Champix

Champix

Champix is a medication used to help you stop smoking. It contains the active ingredient varenicline, which stimulates nicotine receptors, reducing cravings for cigarette and reduces the pleasurable effects of smoking.

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Champix is a medication used to help you stop smoking. It contains the active ingredient varenicline, which stimulates nicotine receptors, reducing cravings for cigarette and reduces the pleasurable effects of smoking.

    What is Champix?

    Champix is a medicine taken to help quit smoking. Champix can relieve the craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking, and can reduce the enjoyment of cigarettes if you do smoke while taking it.

    Champix is a prescription only treatment. You must have a prescription before you buy it. Alternatively, we can prescribe it to you following a brief online consultation. Contact us to find out more.

    The active ingredient in Champix is varenicline. For more information, consult the patient information leaflet.

    How it works

    Champix contains the active ingredient, varenicline. Varenicline acts on the same receptors in the brain as nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes. Once the receptors are stimulated, this produces an effect that relieves the craving and withdrawal symptoms you get when you stop smoking.

    Champix also blocks nicotine from acting on receptors in the brain, so if you do inhale any nicotine as a result of smoking while taking Champix, you will not experience an enjoyable or rewarding effect.

    Before you take it

    Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to the active ingredient varenicline, or any of the other ingredients in this medicine. A full list of ingredients can be found in the patient information leaflet. Speak to your doctor, who can recommend an alternative treatment.

    There have been reports of depression and suicidal thoughts in patients taking Champix. If you are taking this medicine and you experience depression, agitation or hostility towards others for no reason, stop taking this medicine and go to your doctor immediately.

    You may experience heart or blood vessel problems after taking this medicine. This has been reported primarily in patients who already had cardiovascular problems caused by smoking. Tell your doctor if you experience this after taking Champix, and call for an ambulance if you experience symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.

    Some patients have reported seizures while taking Champix. You must seek advice from your doctor if you experience a seizure after taking Champix.

    Seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and want to take this medicine. Champix may harm an unborn baby or may pass into breast milk.

    Taking Champix may be linked with dizziness or loss of consciousness. For this reason you must be fully aware of how Champix affects you before you drive or operate machinery while taking it.

    Champix may interact with some other medicines. Do not take it before speaking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

    • Theophylline
    • Insulin
    • Warfarin
    • Cimetidine

    This is not a complete list of warnings or interactions. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet.

    Dosage Instructions

    Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Never exceed the stated dose. If you are unsure of how to take Champix, consult your doctor for advice.

    Before you take Champix, you should decide on a date when you will stop smoking. This will usually be between day 8 and day 14 of treatment. If you are not willing or able to set this date so soon, you should set it within 5 weeks of starting treatment, in consultation with your doctor.

    Champix comes as a white tablet (0.5mg) and a blue tablet (1mg). Detailed dosing information is available in the patient information leaflet and is summarised below:

    • Day 1 - 3: Take one white tablet once per day.
    • Day 4 - 7: Take one white tablet twice per day.
    • Day 8 - 14: Take one blue tablet twice per day.
    • Day 15+: Take one blue tablet twice per day.

    Swallow your tablets with plenty of water. Do not suck, crush or chew them.

    Store Champix in a cool, dry place, free from heat and moisture. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.

    Common Side Effects of Champix

    Like all medicines, Champix may cause side effects. These are usually mild to moderate in nature. However, if they concern you, you should go to your doctor. Side effects may include:

    • Chest infection
    • Sleepiness
    • Dizziness
    • Changes in taste
    • Muscle pain or ache
    • Chest pain or tiredness

    Rare side effects may also occur. If you experience these, you should contact a doctor.

    • Conjunctivitis or eye pain
    • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
    • Fungal or viral infection
    • Feeling of panic, difficulty thinking or restlessness
    • Hallucinations
    • Angina, rapid heart rate or palpitations

    Champix may cause an allergic reaction. This is rare, but you should always seek medical advice immediately if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • Hives or nettle rash
    • Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or mouth
    • Skin rash - redness, peeling, blistering
    • Trouble breathing or speaking

    This is not a complete list of side effects. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Champix suitable for children?

    Champix is not suitable for patients under the age of 18. We do not prescribe any medication to anyone under the age of 18.

    I’m pregnant. Can I take Champix?

    Do not take Champix while pregnant or breastfeeding. It is unknown whether Champix may harm an unborn baby or whether it may pass into breast milk.

    What happens if I miss a dose?

    If you forget to take Champix, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and continue as normal with your next dose. Never double up to make up for a missed dose.

    What happens if I take too much?

    If you take more Champix than prescribed, you must seek medical advice or go to your nearest hospital casualty department immediately. You may experience increased side effects.

    Our patient support team are available from Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm