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#1 EdiePearl

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 08:27 PM

I'm on day 15 of chantix. Quit smoking completely on day 3. It's worked really well. I've been a heavy smoker for 15 of my 30 years and didn't think anything would work so easily. I've tried all the NRTs, patches, e cigarettes, gums, lozenges etc over the last 5 years and nothing has worked like this. I was shocked how awesome I felt taking it the first week I was more active than I have been in years. 

 

So I love chantix, but I also might hate it. 

 

Last week I had upped the dose to 1mg 2x a day as prescribed. I had the common slight stomach upset even when taken with a meal (few times I actually vomited after taking the second pill), funky dreams, hiccups?, also felt a little out of it, losing my train of thought and kind of sleepy most of the time. These especially happened within the first few hours of taking the morning pill then the fog lifts a bit. As the week progressed I noticed I would cry everyday about something silly I normally wouldn't (albeit it felt very therapeutic) or get agitated over small things. I don't have much of a history of depression myself, sure a few boughts here and there but were mostly circumstantial. If anything I have had issues with anxiety but never needed medication for it. Since I've never been off nicotine (also cut out weed too) for more than a day since I was a teenager I don't know if these are symptoms of withdrawal or if it's the Chantix and I should have cause for concern.

 

This pill is the last resort. I didn't want to take it after doing all the research and reading a bunch of horror stories of how people's moods change permanently. I don't have a doctor nor do I have health insurance, I obtained the prescription from a clinic in a cvs pharmacy. The doctor never asked about any medical history, didn't record my height or weight (5'7 110lbs) just taking the usual blood pressure/pulse/temp/blood O2 levels which all read normal. Was only given the white .5mg pills to start with for a week and told to come back so they could see how I was reacting to it. Like I said, that went great.

When I went back it was a different doctor, this one had to google Chantix while I was in the office so this treatment therapy hasn't been tailored to me it's Pfizers suggestion on the side of the box. The second doctor mistakenly prescribed me the starter box of Chantix that included the first week I'd already taken. Once I noticed they gave me an additional week of blue 1mg pills and told me to continue with the higher dose.

So talking to "my doctor" about all of this is kind of out of the question. I did speak to a pharmacist who said I could cut the 1mg pill in half, that it's not time released and the only difference will be the dosage will be halved. So today I'm going to start taking .5mg 2x a day on no one's suggestion but my own body.  

 

Has anyone else noticed side effects like this? I only know one person who has taken Chantix and it worked really well for him, he mentioned it made him feel a little stoned. Since I've spent the better part of my 20's being stoned I wasn't all that concerned with that prospect. 

It's worked so well so far I don't want to stop taking it now. I know quitting smoking will never be easy or comfortable so I want to weigh the options... the benefits vs the side effects. Does it get better? Am I doing the right thing by cutting the pill in half? Is there any one else out there that this sounds familiar to? 



#2 JudiMD

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 08:40 PM

Doesn't sound like nicotine withdrawal symptoms to me! The only physical withdrawal symptom I had was I coughed a lot for two weeks. But everybody is different, so hard to say.

I never put any type of pill in my mouth until I've googled and researched it to death. That way you can read about all the side effects before you decide. Especially since your new doctor doesn't seem to be too knowledgeable in Chantix.

We have some members on here who successfully quit smoking using Chantix. Maybe they can help you with your questions and concerns. Good luck.

#3 Beacon

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 09:09 PM

I am not sure if your symptoms are due to Chantix. However, I know many people feel emotional after quitting. I certainly was agitated and emotional and dizzy without chantix

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#4 EdiePearl

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 09:11 PM

Thanks for your reply Judi.

I have researched it to death and followed up with medical studies since it came out on the market in 2006 before the FDA even put a mental health warning on it.

My husband is a brain surgeon, so in my home taking medicine is the absolute last resort and not a decision made lightly. The struggle to quit was real and a constant uphill battle for years trying every NRT under the sun, reading all the books, trying homeopathic remedies, cold turkey- hot turkey nothing worked.

 

After taking Chantix successfully for a week he had actually suggested I not up the dosage since I was completely smoke free 3 days into take .5mg 2x a day. But wanted to try as prescribed to see. 

 

The side effects I'm feeling, the fogginess, moodiness and sleepiness aren't a complete deal breakers. But being a responsible patient I want to noticed any small changes to avoid larger ones down the road. 

 

I have read so many successful stories about Chantix on this message board, but it seems most have quit years prior or a couple of days prior. What about those like me somewhere in between? 



#5 EdiePearl

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 09:19 PM

Beacon, 

That's kind of what I was thinking/asking/wondering. Maybe it is because I quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana all at the same time. And now there might be a period of adjustment to a new me. 

