This page is intended as reference information for the general public.
What is Champix and what is it used for?
Champix is a medicine which is used by adults to help them stop smoking. Champix contains the active substance varenicline. It is available as a tablet.
Champix can help to relieve the craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking. The treatment is more likely to succeed in smokers who are motivated to stop smoking. Healthcare professionals can provide advice, support and sources of further information to help ensure that the patient’s attempt to stop smoking is successful.
Patients will set a target date to quit smoking. This could either be an abrupt or gradual quit from cigarettes as Champix can reduce the enjoyment of cigarettes. This is because Champix blocks the effect of nicotine. Patients who are unable or unwilling to set a target date within one to two weeks, could be offered Champix first and then choose their target quit date to fall within five weeks of starting treatment. The patient should write this date on the pack as a reminder.
Champix comes as a white tablet (0.5 mg) and a light blue tablet (1 mg). Patients start with the white tablet and then usually go on to the light blue tablet.
Champix dosing should usually start at 1-2 weeks before the target quit date. The treatment with Champix lasts for 12 weeks. For patients who have successfully stopped smoking at the end of the 12 week period, an additional course of Champix for a 12 week treatment may be considered for the maintenance of abstinence.
The medicine can only be obtained with a prescription.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. One of the ways they do this is by producing evidence based guidance. See what guidance they offer about Champix.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is an agency of the European Union (EU). The Agency is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU. See EMA guidance on Champix.
Medicines in Northern Ireland fall under the remit of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) whilst medicines in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) fall under the remit of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) since the UK left the European Union. These agencies are responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies.
If you would like to see the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) or Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) for Champix please follow these links:
Champix (varenicline tartrate)
Champix (varenicline tartrate)
Pfizer is unable to provide advice on personal medical matters. Please consult your doctor or other relevant health professional for specific, health-related advice and support.
If you get any side effects when taking this or any other medicine, talk to your doctor or other relevant health professional e.g. pharmacist, nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the packaging leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or search the Google Play or Apple App Store for MHRA Yellow Card. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.