Champix

Order Champix online from a trusted UK pharmacy

Champix helps you quit smoking by blocking the effect that nicotine has on your body. You can order Champix online from Dr Felix.

Our prices

Medicine Strength Quantity Price Stock
Champix 2 week starter pack0.5+1mg25 tablets£39.25Out of Stock
Champix low dose0.5mg56 tablets£73.25Out of Stock
Champix standard dose1mg28 tablets£39.99Out of Stock
Champix standard dose1mg56 tablets£73.25Out of Stock
Champix standard dose1mg112 tablets£138.25Out of Stock
Champix standard dose1mg168 tablets£209.25Out of Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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Information

Virginia Chachati

Reviewed by Virginia Chachati MPharm
(2013, University College London)
GPhC Registration number: 2087654

Information last reviewed 14/07/2021

About

What is Champix?

Champix is a prescription only medicine that can help you quit smoking. It will help you manage any withdrawal effects and cravings you might have after you stop smoking. Champix does not contain nicotine.

The Champix 2-week starter pack begins with one 0.5 mg tablet daily for the first few days. This then increases to 0.5 mg twice daily towards the end of the first week. In the second week, the dose increases to 1 mg twice daily.

You can also purchase Champix low dose (0.5 mg) and Champix standard dose (1 mg) separately. 

How does Champix work?

Champix works by reducing your cravings for nicotine and lessening the effects of nicotine on your body to make cigarettes less appealing.

When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine stimulates receptors in your brain. Champix partially stimulates these receptors to stop you from getting cravings while also blocking them from being stimulated by nicotine. This means if you were to smoke a cigarette while taking Champix, it won’t have a pleasing effect.

How effective is Champix?

Champix has been found to double your chances of quitting smoking successfully. 

How long does Champix take to work?

You typically take Champix for a few days before it starts working and you can take it for upto 12 weeks. Most people begin with the 2-week starter pack, then continue with standard dose Champix extension packs. Some people who have pre-existing health conditions may be started on low dose Champix instead.

Smoking whilst taking Champix

You will start taking Champix the week before you decide to quit smoking. This means you can smoke for the first week while taking Champix. After this, you should not smoke. But if you do, the effects of it will be blocked by Champix to prevent you from wanting to smoke.

How safe is Champix?

Champix is available only with a prescription, as you need to have regular checkups with your doctor to support your treatment. In some cases, Champix can lead to side effects such as depression and suicidal thoughts. If this happens, you should tell your doctor right away. They may advise you to stop your treatment and suggest an alternative. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

Varenicline tartrate is the active ingredient in Champix. 

Inactive ingredients

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

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

You should stop taking Champix immediately if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms that may indicate a serious allergic reaction. These include swelling of the face/lips/tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and the development of a rash/hives. Make sure to get immediate medical attention and let your prescribing doctor know.

Dosage

How to take Champix?

Before you start taking Champix, choose a date that you intend to stop smoking. Start taking Champix one week before this date. Build up your Champix dose gradually as prescribed. The tablets should be taken with a full glass of water after eating a meal. You should stop smoking cigarettes after the first week of taking Champix. Continue to take Champix medication twice a day for the next 11 weeks.

Begin by taking the first tablet in the Champix starter pack - this will be labelled '1'. Take the tablets in order. A sun and moon icon will tell you whether you should be taking the tablet in the morning or in the evening. On days 1 to 3, you will be taking one 0.5 mg tablet once a day. On days 4 to 7, you will be taking one 0.5 mg tablet twice a day (morning and night). In Week 2, you will be taking one 1 mg tablet twice a day. After the completion of the starter pack, speak to your doctor about your progress. You will then probably take Champix standard tablets, which is either one 0.5 mg tablet or one 1 mg tablet twice a day - this dose will be continued for 10 more weeks.

Champix dosage

The Champix starter pack will include full instructions about which tablet to take and when. During the first three days of the starter pack, you’ll take one 0.5 mg tablet once a day. On days 4 to 7 you take one 0.5 mg tablet twice a day. For the last week, you will take one 1 mg tablet twice a day. 

Champix low dose is given as one 0.5 mg tablet dose each day. 

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

How long will I need to take Champix for?

It is recommended that you complete a 12 week course of Champix. However, some people find that they need to take it for more or less time than 12 weeks.

How to stop Champix?

You should take Champix as prescribed by your doctor for 12 weeks to get the full benefit from it. If you stop taking Champix earlier, then you may not be successful at your attempt to quit smoking. If you wish to stop early due to side effects, speak to your doctor for advice.

