Champix (Varenicline) has become very popular in the fight against smoking for those who wish to quit smoking due to its effectiveness as a treatment against nicotine addiction.
It acts as a nicotine blocker, and also helps relieve the symptoms of withdrawal which tempt a quitter to go back into smoking.
This article will look at the methodologies that should be employed when taking the medication for maximum effect. We will also discuss what precautions should be taken before and during the administration of the drug.
Are there those who shouldn’t be using this medication at all? Read on to find out.
Dosage and Instructions on Taking
Standard treatment duration
It is recommended that one who wants to quit smoking should take a dosage that runs the course of 12 weeks.
This is the standard treatment duration. And it is necessary to complete the entire dosage to get the full benefits of the medication without any relapses whatsoever.
The dosage you should take, as well as the timing, is indicated on the body of the blister packs containing the drugs.
Primarily, Champix Varenicline should be taken at about the same time every day. So, setting a timer will go a long way in helping.
When to start taking Champix
To treat nicotine addiction, you must begin to take Champix about a week to two weeks before you quit smoking.
This is important because this will give the Varenicline dosage some time to build up in your body.
As the dosage continues to build up, the cigarettes become a little less satisfying, and even develop a weird or nasty taste.
By the time you do reach the quitting date, it gets easier to stop smoking.
The cravings will still be there once you stop, but it’ll likely be less intense, and you’re less likely to get that agitation and frustration that comes with quitting.
How should Champix be administered?
Champix should be swallowed down with a full glass of water. It can be taken before or after eating, but many people prefer to take it after having a meal possibly to cloak any side effects that may occur.
The maximum dosage of Varenicline to be taken in a day is 1mg twice.
The Varenicline dosage usually begins with the 0.5mg capsular taken once a day for the first three days. Then the dosage is increased to 0.5mg twice in one day for the next four days.
This is referred to as the starter pack treatment which runs for a week. The 0.5mg dose should be continued through the following week, or it could be increased to 1mg twice daily from Day 8 until you reach the end of the treatment.
You must understand that the dosage described above is the general dose as indicated on the blister pack of the Champix medication.
Since Varenicline cannot be bought over the counter without a prescription, you must first of all be tested by your doctor. He/she will then recommend the most suitable dosage for you. That prescription may vary slightly from what is indicated on the leaflet or the blister pack of the drug.
Either way, please make sure to adhere strictly to what the doctor has recommended for you.
Quitting approaches with Champix
Varenicline is intended to be used in combination with counseling sessions. There are three known approaches to quit smoking when using Champix Varenicline. You should talk with your healthcare provider to know the method which would best suit you.
Approach 1: Mixed approach
In this approach, you set a date when you will stop smoking. Then you commence taking Varenicline about 7-14 days before that quit date arrives.
Keeping smoking during the period before the quit date is okay. You will eventually stop due to the weird taste the Varenicline will give the cigarette.
Approach 2: Flexible Approach
In this approach, start taking Champix and set your quit date later.
Your quit date should fall between 8-35 days after you begin taking the drug.
For this approach, your doctor may recommend another dosage to continue for another 12 weeks.
Approach 3: Gradual Approach
For this method, you start taking Varenicline, and then begin to reduce smoking instead of setting a quit date gradually.
Your goal, though, must be to quit smoking by the end of the first 12 weeks after you started taking Varenicline.
Your doctor will prescribe an additional treatment duration of another 12 weeks to negate the incidence of relapse.
In all of these three methods of quitting smoking, a date must be fixed and you must be willing to adhere strictly to what date.
Before you take Champix
What steps should be taken before you commence the Varenicline treatment?
- You must be willing to quit smoking. Varenicline does not make you want to quit smoking. Instead, you first want to quit smoking, and then the drug helps you along the way to reach your goal faster.
- Have your doctor test you to know if you will prove to be allergic to Varenicline.
- Be open and honest with your doctor about any mood changes or mood swings that you may be having before you commence medication with Champix.
- Talk with your doctor about interaction of Champix with other drugs.
- Enlist the help of family and friends to monitor you, and help you remember to take your medication, to help encourage you, or to observe any changes in you after taking the drug.
- Always make a prescription appointment before your last prescription runs out, so that there will not be any gaps in between and if there are then you can visit meds4sure online pharmacy in order to buy without prescription at good prices.
- Check the expiry date of the drug before you start taking it. Do not take Champix that has exceeded its expiry date.
Before commencing medication with Champix, you should discuss with your doctor about your current health condition, as well as any inherited medical conditions you may have.
You should let your doctor know beforehand if you have any of the following conditions, and your doctor will keep you from using Champix:
- Epilepsy (which could lead to even more frequent violent fits and convulsions after taking the drug)
- Kidney failure or any kidney related medical conditions
- Cardiovascular disease
- Allergic reactions to specific foods or chemical compounds
Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women cannot take Varenicline.
If you’re using programs that include nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum, patches, or the nicotine inhaler, using Champix in combination will only increase the side effects and you won’t get the desired results.