Could taking Chantix to quit smoking pose a problem, since it affects Dopamine?
Answer Linda, I am glad you are interested in Chantix. This is Pfizer’s new drug which acts by blocking the brains receptors for nicotine. Specifically it blocks the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. It is through this receptor that nicotine uses to stimulate the dopamine system. So it is blocking the abnormal stimulation of dopamine that smokers experience. The drug was extensively tested in clinical studies and approved by the FDA. There was no report of Parkinsonian type effects. The most common side effects were: nausea changes in dreaming constipation gas vomiting Nausea was relatively common and led to a reduction in dose in some patients, but only 3% of people dropped the drug because of nausea. I think this is an excellent option to talk to your doctor about. Patients taking Chantix with bupropion had a very good success rate and Pfizer provides some counseling material to help you quit as well. Good luck! Michael Dean, Ph.D.