Champix tablets (from Pfizer) contain varenicline, which is used to help stop smoking. Champix reduces craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It also makes smoking less pleasurable.
Champix (varenicline) mimics the effects of nicotine and blocks its pleasurable effects. A person taking Champix will find it easier to stop smoking and will be less tempted by cigarettes. In some ways Champix replaces nicotine during the time when a smoker is giving up.
How to take Champix
Champix tablets are started two weeks before the 'quit date'. There is a starter pack which allows the dose of Champix to be built up slowly over 2 weeks to reach a dose of one 1mg tablet twice a day. Two weeks after starting Champix smoking is stopped. Champix is then continued at a dose of 1mg twice daily for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks treatment is stopped, by which time smokers should have given-up and kicked the habit permanently.
Some people, who do not manage to give up, and start smoking again, can try Champix again and can take it for longer (up to 24 weeks). If the usual dose of 1mg twice daily is too strong, and not tolerated, a lower dose of 0.5mg twice daily may be prescribed.
If a person starts smoking whilst they are taking Champix, the course of treatment has failed, and they should stop treatment. It is not harmful to continue with Champix, but the attempt to quit has failed.
If extra Champix tablets are taken in error, seek medical advice. If a dose or doses are missed, do NOT make up the missed dose by taking extra, but resume at the normal daily dose.
Champix can be taken with or without food. Tablets should be swallowed whole.
Champix has been associated in some people with depression, suicidal ideation, behaviour changes and suicide attempts. People taking Champix who develop agitation, depressed mood, changes in behaviour that are of concern to themselves, or their family and friends, or doctor, or develop suicidal thoughts or behaviours, should stop treatment and contact a doctor immediately. For further details see the Champix patient information leaflet.
Depression, increased irritability, sleep disturbance and an urge to smoke can occur when Champix is stopped. If this occurs, a doctor may recommend reducing the dose of Champix slowly before stopping completely.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Champix should not normally be taken whilst pregnant or breastfeeding, although studies suggest smoking in pregnancy is more harmful than taking Champix in pregnancy. Nicotine replacement treatment may be preferable in pregnancy. These issues should be discussed with a midwife or doctor.
Driving and using machines
Champix may produce dizziness and sleepiness. If affected in this way, do not drive, operate complex machinery.
Suitability of Champix
Dr Fox consultations stop smoking consultations include checks for suitability. Some people, usually only those with pre-existing heart problems, may experience cardiovascular symptoms. Stop Champix and seek emergency medical help in the event of angina, heart attack or stroke symptoms, all of which would be very rare. Champix is not usually suitable for people who have a history of seizures or epilepsy. Champix is for use by adults only, not under 18s.
Other medicines and Champix
Champix can be taken safely with most prescription and non-prescription medicines. However, there are some medicines which have the potential to interact with Champix and the doses of some prescription medicines may need to be adjusted whilst taking Champix. For further information see the patient information leaflet supplied with Champix. People taking antidepressants should consult their usual doctors before taking Champix.
Other stop-smoking medicines may interact with Champix, most notably nicotine replacement products, and these should not be used at the same time.
Side effects of Champix
Most people can take Champix without significant side effects, however some side effects are not unusual.
The most common side effects, affecting more than 1 in 10 are:
- inflammation of the nose and throat
- abnormal dreams
- difficulty sleeping
- headache and nausea
Other common side effects, which may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:
- chest infection
- inflammation of the sinuses
- increased weight
- increased or decreased appetite
- changes in the way things taste
- shortness of breath
- constipation or diarrhoea
- feeling bloated
- abdominal pain
- dry mouth
- skin rash
- joint ache
- muscle ache
- back pain
- chest pain
Other side effects are less common. For more detail about Champix side effects, see the patient information leaflet.
The 'Patient Information Leaflets' supplied with medication must be read before taking tablets.
Champix X 50 Tablet
- Product Code: Champix
- Availability: In Stock
- Ex Tax: $500.00