Coming off Champix - Help Needed

I've been using Champix for my quit, and I'm on day 113 now (with no lapses) - brilliant!

I've got a problem though: I stopped the tablets on 09 November for about 6 days, and it was a complete and utter nightmare - just like being on Week 1 cold turkey. I nearly cracked a few times so I restarted the Champix (reduced dose - I take one 1mg tablet in the morning), and everthing is fine again.

My problem is going to be when I come off Champix again - I can't take it for the rest of my life! I've got about 6 weeks worth of tablets left if I take them at this rate, but then what? I was thinking of asking for a few weeks' worth at 0.5mg (and maybe even cutting them in 1/2 for the last couple of weeks).

Any other ideas, or has anyone else been in this position?

JB

23 Replies

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  • Hey there JB

    I have been taking champix for just over 8weeks now. Yesterday I reduced the dosage from 2x1mg to 1x1mg am and 0.5mg pm. I intend to carry on like this for the next weeks. Then my nurse suggests I drop it to img for 2weeks and finally .5mg for a final 2 weeks. This means I wil have had a total of 16wks treatment, although if I stil have cravings at this point she will give me another 2 weeks supply. I'm not feeling too apprehensive about stopping the champix as I think by this time most of my old smoking habits will be gone.People comment about it being a Pshycological urge once the nicotine is gone from your body. This being the case just concentrate on the positive sides of champix. @science bit@

    nicotine enables the brain to artificialy release Dopamine (gives you the AAH! feeling when you have a cig.When you no longer smoke the brain has to rel -:Dearn to release this Dopamine on its own (like in other nonsmokers)

    Because it can't learn to do this overnight we get withdrawl symptoms. Thats where the champix comes in.Champix helps the brain by artificially releasing 60% of said Dopamine so the brain only needs to provide the other40% (this is taking a 2mg dose) When the brain can comfortably do this we decrease the champix to 1.5mg thus only providing 45% dopamine artificially leaving our brain to do the extra 15%

    Reducing the dosage to 1mg means that by now the brain can comfortably provide 70% of Dopamine and the champix only 30%

    Finally taking.5mg of Champix means the drug is only making the brain produce 15% of said Dopamine and the brain has learned to produce the other85% on its own. A coupe of weeeks later no champix and you'll have 100% release of Dopamine like any other non smoker. You've just to be patient and not worry!

  • ...thanks both.

    Re "I think by this time most of my old smoking habits will be gone": after 3.5 months smoke-free that was why I thought I'd just pack in the tablets and it would all be OK. It was a bit of a shock to find that it wasn't OK at all, ie I just wasn't as far along the road to recovery as I thought and the Champix was just masking my symptoms.

    I'll be taking it very slowly from now on........

    JB

  • Hi Johnny - Welcome and WOW!!! 113 Days is EXCELLENT!!! Keep it up you can do it! :D

    Hey for those of you on Champix - I heard through my mother-in-law who heard from the doctor that if you have a few extra champix after you have finished your time taking them, you can keep them for up to one year and whenever you get a big urge to smoke - just pop in a pill. You can take them once in awhile for up to a year and after that the pills expire. Hope you all find this helpful :)

  • Hi Jonnyboy,

    I have been taking champix for almost 11 weeks now, although only 0.5mg twice a day since week two. I thought that I should probably try and wean myself off of them slowly, so on Saturday I decided to split my pills taking half am and half pm (ie: 0.25mg twice daily). So far I have been fine on this amount and haven't noticed any difference. Next step in a couple of weeks I will try with only 0.25mg once a day so hopefully I it shouldn't be too bad fingers crossed!

  • Thanks all.

    So that's it then. Slow withdrawal, ending up with 0.25mg pills (courtesy of a razor blade). I'll let you know how I get on.

    2 be continued in a few weeks time.......

  • jonnyboy

    I am on the lower dose champix and have been for a while. i saw my GP the other day and she has given me a month of the lower dose and at the moment i am taking one every other day so they will last till end of January which will mean i have been on them for 6 months which when trialed them in the US they recommended a total doseage of 6 months, 3months on full dose and 3months weaning off them

  • hi

    i was scared stiff of coming off the champix!!! i did it slowly, started about 8 weeks (went down to 1 pill) and kept lowering the dose till i was cuttin them up in quarters!!!! in the end i come off and i did get some cravings but im ok now ( welll apart from my twitchy eye lmao)

    anyway hope that helps x

  • Please people, do NOT go cutting your pills in half/quarters!