I chose not to take wellburtrin or zyban because it effects the chemical compounds in the brain. While chantix is supposed to work differently attaching to the neurotransmitters that receive a pleasure sensation from nicotine and blocking them. 


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#6 Smokefreetoday

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:50 PM

Hi Edie,  Congratulations as you are almost 2 weeks into your quit. It's a keeper so don't smoke :)

 

About 4 weeks ago I stopped with a little help from NRT. Anyway I wanted to share that the first twoweeks especially I did not want to do anything, felt out of it, and slept most of the time. One thing I did notice was that my depth perception was off in the first week.  Enough to spook me into not driving etc. I found an explanation and the effect I was feeling was blamed on withdrawl from Carbon Monoxide. So it goes.

 

Now in my 4th week I am happy to say there are more good days than bad :) Still do not feel like doing much but that is probably from the pattern developed in the past few weeks.

 

Cheers,



#7 Smurf

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:44 AM

Most of what you described, i experienced myself taking chantix. I don't think that i could of quit without it though. Remember, you won't be on chantix forever, in fact i stopped taking it after 5 weeks, and i am 10 months quit. Remember, it isn't a magic pill, you still have to want to stay quit..


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#8 EdiePearl

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 05:05 AM

Smurf, 

I'm glad to hear that what i'm describing has happened to other people too. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume all returned to normal eventually. So far the pros def outweigh the cons so I'm sticking to it.

 

I took 1/2 the recommended dose today and feel much better than I had the last week. I think that .5mg 2x is the right dose for me. Granted I've only switched back for a day but i can feel a marked difference already, so for now that's what i'll take (plus it doubles the rx for free!!) I did get a few stronger cravings today, but unlike quitting cold turkey or on NRTs in the past I don't feel the same panic without a cigarette, you know- the cold sweats, heart racing, fiending like a junkie. Now it's an idea that just passes. 

 

I've never been on a message board before and i must say it helps a lot. I haven't told many friends about my quit this time because it's failed so many times in the past i sound like a broken record. It's nice to come to a place where all people want to talk about is not smoking. 



#9 silver2014

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 11:44 AM

Edie, I'm no doctor, but your husband is. I would keep going as recommended on his advice. Some people just can't take certain drugs. I used NRT this time, and only went with the 7 mg patch. My body can't handle anymore. 

 

As long as you feel comfortable with your dose, I wouldn't worry about it. 



#10 Smurf

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 11:58 AM

Smurf, 

I'm glad to hear that what i'm describing has happened to other people too. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume all returned to normal eventually. So far the pros def outweigh the cons so I'm sticking to it.

 

I took 1/2 the recommended dose today and feel much better than I had the last week. I think that .5mg 2x is the right dose for me. Granted I've only switched back for a day but i can feel a marked difference already, so for now that's what i'll take (plus it doubles the rx for free!!) I did get a few stronger cravings today, but unlike quitting cold turkey or on NRTs in the past I don't feel the same panic without a cigarette, you know- the cold sweats, heart racing, fiending like a junkie. Now it's an idea that just passes. 

 

I've never been on a message board before and i must say it helps a lot. I haven't told many friends about my quit this time because it's failed so many times in the past i sound like a broken record. It's nice to come to a place where all people want to talk about is not smoking. 

 Edie, yes... all returned to normal. The only side effect i have is that i no longer smoke.  :) 


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#11 Dogwoman29

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:39 AM

I took welbutrin at about 6 months quit as i was so depresse!! I took it for about 8 weeks . it helped alot at first but I felt like a zombie and then got really depressed and anxiety so I stopped it! I am almost 5 years now so  just push thru it



#12 stephanie55

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 04:26 AM

I'm on day 15 of chantix. Quit smoking completely on day 3. It's worked really well. I've been a heavy smoker for 15 of my 30 years and didn't think anything would work so easily. I've tried all the NRTs, patches, e cigarettes, gums, lozenges etc over the last 5 years and nothing has worked like this. I was shocked how awesome I felt taking it the first week I was more active than I have been in years. 

 

So I love chantix, but I also might hate it. 

 

Last week I had upped the dose to 1mg 2x a day as prescribed. I had the common slight stomach upset even when taken with a meal (few times I actually vomited after taking the second pill), funky dreams, hiccups?, also felt a little out of it, losing my train of thought and kind of sleepy most of the time. These especially happened within the first few hours of taking the morning pill then the fog lifts a bit. As the week progressed I noticed I would cry everyday about something silly I normally wouldn't (albeit it felt very therapeutic) or get agitated over small things. I don't have much of a history of depression myself, sure a few boughts here and there but were mostly circumstantial. If anything I have had issues with anxiety but never needed medication for it. Since I've never been off nicotine (also cut out weed too) for more than a day since I was a teenager I don't know if these are symptoms of withdrawal or if it's the Chantix and I should have cause for concern.

