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4th and final part of our Smoking Cessation series - Did you stay stopped?

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Smoking Cessation Part 4

To help give up, there are many treatment options available both on and off prescription. Last week I discussed non-prescription options like Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and E-cigarettes. This week I discuss prescription options if other options fail.


Prescription Medication

There are two options available on prescription, Varenicline (Champix®) and Bupropion (Zyban®)


Varenicline (Champix®)

Varenicline, whose brand name is Champix®. It is available in tablet form. The dose is titrated meaning the person smokes for 8–14 days before quitting. The recommended course of Champix® is generally 12 weeks. It is a partial agonist that prevents nicotine reaching receptors, it also releases dopamine to help with cravings meaning it works in two ways, it reduces the enjoyment of a cigarette if a person does smoke while taking it and it reduces the craving for a cigarette.

Champix® may not suit everyone and has possible side effects including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia and vivid dreams
  • Dry Mouth
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness


It is not suitable for:

  • Children under 18
  • During pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Kidney problems


Bupropion (Zyban®)

Bupropion is a medication designed to help smoking cessation. It was originally developed as an antidepressant. The way in which it works is not completely understood, but it is thought to work on the brain pathways involved in addiction and withdrawal. It is available in the form of tablets. A course usually lasts 8–12 weeks.


Side effects can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Dry Mouth
  • Constipation and diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating


It is not suitable for:

  • Children under 18
  • During pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Epilepsy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders


Support from the HSE

Contact the Quit Team for free support at Freephone: 1800 201 203, Free text: QUIT to 50100, Email: Twitter: @HSEQuitTeam.


What is BPro Cardio Screen Service?

BPro Cardio Screen measures stiffness of your arteries to identify risk of blockages and risk of cardiovascular disease and circulation problems. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is pain free. A pulse wave reads and calculates a wave signal that indicates the elasticity of large, small, and peripheral artery walls as well as tests for stress, central blood pressure, heart rate, and more. It is now €35 (was €50); it only takes about 15 minutes. The next clinic is this week (Saturday Jan 30th) from 9am to 6pm) at Whelehans Pearse St. Book by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591. We take all safety precautions to keep you safe from COVID 19.





For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).


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