Champix Explained

An in-depth guide to the clinically proven quit smoking aid.

Published: Tuesday 17 October 2017

Champix is a medication designed to help adults stop smoking. It takes willpower and planning to complete the course of treatment and it is recommended that you decide on a date two weeks into the treatment to stop smoking.

Champix does not contain nicotine and its ingredients are non-addictive.

How does it work?

Champix contains the active ingredient varenicline tartrate. This substance works by suppressing your cravings for nicotine. In addition, the medicine reduces the withdrawal symptoms that accompany quitting smoking and can even decrease the enjoyment of cigarettes if smoked while on treatment.

How do you take it?

Champix can be taken with or without food, but reports suggest it is best to avoid mixing it with alcohol.

Champix comes in different packs:

  • Starter pack
    - comes as white tablets of 0.5mg and light blue tablets of 1mg.
    You should start the treatment with the lower dose of 0.5mg white tablets while your body gets used to the medication.
  • Continuation pack
    - comes as a pack of 28 or 56 light blue tablets of 1mg.

Your guide to taking Champix:

Week 11 - 3Take 1 white tablet of 0.5mg once a day
4 - 7Take 1 white tablet of 0.5mg twicea day (one in the morning and one in the evening)
Week 2 - 128 - endTake 1 light blue tablet of 1mg twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening

What are the side effects?

Like all medications, Champix can have some side effects.
Not everyone experiences side effects but the most common ones include:

  • Nausea
  • Inflamed nose and throat
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Abnormal dreams

Other side effects can affect one in ten people taking Champix.

  • Chest pain
  • Change in appetite
  • Dizziness

Does it work?

Studies have proven that varenicline is effective compared to placebo and other smoking cessation treatments such as Zyban 150mg. In these studies, 44% of the test subjects using Champix quit smoking after 9 or 12 weeks of treatment compared with just 18% of those taking other medications or sugar pills.

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