 

This pill is the last resort. I didn't want to take it after doing all the research and reading a bunch of horror stories of how people's moods change permanently. I don't have a doctor nor do I have health insurance, I obtained the prescription from a clinic in a cvs pharmacy. The doctor never asked about any medical history, didn't record my height or weight (5'7 110lbs) just taking the usual blood pressure/pulse/temp/blood O2 levels which all read normal. Was only given the white .5mg pills to start with for a week and told to come back so they could see how I was reacting to it. Like I said, that went great.

When I went back it was a different doctor, this one had to google Chantix while I was in the office so this treatment therapy hasn't been tailored to me it's Pfizers suggestion on the side of the box. The second doctor mistakenly prescribed me the starter box of Chantix that included the first week I'd already taken. Once I noticed they gave me an additional week of blue 1mg pills and told me to continue with the higher dose.

So talking to "my doctor" about all of this is kind of out of the question. I did speak to a pharmacist who said I could cut the 1mg pill in half, that it's not time released and the only difference will be the dosage will be halved. So today I'm going to start taking .5mg 2x a day on no one's suggestion but my own body.  

 

Has anyone else noticed side effects like this? I only know one person who has taken Chantix and it worked really well for him, he mentioned it made him feel a little stoned. Since I've spent the better part of my 20's being stoned I wasn't all that concerned with that prospect. 

It's worked so well so far I don't want to stop taking it now. I know quitting smoking will never be easy or comfortable so I want to weigh the options... the benefits vs the side effects. Does it get better? Am I doing the right thing by cutting the pill in half? Is there any one else out there that this sounds familiar to? 

Hi Bonnie

 

 Just like you I have taken the chantix exactly describe as you,.  Im now on the 5 mg.twice a day and having no side effects as you, but the first time I tried I did have them.  but I was on anti depressants that time. That might have been the reason.

 

 Sorry your having a hard time but try to stick with it. If you are on any meds. other then chantix see if you can stop them till you have completed your chantix.

 

Yes its me: Stephanie55 

 

P.S. its 28 th day


Stephanie55


#13 bigsilverbowl

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 02:29 PM

Yes, I am having some of the same effects this time around with Chantix.  I did NOT follow the directions from the manufacturer this time, tho, and am not having 1/10th the problems I did the first time when I took it as directed.  This time I started out as directed with 1/2 mg AM for 2 weeks.  Then went to 1/2mg AM and PM for 2 weeks.   Then 1mg AM and 1/2mg PM for 2 weeks.  Then to the full dose of 1mg AM and PM.  I have been on the full dose for 2 weeks now.  I have a great deal of nausea and vomiting, fever, chills, sore throat - what I call the Chantix flu. :smile:  My doc gave me Phenergan for the nausea and it does help.  Eating all the time and drinking LOTS of water also helps.

 

Emotions - wow, this is what I came to find today and to talk about!  Like you, I am finding myself very emotional, crying at the drop of a hat.  I am a sensitve person anyway, easily brought to tears or laughter....but I am crying over NOTHING these days, and I mean NOTHING.  TV shows have me sobbing in my bed, commercials bring me to my knees, a butterfly wing in the yard was cause for hysterical crying.  Give me a legitimate reason for tears and it's a torential flood!  But I think it is a combination of losing the influx of chemicals from the cigs that helped keep me "calm" (or what I thought was calm all this time) and the Chantix itself.  I am having to learn who I am suddenly and all these emotions feel kinda new, raw. 

 

We know emotional side effects are possible with Chantix so if you think what you are feeling is way out of bounds, talk to your doc.  Myself, so far I am looking at this as part of the adventure.  I have smoked for 40+ years and have no earthly idea who or what I am without them!  Part of my emotional upheaval is the loss of my best friend for all those years.  No matter what was going on, no matter the time, no matter anything - my cigs were there for me, right at my fingertips 24/7.  Now I feel very much alone without them.  I recognize this as a grieving process, something I have to go thru just as I have over other losses in my life.  Perhaps that is working on you as well.


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#14 jebstewart

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 04:47 PM

it is interesting that in pfizers' literature, and other stuff i read, that it is difficult to separate the three things that may cause emotional swings:  the withdrawal from the nicotine, the smoking/chewing habit and the actual drug.  

