a quick question re Champix?!?

Afternoon all, I'm on my 9th day of Champix and this is more or less my official quit date.. i've not smoked since 12 oclock last night and all is going well, although I've been thinking about cigarettes I've not had any cravings and generally feel supper (unlike the last 2 days when moving onto the 1mg pills)!

So here's the question.. from what I understand this stuff binds to the nicotine receptors and tricks them into thinking its the real thing, thereby stopping the cravings.

All very well and good, but does that not mean that as soon as I stop taking these things in a few weeks/months the cravings are going to come back again?

Whats the general plan for coming off this stuff, do you just stop taking it, go back down to 1 pill in the morning? Cant seem to see any info on coming off the tablets.

Thanks!

29 Replies

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  • I asked my doctor this and he was very vague!! I thought we would be weaned off but we are not (scary) according to my doc. I think we need help from someone who has done the 12 weeks on Champix.

    Well done on day 1!!

  • This is something I'm worried about too...I've been very lucky having had virtually no cravings. I keep imagining I'll explode as soon as I come off the pills :confused:

    I have read somewhere that we should be 'weaned' off them...my doctor's such a sweetie I'm sure I can talk him into doing that for me :D

  • oh blimey! i do hope we get weened off otherwise it could be hellish!

    I'm off to see the nurse on thursday so i'll ask her.

    I guess if they say they don't wean you off you could do your own cut down but only taking one pill a day and then chop them in half until you're back down to zero again.

  • I thought I would go to 1 a day then 1 every other day if they don't wean us off. I thought they would give us the start pack again but in reverse.

    Carol - Will you ask your nurse and come back to us. :)

  • i've been doing a bit of hunting around on google and it seems that there isnt really a plan for stopping the champix. I'm not sure what the docs recommend as I live in spain and got mine over the counter from the pharmacy (although while selling me it he did say he shouldn't technically be selling it to me?!?).

    what some people seem to have been doing is cutting down to 1 a day, then to either 1 every other day as you've suggested Christine or physically breaking the tablets in half or even quarters.

    I'm surprised there isnt some kind of finishing pack too Christine, as you say like the starter pack but in reverse.

    Carol: any official doctor type info would be great on this as I cant find anything on the champix or chantix websites!

    :confused::confused:

  • Actually Mike you can buy them on the net too.

    My doctor was not going to give me them at first because they were expensive (bear in mind this was my 1st attempt) so I put it very bluntly that I'd worked for the last 20 years and the NHS owed me!!! However I signed up for a smoking clinic and they have never come back to me!! I wonder if it's just me:(

    I’ve read on here the people who have gone cold turkey still struggle in week 3, however personally I have found the last 4/5 days to be so much easier and obviously that’s the Champix, what worries me is when we do actually give them up:eek:

  • Just read this on the enclosed leaflet with Champix:

    In smoking cessation therapy, risk of returning to smoking may be elevated in the period immediatley following the end if treatment. Your doctor may decide to gradually lower your dose of Champix at the end of treatment.

    That's it...I'm going in armed with my leaflet. (it also says the doctor may recommend an additional 12 weeks of treatment :eek: )

  • Just read this on the enclosed leaflet with Champix:

    In smoking cessation therapy, risk of returning to smoking may be elevated in the period immediatley following the end if treatment. Your doctor may decide to gradually lower your dose of Champix at the end of treatment.

    That's it...I'm going in armed with my leaflet. (it also says the doctor may recommend an additional 12 weeks of treatment :eek: )

    Go on my love (do you want me to come with you!!). Doctors want us to give up yet they do not give us all the info. We still need an ex champix person to help us.

  • I'm off to the Month 4 room to ask!

  • Just picked up my last Champix and Ive been told that on the last week I only take one a day and if I want to I can do another week on half a tablet.

    You should not have any cravings as your body will have forgotten all about nicotine, if you do experience 'cravings' it is in your mind.

    I will be winding down 3 weeks on monday so if you hear that a mad woman has gone on a strangling spree in Cheshire you know that all Ive said is rubbish

  • Thanks for that Murph!

    That sounds quite promising then!

    Only one complaint I've got at the moment though...the dreams seem to have stopped...any way I can get them back??? ;)

  • They come back with a bang now and then (sorry no pun intended)

  • Thanks for that Murph!

    That sounds quite promising then!

    Only one complaint I've got at the moment though...the dreams seem to have stopped...any way I can get them back??? ;)

    LOL!!

