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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Jun-27-07, 16:06
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default My experince so far with Chantix

I copied this from my journal in case anyone is interested - I will update as well -

I am on my 9th day of Chantix. I have not smoked or chewed any nicorette (hurrah for sugar-free Orbit chewing gum!) for a WHOLE 24 HOURS. Actually I just went past my record of 24 hours and made it 25. And I'm FINE.

When I say fine, I feel a bit weird - I feel different. Last night I was really euphoric and excited - yesterday was supposed to be my 'quit' day, but in reality I still found myself getting something out of my nicorettes and so smoked a total of 2 cigarettes and chewed 2 nicorettes (compare this to my usual 10 nicorettes and 7 smokes though). But I chewed my last nicorette at 5pm and after that felt I could make the jump into official nicotine withdrawal! What fun!!

So today was the day of the official doin it quit. I have a tension issue in my left shoulder, and I am terrified of bingeing on food, but so far I seem to be fine as long as I have SOMETHING to munch on - and I am choosing orbit chewing gum. With 1g of sugar alcohols a piece I figure it is far preferable to stuffing myself with every zero carb luxury available to man - believe me, insulin release or not, I am quite sure 10 zillion calories a day will in fact make me gain. If I am wrong someone please correct me!

And for me that balance is critical - I do not want to go back to bulimia land just because I have quit tobacco.

So that's it. Finally something that really helps me. I had my various doubts concerning this drug, but in the end, what the hell? This is indeed making it possible.

What am I feeling? Well - this drug does a great job of as someone else pointed out - 'backing you into a corner'. For the first week you smoke and take an ever increasing amount of Chantix (derived from Citisine - a very toxic plant chemical with hallucinogenic affects at high doseages - woopee). Meanwhile your brain no longer gets a 'hit' of all those pleasure chemicals like dopamine whilst you are still smoking - hence completely breaking the reward system process which always 'makes you go back to smoking'.

After one week of this downer (or more if your brain still isn't completely convinced) on smoking - you quit. By this point, usually the drug has occupied most of the nicotine sites in your brain - so there is no longer a need to 'fill' them with your nicotine delivery of choice.

There is still of course the mental side of smoking - the memories, the 'spaces' in time which used to be filled with hand-to-mouth rewards, but it seems FAR EASIER TO REMEMBER THE REASONS WHY ONE QUIT IN THE FIRST PLACE with this drug. Apologies for the capital letters, but the truth is, I for one always lost sight of these reasons once faced with the incredible discomfort of withdrawal.

Anyway I do believe this time I might be successful. What I am looking forward to is coming off the Chantix (not!!). Well I have read lots of people's experiences and many of them quit the Chantix 'cold turkey' without any problems. A few have had problems, but this seems to have been resolved by a gradual ramping down in dose.

So I am so far a convert.
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Loops
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Jun-27-07, 16:13
emily30's Avatar
emily30 emily30 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,559
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 175.0/132.2/135.0 Female 5'6"
BF:less than before!
Progress: 107%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default

You are doing AWESOME!!!!! Believe me, I know what a celebration 25 hrs smoke free is!!

I quit for probably the 6th time in July last year for 3 1/2 months and began again in October. I have been attempting and failing daily for the last couple of months. I appreciate your review of this product as it is one I haven't tried, but have seriously considered trying.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Jun-28-07, 07:21
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Hi Emily -

thanks for the encouragement! I so sympathize with you about trying and failing daily - in my journal all I seem to waffle on about for the past year is my never-ending attempts to quit. I must have tried to quit really seriously about 20 odd times - that's a lot of withdrawal!

You quit for 3 and 1/2 months - that is amazing. Did you do it cold turkey? I could never get past 24 hours on cold turkey - the fear got to me something bad. I would always get so dizzy and so spaced out I felt like I had Alzheimers - wondering around in a daze not sure why I was doing what I was doing at that time. I once ended up sat outside on the lawn clutching the grass desparately I was in such a state! The fun!

Well today I still have a little tension going on in my left shoulder (not sure why it is just that side - it always is), but I am thrilled that so far I haven't had any major symptoms/side-effects like insomnia or freaking out. Most importantly though I don't want to smoke, and I know if I did smoke it wouldn't do anything for me anyway and I'd just have to start the whole process of withdrawal again.

