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Chantix Feedback

If you've used Chantix, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Long term effects of Chantix
Date: 6/14/2011
I started taking Chantix a few days before Halloween 2009. It seemed to work wonderful at first and I didn't even want a cigarette. The side effects it gave me was some heart burn and trouble sleeping. I quit smoking the cigarettes on November 2, 2009. About 2 weeks after starting chantix I started feeling very agitated and "out of sorts" but I knew my body was going through alot alone by just giving up my best friend of 22 years.

Shortly after Christmas 2009, I just couldn't take the way I was feeling anymore....I couldn't focus on anything, felt like I was going out of my mind and was getting suicidal thoughts. I stopped the chantix to see if it would all go away. Well it seemed like things just kept getting worse over the months to follow. I was getting crying spells that lasted about 4 days each month with severe thoughts of suicide to the point of making mental preperations (I was never suicidal before in my life). I went to two different doctors and they both just blew this off like it was all because I missed the smoking (which I didn't any longer at this point).

In October of 2010, I was put on progesterone with the idea of maybe I was going into early menopause (age 38) but what are the chances of this all happening at the same time?! Well the progesterone seems to help with the crying spells but I still can't focus on tasks and I swear I'm different somehow but I've been "getting by" since. I wonder if this chantix messes with the brains chemistry for the long term. I have no insurance and now have to pay out of pocket for any tests run and prescriptions (thanks Chantix) hope I don't go bankrupt now :/ Please do not put this poison in your body. I honestly believe it to cause long term effects.

Severe hair loss
Date: 6/22/2011
I have been taking Chantix for 6 weeks and have had severe hair loss for about 2 weeks or so. Have you heard of this side affect and is there anything I can do to promote hair growth?

AskDocWeb: There are quite a few drugs that cause hair loss but Chantix is not one of them. If it is drug induced then it typically stops and the hair recovers when the drug is discontinued. Quitting smoking is known to be very stressful and that is more likely to be the cause of hair loss. Good luck in quitting.

I am falling apart because of Chantix
Date: 7/28/2011
I have not been the same since I took Chantix. I was fine before I took it for about 1 month and I stopped because it gave me a stomach ache. I flew from the west cost to the east coast shortly there after, and started to swell. I thought it was just the mild swelling so many people get from flying (I was wrong). The swelling never stopped and I ended up going to an urgent care doctor in the city that I was in for two weeks. My entire body was huge, swollen and my feet, ankles and legs were so swollen they were turning purple. I could not breathe well and my heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to beat out of my chest.

The doc endued up sending me to the emergency room. I had fluid build up in my entire body, including around the heart and lungs. This was A LOT of swelling, I literally gained about 30 lbs in about 4 days. It never stopped, I must have visited the hospitals about 50 times and nobody could figure it out. I also visited numerous types of doctors from general practice, cardiologists, etc. NOBODY could figure out what was going on in my body.

At about 10 months and (still smokefree) I gave in and started smoking again because I felt that I was dying anyhow. I couldn't walk more than a few steps without being completely out of breath. I was not 60 lbs heavier but the weight gain was edema. Apply pressure on my swollen extremities would leave an indentation about a half of an inch deep and it would remain there for well over an hour or two.

I don't know if my "crazy" feelings came from the frustrations of nobody being able to diagnose me or if the medicine was the cause of the craziness. Keep in mind I was at a hospital or doctor 1-7 times per week. Every doctor thought they would figure out what was going on with me and then couldn't. I got frustrated when I was told that my once normal low blood pressure was ok to be at 190/110, that my edema that would pit for hours when tested and my 60 lbs weight gain was "not too bad", that water around the heart and lungs was expected because I smoked.. some even had the nerve to say it was in my head.

Doctor's will never say "I DON'T KNOW" nor will they go against a pharmaceutical company that gives them expensive perks to hand out prescriptions... 10 months into this I was told to check out my works website... which I did, "FAA BANS CHANTIX FROM PILOTS AND CONTROLLERS"... I looked into it and found these pilots and controllers were having same symptoms as I have had. I immediately contacted Pfizer, who sent me an email admitting and apologizing, then wanted my medical records, which I never gave to them at the advice of an attorney.

It was about this time that the symptoms seemed to start reversing, which they only got a little better and were not as severe. I have not been the same since... I swell upon any excertion, the only thing they diagnosed me with during all this was chronic venous insufficiency.. So, didn't Chantix act like DRAINO on my veins and arteries? All I can say is I have not been the same since... I swell easily, I cannot take anything that thins the blood or I swell. I am currently battling mysterious ailments that cannot get diagnosed but finally doctors are starting to look at chantix and these probably being "secondary" side effects of the original side effects that I have had.