    Thanks Murph, let us know how you do and good luck:)

  • They come back with a bang now and then (sorry no pun intended)

    lol that's nice to know!

  • Hi guys - I currently live in the Month 4 House. :D

    Just been reading through the previous posts. I have completed the "Champix Challenge" and whilst it is only my experience and people can be different, thought my experience might be of help to some of you.

    I started Champix as normal. Once onto the blue tablets twice a day, I was feeling quite sickly so cut myself down to one. As I was managing on one a day and got to the stage where I was forgetting to take them, I stopped myself after about seven/eight weeks on the course. I would not recommend this for everyone, but it suited me. Did advise Dr who said I would probably fail if I did not complete the course, but this only made me more determined.

    I did have another prescription at home that I could collect which was like a safety blanket for me. It was strange knowing I wasn't taking the tablets anymore, but think this was more in my head than a physical feeling.

    No matter what method you are using, and what stage you are at, a craving can come and slap you in the face at any time.

    There are lots of posts on here about Champix and you will read a wide range of opinions. No doubt there will be others along shortly who will offer support and guidance. I think it is 50% this forum and 50% champix that have made my quit successful.

    I would recommend you "badger" your smoking nurse a bit more, they are there to help you.

    Hope this has helped, even if its only stopped you thinking about fags for a few minutes. Keep strong. ;)

  • Interesting stuff.

    According to the Champix web site "it reduces the smoker's craving for nicotine by binding to nicotine receptors in the brain and reduces the symptoms of withdrawal". If I read that correctly, it mean that nicotine no longer gives you the buzz it once did (see my post somewhere else about Dunhill International starting to taste/feel like Silk Cut Extra Ultra Low Tar...) so that the desire to smoke is lessened. Because it's no longer giving you the 'hit' you once had, you begin to realise you might be able to give up without it hurting too much. That's when the will power kicks in - Champix on its own does nothing, it just leads you down a path. So, you end up on day one, and then day two, and you get lots of great reinforcement from this site, and then you find yourself on week two and week three, and life without cigarettes no longer seems as bad and you no longer have the 'habit' of lighting up when you get in the car or after a meal and...

    Well, it makes sense to me. By the time you get to the end of your Champix course, you - probably - should be sufficiently far into life without cigarettes to see how you can continue to do without them.

    But: I'd encourage anyone to read the Allen Carr book as well. I'm a convert!

  • well put Ian

  • From what I have been told the Chapmix does not replace nicotine it stops nicotine giving you a buzz...the Champix does not give you a buzz, we are just not getting the buzz....sorry if that was too many buzzes.:rolleyes:

    By the time you stop taking the Champix, you are no longer dependant physiclly on nicotine and you should ahve broken the old habits that triggered smoking, therefore you should feel nothing.

    Thats a lot of ifs ands and buts for me and to be on the safe side I definatey want to come off the tablets slowly, but I am confident it will be fine.:p

  • Hi guys - I currently live in the Month 4 House. :D

    Just been reading through the previous posts. I have completed the "Champix Challenge" and whilst it is only my experience and people can be different, thought my experience might be of help to some of you.

    I started Champix as normal. Once onto the blue tablets twice a day, I was feeling quite sickly so cut myself down to one. As I was managing on one a day and got to the stage where I was forgetting to take them, I stopped myself after about seven/eight weeks on the course. I would not recommend this for everyone, but it suited me. Did advise Dr who said I would probably fail if I did not complete the course, but this only made me more determined.

    I did have another prescription at home that I could collect which was like a safety blanket for me. It was strange knowing I wasn't taking the tablets anymore, but think this was more in my head than a physical feeling.

    No matter what method you are using, and what stage you are at, a craving can come and slap you in the face at any time.

    There are lots of posts on here about Champix and you will read a wide range of opinions. No doubt there will be others along shortly who will offer support and guidance. I think it is 50% this forum and 50% champix that have made my quit successful.

    I would recommend you "badger" your smoking nurse a bit more, they are there to help you.

    Hope this has helped, even if its only stopped you thinking about fags for a few minutes. Keep strong. ;)

    Firstly thanks for putting our minds (what's left of them) to rest and secondly well done you, you should be so proud of quitting!!

    Ian - I've read Alan Carr and I know some people swear by him but he did nothing for me (if you know what I mean:o)

  • Christine: interesting - but, of course, each to his/her own.

