Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Chantix and thyroid problems

Chantix is a drug to quit smoking and works on the neurotransmitters in the brain.  After I took this drug for two months my thyroid problems kicked in.  I did have a nodule pre-Chantix, but it was being watched and there was no growth.  Now I'm having big-time thyroid problems.  Went to a x-mas party and two other women had thyroid problems, fibromyalgia type symptoms also.  Any others out there with similar scenarios???
33 Responses
158939 tn?1274918797
I have been on Chantix for a few months and the only problem I have really found is it completely screws up my liver enzymes.  I mean so badly that they thought I was going into liver failure.   I noticed more fibromyalgia pain when I went off it (to correct the liver problem) and haven't noticed any thyroid problems but, who knows, it is a new drug.

Have you attempted to check on line and see what the side effects are??
Avatar universal
yes, I did.  After hearing from the two girls at the x-mas party, they told me to just type in Chantix problems, and, bingo, there it was.  Appears to chat more about fibromyalgia problems, but several mentioned thyroid issues.  The two girls I spoke to face-to-face had no thyroid issues until taking Chantix.  My GP told me to not take it after chatting with another doctor.  Got some blood results this a.m. and doctor again stated to not start the Chantix.  I took Chantix back in January/February last year and problems began in April.  There is a tort (legal) site also.  If you want them, I'll have to go look them up.  I'm a court reporter (basically doing deps on personal injury and medical malpractice).  So, I WILL NOT take the Chantix again.  I truly feel this was the instigating factor for me.  Makes sense, anything dealing with the neurotransmitters could have a derrogatory effect on the human body.  Can't seem to find a site to see how long the tested it and results.  Let me know what you think.  Next up for me, neurologist.
Avatar universal
I took Chantix beginning Nov. 06.  Took it 2 weeks, quit smoking, took it 3 more weeks and dropped the Chantix.  From the beginning, I began gaining weight, at the rate of 20 lbs a month.  I felt bad off and on for months.  In June I went to my Dr. for my annual physical. My thyroid was off the chart, but it was hyper.  It was determined that I had thyroiditis, but by Oct. my levels had gone the other way and I was extremely hypo.  I had no idea the Chantix could be the cause until someone suggested it a couple of weeks ago.  I will be very anxious to see the long term results.
209384 tn?1231171906
I took Chantix for about 6 weeks last year, but I already didn't have a thyroid.  Didn't mess up my numbers any, though.  Did wreak havoc on my liver enzymes.

Could the connection be that quitting smoking is traumatic and any trauma can bring the latent antibodies into attack mode?  Finally quitting smoking was a relief, but also changed my life drastically.  My Graves came from the stress I went thru with my pregnancy.  Those antibodies were just lying in wait for an opportunity to rear their ugly heads.  Just a thought.
185634 tn?1257074739
I haven't taken Chantix, but was going to try it eventually.  Now I'm not so sure!!

Wanted to chime in and say that my thyroid problems were detected about 2 months after I tried to quit smoking through hypnosis.  I started gaining weight rapidly, on top of the 25 pounds I'd put on in the previous 8 months for no reason.  Doc put me on Wellbutrin - for both the depression and the smoking.  I went back for a follow-up, and by that time I told her the depression was so bad that I could barely put one foot in front of the other when I got out of bed in the morning.  She ran blood tests, and bang!  Hashimotos.  

I'm with Dac as far as mine goes.  I think the stress from quitting threw those antibodies in high gear!!  But again, I'm not a doctor.  Don't even play one on TV.

I'll be anxious to see what comes out of this deal with Chantix.  I know a lot of people that have quit with it, and said it was a piece of cake.  Guess I have to weigh the health risks of the drug vs. the health risk of smoking.  I don't have a thyroid anymore, so it can't mess with that!