 

keeping that in mind helped me in the first few weeks when i too was having such major emotional shifts.  anger, which i consider mostly foreign to me the last 10 years, welled up at the oddest moments.  i had to quickly teach myself not to say the first thoughts that came to my mind.  to keep my mouth shut if i was lucky enough to realize in time that what i was about to say seemed out of my character.  tears came at odd times too.  in all, some interesting phenomena as i unwound myself from my addiction.  

 

as to normal.  i guess you could look at your reactions to the drug as normal for you.  and, as always, when introducing strong chemicals into your body refer to your source---your dr, your pharmacist, your dealer.  knowledge is power, so you can obtain secondary information from the internet too.

 

good luck, enjoy the quit, for that is the best thing you could ever do for yourself!

 

love you, mean it,

 

jeb 


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#15 EdiePearl

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 05:48 AM

I've stayed smoke free for 3 months now!!!!

It has been incredibly easy with Chantix. I started a new job, travelled all over the world for work and still never thought about smoking to get me through the stressful times.

 

i really feel like a new person, i have so much extra time now that i'm not going out for smoke breaks all day. i just feel better, my skin looks better (the first month that was not the case- i broke out like crazy) the dark circles around my eyes are starting to disappear, someone pointed out that my fingertips are noticeably more life like, i figured there would be some weight gain but that's not the case at all i'm more active than ever and am starting to get in better shape than ever.

also my anxiety has decreased significantly. i had a doctor once tell me if i wanted to help my anxiety quitting smoking it the first step because the brain isn't getting enough oxygen to function at full capacity, but this guy also chain smoked cigars so what did he know...but maybe he was kind of right. 

as for my mood, it leveled off after i started breaking the pills in half. i notice i have acted a little unlike myself but not necessarily for the worse. i stopped taking birth control, so that might have a hand in things. and also quit smoking weed. it's sort of like i did a hard reset on my life.

 

Now i don't know how to get off of it. I have been cutting the 1 mg pills in half since the beginning, doubling the length of my prescription.

some days i take it some days i don't. i don't have a doctor now (nor do i have insurance) so i've been getting the prescription at the minute clinic at cvs. they have no idea what they're doing and alway refer to google when writing out a prescription. 

 

how have other people come off of it? at this point, since i take it so infrequently i think just stopping would be the answer. i've been taking it for 3 months now, consistently for about 2 months and here and there for the last month. but i also like knowing i have it in case i need it... placebo effect much. how long have you guys taken it? 


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#16 ^Shell^

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 10:02 AM

Well , start cutting the dose in half to gradually get off of it.

Stay quit !
Shelly

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#17 MathChick74

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 05:27 PM

I've been on Chantix for about a month. For a few days, I felt nauseous. Pretty bad, but nothing I couldn't deal with. That's it. No weird dreams, no depression, nothing. And I've quit smoking now for 11 days. To me, it's worth it. I'm sorry you're experiencing other symptoms. I think halving your pills will hopefully help. I think also my nausea for those two or three days occurred when I went to the 1 mg pills in the second week. 


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#18 geronimo

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 06:01 PM

I've been on Chantix for 7 weeks. A couple of times I've been cut-off suddenly with bad results crave-wise so I'm sure it is working as advertised. I (male, 60 years old) also am nauseous most days until lunch time. I also have experienced large mood swings (manic like bouncing off the walls  to down in the dumps  depression) and, most disruptive to my life, major fog brain.Whether the mood swings/fog is due to the chantix I can't say as these symptoms are also associated with quitting, especially among older long-term smokers such as myself. Two days ago I developed a massive migraine with aura. I haven't had a migraine since I was a teenager so my doctor thinks it might be chantix related. He has decided it's time to wean me off, cutting my dosage for the next 5 days to one 1mg pill a day, followed for a week of .5 mg per day, and then dropping it altogether.  Today is my first full day on the lower dose and it's a bit rough but manageable. I'm thinking I might opt for .5 mg twice a day to smooth things out a bit.


We CAN do this.....

Jeff

 

 

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#19 Crystalpistol

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 02:14 AM

All these comments have been extremely helpful! I have an rx I have not started taking yet because the side effects scare me to death! I recently graduated nursing school and want/need to quit smoking so I can get a job.  One of my main problems is I'm so afraid these side effects are going to interfere with my performance as a nurse, really worried.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!


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#20 DoubleJ

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 05:03 PM

I'm currently taking Chantix and would not have been able to quit without it. I have 2 side effects from the drug:

 

1) slight nausea when I take the pill

2) I no longer smoke

 

If Chantix starts bothering you, you can always stop taking it.


Jenn

 

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