smoking cigarette, quit smoking

A popular stop-smoking drug may be hard on the heart. The smoking cessation drug Chantix is being prescribed world-wide to help smokers give up their dangerous addiction. Smoking increases the chance that a person will develop lung cancer, several other cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease. That’s why Chantix, called Champix outside the US, is considered such an important advance.

This drug does have side effects, however, including nausea, headaches, insomnia and abnormal dreams. Psychiatric reactions such as depression may be serious. The Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme in New Zealand has identified cardiovascular complications such as angina, arrhythmias, heart attacks and hypotension. Although such events are not uncommon in smokers, the investigators identified many such events that occurred only after people started taking Chantix and in some cases went away when the drug was stopped.

The New Zealand scientists hypothesize that Chantix can cause spasm of the coronary arteries. Such abrupt narrowing of a coronary artery has been linked to heart attacks or heart rhythm changes. Patients and families should be alerted to the possible psychiatric and cardiovascular side effects of Chantix before a patient is given a prescription for this stop-smoking drug.

Drug Safety, Jan. 2012

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  1. cms

    I am so thankful for Chantix. It was the only thing that worked for me. I had tried all the patches, candy, pills, ect. and nothing worked. I had more trouble with bad dreams and heart rhythm changes from the nicotine products.
    I want to say that with both the nicotine products and with Chantix, i did not take the amount they said to take. I would cut the patch into four sections when i used it because it would make me ill if i didn’t and with chantix i did follow the direction for the first two weeks then i only took it in the morning. It never gave me any side effects except i was afraid to give it up. I thought i would want to smoke again.
    That never happened. I quit, five years now. YEAH. I think you have to know how your body is with medication and try to adjust it or don’t use it if it is not for you. thanks, cms

  2. Paul43

    I would like to hear more about this as I have a son who is just starting Chantix.

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