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Champix side effects and tips on how to deal with them

Champix side effects and tips on how to deal with them

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking varenicline:

Less common:

Difficult or labored breathing


tightness in the chest

Incidence not known:



behavior changes


feeling sad or empty

feelings of panic

irregular heartbeats


loss of interest or pleasure

mood swings


seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there


thoughts of killing oneself

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with varenicline may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:

Abnormal dreams

bloated or full feeling

change in taste

difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)

dry mouth

excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines

general feeling of discomfort or illness


lack or loss of strength

loss of taste


passing gas

stomach pain

trouble sleeping

unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common:

Acid or sour stomach


body aches or pain



decreased appetite


ear congestion



increased appetite


itching skin or rash

loss of appetite

loss of voice


sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

sneezing or sore throat

stomach discomfort or upset

stuffy or runny nose

trouble concentrating

unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness


Tips on the side effects:

Drink plenty of water throughout the day and take first tablet with dry toast and water and let settle for 5 minutes or so.

If sleep is disrupted, take last tablet earlier in the evening or half the dosage

Get some herbal supplements for the mood swings, tiredness, anxiety and sleep disruption

Embrace these side effects, they will not last forever but if get worse or not improve consult your doctor

15 Replies

Very helpful post Roisin, you really put so much work into this forum, thank you! It is much appreciated and isn't going unnoticed, you're star :)


Excellent post for our champix quitters!

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Good post to share Roisin as seem to have a several new members on champix....

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Anxiety is a funny one. Who doesn't have anxiety after quitting. Some moments I think people can hear the voice screaming in my head.


Yes, anxiety is a common withdrawal no matter what way we quit, but champix can make it worse as a side effect....


That's a good one! I so understand!!!

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Great post - thanks Roisin.

Though not for everyone, champix helped me into this quit (hopefully my final quit ever!) and I can recommend it /if/ someone also has the willpower to quit.

Quitting champix had quite a few side effects listed - knowing that they will pass was really helpful.

All the best,



I tried it, had to stop, tongue swelling, I think they should go by different standards, not everyone needs the same dose

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Thanks so for this Roisin01. Has anyone had extreme dry eyes turning into vision problems? If so is there a fix? Am going to eye dr next wed and using drops now. May be totally unrelated but was wondering.


Hey Exsmo - haven't come across this complaint from stopping and doesn't appear to be a side effect from chantix either, for me anyway, if anything my vision improved since I stopped - see what the eye specialist says, we tend to blame everything we encounter on stopping and may not be the case and another underlying problem....

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thanks its very much great help Roisin

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Very helpful article ..Is important to eat well when taking pill.. About side effects Everyone is diferent I still believe with or without Chantix some depression and anxiety is normal after quitting ..The vivid dreams part was interesting for me and most of side effects were mild ..I strongly recommend Chantix !

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Agree too Karina123 - a lot of the side effects of champix are also nicotine withdrawal too, especially the sadness, anxiety, irritability.....

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i dont know how to post here im in 5th month and stll struggling plus im sucking cough drops when i stop using i always feel like im craving dont think there good for my teeth almost feel addicted to them i got of gum easily but when i dont have cough drop i feel bad urge to smoke

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Welcome to our community nancynancy - you can post here by writing a post in 'what's on your mind' as below or select the blue box option with 'Write', they are in different places depending on what device you are using.

Huge congratulations on over 5 months smoke free, that is great, well done!

Did you stop cold turkey or with the aid of NRT? If cold turkey, the cravings should be less intense and frequent as this stage. My savior was water when I stopped in the early days, whenever I got a craving would drink water, got myself a water juicer bottle and put various types of fruit in it - mint, cucumber and lemon was my favourite and topped it up with ice cold water throughout the day.

Also, have you changed your routine to that of your new smoke free lifestyle? I would cut out the cough drops as they seem to be playing mind games with you and relating it to smoking.

Can you confirm your stop date for your milestone badges when you get a chance....


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