Side effects that have been reported to date include the following:
- Vomitting and nausea
- Sleep disturbances and atypical dreams
- Gas (wind)
- Changes in the way food tastes (Dysgeusia)
- Suicidal thoughts (see update below)
Of the above side effects, the most commonly reported one is nausea. If you get any other side effects that you think may be attributable to Champix, let your doctor know straight away. The less common side effects are detailed on the leaflet in the tablet packet.
It is not yet known whether or not it is safe to use Champix alongside nicotine replacement products such as chewing gum and patches.
Champix has not been studied in children and should not be taking by young people who are under 18 years of age.
What does my doctor need to know?
Your doctor needs to know:
- if you suffer from kidney problems or you are on dialysis. It may be appropriate for you to receive a lower dose.
- if you are pregnant. The effects of Champix on the foetus are not known and it would be better if you gave up smoking before getting pregnant.
- if you are breast feeding. Champix may pass into breast milk and other ways of feeding your baby may be appropriate if you are currently taking the drug,
- if you have suffered from depression or any psychiatric illnesses in the past.
All medicines and herbal pills that you are taking, whether they are prescription drugs or not.
Suicide / Pychosis / Suicidal Thoughts
There have recently been a number of reports purporting to link Champix with an increased risk of depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts or in the worst case scenario, suicide.
So far, a definitive causal link has not been established, although further research is needed. It could be that stopping smoking itself is the trigger for the suicidal thoughts. However, it would be adviseable that if you have suffered from depression in the past, or if you start to take Champix and you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Changes in behaviour
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
You should inform your doctor immediately and stop taking the drug.
The FDA have issued an special advisory warning about this, and you can read details of it here.