an angry man screamin

No question about it: smoking is terrible for your health. Heart disease, strokes, lung cancer and other malignancies and premature death are all more common among people who smoke tobacco. That is why your doctor asks if you are a smoker and offers a prescription to help you quit if you are. The most likely prescription is varenicline (Chantix). What should you know about the side effects of Chantix?

Suffering from Side Effects of Chantix:

Q. I wanted to quit smoking so my doctor prescribed Chantix. The bad dreams and depression made me question whether life was worth living.

I feared going out in public because I would sometimes fly into a rage for no obvious reason. I am a laid-back, even-tempered guy normally.

Even though I lost my urge to smoke, I wonder whether the side effects of Chantix are worth it. I am tapering off now, but the anxiety, rage and depression are still scary.

A. The manufacturer of the stop-smoking drug varenicline (Chantix) warns that it may cause insomnia, abnormal dreams, depression, agitation, aggression, hostility and panic as well as suicidal thoughts. This drug may not be appropriate for you.

Battle Over Warning Patients About the Side Effects of Chantix:

At one time, the FDA required the manufacturer to list such side effects in a “black box” prominent in the prescribing information. Needless to say, the company was unhappy about that, as it might discourage people from using the medication. Late in 2016, the maker convinced the agency that the black box could be removed. If only it were possible to remove the side effects themselves!

How Can You Quit Smoking?

We do encourage everyone not to smoke. Those who do should get help stopping. But varenicline might not be the best approach. People who like an occasional drink, for example, might be disappointed that they should avoid alcohol while on Chantix.

Every smoker needs to find his or her own way to quit. Chantix will help some, but people should take it only with full knowledge of its side effects.

To learn more about other approaches to smoking cessation, people may want to consult a classic self-help book that is still in print: The No-Nag, No-Guilt, Do-It-Your-Own-Way Guide to Quitting Smoking by the late Tom Ferguson, MD. Despite its age, its advice is still excellent.

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  1. jean

    It’s WAY past time for the FDA to start working for the American people, not the pharmaceutical companies. Just like the reality in all of our healthcare, it’s all about monetary gain, not people. With some of these drugs, a black box warning isn’t even enough to convey the severity of possible adverse effects. Now the FDA can be easily convinced to remove those as well. When pharmaceutical dollars are allowed to control all of the information the public receives, there is no possible way for the public to be the winner. The conversation about prescription drugs has to include the very real costs to human health, not just whether they “work”.

  2. c

    Just this morning g I listened to your Saturday morning show on NPR.
    I listened to this woman on your show saying that corn oil was good for you………..
    What is going on.
    FDA says that saying cherry juice, etc has good health effects is wrong when the government agencies let the above drug loose on the American people that causes so much harm to the users?
    What is happening is that the gov agencies are doing a mop up job because smart people are not using corn and soy oil with all the herbicides and pesticides included in them and eating healthier. This leaves big AG farmers suffering. Maybe the farmers will be more open to raise a product that is not harmful to humans.
    Terry,liked your questions.. you both are one of the few links left to the real truth to the path to real health.

  3. Betsy

    I smoked for 44 years and developed breast cancer and osteoporosis, both of which have been linked to smoking. Chantix was a life saver! Patches, gum and hypnosis did not work, but Chantix did. Yes, I suffered insomnia, but I was not smoking cigarettes! I will never again
    because I don’t want to take Chantix again–Ha Ha! It works!

  4. Lisa
    Dayton Ohio

    I have been on chantax 3 times. The first time was successful with hardly no side affects. The second time caused SEVERE depression and nightmares and did not help me quit.
    I tried again for a 3rd time and it was horrible!!
    I had severe depression and everyday thoughts of suicide!
    I spoke with my doctor and immediately stopped taking chantax!
    It may work for some, but I’ve never had such bad side effects from a medication in my life! Especially causing my thought process to be soooo like this!
    They should take this medication off the market! I don’t believe it’s safe whatsoever!

  5. karen

    I like the site

  6. Confused

    I have been on Chantix for a mere four days. I lost it this morning over an argument that was not a big deal. I’m noticing cravings are going away already. My wife says I need to stop and start something else. I’m confused because it seems to be helping. Please let me know if anything else really works.

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