ALL of my lymph nodes are now swollen in my body... I mean all of them.. WHICH comes to find out.. that it is your LYMPH glands that cause EDEMA... .wow another piece to the puzzle.... I think it is about time that I contact an attorney.....Just in co-pays since Chantix I have spent over $5,000... not counting time off of work, etc..

During my research I have found very interesting information regarding Pfizer.. and I am shocked that medication is released before studies are "really" completed. I would LOVE to hear if anyone is having similar symptoms and if they ever found a CURE.. my entire life has been affected in a bad way by Chantix ... I just want to be back to my normal condition PRIOR to taking Chantix.

My symptoms have included : edema, shortness of breath, ascites, weight gain (probably from lack of ability to be as active due to edema and shortness of breath), dizziness, emotional, stress, numbness, burning skin sensations, swollen lymph glands all over body, high wbc for no known reason, vitamin d and b12 deficiencies that never where there before, etc.. I am falling apart because of Chantix. Feel free to share my email address with anyone who can help.

Mood swings and edema
Date: 7/30/2011
I took Chantix for 3 months to quit smoking and for the first time in 20 years I am a non-smoker...for almost four months now. However, I have become really hostile, with fits of rage over nothing at all. Sometimes I feel like my thoughts are scrambled and it is difficult to focus my attention while other things are going on around me. Will this last forever? I have been off of Chantix for 2 weeks now.

I also read that other people were having edema and one doctor wanted to diagnose fibromyalgia. I have been having problems with pitting edema in my legs while I was taking Chantix. I went for an ultrasound because one measured larger than the other but thank goodness no clot! The doctor has no explanation for the edema. How much longer will this last and when will I stop with all the mood swings?

AskDocWeb: Sorry Ashley, that is still an unknown. There are a number of lawsuits over side effects attributed to Chantix involving mood swings, aggressive behavior, blackouts, depression, and suicide. In many cases the symptoms resolved after discontinuing Chantix although in some cases these symptoms persist, hence the lawsuits.

Edema (swelling)
Date: 8/31/2011
I have been on Chantix for 2 weeks. I have 2-3+ edema in my lower legs and ankles, should I stope taking chantis?

AskDocWeb: If you experience any pain with the swelling, seek immediate medical attention. It is a good idea to always check with your doctor about any swelling.

Dopamine receptor blockage
Date: 9/11/2011
I am approximately four weeks post-Chantix, off cigarettes for six months now. I feel terrible. I think Chantix caused dopamine receptor blockage. How to feel better? Anyone know? I have persistent fatigue, and depressive symptoms.

AskDocWeb: Hi Pamela, sorry to hear you have fatigue and depression. Several studies have shown that levels of the Coenzyme Q10 were reduced in patients with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. Coenzyme Q10 can be safety taken as a supplement by most people although it may take from 4 to 12 weeks to see the benefits.

Best luck to those who try it
Date: 9/12/2011
I have only been on Chantix for 2 weeks now, but I have already been smoke-free for 6 days. I am scared to death to continue taking my meds. I don't feel confident that I would remain smoke-free if I stopped in the next week. I have already had a few of the side effects such as: tired all the time, crazy dreams that wake my husband and during some of those dreams I sleep walk. I have never been a sleep walker, let alone one to sit up in bed and hold a conversation while asleep. Crazy. I will say without Chantix I would have never been able to say that after 20 years I am smoke-free. I just pray that after I work myself down to a lower dose, I do not develope these other side effects. Best luck to those who try it,
J- from S.C.

Stop complaining
Date: 10/31/2011
I used chantix to successfully quit smoking! I liked being able to continue smoking at first. I had a good experience with this drug. Sure I had some vivid dreams, was more irritable... however I think a person should look at other factors instead of blaming their behavior on Chantix. I had some family members(ex) who would annoy any person on any given day. Also as I read this page, I see alot of you are female.... uh hello. monthly cycle doesn't make a lot of you all sunshine and roses to begin with.

People are so quick to blame something else when it could just be themselves that is the problem. Besides it says, "your doctor feels the benefits from this drug outweigh the possibility of side effects" So in other words, You would rather die a horrible cancer death or not being able to breath, etc versus being a little cranky, or forgetful. Stop complaining, buy a post-it pad to write things down (news flash, people will become forgetful as they age). Try smiling and doing for yourself.

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