Anyway I wish you all the best for quitting - just don't give up giving up - it is all great experience for when you are ready. ANd I definitely recommend the Chantix - I don't think I could have done this without it. On a scale of 1-10 in terms of difficulty of quitting so far, I would say the Chantix comes in at 4 or maybe even 3 (10 being the hardest) and cold turkey 10!

Good luck!
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Jun-28-07, 13:51
emily30's Avatar
emily30 emily30 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,559
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 175.0/132.2/135.0 Female 5'6"
BF:less than before!
Progress: 107%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default

Hi Loops,

Yes, my last quit was cold turkey. I had vertigo something severe, insomnia and mood swings so bad my husband stayed clear of me for about 4 days. I swore that if I endured such torture, I would never smoke again because the withdrawl this past time was horrible. Yet again, knowing I couldn't be those ones who have just one smoke and be okay, I did it anyway. Of course, one led to two and after two months I was back to full time smoking. What a fool I am. Don't fall for the "just one smoke", it was all it took for me to get hooked...again.

I have done the patch twice, cold turkey twice and Zyban twice. The first time I did Zyban I lasted 8 weeks then the second time I used Zyban it affected me strangely. I was having nightmares and having panic like attacks and my MD took me off of it. I'm glad to hear Chantix isn't doing that to you. I'll let you know which route I take, clearly cold turkey isn't working for me.

Best wishes to you and stay strong. You can do this!
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Jun-28-07, 15:15
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Hi Emily -

yes the vertigo is really bad - although this time round I don't have it - I think it must be empty nicotine receptors that do that.
Don't feel bad about going back to smoking - I mean obviously it was tragic for you, but it is a fact that a 'smoking' brain takes a long time to go back to functioning like a normal person's brain (with good serotonin and dopamine levels etc). Tobacoo is a natural MAOI inhibitor - a natural antidepressant and experts think this is why people who quit sometimes go back to smoking months after being smoke-free. However although it has AD effects, I think it is depressing for people in the long run (and certainly depressing to be hooked on it and suffer healthwise).

I tried the zyban years ago and felt great on it - even managed to quit smoking, but after a whole week of zero sleep I couldn't continue. I was knitting like crazy the whole time! I think the panic attacks are common as it really ups dopamine a lot.

This chantix is supposed to replace lost dopamine at 60% of smoking levels - and I haven't had any insomnia. But I take magnesium for that anyway. I just wish my shoulder would ease up.

Today has actually been quite tough (in comparison with yesterday). I am not 'craving' a cigarette, but I can definitely feel a physical withdrawal going on. I've felt a bit depressed most of the day and did have a bit of a cry - I would like to start feeling normal soon if possible. It doesn't help that the weather is very crap here right now (cold, cloudy, damp - living in Chile it is Winter here and we have no heating) and my normal day-to-day things to do aren't giving me much 'joy' if that makes any sense. I can't tell if I'm hungry or full either - it is like all the chemicals in my brain are messed up. But that has happened before, so I don't think it's the Chantix.

Tomorrow at 5pm I will have made the 72 hours nicotine free so I am expecting things to get a little worse before then. I'm ok. I can cope - that is the first time I have ever been able to say that quitting smoking.

I am also really hyper on the phone and am getting my words mixed up a bit talking to people. I sound like a total basket case!!
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Jul-02-07, 16:09
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

I'm still going strong - day 6 nicotine free for me today. Things starting to smooth out a bit. Also no crazy appetite today and I've cut down a bit on the sugar-free gum. Slept very well last night.

Have had a few mild cravings but they have not really tested my willpower in any way so far apart from Saturday night - but that was still easy compared with cold turkey.

I feel ok generally now and the doc has prescribed me a month of the 1mg pills - she says to really try to take it a whole month at least before tapering off and I think I agree with her. I notice now that I have nicotine out of my system (I DO feel different - not so kind of 'sick') that about 1/2 an hour after my 'dose' I am kind of tired and sweaty, but it goes away fairly quickly. I wonder if I actually need that high a dose but I seem to be fine.

I think this drug is great.

One thing of interest is that my doc claims you can store nicotine in parts of the body such as the buttocks and this gets released after the initial 'store' of 72 hour's worth has gone. Cool! Maybe I should do squats all day to help it go!!

I am definitely feeling more relaxed now.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Jul-02-07, 16:17
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

I would like to add the supplements I'm taking which I believe are REALLY REALLY helping me right now in this process. Obviously the high fat aspect of my diet also helps, but there are things I believe I am low in as a result of smoking/drinking so taking supplements really helps:

fish oil - this stuff is the bomb for depression and also making sure my brain starts working as it should without nicotine

magnesium - great muscle relaxant, sleep aid and many drugs deplete it including alcohol and nicotine.