    The coating on tablets is to ensure a slow release of the drug into your system. Champix affects your BRAIN. You do NOT want to be messing about with that - and cutting tablets in half is doing just that.

    I'm taking Champix myself, and once cut a tablet in half (because the chemist had to order my next batch and I was concerned I'd run out) - my boyfriend, a research psychologist, hit the roof when he found out. He told me how old people in homes DIE because people 'helpfully' mush up their tablets - causing a massive hit of whatever drug instead of the intended slow release.

    S'not worth it - just ask for lower dose tablets!

  • Sorry to disagree Inderellie but even my doctor doesn't disagree with the 'cutting up'of champix. Champix is NOT time released. On a personal note I reduced my dose to 1mg am and .5mg pm 2 weeks ago and I now take .5mg am and .5mg pm. This has been done WITH the blessing of both drs and nursesat my local surgery:)

  • ah ha now I have had a little thunk about this

    the capsules are the slow release, I know this because hubby took one once with a hot cup of coffee and it got stuck to the back of his throat and started popping like fireworks :eek: it was kind of funny but not funny to him just me watching.................... no ok.............. now you all know what a sick bitch I am :rolleyes:

    anyway the doc explained things then and that the capsules take the tab to the lower gut to be slow released, the coating on normal tabs are for ease of swallowing, something thing like that anyway :p

    the point of this story is "do not swallow tablets with a hot drink" I think I may have digressed :confused:

    Also make sure you have a mega glass of water with them too! (COLD!)lmao

  • ah ha now I have had a little thunk about this

    the capsules are the slow release, I know this because hubby took one once with a hot cup of coffee and it got stuck to the back of his throat and started popping like fireworks :eek: it was kind of funny but not funny to him just me watching.................... no ok.............. now you all know what a sick bitch I am :rolleyes:

    anyway the doc explained things then and that the capsules take the tab to the lower gut to be slow released, the coating on normal tabs are for ease of swallowing, something thing like that anyway :p

    the point of this story is "do not swallow tablets with a hot drink" I think I may have digressed :confused:

    You crack me up Boudee

    Glad you explained that cos I've been splitting my tabs for over 2 months!!! -mind you I'm still here so it must be okay!

  • Its nice to joke about situations but I'm taking my last Champix tomorrow and dreading it. I've a load of St John's Wort to replace the Champix after getting advice from here but the chemist says it may take 1 month to get into my system.

    Bob....

    ps... 4 days to go and then I've managed 1/4 of a year:D:D

  • Hello all, I have had to come off Champix 2 days ago as it was making me very aggresive, headaches, and a very sore neck. I was on 0.5mg first thing in the morning. I feel 100% better for it, and no cravings at all.

    A tip for anyone that feels sick when taking the tablets, take them with juice, it worked for me. If i took the tablets with water I would feel really sick for 30 min..

    Good luck to all.

  • Hi Calum and welcome to the forum! Good for you! 3 months is a huge accomplishment :) I quit cold turkey, but i know many people are using the new champix drug. It's terrible to hear that you are having such a rough time after the champix, and I hope this is a rare problem. I feel bad for you as you have done something so good for yourself, but yet you are suffering even after 3 months. I hope you can soon sort your issues out with the doc and the meds and get back to feeling the great effects of being a non-smoker. Keep on the right track even though you may be finding it very trying.

  • hi

    boudee was joking about the twitchy eye!!!!! (prb not really a good idea to joke about such things)

    anyway, calum, i have to say i have been a bit depressed since coming off the champix ............ am going back to the doc to see what he says.

    it might just be winter blues etc, who knows

    but get it checked out calum and we are here for u if u need a shoulder xxx

  • Hi Calum and welcome to the forum! Good for you! 3 months is a huge accomplishment :) I quit cold turkey, but i know many people are using the new champix drug. It's terrible to hear that you are having such a rough time after the champix, and I hope this is a rare problem. I feel bad for you as you have done something so good for yourself, but yet you are suffering even after 3 months. I hope you can soon sort your issues out with the doc and the meds and get back to feeling the great effects of being a non-smoker. Keep on the right track even though you may be finding it very trying.

    Hello all,

    What a time off the Champix, I have never felt so bad in all my life..... I nearly took a tablet (smoking is not an option) I NEED to see a doctor very soon otherwise I'm gonna kill myself or someone else... Ok so you stop the pill and you turn into a psycho.... mmmmm NOT GOOD. will keep you all updated on my progress... Good luck all. IF YOU CAN DO IT COLD TURKEY IS THE BEST WAY (I TRIED LASTED 5 DAYS !!)

