Non-Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Varenicline (branded as Chantix and Champix) is a medication prescribed to patients to treat nicotine addiction which you begin taking 1 to 2 weeks before your set quit date and usually lasts over a period of 8-12 weeks, both reducing cravings for and decreasing the pleasurable effects of cigarettes and tobacco. It is a high-affinity partial agonist for the alpha-4 beta-2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype (nACH) that leads to the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens when activated, and therefore, has the capacity to reduce the craving and withdrawal symptoms caused by smoking cessation. In this respect it is different from the nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) we provide such as nicotine patches, sprays and gum.

Varenicline is not available for pregnant women nor anyone under the age of 18, around 1 in 3 people suffer mild nausea as a result of this medication but it is not necessary to discontinue use unless the symptoms persist. Other less common side effects include constipation, headaches, sleeping difficulties and nightmares.

Scare stories got you worried about using some of these products? Check our myth buster to help separate the fact from fiction.

< Back to Stop Smoking Products

Latest News

Smokefree Housing report Smoking in the home

On 20th November ASH published a ground-breaking report entitled ‘Smoking in the home: New solutions for a Smokefree Generation’. Endorsed by 37 national and local…

Read more >
smokefree logo Download the NHS Smokefree app for your smartphone

The NHS Smokefree app can help you stop smoking by providing daily support and motivation. If you stay smokefree for the 4-week programme you’re up to…

Read more >
cigarettes How much is a packet of cigarettes after the budget increase?

The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes was £9.91 before the last budget. In the latest budget that price increased by a further…

Read more >