How To Use Champix To Quit Smoking For Good

Champix, also known as Varenicline is a prescription quit smoking cessation drug. It is used to help people quit smoking when nicotine replacement therapy has not worked. Common side effects and how to use Champix to quit smoking are detailed below.

Champix works on the brain to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. How it works is not exactly known.

But it appears to work on the same area that Nicotine does in the brain, mainly by decreasing the pleasure people get from smoking.


How to use Champix to quit smoking at home

Champix is a 12-week course usually taken in tablet form, It should be taken with food each morning and evening, apart from the first 3 days which you take 1 tablet.

It is a strong medication, and it is extremely important that you follow the instructions that your Dr has given you. This included yout mood monitoring and more importantly the dosage you should be taking.


Champix side effects listed

how to use champix to quit smoking
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Vomiting

Most people will not get any side effects. The most complained about side effect is nausea, it’s advised to be taken with food to help, nausea usually fades over time once you are used to it.

If you do get nausea speak to your Dr who may reduce the dosage


Before starting Champix you should do the following

It is advised that you commit to a date which you will stop smoking. Make sure you agree on this date with your doctor.

Champix is given to help you quit smoking. But there are things which you should do before you start treatment. This will work with Champix to make sure you have the best possible chance of quitting long term. These are:

  • Inform all friends and family that you are going to be quitting smoking. Get them on board to help and support you when you need it. There will be times you feel like giving up and smoking, this is when you need their support the most. Verbal reassurance from people that care is often what we need to hear to help.

  • Avoid situations and places which may cause you to relapse. These include going to places where you know people will be smoking. Nobody is saying you have to give up your social life.

  • It may be best to avoid the pub and other places where you are used to going for social smoking. Avoiding things like stressful arguments to name a few triggers.

  • Sit down with your Dr and take in all the information and advice that you receive from your doctor.

  • Create a quit plan. Clear away all household items that you use for smoking, lighters and ashtrays.

How does Champix work to help quit smoking

Champix is usually given by prescription as a 12-week course. In your 1st week of usage, the cigarettes will taste strange, this makes it easier to stop smoking. You initially still get the cravings once smoking has stopped, but these steadily reduce and you are less likely to get the withdrawal symptoms.

Champix also works in a very similar way as nicotine by stimulating the same area of the brain that nicotine does. this gives the ex-smoker the mild feeling of a cigarette and prevents you from the need to smoke.

Less common side effects are stomach related problems such as constipation, indigestion and headaches. These usually fade after the first week.

The actual risk of side effects is quite low, always make sure you read the advice in the leaflet in the packet,

Some people have reported mood swings and aggressive behaviour if you experience any symptoms stop taking Champix and speak to your Dr.

It is especially important to let family members know that you are taking Champix and ask them to keep an eye out for any unusual behaviour or changes in mood.


Champix side effects – Additional information

Alcohol

Alcohol should be avoided as it can affect your mood, alcohol and medicine should never be mixed as a general rule.

Mental health

If you have any type of mental health condition or any history of mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

If your friends or family notice any changes while you are taking this medication, stop taking it and contact your doctor immediately.

Behaviour and mood swings

Some people experience a change in mood, seem to get agitated or aggressive and also depressed, if you notice any of these changes discuss with your Dr ASAP.

Heart disease and blood pressure

Champix increases the risk of cardiovascular side effects it can also have an effect on blood pressure. If you are taking any medications for these conditions it is best to discuss Champix with your Dr to ensure it suitable for you.

Diabetes and Kidney function

People who are diabetic and who quit smoking usually notice changes in their blood sugar levels. This is because the nicotine is leaving the body, you need to monitor your sugar levels accordingly to ensure that they do not drop too low.

A reduced kidney function can cause the body to build up the drug in your system, causing increased side effects.


Who should not use Champix?

You cannot take Champix if you are

  • Under 18
  • Have kidney failure
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Certain mental health problems

Always consult your Dr and inform them of any other medical conditions you have as they may consider Champix unsuitable for you.


Is Champix effective for everybody?

Unfortunately, not everybody that tries Champix will notice a difference. It’s also important to remember to use it combined with a quit smoking plan.

However, the trials that have been conducted have shown that when combined with a well-formulated quit plan, your chances are double. When compared to quitting cold turkey and willpower alone.


Final thoughts

You may be considering Champix because you think its the only solution after trying other methods like hypnosis therapy, patches or lozenges or even vaping.

I suggest you read over the side effects of this medication and weigh up if it worth going through any of it. If you still consider it your next option then take the time to talk it through with your Dr.

Have you given nicotine replacement therapy or Hemp oil a good enough chance and enough time to be effective?

Have a read of our post on how to quit smoking for good.


References

https://www.quit.org.au/articles/quitting-medication-champix/

https://chealth.canoe.com/drug/getdrug/champix

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