Champix is a revolutionary new drug that has made great inroads when it comes to smoking cessation. Champix, with varenicline as its active ingredient, is a new-age medication specifically designed to help people stop smoking. It makes it easy for smokers to kick the habit with ease. Its active ingredient is a nicotinic receptor partial agonist. Its working is markedly different from the various NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) being used to help smokers leave smoking. Champix has a two pronged approach to help people reduce and ultimately stop their smoking habit:
- It helps reduce the cravings for a smoke
- It decreases the pleasurable effects of not only cigarettes but also other tobacco products as well
The working of Champix
As a partial agonist, varenicline belongs to a subtype known as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Both nicotine and varenicline stimulate the same receptors in the brain. What this does is that Champix removes the cravings associated with nicotine withdrawal. Smokers, looking to quit, do not suffer as much from the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal when they take Champix. The medication also acts by blocking the receptors from the effects of nicotine that is inhaled as a result of smoking. This also means that the nicotine inhaled, does not provide the same pleasurable affect to the body. Because of this, smokers slowly but surely are able to cut down on their smoking.
Available in tablet form, the dosage of this medication is to be taken over a period of 3 months (12 weeks). Typically, the starter pack of Champix has 11 white tablets of 0.5 mg each and 14 blue tablets of 1 mg each. The dosage that is usually prescribed is as follows:
- Between days 1 and 3, one needs to take 0.5mg of Champix daily
- Between days 4 and 7, 0.5 mg of Champix must be taken once in the morning and once in the evening. The timings when you take the tablet must remain the same on all days
- The 1 mg dosage of Champix begins from day 8 and continues on to day 14. Two tablets of Champix need to be taken two times a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, at the same time each day
- From day 15, till you complete your treatment, you will be asked to take a 1 mg dose of Champix two times a day, in the morning and in the evening; same time each day.
At times you might face some unpleasant side effects when you begin the 1mg dosage of Champix. If this is the case then you can go back to a 0.5mg dosage that can be taken two times a day throughout the duration of the treatment.
Champix or Zyban
Both medications help smokers stop smoking. But, their working is different. While Champix was always meant to be an anti-smoking drug, Zyban was originally developed as an anti-depressant. The working of Zyban and how it controls smoking is largely a mystery for the medical community. But, one thing is certain and that its intake increases the amount of neurotransmitters like noradrenaline and dopamine and thus helps in the reduction of cravings. Champix has had a better success rate then Zyban with respect to the number of people quitting smoking with Champix.
Side Effects of Champix
Every prescription medication has various side effects associated with it. Champix is no different. The side effects of this medication include gas, vomiting, constipation and even a change in dreams. There are a few other side effects, which include chest pain, dizziness, depression, menstrual disorder, depression, anxiety, and hypertension. It's important that if there is a recurrence of these side effects that you seek medical help.
On the whole Champix is a safe drug and is also quite successful. Most people who use Chantix have shown a very minimal manifestation of these side effects. At the end of the day it's a drug that successfully acts against the smoking habit. For smokers, Champix has effectively emerged as a miraculous drug that helps them quit smoking with considerable ease and efficacy. Champix is a prescription medication and is available only after you consult your doctor for the same.
By Ajay Dumasiya BCA, SEO (Last 2.6 years)
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