Champix Standard

Champix is a medication that can be used to help you quit smoking. You normally start off with the Champix Starter Pack, however after this you may be prescribed Champix Standard Dose for another 2-4 weeks to continue your treatment. You can order Champix online from Dr Felix. 

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About

What is Champix?

Champix is a prescription only medication which is given to help people stop smoking. It's a 12 week treatment which decreases cravings and prevents cigarettes from having a satisfying effect. 

How does Champix work?

Champix both dulls the effect of nicotine and stimulates the receptors in the brain which release dopamine when coming into contact with nicotine. It mimics the way nicotine works in the body to stop you craving it. In addition, it prevents nicotine from being received by the brain so that you don't experience enjoyment from smoking a cigarette. 

How long does Champix take to work?

Champix will usually start to have an effect when you reach the end of your starter pack, around two weeks into the treatment. By this point you will have stopped smoking and your body is adjusting to the change. 

How effective is Champix?

You are twice as likely to successfully quit smoking with Champix in comparison to willpower alone. It's most effective when combined with additional support from counselling or peer groups. 

How safe is Champix?

Champix is safe to use for most people and your doctor will assess your medical history to ensure it is suitable for you before prescribing it. It may not be suitable for people with depression or past mental illness or those with kidney failure or epilepsy. 

How to stop smoking

There are many options to help you stop smoking. Champix is the most effective medication as it has been designed specifically for this purpose and you can take it in combination with behavioural therapy, support groups and resources and support from friends and family. Nicotine replacement therapy is another option and you can get help from the NHS through their Stop Smoking programme. 

How many people are able to quit smoking with Champix?

According to studies, more than double the number of people managed to quit smoking for good in comparison to those taking the placebo drug. This translates to a 22% success rate. While it may sound small, the drug cannot replace the willpower and motivation needed to quit. Combined with behavioural therapy and group support, there is no reason why Champix won't work for you. 

Does Champix work better for certain people?

Champix may be successful for some people while others may find they still want to smoke. While Champix is an effective medication, it cannot replace willpower alone. It works best when you are set on your path to quit smoking and combine the treatment with peer support, one to one therapy and following a set plan. 

Champix and diet

Smoking commonly decreases your appetite and can cause your metabolism to work slightly faster. When you stop, you may find that your appetite increases and you crave sugary or fatty foods in place of cigarettes. Keeping up a healthy diet during this time is important to maintain good nutrition and prevent weight gain. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Champix is varenicline tartrate.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Champix are: microcrystalline cellulose, anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, croscarmellose sodium, colloidal silicon dioxide and magnesium stearate. 

Dosage

Champix Dosage

Champix Standard dose provides 1mg tablets which are taken twice a day. 

How to take Champix

When you finish the Champix starter pack you'll progress to Champix standard dose for the remainder of your treatment. You should take one 1mg tablet twice daily. It should be taken after eating a meal and with a full glass of water. 

Stopping Champix

Champix should be taken for a 12 week period for it to work effectively. If you experience unpleasant side effects from the Champix standard dose then you can switch to the low dose instead. Stopping Champix early means you are less likely to successfully stop smoking. 

How long will I need to take Champix for?

You will need to take Champix for a minimum of 12 weeks for it to be effective. Some people find they need to take it for an extra couple of weeks while others may manage to quit smoking before the 12 weeks. 

Side Effects

Champix side effects

Possible side effects from Champix include: 

  • Headaches
  • Nausea 
  • Flatulence 
  • Insomnia 
  • Vivid dreams 
  • Mood changes 
  • Depression 
  • Altered appetite 
  • Changes to taste buds 
  • Dry mouth 

If feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts arise, stop taking Champix and see your doctor right away. 

Contraindications

You should not take Champix if: 

  • You are pregnant 
  • You are under 18
  • You have kidney failure 

It may not be suitable if: 

  • You have depression 
  • You have a history of mental illness 
  • You have epilepsy 
  • You have a history of seizures 

Drug interactions

Always inform your doctor if you are taking, or planning to take any other medications to ensure the combination is safe. This includes over the counter and herbal medicines. Do not use nicotine replacements or any other anti smoking medication alongside Champix. 

Is Champix addictive?

Champix is not an addictive medication. 

Pregnancy and Champix

Champix is not safe for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, it's important to stop smoking as it can have a negative effect on the health of your baby. 

Alcohol and Champix

Drinking alcohol while you are taking Champix is likely to have an adverse effect and it is not recommended. 

Does Champix give you vivid dreams? Why?

Champix affects the brain which is why it can cause you to have dreams that are more vivid than usual. 

Does Champix cause seizures?

Champix should be taken with caution in people with epilepsy or if you have ever had a seizure. The drug may make you more susceptible to having a seizure in these cases. 

Is it safe to take Champix long term?

Champix should be taken for a period of 12 weeks but this can be extended if needed. Champix is safe to take for up to a year but it is not suitable for long term use. 

Treatment Options

What are the different types of Champix?

The Champix starter pack is what you will start out with for the first two weeks where you'll gradually increase the dose and stop smoking. After this you'll move on the Champix standard dose for the duration of the 12 week treatment. Champix low dose can be given if you experience adverse side effects. 

Alternatives to Champix

There are lots of different ways to quit smoking and you may need to try a few methods before finding a way that works for you. Nicotine replacements like e-cigarettes, patches and gum allow you to replace smoking with a less harmful alternative and Zyban is another type of medication. The NHS offer a Stop Smoking programme and behaviour therapy and support groups are available to help you deal with it.

Are Champix and Chanix the same?

Champix and Chanix are the same thing. Chanix is the American name for the medication. 

Can Champix help other forms of nicotine addiction that do not involve smoking?

Champix won't help other forms of nicotine addiction as it is designed to help smokers to quit. 

Champix with nicotine replacement

Nicotine replacement should not be used in combination with Champix. 

Champix and vaping

It is not recommended to vape at the same time as using Champix. 

Smoking whilst taking Champix

Before you start taking Champix, set a date to stop smoking. This will be the week after you begin your Champix starter pack. After this date you should not smoke. Champix is designed to make the effects of a cigarette less pleasant if you do succumb to smoking. 

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