B complex - a good whole-food natural B complex is better absorbed and I feel more balanced emotionally from taking this.

vitamin C - for detoxification and stress.

zinc balanced with copper - again, to support mental health and detox.

taurine - chemical detoxification and a calming amino acid - also a mood stabilizer.

general multivitamin - as a 'base' for the other things I take to ensure no imbalances.

melatonin - to help with sleep cycle disturbances - works a treat for me at just 1mg a night.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Jul-03-07, 01:13
Kisal's Avatar
Kisal Kisal is offline
Posts: 14,482
 
Plan: It's anybody's guess!
Stats: 350/250/160 Female 70 inches
BF:
Progress: 53%
Location: Oregon
Default

Congratulations, Loops! You're doing really well!

Unfortunately, my quit was a failure, and I stopped taking my Chantix last Friday (Friday evening was my last tablet). However, tomorrow is a new day, and I'm starting on Chantix again. I talked to my doctor today about the problems I was having with it, so now I get to take sleeping pills, in addition to everything else I take.

Hang in there! Quitting cigs is a good thing, and pretty soon you'll find that you really like not smelling like an ashtray anymore. At least, that's the way it was for me!
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Jul-27-07, 06:38
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Ok I have some disturbing news! I've been away visiting family for the past 3 weeks in England and had an awful time emotionally. I didn't smoke or chew nicotine the whole time but I found myself really getting quite depressed and wanting to go back to tobacco again - the whole time I was there.

I realized that tobacco is an antidepressant of sorts (and nicotine) so that may have been part of the reason I started thinking this way.

The other thing that disturbed me though was my personality was going weird. After about 3 weeks on Chantix (or even sooner but that may have been nicotine withdrawal) I was slowly getting more and more unlike my normal self. I was incredibly irritable with people, or down, or just headachy and tired. I shouted at my Father out of the blue and made a lot of snyde comments at my husband. It was scary.

During the trip I decided to try to cut down to 1.5 mg (from 2mg) of Chantix and OMG - 2 days later started having awful panic attacks. I couldn't work out if I should cut down more or go back up - I went back up and the panic went away, but I was gradually getting more and more depressed.

It seems a few others have had problems on Chantix. I quit the pills when I got home and am back to smoking. Anything to save my mental state. I have never suffered from that kind of weirded outness. Guess I wasn't ready after all.

It is an experience I will NOT be repeating (the Chantix that is). I am waiting for the Chantix withdrawal to kick in - apparently it is very unpleasant.

So this drug can be bad although it did get me through the initial withdrawal - but then is awful and eventually made me feel so bad I turned back to the smokes.

I hope anybody else trying this drug doesn't have these problems - I have heard for many people it is da bomb. I also think nothing is going to be effective in the long run if you aren't rock-solid on quitting.

I think if and when I have another go at ditching nicotine I will put myself on St Johns Wort (have taken before) because it takes the brain 6 months to change it's structure after withdrawal from nicotine - that is 6 months of low dopamine and possibly serotonin levels - correct me if I'm wrong - but that means giving up smoking is like giving up an antidepressant so I will take a natural one which doesn't destroy my lungs.
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Jul-27-07, 07:30
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
Posts: 12,028
 
Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
Stats: 260/-/145 Female 5' 3"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
Default

Loops, sorry to hear you had such a rough time of it with the medicine.
Unfortunately, according to Pfizer's prescribing information sheet, it lists anxiety, depression, emotional disorder, irritibility and restlessness in the 'frequent' side effects category along with agression, agitation, disorientation, dissociation, decreased libido, mood swings and abnormal thinking as less frequent so I don't think you are that unusual in what you experienced.
Those that take this drug and do experience negative side effects should report them to the governments Adverse Event Reporting Agency.
For the US, that link is here. For Canada, users can report adverse events from the drug here.
Why report it? Because this information is valuable to those agencies who regulate these drugs in determining the effects that the drug has 'in the real world' as opposed to clinical studies.
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Jul-27-07, 13:10
FabByFifty's Avatar
FabByFifty FabByFifty is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 9,031
 
Plan: Atkins~Modified
Stats: 173/173/145 Female 5' 6" and growing!
BF:26.6%/
Progress: 0%
Location: Akron Ohio
Default