    I guess what I liked about the book was the over-riding message that you have to think positively, rather than negatively, about 'giving up'. If you're not happy with quitting, if it leaves you miserable, if you resent it and so on, then quitting isn't going to last. It's only if you can make yourself feel good about what you're doing that it becomes long term. You probably have an inner strength/optimism that I don't... :)

  • Hi Guys ....I gave up with champix and am now just over 12 weeks smoke free:eek:...I stopped taking the champix after 10 weeks as I kept forgetting to take them.....I did get a few cravings but they were manageable....anythings manageable if ya want it enough:) Champix made it so easy for me to give up ....I cant recommend it highly enough!!

    And dont worry by the time you finish your tablets you will be a non smoker and wont be even thinking about them:D....Good Luck!!

  • I also used Champix and stopped taking them after 8 weeks that's 7 weeks smoke free as I also kept forgetting to take them

    I never had a problem with that at all and never even thought of having a fag after stopping them

    I have now been quit for over 11 months but as has been said manyu times we're all different so what works for one of us may not work so well for others

    Marg

  • Hi, Think you've got much of the advice needed on stopping Champix, but here's my tuppence worth.

    You're right, your doctor can prescribe another three months if required/needed/wanted.

    The packs are set out so that you just 'stop' at the end of the period, there's no 'wind-down' pack. However, many people recommend that you wean yourself off them in a way best suited. Maybe drop down to one table a day for a week, then half for a week etc.

    I've read about people who do relapse post-Champix and those who do get hit with cravings, but these have got to be habit-driven or pyschological as the nicotine addiction will be well out of your system then.

    Personally, I started cutting down (and cutting up the Champix tablets) after three weeks non-smoking. Just taking half in the morning and half in the evening. Mainly because I was fed up with the sickly feeling. Not noticed any difference in cravings.

    Good luck

    Sue

  • According to Allen Carr (sorry to keep banging on about him...) all traces of nicotine should have left your body after three weeks, so any physical cravings should have disappeared completely. After that, according to him, if you still have cravings it's down to your mind, like Cyprien says - you still feel that you've given something up, lost something you enjoyed, feel resentful and so on. The issue seems to me to be that fixing physical problems - i.e. nicotine addiction - is a damn sight easier than fixing psychological ones...

  • wooahh.. thanks for all the help guys, great feedback.

    from the sounds of it then its kind of different for everyone and there is no fixed plan for coming off it.

    It would be nice if the makers of this stuff would provide a bit more information about how it all works with regard to the chemical addiction to nicotine for those slightly OC users like me who have to know how everything works!

    btw: I found the Alan Carr book excellent reading too.. I say reading, I actually have it on audio book because I'm a bit of a lazy git when it comes to reading :D

  • And I have it as a .pdf so I can read it at work and look like I'm actually doing some work...

    Re how it works - my understanding is that you have receptors in your brain that the nicotine from a cigarette makes for. When the nicotine attaches itself to those receptors, they release dopamine which, I think, ends up as adrenaline in your body - which is why you feel 'good' when smoking. Champix attaches itself to those receptors and stops the nicotine acting on them. However, I believe that Champix also causes a small amount of dopamine to be released. The effect is, you get a trickle of dopamine into your system (much like you get a trickle of nicotine into your system if you use patches) which means that withdrawal symptoms are eased - but the correlation between smoking and dopamine release is broken. What mystifies me, though, is that given that all traces of nicotine are out of your system after three weeks, why would you continue to take Champix - unless the effect is more psychological than physical?

  • yeah its the whole 12 weeks thing that got me thinking in the first place.

    thats pretty much my understanding too except I thought that the process of attaching to the receptors made them think they are still full or nicotine thereby stopping the cravings.

    But as the receptors are always full doesnt that mean that they wont be removed from your system until you come off the champix? At which point the cravings could come back as the champix is not there to fill the receptors.

  • The thinking is that because there is no nicotine remaining in your body after three weeks, your body has forgotten that it needs nicotine - so the cravings go away. The urge to have your next cigarette is driven by the nicotine from your last cigarette being depleted from your body - so your body demands that it gets topped up again. According to Allen Carr, as you know, the reason most people smoke ~20/day is because it takes about 45 minutes on average for your body to need its nicotine levels topped up again.

  • Hiya well after finishing my 12 week course on champix i did have a slight relapse so back to the doctors for another prescription.Personally i feel i still need the tablet and three months was not enough for me i still needed that bit of help and the help on these message boards is fantastic it has given so much to me i was lost when it crashed last week

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