Champix/Chantix Warnings

Champix is the trade name for Chantix in the UK.

There have been a number of reports recently regarding the safety of Chantix for patients operating machinery or driving. Chantix is known to cause some drowsiness and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued new guidance regarding its use. Specifically, they have suggested that people taking Chantix should not operate machinery or drive whilst undertaking the course of the drug.

Chantix treatment regimens typically last between 12 and 24 weeks. The drug works by interfering with the action of nicotine in the brain. The results of which lead to smokers having reduced cravings for nicotine and little pleasure from smoking.

There are more details regarding chantix side effects at the following website:

In another case in the UK, a man on a course of chantix to overcome smoking committed suicide, apparently out of the blue and there is growing evidence that suicidal thoughts should be listed as a possible side effect of taking the drug.

Over 4 million Americans, 500,000 Europeans and about 20,000 Brits have taken the anti-smoking drug which allegedly doubles a smokers chance of quitting.

The MHRA has had 46 reports of depression associated with the use of Chamtix and 16 reports of patients experiencing suicidal thoughts. It is well known that stopping smoking can exacerbate existing psychiatric conditions though.

The prescribing information leaflet already contains warnings that it should be used with care in people with a previous psychiatric illness such as depression.

It is thought that so long as patients are fully aware of the potential side effects of the drug, and are of sound mind, they should have no difficulty managing side effects and thus increasing their chances of becoming smoke free.