  • maybe not quite the best then :o

    LOL yeah not for me, but if you have the will power then cold turkey must be the way forward. Having said that looking at the forum everyones quit method is different.

    It does not matter what method you choose as long as it gets you off the killer smokes.

    Had a better day today, the side effects of coming of the tablets were not as bad hope Monday is ok.

    Good luck all.

  • Hi Sian,

    Your experience sounds awful, poor you. Well done for continuing. This business is just so hard isn't it. I wanted to reply to you because I so relate to the 15 treats a day line. Exactly my thoughts. Where are my treats?! Some days nothing fills the gap. But I spose eventually we train ourselves to take pleasure in other things, like a walk or chocolate etc.. To be positive, (hard at the moment!) this is the twelfth day for me and apart from the mornings it is all getting easier, not moping cos I can't have one so much. These posts really do help, every one of us has found it hard in some way.

    Very very good luck.

  • Hi Everyone,

    New to this so bear with me. Gave up ciggies on 30th Sept after 9 days on Champix. Didn't sleep well from the time I started taking them - vivid dreams were fine but kept waking at stupid o'clock in the morning and could not get back to sleep. Anyway, didn't stay on full dose for long but cut back to half a tab twice a day, mainly because of the horror stories I was reading on various forums. Then cut down to half a tablet once a day and then stopped them so was taking them for just over 2 months altogether and did wean myself off rather than stop suddenly. About 5 days after stopping started crying and could not stop. Went to see the doc who thinks it may be withdrawal from Champix and has put me on Valium!!! Personally I think I had just got so tired that I couldn't cope anymore. I take Valium only at night and sleep much better and feel much better too! Will stop taking them in a day or two and hope I can still sleep!! Still not like my old self but then I spent my entire adult life believing that I was treating myself about 15 times a day and those "treats" are not there anymore so I suppose I am bound to feel a bit flat. Just keep reminding myself that I was not treating myself, just feeding an awful addiction. Despite the problems with Champix though I would do it all again as I am an ex-smoker and I never thought that would happen!!

    Sian xx

    So sorry to hear you are having such a rough time, but maybe you are right - tiredness can make you very depressed - these miserable grey short days don't help either!

    I hope you feel better soon

  • Hi,

    I'm a 20 year smoker who gave up 3 or 4 months ago using Champix. As per earlier poster I didn't sleep very well but found that taking the one tablet in the morning worked for me instead of one in morning one in evening.

    I stopped the Champix about 6 days ago and driving home last night suffered an almost paralysing anxiety attack. I couldn't breath, my heart was racing, I was sweating buckets and felt like I could pass out at any time. Long story short, I turned an hour's journey in to 2 hours with all the stopping I had to do.

    I've lay awake in a pool of sweat all night and am off to the doctors in 10 minutes. Hopefully will be OK as very short drive.

    Will let you know what he/she says.

    Gazza

  • Hi,

    I'm a 20 year smoker who gave up 3 or 4 months ago using Champix. As per earlier poster I didn't sleep very well but found that taking the one tablet in the morning worked for me instead of one in morning one in evening.

    I stopped the Champix about 6 days ago and driving home last night suffered an almost paralysing anxiety attack. I couldn't breath, my heart was racing, I was sweating buckets and felt like I could pass out at any time. Long story short, I turned an hour's journey in to 2 hours with all the stopping I had to do.

    I've lay awake in a pool of sweat all night and am off to the doctors in 10 minutes. Hopefully will be OK as very short drive.

    Will let you know what he/she says.

    Gazza

    Welcome to the forum Gazza. hope doc sorts this out for you. next time try breathing into a paper bag. its no magic cure but it definately helps with panic attacks. Good luck

  • Thanks for the welcome.

    My Doctor seemed pretty oblivious to this although she did say there were more and more reports of people suffering anxiety attacks whilst taking Champix.

    She's given me Fluanxol (sedative) to take just today and hopes this will get me over it. She said she didn't want to give me anything that was addictive. I wanted her to prescribe me 20 Embassy Number 1 so that was my hopes dashed :o

    Gazza

  • I wanted her to prescribe me 20 Embassy Number 1 so that was my hopes dashed :o

    lol :o

    Guess we switch one addiction for another, or at least a minor habit when we quit. I quit with nicorete microtabs and it seemed ok, started on 1 or maybe at most 2 tabs a day for the 1st month, then suddenly i was taking around 6-10 a day 3 months into my quit. Lucky for me i caught a nasty flu and couldnt be bothered moving never mind taking nicotine tabs.. ;) So now Five months, two weeks smoke free and 2 month nicotine free :D

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