Champix is one of the only medications available on prescription to aid smoking cessation. Clinical studies have shown that it people who use Champix to try and quit are more likely to be successful that those that rely on nicotine replacement therapies or go cold turkey. A course of treatment usually lasts for 12 weeks. It is unique as a treatment because it stops you feeling the usual pleasure from smoking a cigarette as well as reducing the usual cravings and withdrawal symptoms that are caused by abrupt smoking cessation.
How Champix works
The active ingredient contained in Champix, varenicline, is known as a nicotine receptor antagonist. It works by fastening to the receptors within your brain that are affected by nicotine and then making the receptors believe that a nicotine dose has been received. This means that you will not experience the usual withdrawal symptoms and the desire to smoke. Champix also compensates for the lack of nicotine (which would produce the “feel-good” chemical dopamine) by increasing dopamine levels. These methods mean your cravings for cigarettes are reduced.
Side effects of Champix
Like all prescription medications, Champix does sometimes cause side effects. Most commonly, some mild nausea is reported. You may also experience one or several of the following: dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, headaches, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, skin irritation, restlessness and changes to taste. If these effects occur, they are usually only temporary. In very rare cases, mood changes have been reported. If you are taking Champix, you should inform those close to you so they can monitor any behavioural changes that occur.