Hi I am taking the Chantix also, started it yesterday. I am hoping that the mental part of the drug does not happen to me. It sounds kind of scary!
I am hoping just to take this medication until I put the cigarettes down. Which I am going to do with in the next week. After I go through about of week without the cigarettes I plan on not taking the Chantix any longer.
I have quit before ( cold turkey) for 3 months maybe a little longer and I too thought just one would not hurt. WRONG! So, I began smoking again, and if I knew that it was going to be harder to quit the second time around, I would have never touched another one, believe me!
I want to quit but this time I just can not do it without some sort of help from the med. It is beyond me why too!
I am hoping my plan will work, and if so, I will never, never pick up another cigarette as long as I live!
Which, by the way is the main reason for wanting to give the darn things up, I want to live! I have 3 kids I am raising and they would have no one if I were not here to get them through childhood to adult.
That and I want to workout and can not because I just do not have the lung capacity to do so right now! One of the lovely effects of smoking!
This is all crazy! I know that it is not your body that craves the things, it is your mind that makes you believe that you need them. And, I know my mind is stronger than that!
Ok, just wanted to come in and read and post that I am also on the Chantix.
I will continue posting my experience with this drug also.
I believe this thread can be very helpful to everyone wanting to take this drug to quit smoking.
I am sorry to hear that you had such a hard time Loop. And I wish you luck.
Brenda
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Jul-27-07, 17:02
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,129
 
Plan: general lc
Stats: 74/73/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 11%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Hi Brenda -

first off I totally wish you all the best and much success in your quit. It is a great thing to give up smoking and I am sure you are both capable and willing to do it.

I read somewhere that if you can say you want to quit and there are no 'buts' in that sentence, you can indeed do it. One thing I have learned is that if you really, really want to, you can do it.
Dig those heels in whatever the cost. One day I will get there....

For me, I still lack the self belief. In the end it was not the initial withdrawal that got me (thanks to the Chantix that was not very bad at all) but the realization of a depression that lurked beneath my smoking. I had simply been self-medicating for many years.

I did not have a back-up plan for this scenario - I always thought once out of my system, I would recover from nicotine.

So be prepared! No way am I saying this will happen to you, but offering some advice just in case - if you are presented with depression - and remember that after 6 months your brain changes its chemistry again so you feel just like you would be smoking - just NOT smoking.

I think you'll be fine - most people are on the Chantix - I have genetic depression and mood disorders running on my Scottish side so I wasn't surprised that this happened to me.

BTW - after researching, it would seem some of the side effects of Chantix claimed (like joint pains and constipation) MAY be attributable to coming off nicotine. I'm not talking about the initial 72 hour withdrawal. Nicotine/tobacco actually have anti-inflammatory properties and also regulate the digestive system - so it would not surprise me if ditching it reveals underlying conditions.

Good luck!
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Aug-14-07, 07:45
a104u2nv a104u2nv is offline
New Member
Posts: 1
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 405/394/350 Male 6ft 8inches
BF:
Progress:
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45 days off smoking due to chantix, smoked for 17 years started popping the little blue pill in the morning and night and poof like one day I woke up and just didnt need the puffy treat anymore
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Jan-04-08, 18:14
camaromom's Avatar
camaromom camaromom is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,280
 
Plan: Atkins/lowering cals
Stats: 187/143.6/135 Female 64
BF:35.2/ 20%/20%
Progress: 83%
Location: Lafayette, IN
Default

I too am doing my own Chantix experiment. I started taking it at docs request. I never did set a quit date. I was smoking at work, but never at home. Last Saturday I smoked about 5 pm. I still had almost a full pack left and it just didn't taste good and I didn't want it. So I have been smoke free for 6 days 3 hours, but who's counting.

I did notice that the Chantix gave me some anxiety to begin with, but I seem to have leveled out.

Wish me luck.
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Feb-04-08, 21:45
Noah_Scape Noah_Scape is offline
New Member
Posts: 17
 
Plan: Atkins before he died
Stats: 140/140/150 Male 6'
BF:
Progress:
Default Chantix - new warning ?

I guess this is old news to you here... but I just heard Chantix come up on a TV program and I remembered that you were taking it here...

It sounded like it was a new warning about the suicide ideation with it so I thought I would give a link....

I truly hope I am not causing undue stress to the users of it here... if you are tolerating it ok then don't worry about this news. It is just news because more reports of the same problems are coming out, I think...

FDA warning Feb 1 2008
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