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Author Topic: The Basics  (Read 3380 times)

Just Quit

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The Basics
« on: April 27, 2015, 04:13:55 am »

Champix, known as Chantix in the US, is the trade name of Varenicline - a prescription medication that is used to treat nicotine addiction and has been licensed for use in the UK since 2006.  It acts on the receptors in our brains as a partial agonist (meaning it both blocks and activates them) so that it reduces our craving as well as removing the element of satisfaction we get from smoking.

Usually prescribed as a three month course, the dosage is titrated up (increased) gradually from 0.5mg per day to 1mg twice a day and the patient is encouraged to set a quit date shortly after reaching full dosage.  For some the full dosage brings too many side effects and a return to the initial lower dose is advised.  Users are advised to take the tablets with water as part of a meal to minimise side effects and its efficacy as a method of quitting smoking is increased when it is used in combination with participation in a smoking cessation programme or regular appointments with a smoking cessation specialist.  Side effects include nausea, sleep disturbance, mood changes and flatulence to name but a few so it is advisable to be very aware of how you are affected by the medication should you choose to use it to aid your quit.

As in the case of patches, the fact that taking the tablets can be easily incorporated into your daily routine is a bonus and ensures that you are not replacing the action of smoking with another action that could become addictive.  However, given that this is a relatively new treatment, it is important to maintain regular contact with your GP or smoking cessation specialist so that your progress and wellbeing can be monitored.
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