Champix (varenicline) is ranked as one of the most effective stop smoking tablets with an extremely high success rate demonstrated in the clinical trials.
Often recommended by doctors throughout Europe1 and available for purchase through multiple online sources, Champix remains at the forefront of smoking cessation aids for the 21st century. But before consulting your doctor about possible Champix treatment, there are numerous important facts you need to know about this highly successful stop smoking tablet.
What’s on this page?
How can Champix help me quit smoking?
Champix is reliable, clinically tested prescription-only stop smoking tablet with extremely high success rates in numerous studies, produced and manufactured by Pfizer. Claimed to quadruple the chances of quitting smoking for good, Champix tablets are used during a 12-week treatment period to reduce both nicotine withdrawal symptoms and subsequent cravings by diminishing the pleasurable effects of nicotine on the brain and weakly stimulating nicotine receptors. In this way, Champix tablets significantly improve the odds for successfully quitting smoking by simultaneously eliminating the pleasure patients usually get from smoking a cigarette and stimulating brain receptors just enough to alleviate the unpleasantness of not getting your nicotine fix.2
After many studies conducted both in physiology and psychology of nicotine addiction, most experts agree that when it comes to smoking cigarettes, there are two different aspects of the habit. On the one side, there is a physiological urge to get nicotine into the body, which stems from the highly addictive nature of this substance, while on the other side there is not less important psychological habit – the need to hold something in your hands or between your lips.
Most smoking cessation methods target either one or the other aspect – one can mention electronic cigarettes with no nicotine that aim to please just the habit of smoking, while nicotine replacement therapies eliminate the need for inhaling the harmful smoke by providing a nicotine fix using some different method – via nicotine patch or chewing gum.
Champix stands out by requiring and allowing the patient to do both. By weakly stimulating nicotine receptors in the brain using a substance other than nicotine, namely varenicline, the active ingredient of Champix, it helps reduce and eventually eliminate nicotine addiction. At the same time it partially inhibits those same receptors by binding to them, so smoking tobacco won’t give the patient the familiar and pleasant sensation – on the contrary, it will serve to further emphasize the foul smell and taste of tobacco, thus making the very habit of inhaling smoke or holding a cigarette unpleasant. In this way, Champix tablets will help you to keep the willpower needed to stop smoking and address both physiological and psychological side of nicotine addiction.
Varenicline: What’s behind the high success rate of Champix?
Champix tablets work by relieving nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings experienced by smokers who are trying to quit. In doing so, Champix relies on varenicline, its active ingredient which is a nicotinic receptor partial agonist, meaning it stimulates nicotine receptors in the brain more weakly than nicotine itself by binding to them, thus competing with nicotine for receptor occupancy. What this means is that varenicline both diminishes withdrawal symptoms and prevents nicotine molecules from binding to those receptors, resulting in decreased pleasurable effects from consumption of tobacco products.
These unique bio-chemical properties of varenicline ensure that Champix tablets assist in quitting smoking by allowing the patient to more easily cope with the unpleasant effects of nicotine withdrawal and cravings and getting used to not getting the usual rush from smoking tobacco products. In this way, Champix relies on varenicline to make stop smoking efforts more successful.3 According to clinical studies, the use of Champix tablets leads to a successful smoking cessation for up to a quarter of patients involved in the testing.
With the usual treatment process, the patient starts using Champix up for a week before actually quitting smoking, so during that period one can already experience diminished pleasure from using tobacco due to varenicline. And when the patient stops smoking at the seventh day of the treatment, the initial withdrawal effect and nicotine crisis will be far less pronounced than they would be if he or she were to quit “cold turkey”. Thus, Champix application ensures that cravings will be easier to deal with and makes relapses more unlikely. During the initial 12-week period, the worst cravings should pass for most ex-smokers, so after that, one will have high chances of having stopped smoking for good. And in case the patient isn’t feeling comfortable yet, after consulting with his doctor, he can prolong the varenicline treatment for one additional course.
However, one should be aware that despite the efficiency and high success rates of Champix, it is not a “magic pill” that will instantly and completely eliminate patient’s nicotine addiction – it will just make the process easier and less uncomfortable. Smoking is an addiction and as with any addiction, giving up is a hard and tiring process that requires willpower and patience, so it is highly recommended that the patient mentally prepares for the whole process before starting Champix treatment and not rely only on the effectiveness of varenicline. This preparation can include things such as joining a support group, cognitive-behavioural therapy, starting a “quitting smoking diary” or anything else that will help the individual endure the process.
How should I use Champix?
Champix manufactured by Pfizer in tablets containing 0.5mg and 1mg of varenicline, and as such, it is used orally with a full glass of water after eating, and according to the specified pattern and schedule. If this is your first time using Champix, it’s recommended that you start with a “starter pack” before using “refill packs” if necessary. It is highly recommended that you first set a date when you plan to stop smoking and start using Champix tablets one week before. In this way, the concentration of the varenicline in your system will be adequate to prevent initial cravings and nicotine crisis.
During the first three days, patients take 0.5mg tablet once a day and after that, the dosage is increased to two 0.5mg tablets a day for the remainder of the week. For the next eleven weeks of the treatment (after the patient stopped smoking), the recommended dosage is two 1mg tablets each day, one in the morning and one in the evening. This should ensure an even level of varenicline in the system.
For those who still find it difficult to completely give up smoking after this period can choose to prolong treatment with a “refill pack” which includes only 1mg tablets. It is worth emphasising once more that while Champix and its active ingredient varenicline are very effective and highly successful in the clinical trials, determination, willpower, help and support are still crucial as they will greatly benefit your efforts and further increase your chances of quitting smoking for good.