Side Effects

Champix side effects

There are a number of possible side effects associated with taking Champix. You may experience:

  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Headaches
  • Flatulence 
  • Mood changes
  • Depression 
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Changes to appetite and taste buds

If you experience feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts you should stop taking Champix right away and inform your doctor.

If you experience particularly strong side effects, that start to interfere with your life, you should speak to your doctor. They may decide it is best to swap you on to Low Dose Champix instead.
 

Contraindications

Champix should not be taken if: 

  • You are under 18
  • Pregnant
  • Have kidney failure 

It should be used with caution if you have a history of seizures, depression or any related mental health condition. This is something you should discuss with your doctor to determine if Champix is suitable for you. 
 

Drug interactions

Speak to your doctor about any other medicines you are taking before you start Champix.

Champix and alcohol

You should avoid alcohol while you are taking Champix as it can lower your tolerance for alcohol. Mixing the two can cause aggression or lead to blackouts in some people.

Champix and pregnancy

Champix is not safe to take during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and want to quit smoking, speak to your doctor or midwife for advice on a suitable method to help you stop.

Does Champix cause seizures?

If you have epilepsy, or a history of experiencing seizures, speak to your doctor before using Champix. Your doctor will review your medical history to determine if it is safe for you to take Champix.

Does Champix give you vivid dreams? Why?

A common side effect of Champix is vivid dreams. Champix can have an effect on the nicotine receptors in your brain, so this is one way in which your mind reacts to this.

Champix and diet

When you stop smoking, you will be able to taste food better. It can also be tempting to replace the habit of smoking with food. While you are trying to quit smoking, you may want to maintain a regular exercise routine and focus on eating a healthy balanced diet.

Treatment Options

What are the different types of Champix?

Champix is available in three different packs. The Champix 2-week starter pack is prescribed first when you want to stop smoking. The pack tells you which tablet you need to take each day. To begin with, you take one 0.5 mg tablet once a day. After the first few days, you will take one 0.5 mg tablet twice a day. In the second week, you will take 1 mg twice a day. If you have certain medical conditions, or if you experience strong side effects, your doctor may suggest you use Champix low dose (0.5 mg) instead. Champix standard dose packs contain 1 mg tablets of Champix, and these are usually used to continue your treatment after you complete the 2-week starter pack.

Champix alternatives

Other types of medicines are available to help you quit smoking. These include prescription only Zyban tablets (bupropion) and over the counter nicotine replacement products (NRT). Nicotine replacement products include patches, gum, nasal sprays, lozenges, microtabs and mouth sprays. Unlike Champix, nicotine replacement products do contain nicotine.

How to stop smoking

As long as you have the motivation to quit, Champix or other treatments can help you stop smoking. There are also stop smoking services available locally which consist of group sessions, or one to one counselling. You could look for helplines, online resources and advisors that you can speak to for support. With a quit smoking advisor, you can create a personalised plan to quit smoking. This will include the steps you need to take and how you can manage your withdrawal symptoms.

Q&A

Are Champix and Chantix the same?

Chantix is the American name for Champix - they are the same and contain the same active ingredient.

How many people are able to quit smoking with Champix?

Champix has proven to be the most effective medicine to help people quit smoking. Studies have shown that in monitored groups, 22% of people taking Champix successfully quit in comparison to 8% of people taking the placebo.This means people were more than twice as likely to quit smoking while taking Champix.

Is Champix addictive?

Champix does not contain nicotine or any other addictive substances. Therefore, Champix is not addictive.

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

Champix is specifically designed to help people quit smoking. If you have a different form of nicotine addiction, then speak to your doctor for help with finding a suitable treatment for you.

Does Champix work better for certain people?

Champix on its own cannot make you stop smoking, it requires some of your own determination and commitment to quit. This is why using Champix might not have the same results for everyone, but if you really want to quit smoking then Champix may work well for you.

Is it safe to take Champix long term?

Champix should be taken for around 12 weeks, but this can be extended. Studies have shown that Champix is safe to take over a one year period.

Champix and vaping

You can continue to smoke or vape during your first week of treatment leading up to your quit date. After this, you should stop vaping. Champix works in such a way that if you do vape, you will get less enjoyment out of it. This helps you quit and feel like you no longer need to smoke or vape.

Can you take Champix with nicotine replacement?

Champix is designed in such a way that it combats your cravings for nicotine, so that you will gradually wean yourself off it and ease any withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, Champix shouldn’t be used alongside nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). 

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