Champix (varenicline) is a treatment that helps people stop smoking. Treatment is a 12-week course of tablets and can help relieve the urge to quit smoking and withdrawal symptoms. During the first two weeks of taking Champix, you will continue to smoke. Most people set a release date between 10 and 14 days after taking Champix.
It is not recommended that you smoke after the date you quit, but if you do, Champix may reduce your enjoyment of smoking. Champix is not the same as nicotine replacement therapy.
Frequently asked questions
Am I suitable for Champix?
Champix is suitable for people who are eager to quit smoking, but still can not succeed.
Who should not take Champix?
In general, Champix is considered a safe medicine for most people. Some patients, especially those with mental health problems, need to be extra careful. People with the following conditions should not take Champix:
- Those under 18 years old
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People with severe kidney failure
- People with certain mental health problems
If you are pregnant or have an allergy to any component of Champix, you should not take it. If you are breastfeeding, you should consult your pharmacist for advice before taking Champix.
How can I take Champix?
The usual dose is 1 mg Champix twice a day, after one week of titration, as follows:
0.5 mg tablets once a day
0.5 mg tablets twice a day
8th day until the end of treatment
1 mg tablet twice a day
For example, if you experience side effects that you can’t tolerate, or if you have kidney problems, your doctor may recommend a different dose.
Champix tablets should be swallowed whole, with water and can be taken with or without food.
Should I stop smoking as soon as I take Champix?
No. Before starting a Champix course, you should decide when to stop smoking in the second week of treatment. As a reminder, you must write this date on the package.
Do I have to treat?
No. Although Champix makes it easy to quit smoking, it cannot replace willpower. You will not be able to give up smoking while taking Champix if you are not interested in it.
What should I do if I miss the tablet?
Do not take a double dose to replace a forgotten tablet. It is important to take Champix at the same time every day on a regular basis, but if you forget to take a single dose, you should take it as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, do not take the missed tablet. It is also important to keep your appointment card fresh to make sure you don’t end up without your next prescription.
Is it dangerous to smoke while taking Champix?
No. During the first week or two of Champix treatment, you can continue smoking. It is not dangerous to continue smoking after the date you quit, but you will be less likely to quit successfully. Although smoking is not recommended during treatment, Champix can also reduce your enjoyment of smoking if you smoke during treatment.
Can I take Champix with my other medications?
Champix is not expected to affect the performance of other medications or drugs. Stopping smoking with or without champix may change the effect of some medications – consult your doctor before starting treatment to make sure.
Possible side effects
Smoking cessation with or without treatment can cause a variety of symptoms, including mood swings such as depression, irritability, irritability, or anxiety. It can cause insomnia and difficulty concentrating, decreased heart rate, and increased appetite or weight gain.
The most common side effect associated with champix is nausea. Other common side effects include headaches, difficulty sleeping, and abnormal sleep.
Champix can cause dizziness and drowsiness. You should not drive, operate complex machinery, or engage in any other potentially hazardous activity until you know whether this drug affects your ability to perform these activities.
For some people, smoking cessation with or without treatment is associated with changes in thinking or behavior, depression, and anxiety associated with an increased risk of survival, and may be associated with worsening psychiatric illness. If you have a history of psychiatric illness, you should discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.
Smoking cessation can lead to depression with or without treatment. Patients who quit smoking, including those who used Champix, rarely reported suicidal ideation or suicide attempts, including depression. If these symptoms persist when you stop taking Champix, your doctor should continue to monitor you closely until you feel better.
If you are anxious, depressed, worried about changes in your behavior, or develop suicidal thoughts or behaviors, Champix should be stopped immediately.
If any of the side effects bothers you, if they become serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed on the package leaflet, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.