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Champix is a popular prescription medication for quitting smoking that alleviates cravings without reliance on Nicotine. Because of this, Champix is a popular choice for those seeking stop smoking medication.

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What is Champix?

Champix is clinically proven to be the most effective prescription smoking cessation treatment. In comparison with other medications designed to help you quit smoking, Champix has the highest success rate for successful smoking cessation. In fact, clinical studies found that users of Champix were twice as likely to give up smoking successfully than with no medication to help them.

This makes Champix the most effective stop smoking medication, ahead of e-cigarettes, behavioural therapy and nicotine gum or patches.

Why Champix?

NHS testing found that 45% of people had successfully quit smoking altogether after 12 weeks of using Champix. This compares to just 22% of people who used bupropion and only 11% of people who tried to quit using a placebo effect.

Champix isn’t just the most effective medication for quitting smoking when compared to other leading methods. There are many other benefits of using Champix which make it the best smoking cessation medication available. The benefits of using Champix include:

  • A significant reduction of nicotine cravings
  • Less feelings of stress, anxiety and irritability
  • A smaller chance of experiencing insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Alleviation of headaches
  • A gradual elimination of nicotine reliance
  • The opportunity to stop smoking in just two weeks

Champix can be used alongside other treatment methods for an even higher chance of success.

How to take Champix

Champix comes in the form of a capsule. Each capsule comes packaged securely with the correct dosages labelled for each day of the treatment. Champix can be taken with or without food, ideally with a full glass of water. The most common method of consuming the treatment is to begin taking it one week before your planned quit date in order to create a building block. Alternatively, you can start taking Champix straight away and decide on your quit date between 8–35 days after.

If you miss your dose of Champix, simply take the missed pill as soon as you remember. If it’s close to your next dose, however, simply miss the dose completely and continue your regime as normal. You should never take two Champix pills together.

What dosages are available?

A Champix starter pack is available from Express Pharmacy. This starter pack contains a 0.5mg dose to be taken once a day for the first three days, followed by a 0.5mg dose to be taken twice daily for four days, then a 1mg dose to be taken twice daily for one week.

Although Champix has been proven to help you quit smoking in just two weeks, it is advised that you complete the full 12-week stop smoking treatment. This has been shown to increase your chances of quitting for good from 50% to 70%.

Once you have completed the Champix starter pack, take a 1mg dose twice daily for eleven weeks.

Side Effects

Most people who choose Champix as a stop smoking medication experience no side effects or very minor side effects.

The most commonly experienced side effect of Champix is nausea, and this is often mild and tolerable. For those who do experience nausea, taking the smoking cessation medication just after a meal with a full glass of water is thought to help reduce feelings of sickness.

Other potential side effects are insomnia, headaches and flatulence.


Please note that if you are pregnant or are a new mother who is breastfeeding, smoking cessation tablets are not advised. You should also be careful with alcohol consumption when taking Champix, as varenicline has been shown to increase the effects of alcohol.


How does Champix work?

Champix is unique as it uses an active ingredient called varenicline. This works in several ways:

  • Creates the feeling of nicotine without actually releasing the harmful substance into your body
  • Reduces your body’s reliance on nicotine
  • Eliminates the cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking
  • Reduces any pleasant sensations you associate with smoking

Varenicline bonds directly with nicotine receptors in the brain to stop the feelings you get from smoking a cigarette.

How do I take Champix?

Your packet will explain how to take Champix. If using the starter pack, a 0.5mg dose needs to be taken once a day for the first three days, followed by a 0.5mg dose twice daily for four days, then a 1mg dose to be taken twice daily for one week. It is advised to complete the full 12 week course.

If using the standard pack, take a 1mg dose two times a day for 11 weeks. For more information, see the ‘how to use’ tab.

How quickly does Champix work?

Results will vary between individuals, but you should expect to notice cravings decreasing after 9 days. For best results, complete the full 12 week course.

When should I stop taking Champix?

For the best chances of quitting smoking, take Champix for 12 weeks.

What are the side effects of taking Champix?

Although uncommon, side effects of Champix may include nausea, headaches and flatulence. Please see the ‘side effects’ tab for more information.

What happens if you continue to smoke while on Champix?

If you continue to smoke after your proposed ‘quit date’, your chances of stopping the habit will significantly decrease.

Can I buy Champix online?

Yes - you can buy Champix online at Express Pharmacy. You must complete a free online consultation so that we can assess if you are suitable for the treatment.


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Patient Information

Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find the information by searching for your treatment on Medicines.org.uk.

If you have any questions about your treatment please refer to Medicines.org.uk or contact us.

Champix Standard 1mg Patient Information Leaflet

Champix 0.5mg Patient Information Leaflet

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