Q. I am taking Chantix to quit smoking. I have had no urge to smoke, but I am seriously depressed.
In the past I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I attempted suicide 10 years ago and was hospitalized for depression.
I am concerned that my recent bout of severe depression may be a result of taking Chantix. Has this topic been researched? I want to stop smoking but I don’t want to be this depressed. I am still seeing a therapist. Should I tell him about this?
A. Chantix is a relatively new oral prescription medication to help people stop smoking. It works in a completely different way from nicotine replacement gum, lozenges and patches.
In clinical studies Chantix was somewhat more effective than another oral medication, Zyban (bupropion SR), in helping people stay off cigarettes.
The most common side effects of Chantix are nausea, headache, sleep problems and strange dreams. Although depression is not listed as a common side effect, it was frequently reported among people who participated in the clinical trials.
Please contact your therapist about your depression. Your doctor may consider whether Zyban, which also has antidepressant activity, might be more appropriate for you.