What is Champix?
Champix is a medicine that is used in adults to help them stop smoking. Stopping smoking on your own can be extremely difficult. Champix helps facilitate stopping smoking by relieving the craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking. Champix also reduces the enjoyment of cigarettes if you do smoke while taking it.
For further advice on how to quit smoking please visit our addiction support page.
How does Champix work?
Champix contains the active ingredient Varenicline. Varenicline is a nicotinic receptor partial agonist. Varenicline stimulates nicotine receptors more weakly than nicotine does itself. It both reduces the cravings for and decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
How do you take Champix?
Always take this medication as it has been prescribed to you by your doctor or pharmacist.
Champix comes as a white tablet (0.5 mg) and a light blue tablet (1 mg). From day 1 to 3, you take the white tablet once a day. From day 4 – 7, you take one white tablet in the morning and one at night. From weeks 2 – 12, take one blue tablet in the morning and one in the evening.
Before starting Champix, you should set a date during your second week of treatment (between day 8 and day 14), as to when you will stop smoking.
If you are unwilling or unable to set a target quit date within 2 weeks, you may choose your own target quit date within 5 weeks after starting treatment. You should write this date on the pack as a reminder.
After completing 12 weeks of treatment, if you have stopped smoking, your doctor may recommend an additional 12 weeks of treatment with Champix 1 mg tablets twice daily to help you avoid starting smoking again.
How effective is Champix?
Champix is an effective way to stop smoking. However, Champix alone cannot make you quit smoking. You are more likely to stop smoking if you are motivated to stop. Your doctor and pharmacist can provide advice, support and sources of further information to help ensure your attempt to stop smoking is successful.
What are the side effects of Champix?
Like any medicines, Champix can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Stopping smoking can present side effects in itself, even if you’re not taking medication. These side effects include:
- Changes of mood – feeling depressed, irritable, frustrated or anxious
- Difficulty concentrating
In addition to the side effects caused by stopping smoking, like any medicines, Champix can cause side effects. However, not everybody experiences these side effects and they are usually mild to moderate in nature. The most common side effects of Champix are:
- Inflammation of the nose and throat
- Abnormal dreams
- Difficulty sleeping
For additional side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.