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Anxiety and Panic due to Chantix

My 19 year old son took chantix for 3 months and did quit smoking. Any smoking around him causes him to break out in violent hives. He had been off of it for 5 months and right after he stopped taking it he began having numbness and dizziness. His blood work identified a postitive ANA that neither his primary care doctor nor a specialist has not been able to identify the reason why. Three weeks ago he started having panic attacks and anxiety. He is in his first year of college and has to withdraw because of these symptoms. The family doctor has finally agreed that these symptoms are negative effects of the chantix and he needs to go on anxiety med and see a counselor. I have read on other blogs that other users are still fighting symptoms after years off that drug. Has anyone else been fighting the effects of this awful drug? We are emotionally devastated to see what was once a strong, healthy, active young man turn into a bundle of nerves and anxiety.

24 Responses
Avatar universal
I've heard good and bad things about this med. My sister took it also and she did quit smoking but she had side effects from it. A little anxiety and weird dreams at first but they did go away.
I hope your son feels better soon and is able to go back to school. Take care. Remar
Avatar universal
i don't know what to suggest to you. i do know that this drug is absolutely over prescribed. i don't know what percentage of the population experiences extremely negative reactions to this drug...but i do know that there are a large number of bad stories related to it. my opinion of chantix is that it should be last resort, not front line treatment. for some people chantix makes the addiction less than what it is without chantix...it makes it easier to quit. the problem is that it doesn't deal with all aspects of addiction, including addictive personalities and the behavioral habbits of smoking.

anyway, i am not entirely sure what to suggest...but i'm glad you shared this. people should be aware of the risks and give it their very best try at quitting before resorting to it. see...another problem with chantix is that if you do quit, 6 months down the road you're still going to have the same urges as someone who hasn't taken the chantix, but it may be harder to deal with them.
1074864 tn?1256936515
I had a friend who took that and quit smoking; however, she too, found herself a nervous wreck. She was even forced to take a 2 month leave from work. However, after seeing a therapist and focusing on cognitive restructuring for a good 6 months, I am happy to report that she is doing fine. She is back at work and experiencing a lot less anxiety.

What you have to remember is that anxiety is not unbeatable. It might seem like the abyss, but it's really not. The moment you start treating it like it is the end of the world, that's when it overcomes you like it's the end of the world. Remember to stay positive for yourself and especially for him. Millions of people overcome anxiety; it's not an impossible feat. I used to experience it severely and I have since learned to harness it and channel it in many other ways. A lot of history's greatest minds were anxious :)

Just keep positive and treat it as a common cold. It will get better-- it just takes time, support, and positivity.

-j
757137 tn?1347200053
Go to Google and look up "Chantix side effects." Most frightening. The next time a doctor prescribes any medication for any reason whatsoever, check the internet and with your pharmacist. Doctors are not chemists an never seem to consider the adverse effect of what they give their patients. I took one medication that almost killed me. Now I only trust me and a competent pharmacist.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your response.  I was checking for a while and then gave up thinking that no one was going to respond.  I feel so much better that you know someone who recovered from the anxiety from using chantix.  My son is taking med and will see a therapist in 3 weeks. Your words are very encouraging that we need to deal with this positively and that he can overcome this set back.  The more I read the better I feel that anxiety can be managed and not a life stopper.  
I have read the other postings and they were also a great help.  One nailed it to say that I should have done some research and regret that daily.  
Thanks to all!
1042487 tn?1275283499
I would try Buspar first since it's only an anxiolytic with almost no side effect since unlike benzos and many anti-depressant its not hypnotic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and amnesic. Since anxiety seems to be a major part of you son's problem i suggest BuSpar or if it's really to help with the quit smoking thing maybe Wellbutrin is more appropriate since it acts as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and nicotinic antagonist. Which might be helpful for someone who stop smoking.

Basicly Buspar for the anxiety and Wellbutrin for the stop-smoking aid... it can aswell help with anxiety...

Hope this was helpful and stay away from Chantrix =P
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