CHAMPIX® (VARENICLINE TARTRATE) has changed brand name and simplified the packaging format; now branded as VARENECLINE PFIZER
The funded course includes the same doses as before but now provided as a 4 week initial then 2 x 4 week continuation packs:
A maximum of 12 weeks varenicline will be subsidised on each Special Authority approval, including the starter pack.
Varenicline will not be funded in amounts less than 4 weeks of treatment.
There is evidence that a further 12 weeks provides benefit for sustained smoking cessation – a prescription is required, and the patient cost at the pharmacy for an extra 12 week course is currently approximately $100 - $200.
Patient information on varenecline Pfizer is available at:
The dosing regimen remains unchanged. The dosing starts with 0.5mg daily and increases to 1 mg twice daily by 2 weeks, then continues at 1mg twice daily.
How to use varenecline to help patients stop smoking
There are three ways you can help your patients attempt to quit smoking with varenecline:
(12 weeks of this course is unfunded = 3 x continuation packs)
Prescribing instructions for Varenecline Pfizer
0A prescription can be provided for either 4 weeks with 2 repeats, or for 12 weeks. A 12 week course will be dispensed as a 4 week initiation pack followed by two continuation packs
Don’t forget behavioral support:
Behavioural support doubles quit rates, refer your patient to the practice quit support programme; or the your local Stop Smoking Service, or to Quitline.
Questions or comments to:
Dr John McMenamin
GP and Primary Care Adviser Tobacco