Avatar universal
I took Chantix to stop smoking in Nov/Dec 2006. In January 07 my hands started shaking so bad that everyone thought I had Parkinsons. I was 4 .. I had heart palps/muscle aches/lost 10 lbs (in bathroom minutes after eating). thought it was flu & did nothing until March. After a scan, full bloodwork the endocrinologist Diagnosis: Graves Disease/Hyperthyroid. Never had it before. No family history. Really feel Chantix caused it. Didn't stop smoking either. Don't take Chantix. It's not worth the risks. Unless of course you want to spend the next year or more seeing endo &  eye specialists (graves opthamology also started ) ,having monthly blood work,taking various doses of meds to balance your T3, T4 and TSH levels.I I am seriously considering a lawyer at this point. My thyIroid levels are now 'normal' for last 3 months and I have to stay on meds 3 more until considered in remission. Then it can come back and they will surgically remove it. They can't radiate because of the eye issue. Graves Opthamology is treated  separately and occurs even if your thyroid levels are normal. It is triggered/starts because of the gland though.I am having intermittent double vision and the tissue and muscles around my eyes are puffy.Will have to have surgery someday to correct it.
They can't do it right now because I am still in the middle of the whole process.
PS. If you want to quit smoking.. just stop. Don't use any props. I tried them all. None work. The only way to quit is to do it the old fashioned way. There is no magic pill.Best of Luck to you too!
Avatar universal
My age got cut off. 48 when this started. 49 now and about to turn 50 in march.
393685 tn?1425816122
I am glad I clicked this am I have had the Rx in my car for Chantix for about two weeks For some reason I just didn't fill it. Gosh, I wish these docs would check these things out. Well anyone have a success story on how to drop the habit without Chantix?
Avatar universal
I typed thyroid problems related to chantix on a search bar and found this. After taking Chantix for 2 months I quit smoking, but found myself so tired and gaining weight. I know after quitting smoking weight gain is normal but... after further investigation i'd become hypothyroid . I'm now on thyroid medicine but still no weight loss and ive been exercising my brain off... no weight loss. Now.... I would never recommend Chantix to anyone.
488240 tn?1208918226
WOW, I wondered if my hyperthyroid issues were related to Chantix. I took it Aug/Sept of last year.. started having symptoms (hot all the time) right around then, finally talked my doc into checking thyroid in Feb... hyper. Finally Dx. graves last month. Just started PTU.

I would be interested in the legal link please. Thank you.
487969 tn?1249316891
OMG!!! I got a script for Chantix the moment I found the goiter, scared I guess.  I did well the first two weeks then started having the anxiety feelings and tingles in the chin and numbness too.  I had started taking Levothyroxine about the same time as Levo too to subside my goiter, but stopped the Chantix and the Levo at the same time.  Are you telling me that it could be related to the numbness, excess symptoms of thyroid??!!! OMG!
487969 tn?1249316891
I meant to say I started taking the Levothyroxine and Chantix about the same time....  
488240 tn?1208918226
Just bumping. I find this very interesting and am glad I didn't miss it.
Avatar universal
hi I took chantix for the 3months and about about 1 month later I found out my thyroid was working. My brother-in-law had the same exact thing. I dont know what to do.

548780 tn?1233773202
Holy ****.....I used Chantix too. I started using it in March and and stopped in June. I'm smoke free....(yea?) but at what price? I started noticed weird things in May....my skin was rough and my hair got real course and brittle. Weight gain even though I was working my *** off at the time, trouble sleeping. I see my Doc tomorrow, I'll see what he says. This could get interesting....Very Interesting.
548780 tn?1233773202

I found this site with a bunch of posts from people that had BAD side effects from Chantix. A lot of them are about suicide. I was warned about that when I decided to take it. But when you read thur them there are ALOT that speak of being tired, body aches, foggy head.....All kinds of bad stuff. ****, I wish I would have investigated it a little more before I took it. I wonder if it's all connected???
548780 tn?1233773202
I would like that legal info very much..Thank you.
548780 tn?1233773202
Oops. Sorry utahmomma, I meant for that last post to go kitty5095.
158939 tn?1274918797
Actually that was Kitty5095.  You might want to send her a PM
Avatar universal
I took the chantix, quit smoking, came off the chantix, started smoking, went on the chantix, quit smoking, went off, started smoking (see the pattern? )  I never put the thyroid thing and the chantix together though.  I had nodules, and they kept growing.  FNA showed cancer.  Was never hypo/hyper.  Now with no thyroid I've started smoking again and thinking about going back on chantix.  It really helps me quit!  The chantix makes me nauseous though, so I always stop taking it.  That was the only side effect that I'm aware of. . .

