Q. I know there is controversy over the stop-smoking drug called Chantix. I started smoking when I was 11 and just turned 60. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be able to quit smoking, nor did I want to.
My doctor told me firmly I should try to quit. The next year, he prescribed Chantix.
I filled the prescription, but in my mind I had no intention of quitting. The information with the pills said I did not have to stop smoking immediately; I could pick a stop date and start the meds and work up to that date.
I never picked a date because I didn’t think it would work. I would just have to tell my doctor and family that I’d tried again and failed. You can’t imagine my surprise when it started working!
After several weeks it took away that absolute panic I felt when I thought I couldn’t have a cigarette. That panic is what kept me from quitting in the past.
I gradually started to lose interest in lighting up or would light up and take two puffs and then put it out. I moved my smoking area outside and just never went out there to light up.
It has been over two years. I do not smoke anymore. That is a downright miracle! So when you report the side effects, keep my story in mind. Chantix can help some people quit without causing suicidal thoughts or other bad side effects. I am still in shock that it worked for me!
A. Congratulations! Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health.
Chantix does help people stop smoking. It has some potentially serious side effects, however. They include suicidal preoccupation, depression or panic, agitation, anger or violence, paranoia and hallucinations.