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Chantix
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Chantix

I just started taking Chantix yesterday. I have heard lots of great things about this medication and how much it helps, but I've also heard lots of scary things - bad dreams, depression, suicidal/homicidal thoughts, hallucinations. Obviously, I chose to ignore all those things and take it anyway b/c I know me and I know that I need something pretty powerful to help me quit. I also quit taking pain pills four days ago. Why I feel the need to do everything at once, I don't know, but I guess when the time is right, it's right.

For those of you who have had success with Chantix, how long did it take before smoking started to be less appealing physically and psychologically - I have heard that happens during the first week while you are still smoking. I have a pretty bad headache today - is that a side effect?

Any other words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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326505_tn?1304172825
I quit (5 months) using Chantix and it wasn't until the 2nd month that I even attempted to quit. I smoked for 38 years and like you, my addiction was very powerful.
It wasn't until the 3rd week that I noticed my intake was lessened. By the end of the first month, I was down to 6 or 7 cigs a day. 2 weeks into my 2nd month is when I quit. I had sucessfully went about 6 hours before lighting that first one and so I decided that if I could go that long why not just stop : )
Side effects..........I stopped taking Chantix 3 days after my quit. Toward the end, I was taking 1 pill a day......weaning off though I'm not sure that is necessary. The reason I stopped was because my stomach was getting a bit queasy. This didn't happen right away so perhaps it wasn't because of the Chantix but since I was able to continue without smoking, I went for it knowing I had the remainder if necessary.
I didn't experience any of the "bad dreams" or suicidal thoughts though the first 3 days without a smoke was difficult (amount of time for physical withdrawal.)
A website that helped me immensely was whyquit.com
That site actually supports cold turkey so you can't join it, but you still can access their library and one of my favorite articles is "my cigarette my friend." That is a must read.
In addition to that site I also posted often on this one. It has really been a great support system for me so check in daily and post as much as you need to. For some reason they are not sending reminder any longer so you won't know if you received a reply to your post......I check this site quite often : )
Good luck and stay strong!
Kathy Jo
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370181_tn?1408130715
Kathy..........can you remember back to when you first began the Chantix? Did you have any weird sensations? I've begun to experience the bad dream thing, which *****, and really hope that goes away. It sort of ties into some insomnia that I am blaming on the Chantix........I used to fall asleep very fast, now I toss and turn and wake up with the dreams frequently during the night. I get these odd feelings that aren't quite like being dizzy or lightheaded, but..........something odder. (Is that a word? Odder?) It's more like for a few brief seconds, I've lost touch with reality. It's kind of scary and I don't like it at all. I also can count on an upset stomache when I take it. I've never gotten to the point of throwing up or even what I'd call real nausea, just a crappy feeling in my gut.
I have been taking the Chantix for one week and 2 days now. I am still smoking pretty much as usualy, but I think I have cut down a little, but not because of any effort on my part, it's just sort of 'happening." I was so incredibly thrilled to read that you stayed on the Chantix and continued to smoke for nearly two months. When my one week was up and my quit day arrived, I just knew I wasn't ready, that it wasn't going to happen. I know damn well that this stuff is not a magic bullet, but I believed (maybe as ALL addicts believe) that the stuff just hadn't had long enough to really DO anything for me yet. You can't smoke for 40 years and expect those receptors to just lay down and die after only a week! I must have a gazillion of those things in my head! When I read on the Chantix quit line that if you failed the first time, to just keep taking your Chantix and set another quit date. So I did, and I will try, and maybe it will work, but I like what you did and can only hope that that is the way it will finally work for me too. That just little by little, over time, those urges WILL begin to fade and I can see that I'm smoking less and less and will just one day, like you say, "that's it!" I know we still need to go through the physical w/d, but if your down to just a few a day (from my normal 45+) then it would have to be a great deal easier. Gawd, I'm rambling like a nut case!
I'll go now before I embarrass myself further.
Thanks for letting me ramble. I'm scared.
Peace
Greenlydia    
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326505_tn?1304172825
Hi greenlady : )
I have to say that my experience with Chantix was pretty good. I don't remember any bad dreams but I think I do remember feeling like I was outside of myself looking in. I have had that spacy feeling before and it generally happened when I was taking effexor for panic/anxiety. I am also going through my changes and so I haven't slept well in a few years. The crappy feeling in your gut, yup, that about sums it up. Can't do much about it and it really isn't to bad.....it will be gone soon enough and that's what you have to keep telling yourself.
Most people take the Chantix for the perscribed time (3 mos.) but I was lucky enough to only need it for 1 1/2.
The first month on Chantix I smoked pretty much the same as before....maybe cutting back 1 or 2 or 3? The beginning of the second month I flew to SLC and went about 5 hrs. w/o a smoke so I began cutting back and really only smoking when I was jonesing(sp?). That really worked well and after the first week of my second month I really was down to almost nothing and my first smoke was well into the afternoon which gave me the incentive to stop all together.