548780 tn?1233773202
You are without a thyroid.... I still have mine. That "might" be a reason you haven't had more of a problem with it. Also, I have years of my TSH readings, most all of them all of them are with in normal range until right after Chantix. In 5 months I went from normal range to high. Then if you read some of the statements that people are making on some of these other sites. It's kind of weird. You gotta question the timing of a lot of this and not just me or the people in this forum but what looks like 100's of reports from so many other people.
I'm not recommending it to anyone!
Avatar universal
I took Chantix and I too was diagnosed with Hyperthyroid. My heart races and now I take a medication for that and my doctor increased my B/P medication, can not sleep at night, and I gained at least 20lbs. I now take medication to treat my hyperthyroid disease. This week I will have a stress test to see if there is any other reason my heart is racing. My neck becomes very stiff and it hurts, and my doctor told me to take Ibuprofen for the pain. I did stop smoking for two months, but once I started feeling like s---. I stop the Chantix.  My brother took Chantix for two weeks and quit, without any side effects, and he smoked for 40 yrs. I will never take this medication again, and I would not recommend this medication to anyone.
622332 tn?1221614023
The first time I took Chantix was in March 2007...and I had no idea that it could cause such neck stiffness/pain IF you did not drink enough fluids while on the medication!  On Mother's Day I was in the ER being given a muscle relaxer by injection because my neck was so locked up I couldn't move it at all.  

So, I waited quite a while and gave it another go early January 2008...by January 14th I was drinking tons of fluid and marked my 1st full day without smoking.  At about 2 weeks in the nightmares stopped...and about 6 weeks in I quit taking the Chantix completely...It was causing me to be horribly sick to my stomach in the evenings...the daytime dosage didn't bother me though...thinking I needed a full stomach to tolerate the med.

I've been smoke free since and been thankful for it at least giving me the boost I needed to make it through the rough patches.

I do not have a thyroid anymore...so I wonder if maybe that is why it didn't effect me.

519035 tn?1348279373
thanks for the posts, ill just be doing it cold turkey LOL:)
1012628 tn?1250891218
I don't think the CHANTIX is to blame for your thyroid problem.

Back in 1998 I quit smoking.  I just cut back and then quit...no patches, no pills, nothing.  Within 3 months of quitting smoking, it was discovered that my thyroid was conking out and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism.

I did take up smoking again but recently I quit and used Chantix.
I will say that I did feel the Chantix may have inhibited the absorbtion of my thyroid meds because I did feel more fatigue and fibromyalgia pains.

My point is...I will agree Chantix has some not so fun side effects (bloating, mild nausea) but I don't think the CHANTIX is causing any of you to have thyroid problems....there is a long history and LINK between smoking and thyroid issues WITHOUT Chantix being involved.  So, do your research and overall I used Chantix for two weeks.  I have now been a non smoker for 10 days.  I just needed the Chantix for that initial push and it has helped and I do not intend to ever pick up another cigarette to smoke again.

Thanks for reading.

393685 tn?1425816122
Chantix inhibits the function of the pitutiary to doing it optimal job - when it doesn't properly tell the thyroid to pump correctly the body falls thyroid ill.

Chantix is not good for the thyroid and there are studies supporting that.

YES - smoking also is linked again to the thyroid - it a stimulant - just like Chantix - except it stimulates opposite ways. Smoking is linked to Graves disease antibodies TSI and TSII - so eventually Graves will rear it's head and eat the he// out of the thyroid until it loses it function entirely and you are now hypothyroid permanently. That is if the Graves doesn't read to hard and kill you with cardio failure.

My point is : - ANY co inhibitors of brain function regardless of the meds WILL CAUSE endocrine and hormonal failure. Stay clear of those drugs and quit cold turkey. Dealing with the withdrawal is better than dealing with organ failure.
649848 tn?1534637300
When you smoke - the nicotine attaches to the "feel good" receptors in your brain - that's why it's so satisfying to have a cigarette.  Chantix basically does the same thing - it attaches to those same "feel good" receptors so the nicotine can't, which makes smoking pointless...........

I took Chantix, beginning in Aug 2007 after having smoked for over 40 years.  I had a choice of quitting smoking or not being able to talk due to excess tissue build up on my vocal cords from a combination of smoking and acid reflux...........THAT was a no brainer........  I took the Chantix as prescribed, quit smoking and have been smoke free for 2 years as of Aug 13 ---- ........... In late 2007, I underwent 2 separate surgeries to remove the tissue from my vocal cords and for the first time in my adult life, I sound like a normal female instead of like a man and it doesn't hurt to actually MAKE sound.  

