Chantix is a prescription medication designed to help smokers quit the habit. The pill is nicotine-free, which is a marked difference from some smoking cessation products on the market, and it allows smokers to keep smoking for the first week of their treatment. Since quitting smoking does often go hand in hand with weight gain, however, it's worthwhile to consider how Chantix can impact a potential weight loss plan.
Chantix is available by prescription only, so it's not accessible to everyone. According to the Chantix website, the medication attaches to nicotine receptors in the brain, effectively blocking the path of nicotine. The website also purports that the product reduces the brain's release of dopamine as it relates to nicotine. Chantix is not meant to be used as a weight loss medication and is not designed to produce any effects that may stimulate weight loss.
Chantix does not list weight loss or weight gain as potential side effects. However, there are potential side effects that may impact a congruent weight loss plan; these include agitation, hostility, depression, nausea, gas and vomiting.
According to MayoClinic.com, it's common to gain weight in the first few months after you quit smoking, as smoking may increase metabolism and act as an appetite suppressant. This phenomenon can wreak havoc on a weight loss plan, even if Chantix eases your cravings for nicotine and makes the process easier to endure. To combat potential weight gain, ex-smokers can strive to become more physically active, adopt a comprehensive fitness plan and follow a healthier diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and nonfat dairy products.
Even if you do gain weight in conjunction with taking Chantix, it's important to realize that by sticking to your weight loss plan, you're likely to take off the weight over time. According to Smokefree.gov, most ex-smokers lose some or all of the weight they gain within six months after quitting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you lose no more than a pound or two per week in a healthy plan.
Before using Chantix, speak with your physician about your weight loss plan and what it entails; your doctor may be able to provide personalized recommendations that can help you lose or at least maintain weight during the time you take Chantix.