Smoking was something that I did most of my life. I truly can't remember not doing it so I really understand the difficulty in quitting. I had no real reason for wanting to quit, other then using the advair and the fact that I had promised myself that I would quit when I turned 50. I am now 52 and breathing so much better. I can actually use the treadmill & the elliptical machine without keeling over : )  I can't tell you how much better I feel. It is incredible....the difference between then and now is amazing.

This board got me through a lot of hard times and also reading the articles on whyquit.com
When I look back on my earlier posts I can't believe that I actually wrote them! So it does get easier and it certainly gets better. The Chantix reactions should be noted but if they aren't to bad, then try not to give it up. You are at the beginning so perhaps your body is adjusting to it. Hang in there and remember to post often so that we can support you and your quit.
Good luck, you can do it!
Kathy Jo
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242912_tn?1402547092
Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you today.  

Go Greenlydia!! aka Greenlady aka Greenymeany aka The Green One.

I'm here for all of you.  : )

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370181_tn?1408130715
Thank you both for your replies..........I had a really horrid day at the hospital. Drove to work in a freaking blizzard, had the "weird" feelings zapping me from the Chantix, then I got a migraine and then I made the mistake of taking my BP which sent me into a panic attack. I told my charge nurse I was going to the ER cuz I was feeling REALLY weird, but she just had me lay down with some oxygen and relax.........I took one of my Xanax and actually fell asleep for about an hour. I felt much better when I woke up except for a slight "migraine headache hangover." After work I went and talked to one of our pharmacists and she thinks I may have titrated up to the 2mg too fast! She also said that I wasn't suppose to keep smoking while taking the Chantix after that first week. But it says right in the patient information thingy that if you screw up and keep smoking, just keep taking your Chantix and set a new quit date! So, I don't know  who or what to believe. I do know I don't want to go through another day like today!
I am going to break one of the 1mg in half and take that so I still have SOME in my system, but until I talk to my doctor, I'm not doing the 2mg a day.
I think my panic/anxiety thing is playing into this as well...........I'm so hyper-vigilant about every little twinge and tweak in my body/head that I let my mind do some really crappy things to me.
I'm not feeling too "meany-greeny" today!  :(

Lina  
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326505_tn?1304172825
Sorry to hear that Lina and hope you are better today.

Panic & anxiety can play a major role in a "quit" and I know it well. It's a vicious circle....smoke when anxious yet smoking causes anxiety and promotes panic attacks....
In this moment, 5 months, 3 weeks and 1 day, I have not had the earlier anxiety that I had experienced, off & on, for more then a decade. That left me very early into my quit....so, in my case, my panic/anxiety was greatly reduced soon after the physical withdrawal. I really worked hard on my emotional attachment by reading all of the articles under "education" on whyquit.com website. My favorite article is My Cigarette My Friend.
I guess I was one of the lucky ones not to be to put out by the chantix side effects. Try taking a lesser dosage and see how that works. There was someone "Shaley girl" who had a similiar problem and she was able to stay on the "one pill daily" regiment and succeed! Also, don't stress yourself out about the 1 week limitation. If you read through the forum you will see that most everyone that quit with chantix didn't pay any attention to that. In my opinion, that is setting yourself up for failure! What worked for me was simply not to desire it and that is how I knew I was ready.
I hope that you will see it the same way and give it a try Lina. Hang in there and stay positive.
Write often and keep us posted.
Kathy Jo
p.s.
my friend FMXSMKR has seen me through some tough times : )
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242912_tn?1402547092
Greenlydia.....I'm sorry you had such a horrible day.  I hope dropping the mgs will do the trick and you can continue with the Chantix without being so physically miserable.  Since you already work there, at least you were at a hospital when you had your attack!  How convenient is that?

Hoping today is better for you  : )  

Was going to correct Kathyjo on your name, but maybe you did it on purpose and I don't want to assume.  I suspect though, you were just feeling awful and wanted to hurry up and lay down.  


Kathyjo.....Lol, I can't help but wonder when the heck I have been any help to YOU?  It seems like I'm always the one complaining and you're the one always there for ME!  In any case, thank you the compliment and I'm glad if I've helped you even a little because you have been SO supportive and inspiring.   I'm not going to try to keep track of the days, (4) but doing good so far.  Feel much, much better.  

Take care my friend....
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427279_tn?1210923421
hi,im new here but i wanted to see how if anyone was taking chantix and how it affects them....i have been taking it for about 2 weeks and omg i have the most vivid dreams that it wakes me up all night....i have been talking in my sleep they are so vivid....and maybe because im so tired is why i have really gotten depressed....just dont feel right....thanks for listening...take care ...deb
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326505_tn?1304172825
There are quite a lot of people who say they have experienced bad or vivid dreams. I didn't thankfully.
You didn't mention if it is helping you to cut down or stop. Maybe you can cut back to 1 pill a day? I wish I could offer you more but Deb, if it's not to bad, try to hang in there a little longer. It may pass or you may be able to quit soon if you haven't already.
I took them for a 1 1/2 months and a friend just this evening told me that he took it for 3 weeks only! If you feel strong enough you may want to set the date and give it a try.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Kathy Jo
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