However, if you do not feel comfortable about stopping smoking suddenly, you can slowly decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke daily during the Champix treatment. Still, it is recommended that you quit somewhere between 8th and 35th day of the treatment. And if this still sounds like too sudden of a stop, you can use the following course – from first to the fourth week of the treatment, you should try to smoke only half as many cigarettes as you usually do, and during the period from fifth to eighth week, aim to reduce the number to a quarter of your starting daily number of cigarettes. Finally, during the last weeks of the treatment, you should steadily reduce the number even further before quitting when you feel ready. However, keep in mind that it’s still highly recommended that you stop smoking completely before the end of Champix 12-week treatment.4
How is Varenicline dosed?
The dosages and quantities of Champix tablets can vary depending on the extent of smoking habit, lifestyle, health, and of course, the average number of cigarettes you smoke daily. These factors should be carefully considered by your doctor before deciding on the dosage. Champix tablets come in 0.5mg and 1mg tablets so these dosages are most commonly used – starting with the lower one, and then increasing it as the treatment progresses. Usually, the patient will start with one 0.5mg tablet a day, then increase it to two and then to two 1mg tablets a day, which is the same dosage usually prescribed by doctors in case of a prolonged treatment. While these dosages are the most common and prescribed for the vast majority of patients, your family doctor might recommend certain modifications of this treatment schedule in line with the aforementioned factors and considerations.
Is Champix the right medication for me?
Champix can be used by anyone who is 18 years or older and is not allergic to varenicline, the active ingredient of Champix tablets. However, there are some additional circumstances that will require you to consult your doctor about the safety of using Champix and you might instead get a recommendation for some of the alternative treatments. It is not recommended to use Champix if you have a history of psychological issues or mental illnesses such as depression, or conditions such as epilepsy, impaired kidney function. Also, Champix shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or if you are breast-feeding.
It is worth mentioning that combining Champix tablets with nicotine replacement therapy is not recommended as it can cause adverse effects and decrease the chances of successfully quitting smoking. It has been documented that Champix can interact with other drugs you might be using, so if that is the case, be sure to consult your doctor before starting the treatment. Champix tablets should never be mixed with alcohol since they can exaggerate the effects of alcohol and increase the risk of behavioural changes or developing mood disorders.
With this in mind, it is very important to consult with your doctor about the possibility of starting Champix treatment, so that all these factors are considered for your personal case. The history of previous conditions, current smoking habits and other medicaments you might be taking can all play a role in determining whether Champix is the right smoking cessation aid for you. If you’re looking to buy Champix online, be sure to choose those websites which allow you to digitally consult with a certified doctor who can make a final decision about your possible Champix treatment and issue a prescription.
Does Champix cause any side effects?
As with most of the medications used today, certain side effects have been documented during Champix clinical trials. Although people who take this treatment usually experience only a few side effects, nausea, headaches, diarrhoea, flatulence and indigestions have manifested in a limited number of cases. In very rare cases, this prescription treatment can cause behavioural changes including symptoms of depression or other mood changes, poor concentration, increased or decreased appetite due to the mechanism of action of varenicline. If you experience any side effects, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible so he can consider the safety of the continuing of the treatment in your case and possibly recommend the use of other stop smoking tablets or other methods.
However, it is worth mentioning that if side effects do occur, they do so in the first weeks of the treatment, and almost never later on. Some of the aforementioned side effects can be rather mild, but if they start to cause significant distress, it is highly advisable to stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately. Before the start of the treatment, be sure to thoroughly read the patient leaflet and get familiar with all the possible Champix side effects and drug interactions.
Is it safe to buy Champix online?
While there are multiple websites where one can easily order this highly stop smoking tablet, it is still highly recommended to consult your family doctor before ordering or focus on those websites which offer you to buy Champix online only after you have talked to their licenced doctor via website form or an app.
Websites that provide an online consultation service with an accredited and qualified doctor who can decide if Champix is an appropriate medication for you are today the first choice of many. It’s worth noting that prescription is not just a formality, it is very important that you are confident that there is no prior condition that might be affected by varenicline treatment and if you are currently taking some other medications, it is of crucial importance that the doctor is informed of that fact so he can warn you of any potential interactions.
So, while it is certainly possible to buy Champix online, it is still advisable that you are properly informed about its active ingredient and its mechanism of action and that your prescription is issued by a qualified doctor who will carefully consider different circumstances and factors that might have an adverse impact on your treatment process or health in general.
Where can I buy Champix in the UK?
If you’re looking to buy Champix within the United Kingdom, choosing one of the numerous online UK-based suppliers might be your best option since they usually provide free delivery which takes no more than a day or two in most cases. However, if ordering online isn’t an option for you for whatever reason, you can easily get Champix via the usual route – visit your doctor to get a prescription. Made by Pfizer, Champix should be widely available in most of the pharmacies in the UK.
If you’re based in the United Kingdom, you can also get Champix through NHS as with any other prescription-only drug. What’s more, the NHS can provide you not only with doctor consultations and prescription but also with additional information and resources on Champix and quitting smoking, including the information about support groups and other methods which can significantly improve your chances of quitting smoking for good. This is why visiting NHS might be beneficial even if you got Champix elsewhere and already started your treatment.
As a prescription-only medicine manufactured by one of the most successful pharmaceutical companies, Champix has a relatively narrow and stable price range, with the cost of the whole 12-week treatment averaging at about £200-£250 in the UK.