SMK Registered User

I've been reading about a new "stop smoking" drug called Champix (Chantix in USA). It was just released a few weeks ago. I went to my doctor but he didn't know enough about it and wants to research it first before prescribing it.

I can't find much information about it on the internet other than information put out by the manufacturers.

Has anybody heard about it or tried it?

dumbyearbook Registered User


Dunno if its the same one but I heard of a medication that you do a 3 week course of it (€100 a go) a friend of a friend is taking it, I'll ask her how she gets on and post the outcome

- was thinking of getting it myself too but ill let Alan Carr get to work first!

gramlab Registered User

Not much here but..........

A Different Way to Help Quitters Quit

Good News for Smokers
There’s good news for smokers this week with the launch of Champix™ in Ireland. Champix, is the first new prescription aid to smoking cessation treatment approved by the EMEA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in nearly a decade, and it is now available to Irish patients. Those who are prescribed Champix will be offered the opportunity to enroll in a behavioural modification programme called Life RewardsTM Support Plan at no additional cost. The plan was developed by Pfizer with input from smoking cessation experts.

“By launching Champix in Ireland to help people quit smoking, we hope to take a positive step toward improving the health of smokers, their families and friends, and society in general,” says Jay Cusack, Champix Brand Manager. “Quitting smoking is challenging physiologically and psychologically. Very often, smokers are very much on their own during the difficult quitting process. To help people break free from the powerful grip of smoking, we are offering Champix with a personalised behaviour modification program called Life RewardsTM Support Plan. It is our hope that this will help smokers achieve their goal of living smoke-free.”

Decline in Smoking has been Reversed
According to the Office of Tobacco Control the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking in Ireland is approximately 24%. There was a decline in smoking prevalence after the smoke free legislation in March 2004, however this decline has now been reversed. In particular there is a rise in smoking prevalence among young women. 25% of the female population smoke. There is also a reversal in the decline in smoking among 15-18 year olds and 19-35 year olds generally. It is estimated that 18% of 15-18 year olds smoke and 33% of 19-35 year olds. Half of all smokers will die from tobacco related disease and of these 50% will die prematurely. In Ireland 7,000 people die every year from tobacco related diseases. Annually 1,500 people die from lung cancer. Smoking causes 30% of all cancers, including 90% of lung cancers.

Four out of every 5 smokers wish they had never started. Champix offers an important advance in smoking cessation. It is the first in a new class of medicines called selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists and it works by binding to the nicotinic receptors and providing relief from the craving and withdrawal symptoms while also reducing satisfaction and the rewarding effects of smoking.

A Death Every Eight Seconds
Smoking is the world’s leading preventable cause of premature death. While many smokers would like to quit to prevent further damage to their health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that less than 5% of smokers trying to quit unaided remain abstinent at 1 year. It is believed that most smokers continue to smoke not out of choice, but because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction to nicotine is a chronic, relapsing medical condition. Worldwide, approximately 1.3 billion people currently smoke cigarettes. Approximately five million people die of smoking-related diseases each year worldwide and the WHO estimates that if current smoking patterns continue, the number of people dying of smoking-related diseases globally will double by 2020 to 10 million a year. According to the WHO, every eight seconds a person dies of a smoking-related disease (and almost as quickly someone else takes up smoking for the first time).

Further information on smoking and quitting can be found on the following websites: ASH Ireland:, Irish Heart Foundation: , Irish Cancer Society:, Office of Tobacco Control:

the Guru Registered User

I'm starting it again tomorrow, I did start it a few weeks ago but I didn't want to mix with with other meds I was taking. 2 of the lads in the office are taking it and they where really heavy smokers and they have stopped.

It does work

SMK Registered User

I got the Champix and today was day 14 of the tablets. I stopped smoking yesterday so I've almost completed Day 2 as a non-smoker!! Craving are definitly a lot easier to handle and I think I might actually succeed this time in staying off the cigs! Very annoying though when I "forget" I'm not smoking and reach for cigarettes that aren't there!! But hopefully that will pass soon.

dragona Registered User

Can someone give me an idea of how much Champix costs? I used Zyban a good few years ago and stopped for nearly a year -something set me off again, but would like to try this new one, if the price is not prohibitive.

gramlab Registered User

2 week starter pack is @65 euro. 125 monthly after that if you carry on.

MAKE SURE YOU GET A DPS CARD and you only pay max of 85 euro a month for anything prescribed i.e 1st month almost free
I've benn off them now for 6 weeks which is about 6 weeks better than any other attempt (23 years a smoker). Have tried Alan Carr clinic twice, read the book, patches, gum etc and none worked for me. Don't know if its the champix or just the fact that I know if this doesn't work I haven't really got any options left thats keeping me going but finally know what its like to be off them a while and it feels good

knighted Registered User

can any doctor prescribe this or just selected ones ?

gramlab Registered User

Any doctor can prescribe it. It was not even officially launced when I started it and you will still find it hard to find a chemist that stocks it - they can order it in in a day or two.

Good luck if you try it.

Nan Registered User

Hi All,

Stopped smoking Jan. 19th. while taking Champix. Felt great emotionally - almost as if tranquillized. Physically, I didn't have any cravings, but I was bloated for about two weeks: very unpleasant. I slept like a baby, had wonderfully funny and quirky dreams and didn't gain weight.

