per 0.5 mg or 1.0 mg tablet. Price or price range is provided as a reference point only and may vary. A 30-day supply of Chantix can cost up to $485, so many people will look to their insurer to cover the cost. Without insurance, the Chantix starter pack costs $593.59.

How Much Does Chantix Cost With Insurance?

The average retail price of Chantix is $541.36, while the lowest cost with insurance is $445.73.

While Chantix has been on the market since 2006, a generic form of Chantix, called varenicline, was released in 2020, which helped decrease its price. Generic forms of medication are always cheaper than brand name forms. This is because more companies can produce tablets in the generic form and not have the expense of developing and marketing a new drug.

Is Chantix Covered By Insurance?

Yes, most insurance plans cover the cost of Chantix. It is more beneficial for insurance companies to cover non-smokers verses smokers. With the associated cost and health risks of smoking, insurance companies would prefer those to quit smoking. 

Chantix is considered a Tier 3 drug on many of these formularies, meaning that customers may pay high out-of-pocket costs. Fortunately, health insurance plans such as Medicaid, and Medicare Part D prescription plans cover Chantix.

Copays may vary depending on the insurance company, but many insurance companies will cover the entire cost of Chantix. You have to contact your insurance company directly to determine the exact cost out of pocket.

Do I Need a Prescription For Chantix?

Yes,  you need a prescription in order to take Chantix. Chantix is available as a prescription in the United States. You must get a prescription from a board-certified doctor before you can purchase a prescription online.

The good news is that you can get a prescription for Chantix online by booking an appointment with our world-class PlushCare doctors. At PlushCare, you can get Chantix prescribed and then pick it up at a trusted pharmacy of your choosing. 

PlushCare doctors will speak with you over video chat, assess your symptoms, and prescribe the appropriate medication. Many smoking cessation medications are available if Chantix does not work for you.


Read: Learn How to Clean Lungs After Quitting Smoking


How Many Pills Are in the Chantix Starter Pack?

A Chantix starter pack typically has 53 tablets (pills). Chantix is a three- to six-month fixed-dose treatment, with the starter pack providing treatment for the first 4 weeks. Starter packs without insurance coverage cost $593.59.

Chantix Dosage

Initial doses of Chantix is 0.5 mg once daily for 3 days, and then 0.5 mg twice daily from day 4 to 7. On day 8, you may take 1 mg twice daily. If you do not tolerate the recommended dose, you can consider temporary or permanent dose reduction. Chantix should be continued for an additional 11 weeks for a total of 12 weeks of treatment. 

Chantix Side Effects

As with any prescription medications, Chantix has side effects. Some side effects are tolerable, while others force you to discontinue the medication altogether. Mild side effects of Chantix include:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation

The most common side effects are headache, insomnia, and abnormal dreams. 12 to 19% of people who take Chantix will have one or more of these mild side effects. In order to decrease the risk of gastric upset while taking Chantix, make sure to take it after eating and with a full glass of water.

Severe side effects of Chantix that warrant discontinuation include:

  • Skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Somnambulism (harmful behavior to self, others, or property)
  • Seizures

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have adverse side effects while taking Chantix.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

How Long Does Chantix Take to Start Working?

Once you begin taking Chantix, the cravings should subside within 3 to 4 hours. The medication works almost immediately by binding to the nicotine receptors in your brain. This reduces the pleasure cycle of habitual smoking, thereby preventing cravings. Chantix also releases a brain chemical called dopamine, which aids in quitting as well.

If you have a smoking addiction or would like to quit smoking, Chantix may be a good addition to your treatment plan. Smoking is common among men and women and can be easily managed with medication. Getting help for your smoking cessation can come from a healthcare provider at PlushCare.

Quitting smoking is difficult, especially if you have been smoking for years. If not treated, you may develop health problems that were preventable. Do not wait to quit smoking on your own. If you are ready to take the next step and quit smoking, make an appointment with PlushCare today to speak with a doctor. 

Remember that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and accounts for 480,000 deaths per year (1 in 5 deaths). Take your health into your own hands and quit smoking today.


Read More About Chantix


References

CDC. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States Accessed on January 8, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/adult_data/cig_smoking/index.htm

Pubmed.gov. Pharmacoeconomic spotlight on varenicline as an aid to smoking cessation. Accessed on January 21, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20806990/

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Trends in Utilization, Spending, and Prices of Smoking-Cessation Medications in Medicaid Programs: 25 Years Empirical Data Analysis, 1991–2015. Accessed on January 21, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207314/

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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