October 24, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

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Champix

(varenicline)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02291177 CHAMPIX 0.5MG TABLET
02291185 CHAMPIX 1.0MG TABLET
02298309 CHAMPIX KIT CONTAINING BOTH 0.5MG AND 1MG TABLETS

How does Champix work? What will it do for me?

Varenicline belongs to the class of medications called smoking cessation therapies. It is used to help people quit smoking. Varenicline is intended to be used by adults in combination with quit-smoking education and counselling.

It works in the brain to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It also decreases the pleasure that people get from smoking. It is thought to have these effects by working at the same receptors that nicotine from cigarettes affects, although how varenicline exactly works is not clear.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

How should I use Champix?

The usual starting dose of varenicline is 0.5 mg once daily for the first 3 days, then 0.5 mg twice daily for the next 4 days, then continue on 0.5 mg twice daily or increase to 1 mg twice daily thereafter. The maximum dose of varenicline is 1 mg twice daily. Varenicline should be taken with a full glass of water, after eating.

Varenicline is intended to be used in combination with quit-smoking education and counselling. Treatment should start 1 to 2 weeks before the date the person has set to quit smoking (the "quit date") and continue for 12 weeks. For those who succeed in quitting smoking during this time, an additional 12 weeks of treatment may be recommended to reduce the risk that they will start smoking again. People who fail to quit smoking during the first 12-week treatment are encouraged to try again once they have identified and addressed the factors that may have caused them to have trouble quitting.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Champix come in?

0.5 mg
Each capsular, biconvex, white to off-white film-coated tablet, debossed with "Pfizer" on one side and "CHX 0.5" on the other side contains varenicline 0.5 mg (as tartrate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; film-coating: hypromellose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

1 mg
Each capsular, biconvex, light blue film-coated tablet, debossed with "Pfizer" on one side and "CHX 1.0" on the other side contains varenicline 1 mg (as tartrate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; film-coating: hypromellose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, triacetin, and FD&C Blue No. 2 Indigo Carmine Aluminum Lake.

Who should NOT take Champix?

Do not take varenicline if you are allergic to varenicline or any ingredients of the medication.

Do not take varenicline if you are using nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum or the nicotine inhaler. Combining varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy may cause more side effects than with varenicline alone and is unlikely to improve your chances of quitting.

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