PLEASE NOTE: Patients should be advised to discontinue treatment and seek prompt medical advice if they develop agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts.
What is it and how does it work?
Champix (Pfizer) is a non-nicotine prescription medicine, which when taken orally once or twice a day can help you stop smoking. Champix mimics the effect of nicotine on the body. Therefore, it both reduces the urge to smoke and relieves withdrawal symptoms. Although you are not recommended to smoke after your quit date, Champix can also reduce the enjoyment of cigarettes if you do smoke when on treatment.
How effective is it?
Studies have shown 44% smokers who used champix on a daily basis where able to quit smoking. This is better than those who are able to quit using previously available medicines (bupropion or nicotine replacement therapy - nicotine gum, spray, etc).
Champix has been proven to be more effective in helping smokers quit than Zyban (bupropion hydrochloride). The average person in these studies had been a smoker for more than 24 years. The trials involved a mix of men and women who smoked an average of 10 or more cigarettes a day.
How do I take?
Champix does not 'make' you quit smoking. You still need determination to succeed, and to break the smoking habit. A combination of Champix with counselling from a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional is likely to increase your chance of successfully stopping smoking. Therefore, most doctors will only prescribe Champix to people who really want to stop smoking as part of a 'stopping smoking' programme.
You need a prescription to obtain Champix - you cannot buy it at pharmacies.
Decide on a 'quit date' - the date you intend to stop smoking.
Start taking the tablets one week before the 'quit date'. The aim is to build up the dose so your body gets used to the medicine before the 'quit date'. The usual advice is to start with 0.5mg daily for the first three days. Then 0.5mg twice daily on days four to seven. Then, 1mg twice daily for 12 weeks.
Take each dose with a full glass of water, preferably after eating. So, ideally, after breakfast, and after your evening meal.
Tell your doctor if you develop any side-effects. A reduction in dose may be an option.
The usual course of treatment is for 12 weeks. If you have successfully stopped smoking by this time: In many cases, treatment is stopped and that is it. You are a non-smoker!
In some cases, an additional 12 weeks of treatment may be advised. You can discuss this with your doctor. It may be useful for people who are not confident off the cigarettes.
In some cases, a short 'tapering off' of the dose over a week or so may be helpful. This is because at the end of treatment, if the medicine is stopped abruptly, some people develop an increase in irritability, an urge to smoke, depression, and/or sleeping difficulty for a short time. These problems can be eased by a gradual reduction of dose.
If you have not succeeded in quitting after 12 weeks there is no point in continuing with treatment at this time. Perhaps it is best to discuss things over with your doctor or practice nurse as to your future options.
- Est.1994, first online Prescribers in 2001
- Now the UK’s first One Stop Online Pharmacy
- Genuine branded medication
- 100% secure online payment
- FREE and discrete delivery*