My thyroid was not dx'd until June 2008, but I'd had symptoms for many years - I believe flip flopping from hypER to hypO. *I* didn't know enough about thyroid issues to even KNOW the symptoms (shame on me) and no doctor ever picked up on it either - it was easier to pass out the script for Wellbutrin, Paxil, etc ----------

I had already begun to gain weight from my thyroid several months before I ever started on the Chantix - I managed to pack on about 30 pounds in just a matter of a few months - still no one attributed it to my thyroid.  It wasn't until I started researching "fatigue, weight gain, constipation, body aches/pains, hair loss" etc that I came up with THYROID and begged my doctor to let me get tested.......about that time, I found out that one of my sisters had also just been dx'd with hypO - and she never took Chantix........

My husband also started on Chantix, then read some of the side effects (mainly depression - which he deals with anyway) so he got scared and quit taking it.  He's still smoking.  

I know Chantix has some pretty rough side effects, and like all meds, it affects different people in different ways.  The worst side effect I had was the constipation - but was that really from the Chantix or the thyroid??  I still have that problem (constipation) and haven't taken Chantix for nearly 2 years.

Was the Chantix instrumental in worsening my thyroid symptoms to the point I was at just prior to being dx'd???  I can't answer that - but if it WAS instrumental in worsening my symptoms, I guess I'd have to be thankful because otherwise I might still not be dx'd ---------  

Oh - I also find it interesting that since I've been dx'd with hypo/hashi's and am getting my thyroid issues under control, I'm off ALL the meds for my acid reflux - and I took aciphex, which is one of the newest, strongest for at least 6 years prior to being dx'd........Oh, the fights I had with insurance because they didn't want to pay for aciphex (they finally quit paying anything for it and it was all out of pocket - $235/mo) and it's new enough not to have a generic, but was the only thing that worked for me.  Now if I do get an occasional bout (maybe every couple weeks or so) of acid reflux/heartburn/GERD - I take an OTC omeprazole and it goes away....coincidence??
Avatar universal
Chantix here in Australia is NOT prescribed to anyone with heart issues.
And MOST thyroid suffers have heart issues...prolapse of the valves etc.
Check on the side effects.....

I quit smoking in March 2006 and was dx with Graves in October 2006 although looking back my first problems were in 1985.

Graves is in my family so is Hashi's.

Luck of the Irish lol ! (Irish descent is more suseptible to it)
649848 tn?1534637300
I have a leaky heart valve - don't know which one, but we didn't know this when I took the Chantix - apparently, it didn't do me any harm.  I have no other heart problems (at this time) and my cardiologist is "watching" the leaky valve.  I'll go back for another echocardiogram in Jan.  

I, too, have had hypo symptoms for years -------- just that no one bothered to look at thyroid function until I begged for the tests.......

Luck of the Irish, huh??  Well, I certainly fit into THAT category also!!.  
Avatar universal
Very interesting.......I took chantix for 3 weeks & did quit smoking.  6 weeks later I am having problems with my thyroid too!  Hyperthyroidism....my TSH is low!  It has always been normal until now.
Avatar universal
Do you have hyper symptoms, or just a TSH result that was low?  Just because your TSH is low does not automatically make mean  you hyper.  You are truly hyper only when having hyper symptoms, due to excessive levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  If you are having hyper symptoms, then you should get tested for FT3 and FT4 as well.  
Avatar universal
My husband got hypothyroidism due to Chantix. Never had problems before, was always super skinny and never had big appetite. Took Chantix, quit smoking, and a couple of months later his thyroid stopped working. Pretty sure it is the CHantix. It appears that this is very common, but I bet Pfizer is getting away with it since there is already a causation shown in studies between quitting smoking and thyroid problems.
Avatar universal
I made a very bad trade, I guess I traded my vision for not smoking. Vision problems were never on the warning sheet, or so I thought. Ya know when they say bad dreams.....big deal, the bad dreams will go away......the possibility of loosing your vision, well now, that is a whole new ball game. Is any one else here having vision loss?
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649848 tn?1534637300
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