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Question : I am a smoker with mild depression. I take a low dose of Zoloft (sertraline) and have been feeling better. I had tried Zyban (bupropion) but had side effects. I really want to quit smoking. Can I take Chantix (varenicline)?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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September 30, 2013
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Varenicline is an effective drug to help people quit smoking. But some studies have suggested that varenicline can cause depression, or make it worse. So, doctors have been concerned about prescribing it for people like you.

However, a very recent study looked at that very question. Does varenicline make depressive symptoms worse in people with the condition? The researchers compared varenicline to a placebo (sugar pill). The people that took varenicline were not more depressed. And they did not have any increase in suicidal thought.

Talk with your doctor. It may be worth a try. According to this study, you have a good chance of quitting for good.

Of course, if your symptoms of depression return, let your doctor know immediately.

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