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.