Bank Holiday

Keep up to date with delivery, collection and our customer service hours. Find out more.

On this page

    Varenicline

    On this page

    Varenicline works in the same way as Champix. Champix was withdrawn because an impurity was found in the medicine. The supply of varenicline we’re able to prescribe is safe to use and meets safety standards.

    How to take varenicline

    Before starting varenicline, decide on a quit date in your second week of treatment. Then, for a week:

    • Take one 0.5mg tablet for three days
    • Take one 0.5mg tablet twice a day for four days 

    You will then increase to 1mg twice a day for the rest of your course – made up of either two 0.5mg tablets, or one 1mg tablet.

    You must take the tablets as instructed on the pack. This is because the dose changes after the first three days. Make sure you read your prescription and the details included with your treatment carefully.

    A 12-week course is recommended. Request your starter pack and then we’ll make future packs available to order from your Patient Record if we decide it’s clinically suitable.

    How does varenicline work?

    Varenicline works on receptors in the brain to stop nicotine to binding to them. This reduces the rewarding effects of smoking. It also alleviates withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

    How long does varenicline take to work?

    You should notice the effects of varenicline after about a week or so of starting treatment. 

    On this page

      More information about varenicline

      On this page

      What are the side effects of varenicline?

      Like with all medications, there’s a risk of side effects. Common or very common side effects include changes in appetite, constipation, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pains, dry mouth, sleep problems, feeling sick and being sick, feeling tired, dizziness, skin reactions, and headaches. If you’re struggling with side effects, contact your GP or prescriber.

      Some serious but uncommon side effects include convulsions, thoughts of hurting yourself and symptoms of heart attack. Rare and serious side effects include symptoms of stroke. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you get any of these.

      For more information on side effects, see the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s website.  

      Who can take varenicline?

      Varenicline is suitable for smokers over the age of 18 wanting to quit. You should not take varenicline if you are pregnant - it might also pass into your breast milk so it’s best to avoid. If you have a kidney, heart, or mental health condition, of if you have seizures, you will need check with your prescriber before you start treatment.

      Is varenicline safe?

      Yes. Varenicline works in the same way as Champix. Champix was withdrawn because an impurity was found in the medicine. The supply of varenicline we’re able to prescribe is safe to use and meets safety standards. 

      What happens if you smoke when taking varenicline?

      It’s not dangerous to smoke while you’re taking varenicline during the first 1-2 weeks of treatment (you can continue smoking up until the ‘quit date’ you’ve set). After this time, it’s not advised to carry on smoking. This is not because it is dangerous - it just means you will be less likely to quit completely.   

      Is varenicline addictive?

      Varenicline does not contain nicotine and is not addictive.

      Find the right stop smoking treatment for you
      View treatment options

      How our service works

      1. Complete our simple, confidential online consultation

        5 mins

      2. One of our clinicians confirms your suitability and notifies you by email

        About 30 mins (Mon-Sun 9am-5pm)

      3. Choose delivery or collection

        Next day delivery

        Collect in your local ParcelShop​​​​​​​

      What our patients say

      Delivery & collection information

      • Standard delivery

        Free

        Delivered within 2-3 working days.

      • Next-day delivery

        £4.95

        Orders approved before 5pm Monday-Friday will arrive within 1-2 working days. Orders approved between 5pm Friday and 12pm Sunday will usually arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

      • Standard ParcelShop collection

        Free

        Collect from 7000+ convenient ParcelShops in 2-3 working days.

      • Next day ParcelShop collection

        £2.95

        Collect next day from 7000+ convenient ParcelShop locations, if approved before 5pm Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday orders, collect Monday if approved before 12pm Sunday or Tuesday if ordered after 12pm. 

      • London same-day collection

        Free

        Order before 5pm Monday-Friday to collect in pharmacy the same day. Subject to the availability of your treatment in your selected London pharmacy.

      Find a collection point
      or

      Show pharmacy collection points

      Show Evri Parcelshop collection points

      List
      Map
          Close
          LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

          This service operates in the United Kingdom only

          Close
          LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

          This service operates in the United Kingdom only

          Visit IE Online Doctor Continue with UK service
          Close
          LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

          This service operates in the Republic of Ireland only

          Continue with Irish Service Continue with UK Service