Champix is a safe, effective and popular prescription medication designed to help individuals quit smoking successfully. It works by alleviating cravings without relying on Nicotine – as is the case with many patches and quitting gums. Because of this, Champix is the go-to smoking cessation medication for many past and present smokers.

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What is Champix?

Champix has earned its reputation as one of the most effective medications for helping you stop smoking once and for all. Not only is the treatment easy to take, but it has been clinically proven to significantly increase the likelihood of success when it comes to quitting. In fact, in clinical studies users were found to be twice as likely to give up smoking as they were when trying to quit without treatment. This makes Champix the most successful smoking cessation treatment available, proving more effective than therapy, nicotine gun, patches and e-cigarettes.

Champix contains the active ingredient varenicline, which replicates the effects of nicotine without exposing the body to the addictive substance.

How does Champix work?

Champix is unique among smoking cessation treatments in that it is free from nicotine and instead relies on the actions of its active ingredient Varenicline on the nervous system.

Varenicline works by reducing your body’s level of nicotine reliance. It bonds directly with the nicotine receptors in the brain and alleviates cravings by releasing dopamine and mimicking the rewarding effects of nicotine – without actually exposing your body to the substance.

Not only does this stop you from feeling like you need to smoke, but it also means that if you do give into temptation, you won’t enjoy the experience as much.

Benefits of Champix

In an NHS-funded clinical trial, 45% of participants treated with Champix for 12 weeks stopped smoking completely. By comparison, only 11% of participants who were given a placebo had stopped smoking by the end of the trial.

As well as its high success rates, there are other advantages to Champix. These include:

  • Subdued nicotine cravings
  • Reduced feelings of stress and irritability
  • Fewer headaches
  • Reduced sleep problems and insomnia
  • Reduced reliance on nicotine

Champix can also be combined with other smoking cessation methods to improve success rates, and the medication is highly tolerable meaning very few people experience side effects.

How to take Champix

Before you begin taking Champix, choose a firm date on which you wish to quit. For the best results, you should begin taking Champix around one week before your quit date to allow the medication to create a building block.

When you start taking Champix, you should take one 0.5mg tablet a day. After 4 days, begin taking two 0.5mg capsules per day – one in the morning and one in the evenings. Try to do this at the same time every day.

On day 8 of your treatment course, begin taking two 1mg Champix capsules per day – one in the morning and one in the evening at around the same time each day. Continue this daily dosage pattern until the end of your treatment course. This usually lasts 12 weeks.

Precautions and side effects

Due to the complex process of weaning your body off cigarettes, treatment can lead to a chance of certain side effects. These are typically mild but may include constipation, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, sleep problems, abdominal pain and unusual dreams. Less common side effects include chest pain, numbness, fever, shortness of breath, skin rash, swelling, slurred speed, seizure or a sudden, strong headache. This are unlikely to occur and if they do you should cease treatment and contact your doctor.

Champix has been linked to feelings of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. However, very little has been established about this connection, and these side effects have only been observed in a very small minority of patients. Again, you should stop treatment and speak to your doctor if any of these side effects occur.

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