Champix

Champix is a non-nicotine treatment. It is a prescription pill designed to help smokers stop smoking. You will need to see your GP before you can be prescribed Champix.

How does Champix work?

Champix works in two key ways. Firstly, it reduces the smoker’s craving for nicotine and the symptoms of withdrawal by binding to nicotine receptors in the brain. Secondly, it reduces the satisfaction a smoker receives when smoking a cigarette.

Is Champix available in Cambridgeshire?

Champix is available in Cambridgeshire to those people who are medically assessed by a GP and deemed a suitable candidate. It is not suitable for clients under the age of 18 or pregnant or nursing women. Champix is not recommended for people who have specific medical conditions, which is why an appointment with the GP is essential.

How is Champix taken and what is the recommended dose?

  • It is taken orally
  • For the first three days, the dosage is 0.5mg once daily (the 0.5mg tablet is white)
  • For days four to seven, the dosage is 0.5mg twice a day
  • From day eight until the end of the treatment, the dose is 1mg twice a day (the 1mg tablet is blue)
  • A course of treatment is usually 12 weeks
  • The quit date should be on the eighth day after you start taking Champix

Champix side effects

Side effects that have been reported to date include the following:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances and atypical dreams
  • Gas (wind)
  • Changes in the way food tastes (dysgeusia)
  • Constipation

Nausea is the most commonly reported side effect; this is reduced if you take the pill with food and drink. If you get any other side effects that you think may be attributable to Champix, let your doctor know straight away. The less common side effects are detailed on the leaflet in the tablet packet. It is not yet known whether or not it is safe to use Champix alongside nicotine replacement products such as chewing gum and patches. Champix has not been studied in children and should not be taken by people who are under 18 years of age or pregnant women.  

Your doctor needs to know:

  • If you suffer from kidney problems or you are on dialysis. It may be appropriate for you to receive a lower dose
  • If you are pregnant. The effects of Champix on the foetus are not known and it would be better if you gave up smoking before getting pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding. Champix may pass into breast milk and other ways of feeding your baby may be appropriate if you are currently taking the drug
  • All medicines and herbal pills that you are taking, whether they are prescription drugs or not

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