cigarette butt, stop smoking

Over the last few years we have received many powerful stories from visitors about the stop-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline). Some have been very pleased with the ease with which they quit smoking. Here is just one testimonial:

“I was a smoker for 25 years when I started using Chantix. I quit in about 2 weeks and I haven’t smoked since. The best part of my story is that my 2 sons who smoke also took Chantix and quit. My niece and her husband were impressed with the results and quit with it. I can’t tell you how it has changed my life. I always saw myself smoking and it scared me but I never thought I could quit.”

Rhonda, Jan. 28, 2011

Others have found this drug extremely difficult to use. Some have experienced intolerable side effects:

“Within the first week of using Chantix, I experienced side effects of depression, anxiety, nausea, and vivid dreams. I knew that they were part of using this medication. Within the next month, though, I started to become severely depressed, even suicidal. Never once before had I experienced depression.

“It has always taken a lot to get me emotionally upset and now I cannot stop crying. Even the smallest things can set me off. I have also gained almost 30 pounds within two months. My husband finally said no more and wanted me off the medication. It was not worth the medical and emotional complications even if it helped me quit.

“That was a mistake. I quit Chantix cold turkey. Within 24 hours I was rushed to the emergency room with extreme nausea and what felt like a heart attack. I am still experiencing side effects such as headaches, low libido, nausea and insomnia.”

Now, we would like to learn about your experience on Chantix. Please take this brief survey to help others better understand the benefits and risks of this drug:

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  1. Herb
    Lower Merion, PA

    What works is obviously an individual thing. I started smoking menthol cigarettes at age 20…continued for 39 years. Tried to stop many times using either the patch or Nicorette without success. Six months before the birth of my first grandchild I decided that I wanted to live to see (him) grow up. So I tried Chantix and eight years later I’m still a non-smoker. I knew I could still smoke for a week, but after three days the taste of nicotine was so bad I stopped before I had to. I guess I was fortunate that the only side effect I experienced was vivid dreams. Also (and this is key) I knew why I wanted to stop and was highly motivated to do so. I don’t see studies accounting for the motivation factor, probably because it’s very difficult to measure. In my opinion it is more important than anything else. So Chantix worked for me and maybe it will help you. What I know is that I have lived to see my grandson reach the age of 8 as well as the three grandkids that have followed him. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO STOP YOU WILL SUCCEED whether it’s Chantix or another way. Best of luck!

  2. Kathy
    Springfield IL

    I have been on Chantix for about 11 weeks and quit smoking after taking it for 2 weeks. So I have been smoke free for 9 weeks. In the last two weeks I cut down to 1 pill a day, and now 1/2 pill per day. The problem I am so sleepy all the time and I think that it is making me very sad. Does anyone know how long the side effects continue after stopping Chantix. I have tried taking WellbutrinXL 150 mg to see if it would help with the energy crisis. I have really tried to eat healthy and even get some exercise in but I can sleep even after walking for 45 minutes or swimming for an hour. I am sleeping 10 hours a night plus a couple of 2-3 hour naps. HELP!! I am not going back to smoking I have worked too hard to quit smoking.

  3. S.P.

    I smoked for 15 years, 2 packs of menthols a day. Wanted to quit so tried the chantix. Took it for a month, quit smoking but am a very different person. I’m easily agitated, very angry, 20 lbs heavier, very stressed and not pleasant to be around. Dr. has given 2 anti-depressants for those symptoms. Joy instead of smelling like an ashtray and ruining my lungs now I’m killing my liver and can’t stand people. whats worse?

  4. bobby l.

    I smoked for 45 years I was smoking 3 packs a day my doc told me if I didn’t quit smoking it was going to kill me with my heart cond. I got some Chantix took it for a month and half I was smoking 3 packs a day thanks to Chantix I haven’t smoked for 8 years bobby l., Marion IN.

  5. dailyrx

    One of the possible side effects of Chantix seems to be heart attack. I hope it’s doesn’t get that bad for you!

  6. G

    I quite smoking, but got a lot of problems. I’m angry all the time. Can’t sleep well. I never had problems sleeping before. If you are thinking to take chantix talk to theDdr. First you have to decide what you want more, to be smoke free or calm life free. I don’t know how to hold my motions under control any more.
    I don’t want to smoke, but my family who wanted me quite now regretted that they convinced me to quite because now I’m different angry bird.

  7. Cynthia

    I would definitely recommend Chantix if you have smoked for a long time and have not been able to quit. I smoked for more than 35 years and tried to quit a few times on my own. Once I got to the point where I was determined to quit, Chantix worked for me. If you do not WANT to quit, forget Chantix or any drug. It will not work.
    Yes, nausea. I took half the dose every day, for the entire time I took the drug. This cut the nausea, and also cut back on the weird dreams.
    All drugs have side affects, I would say for me – these were worth it in helping me to quit. After 7-8 months, I am still smoke free, and mostly not interested in smoking.
    You make your own decision. It worked for me.

  8. Anonymous

    I recently worked at a clinic where several people tried Chantix and had quite significant psychological symptoms and had to stop the drug immediately.

  9. peg l

    I have never taken antidepressants or any psychotropic drugs, however Chantix at HALF dosage gave me homicidal thoughts on a daily basis. Stopped, waited two weeks and started again – same deal, wasn’t angry at anyone, just plotted how to kill someone daily. I didn’t want to smoke, but couldn’t live with the side effects. Never happened since, hope it never will. Everyone reacts differently to drugs.

  10. Greg Pharmacy Student

    All: Our tax dollars were spent to create this EXCELLENT site:
    Someone who takes Chantix has assumed some risk, but still most are at less risk that of someone who continues to smoke. The problem is that the risks of Chantix are unknown and not tolerated.
    The best defense is to know the side-effects of the medication and also the side-effects of Chantix.
    Chantix causes nausea; take it with food. Chantix causes nightmares (vivid dreams); so take it 4 hours before bedtime.
    AnnieMo: I too find lack of usable information as a pharmacist :(
    SC: Chantix may cause weight gain; but quitting smoking does too. This is still a serious problem.

  11. AnnieMo

    The trouble with relying on information included with *any* prescription is that now they all seem to list every conceivable (or inconceivable) side-effect, concluding with “and death.” How can one possibly make an informed decision with all this legalese floating around?

  12. Cindy B.

    After many attempts I quit smoking cold turkey 2 years ago. I’m SO glad I did, and that I didn’t have to take Chantix or anything else to do it. From the nature of such reports as above, I wouldn’t have gone on Chantix — as I’m already about 1/2 nutzo without any help at all. Folks, it only hurts for a little while — and then your life is SOOO much better and you are so glad you quit! So don’t be afraid of that speedbump… keep your eyes on the smooth waters beyond it! Cheers.

  13. beau10

    Before using this medication it might be beneficial to hunt down every iota of information online possible. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) found this medication to have more serious and negative drug events than any other prescription medication.

  14. sc

    My cousin used Chantix & quit smoking, but gained over 20 pounds. She went back to smoking. I am so sorry that she did. Maybe the next time the Doctor will not ignore the weight gain…

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