Smoking Cessation with Champix
Giving up smoking has never been an easy decision for any smoker. It is, however, a necessity considering how detrimental to health smoking can be.
Are there drugs to help those looking to quit smoking? A prescription drug known as Champix (Varenicline) significantly increases your chances of doing away with smoking addiction.
Quitting becomes easier with Champix because Varenicline reduces that over whelming craving for a quick smoke.
This drug helps you endure the challenge of quitting smoking. Within a few weeks, you will begin to feel the benefits of being a non-smoker.
What is Champix?
Champix contains Varenicline. Varenicline is the actual medication, as well as the active ingredient, while Champix® (or Chantix®) is the trade name.
The medication was first licensed in December 2016 in the UK.The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has approved Varenicline tobe administered for up to twelve weeks. Due to the level of effectiveness demonstrated by the drug in clinical trials, the US FDA granted this drug a “priority review” of 6 months, and approval of the medicine had been released on May 11, 2006. Champix was made available for sale by a prescription in the US on August 1, 2006, and on September 29, 2006, the drug was approved for sale within the entire stretch of the European Union.
Champix (Varenicline) is to be taken orally, meaning by mouth. The drug comes both as a 0.5mg capsule, and a 1mg capsule.
The 0.5mg capsule of Champix is presented in an off-white color.The tablet is biconvex in shape, and is thinly coated with a film. The pill has the “CHX 0.5” trademark imprinted on one side, and “Pfizer” imprinted on the second side. It contains 0.5mg of Varenicline.
The 1mg capsule of Varenicline is also biconvex in shape. It has a light blue color, and the tablet is coated with a thin film. This variant also has the “CHX 1.0” trademark imprinted on one side, and “Pfizer” imprinted on the second side. It contains 1 mg of Varenicline, respectively
The active compound in Champix is excreted by the kidneys within 24 hours.
How does Champix work?
Varenicline is a prescription drug which is used for treating nicotine addiction, and is applied for the cessation of the smoking of cigarettes, and other products made from tobacco. It helps adults who want to quit smoking by reducing cravings and pleasurable effects of tobacco products.
However, Champix works in a nutshell by what is called competitive binding. There are nicotine receptors in the brain, and when tobacco or cigarette smoke is inhaled the nicotine in the cigarette, smoke binds itself or attaches itself to thenicotine receptors in the brain. This transmitsanelectrical signal to another section of the brain, anddopaminethat is responsible for creatingfeelings of thrill and titillation is released.
But this feeling only lasts a short while. The body wants to repeat this feeling, soit reinforces the need to keep smoking. This is why many struggles to quit is that nicotine. When you do decide to quit smoking, you start to get withdrawal symptoms soon after your last smoke.
Varenicline works by binding itself to these same nicotine receptors, and hence blocking nicotine from attaching to them. Varenicline partly stimulates the nicotine receptors to mimic the action of nicotine. This reduces cravings and the withdrawal effects usually experienced when you stop smoking.
While mimicking the effects of nicotine, it also partly blocks the nicotine receptors, thus preventing nicotine from attachment to the receptors. Bythis action, the impact of nicotine becomes blunt and withdrawal symptoms become less intense. Champix does not contain nicotine, and neither it is it addictive.
Are there Any Side Effects with Champix?
It is strongly advised that you study the detailed information printed in the leaflet that accompanies the medicine for a complete list of all the possible side-effects and cautions about the use of Champix. However, most people who take Varenicline do not develop any side-effects, or even if they do, they are mostly the only minor.
The side effects to be discussed do not happen often. However, if you do not speak to your doctor when the symptoms occur and become persistent, it may lead to more serious problems in the future. Remember that Varenicline is strictly a prescription drug, and should therefore be taken under the guidance of a trained medical doctor.
The following highlights the most common side-effects experienced. They manifest within the first week of taking the medication. Again, these can be easily managed but you must contact your health provider if you observe any of these to be unrelenting:
- Dry mouth
- Tiredness or weakness
- Lack of focus
- Difficulty sleeping
- Abnormal dreams
The adverse effects listed below do not happen often. The risk of experiencing these severe side effects is very low. However, it is precautionary to be aware of them and to check with your physician if any of them do occur and persist:
- Symptoms of a heart attack (which include feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest, sweating, and nausea).
- Signs of a stroke (including vision changes, numbness, sudden or a severe headache; sudden loss of coordination; pain in arm or leg, sudden slurring of speech, unexplained weakness, numbness).
- Signs of acute skin reaction orany other reaction (these include a rash spreading quickly, a rash covering a large area of the body, a severe skin rash that is peeling and blistering, puffy feetorhands).
- Signs of mental alterations (such changes could include prolonged mood swings, changes in behavior, thinking about harming oneself or others, hallucinations).
- Symptoms of depression (these may include adecline in interest or participation in activities, poor concentration, suicidalthoughts, changes in weight, changes in sleep).
The Bottom Line
It must also be understood that while attempting to quit any addiction, one will experience withdrawal symptoms and feelings of not ever surviving the withdrawal period. You might feel as if you will not be able to live without the cigarette or tobacco products. That is normal and will not just disappear at the instant that Champix is introduced into the system. But all of this will wear away eventually, and medication should be administered under the strict supervision of a certified doctor.