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Champix (varenicline)

Champix (varenicline) is a prescription-only medicine which will greatly increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. It works by relieving the craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with giving up smoking, and does not contain nicotine.

A total course of 12 weeks is recommended. Choose your starter pack and one of our doctors will make subsequent packs available in your Patient Record.

Champix 0.5mg & 1mg - Stop Smoking Treatment

Key Features
  • Champix greatly increases your chances of quitting successfully
  • Contains varenicline, which relieves cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Does not contain nicotine
Champix relieves your cravings by reducing your dependence on nicotine, and making cigarettes less enjoyable.
Dr Gigi Taguri

Champix (varenicline) stop smoking treatment

The medicine

Champix is a prescription-only medicine in tablet form containing the active ingredient varenicline, which can help you to quit smoking.

It works by reducing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking, making the process easier.

This medicine does not contain nicotine.

How to take it

Before starting Champix, decide on a date in the second week of treatment on which to stop smoking.

  •     Take 1 tablet a day for the first 3 days, then 2 tablets a day for the rest of the course. Full details are included with the medicine.

A full course of Champix lasts 12 weeks and you will significantly reduce your chances of a relapse if you follow the course through to the end.

Champix is a prescription-only medicine, and if you choose to order it through our online service you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire to enable our doctors to assess your suitability.

How it works

Champix (varenicline) works by mimicking the effects of nicotine on the brain thus reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Champix stimulates nicotinic receptors in the brain, which relieves the craving and withdrawal symptoms you can get when you stop smoking.

It also helps prevent nicotine from attaching to the receptors in the first place which means that if you do relapse and have a cigarette, the nicotine you inhale will have a less enjoyable effect.


The available evidence suggests that people taking Champix are up to three times more likely to successfully stop smoking than people who try to quit ‘cold turkey’. Remember, you are more likely to quit smoking if you are motivated to stop.

Common side effects

Common side effects of this medicine include nausea, headaches, abnormal dreams, difficulty sleeping, increased appetite, altered taste sensation, dry mouth, dizziness, tiredness and sleepiness, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, feeling bloated, indigestion and flatulence.

If you suffer from dizziness or sleepiness from taking Champix, you should not drive, operate machinery or engage in any other potentially hazardous activities until the symptoms pass.

Rare side effects

Rare side effects include heart attacks, hallucinations, changes in thinking or behaviour (such as aggression and irrational behaviour), depression and suicidal thoughts.

If you become agitated, depressed or suicidal whilst taking Champix, you should stop your treatment and contact us via your online Patient Record.  In an emergency you should visit your nearest accident and emergency department.

Reordering Champix

The full course of Champix lasts 12 weeks and you will be required to fill in the online questionnaire each time you re-order.

Alternative treatments

There are many ways to quit smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy is one way and involves the use of lozenges, patches, gums, sprays and inhalers to substitute nicotine.

Another prescription medicine to help you quit smoking is Zyban (bupropion). Zyban is not available through Online Doctor as studies show it has more side effects than Champix and is not as effective.

Counselling, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and quitting 'cold turkey' with no support are all other ways of quitting smoking.