Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and the drugs you use before receiving a prescription for Champix.
Recommended Dose and Dosage Adjustment
There are two ways to set a quit date with CHAMPIX:
- The patient sets a date to stop smoking. CHAMPIX dosing should start 1-2 Weeks before this date. OR
- The patient begins CHAMPIX and then quits smoking between days 8 and 35 of treatment (ie between Weeks 2 and 5)
Regardless of the approach to setting a quit date, dosing instructions are the same (as below).
Following one week of titration, there is a choice of two doses for CHAMPIX: 0.5 mg two times daily or 1.0 mg two times daily. CHAMPIX should be taken after eating and with a full glass of water.
|Days 1–3||0.5 mg once daily|
|Days 4–7||0.5 mg twice daily|
|Days 8–onward||0.5 mg twice daily or 1.0 mg two times daily|
The choice of dosing regimen should be based on physician judgment and patient preference, following discussion with the patient. Once CHAMPIX treatment is initiated, the dose may be changed, temporarily or permanently, according to patient and physician judgments on tolerability and efficacy.
Duration of Treatment
Patients should be treated with CHAMPIX for 12 weeks.
For patients who have successfully stopped smoking at the end of 12 weeks, an additional course of 12 weeks treatment with CHAMPIX may be considered. No data are available on the efficacy of an additional 12 week course of treatment for patients who do not succeed in stopping smoking or who relapse after treatment.
Dose tapering may be considered. Regardless of whether the treatment course is 12 or 24 weeks, risk of smoking-cessation relapse is elevated in the period immediately following the end of drug treatment. In addition, dose tapering may help minimize discontinuation symptoms (e.g., increase in irritability, urge to smoke, depression, and/or insomnia), observed in up to 3% of patients at the end of treatment.
Common Side Effects
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Abdominal Pain
- Abnormal Dreams
Please note that there have been post-marketing reports of serious neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients being treated with CHAMPIX (varenicline tartrate), including depressed mood, agitation, aggression, hostility, changes in behavior, suicide related events, including ideation, behavior, attempted suicide and suicide, as well as worsening of pre-existing psychiatric disorder. These events have occurred in patients with and without pre-existing psychiatric disorders. Stop taking CHAMPIX immediately and contact your doctor if you experience, or if others observe, these symptoms.
Regarding Alcohol Intake
Alcohol intake may increase the risk of experiencing psychiatric adverse events during treatment with CHAMPIX.
Regarding Patients with Psychiatric History
Patients with concomitant psychiatric conditions, even if well controlled, or with a history of psychiatric symptoms, should be diligently monitored by a healthcare professional for new or worsened psychiatric events.
If on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Co-administration of CHAMPIX with NRT would not confer additional benefits compared with CHAMPIX alone, and may result in increased side effects; therefore, it is recommended that NRT and CHAMPIX are not used at together.
Talk to your doctor to see if CHAMPIX may be a good option for you.
References: Champix Drug Monograph