I am still smoke and nicotine free and have discontinued Champix. I am convinced that Champix helped me get started and that without it, I would not have got this far. But...

...several side effects became too unpleasant. Serious one: I started coughing up small amounts of blood, so after discussing it with the doc, I simply halved the dose and everything was fine. I then started becoming angry and aggressive and halved the dose again. Through all this, I have had only a few terrible moments where I have felt so tempted that I might have smoked had I a cigarette in hand - luckily I didn't.

A week or so ago, I started shouting at a dog trainer (really shouting), and I knew it was time to completely discontinue the tablets. I did it slowly and have been fine. I am careful about what I eat and do not set myself up for failure. I haven't smoked since Jan. 19th. and I feel hopeful that I can stay the course, which has been made a lot easier by starting with Champix.

Still, I would never take it for six, let alone nine months....


loumac Registered User

My brother is taking it & I'm going to start this week.I was always wary of Zyban & this seems way better. My brother is late 40's, has been on Champix for a month & said the cravings stopped after a matter of days. He really doesn't want a smoke! There are no side effects that he notes other than mild heart burn (which may be unrelated) Beat's cancer!

gafarrell Registered User

This Champix drug is now been given out free by the NHS in the UK from today i believe. I am thinking of giving something a go real soon and this looks like a good option. If anybody knows where to get it in Cork please let me know (Or do it have to be prescribed by a doctor?)


SMK Registered User

You have to get a prescription from your doctor for it. I've been using Champix and I'm off the cigarettes over six weeks now. I didn't follow the instructions exactly! I started it in January and was stopping and starting smoking until 15 April when I finally stopped for good! Although soon after starting the drug I had cut down to about 10 a day. I still get cravings but they are easier to manage and I haven't even come close to lighting up since I quit for good. And I started a diet the same day and have lost 9lb so far!!

JohnRPolito Registered User

Understandably, there's lots of excitement each time a new quitting product arrives. But long-term smokers have lived broken marketing promises for at least 25 years. Will Champix be different?

Pfizer's press release boasts that 1 in 5 Champix users remained quit for an entire year but, frankly, the design of Pfizer's 5 studies was utterly horrible. They make it impossible to tell how much of the one-year rate to attribute to Champix and how much to other factors such as: (1) excluding hard to treat populations, (2) up to 25 provider support and/or counseling contacts, contacts having their own efficacy (possibly a record), and (3) allowing Champix users to use NRT products following 3 months of Champix use, yet counting them as successful Champix quitters. But then again, out in real world use ... who knows how it'll fare.

For those interested here's two critical study design reviews:

The problem for those surviving adverse events and side-effects isn't in being comfortable while on Champix (which really isn't too hard to do as it puts out up to 60% of the dopamine that nicotine would have if sitting on the exact same nicotinic receptor that varenicline now occupies 24 hrs a day) but in adjusting to coming off of it and successfully transiting the period of time which the brain needs to down-regulate receptor counts. Keep in mind that more than half who successfully completed three months of use relapsed to smoking within a year.

Is Champix more effective than the nicotine gum, patch or lozenge? We all certainly hope so but I'm not holding my breath. As shared in the top link, a number of early nicotine gum studies, that also included heavy counseling and/or support elements, generated one-year quitting rates higher than Champix. But we've since learned that when nicotine gum is used as a stand-alone over-the-counter product, its six month (not 1 yr) quitting rate is a dismal 7%, with a substantial percentage of that 7% (up to 6.7%) still hooked on the cure.

As for adverse events, this is not Zyban or Wellbutrin (bupropion), where we were each told and knowingly accepted a 1 in 1,000 risk of having a seizure. Significant Champix side effects are clobbering so many users that it's nearly impossible not to hear their voices. Take a look at this link:

If true, imagine significant muscle and joint pain for days or weeks after Champix use has ended. I'm working with a couple of dozen Champix users in helping prepare them to stay free once they come off of it. I've encouraged all of them to read either Joel Spitzer's free book "Never Take Another Puff" available at or Allen Carr's free book "Scandal" available at

With or without Champix, yes you can! In the end there's just one rule determining the outcome for all ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew!

John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Educator

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Nan Registered User



As for adverse events, this is not Zyban or Wellbutrin (bupropion), where we were each told and knowingly accepted a 1 in 1,000 risk of having a seizure. Significant Champix side effects are clobbering so many users that it's nearly impossible not to hear their voices....

Hi John,

Thanks for the great links.

Certainly, it was very difficult to find the low down on Champix as it's called here in Denmark. I work as a translator and have good Internet search skills without which I would not have found the information about the medical trials. Even so, I had to lie to get the information: "Yes, I am a doctor." or some such sentence that allowed me to get the information. Loads of hard-to-understand stastistics and jargon not known to the average joe or josephine. I mostly agree with your assessment.

I am still smoke, pill and nicotine free. Almost five months --- soon.

Whether due to Champix or cessation, my body continues to behave in unaccustomed ways. Would I still have taken Champix? Yes. Literally armed with information, I could not have foreseen some of the side-effects and would probably, had I known, have stayed on the initial half dose.

The real medical trial is when the product hits the market.

Again, thanks for the links.


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