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As with any new treatment you are bound to have many questions about the Champix tablet, especially whether or not there are any Champix side effects you need to be aware of. Listed below are common questions and answers designed to provide first time guidance regarding the Champix tablet that is currently available with our service. If there is a question you would like to put to our doctor that is not covered below, please free to email.
Champix (varenicline) is Pfizer's new prescription tablet designed to help smokers stop smoking. The Champix tablet is a non-nicotine tablet that helps you quit smoking. With assistance of behaviour adaptation and counseling it helps you get rid of your smoking habit completely and quickly. Champix is reported to have the potential to be a significant therapeutic advance over existing therapies.
Except for the name, both medicines have same active ingredient (varenicline), same effects and are manufactured by same company, Pfizer. However chantix is available only in the US while Champix is presently approved for sale only in the European Union.
Champix tablets contain the active ingredient varenicline, a type of medicine called a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist. This means that it acts on the same receptors in the brain as nicotine does.
Varenicline works by stimulating the nicotinic receptors in the brain. This produces an effect that relieves the craving and withdrawal symptoms you can get when you stop smoking. At the same time, varenicline blocks nicotine from acting on the receptors. This reduces the satisfaction a smoker receives when smoking a cigarette.
Studies indicate that about 4 in 10 smokers who want to quit smoking will be able to do so with the help of Champix. This is better than those who are able to quite using previously available medicines (bupropion or nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum, spray, etc.)
This figure is based on two large trials that involved several thousand smokers who wanted to quit. In the trials, smokers were randomly assigned to either Champix plus regular counseling ('stop smoking' counseling), or bupropion plus counseling, or dummy tablets plus counseling. In trials, 44% of the group treated with Champix had stopped smoking after being treated for 12 weeks, as opposed to 11% of smokers taking the placebo. Over the same duration, it was also shown to be twice as effective as Zyban (bupropion), the other main anti-smoking drug treatment.
- Decide on a 'quit date' - the date you intend to stop smoking.
- Start taking the tablets one week before the 'quit date'. The aim is to build up the dose so your body gets used to the medicine before the 'quit date'. The usual advice is to start with 0.5mg daily for the first three days. Then 0.5mg twice daily on day´s four to seven. Then, 1mg twice daily for 12 weeks.
- Take each dose with a full glass of water, preferably after eating. So, ideally, after breakfast, and after your evening meal.
- Tell your doctor if you develop any side-effects. A reduction in dose may be an option.
The usual course of treatment is for 12 weeks. If you have successfully stopped smoking by this time:
- In many cases, treatment is stopped and that is it. You are a non-smoker!
- In some cases, an additional 12 weeks of treatment may be advised. You can discuss this with your doctor. It may be useful for people who are not confident off the cigarettes.
- In some cases, a short 'tapering off' of the dose over a week or so may be helpful. This is because at the end of treatment, if the medicine is stopped abruptly, some people develop an increase in irritability, an urge to smoke, depression, and/or sleeping difficulty for a short time. These problems can be eased by a gradual reduction of dose.
- If you have not succeeded in quitting after 12 weeks there is no point in continuing with treatment at this time. Perhaps it is best to discuss things over with your doctor or practice nurse as to your future options.
As with all prescription medications, there have been some reported Champix side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Stomach pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Increase in appetite
- Unpleasant taste in mouth
- Insomnia and unpleasant dreams.
Talk to your doctor about any side effects that seem unusual or become aggravated. If you have any allergic reactions like difficulty in breathing, swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat, immediately consult your medical practitioner.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Varenicline is generally thought to be a safe medicine for most people. However, it is a new medicine and so caution is used in certain people.
Use with caution in
- Decreased kidney function
- History of psychiatric illness, e.g. depression
Not to be used in
- This medicine is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18 years of age, as there is no information regarding its safety and efficacy in this age group.
- This medicine should not be used if
you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor
or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
It is important to tell your doctor or
pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without
a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this
medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new
medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
Where can I buy Champix?
The Champix tablet can be prescribed by our doctor following an online consultation. Simply complete our online registration form which will then be reviewed by a Firstmed doctor. Once you have been cleared for treatment you can then log into our secure treatments area, from there you can buy Champix.
Orders placed before 3pm Monday to Friday will normally be dispatched same day via Royal Mail Special Next Day Delivery.
Stop smoking permanently. Try Champix Today.