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Champix: Slow-ticking Time Bomb


Champix – the drug that reduces a smoker’s desire for cigarettes – is still filling the air with controversy.

Let’s take a look at some of the side effects our readers have experienced with the use of this drug: Depression, suicidal thoughts, nausea, abnormal dreams, dizziness, temper tantrums, gas, stomach aches, anger, muscular pains, muscle weakness, back pain, erratic temper tantrums, aggressiveness, anxiety, increased appetite, loss of appetite, paranoia, mood swings and drowsiness. Sounds like a great picnic…

It’s not just the smokers who are suffering but also those supporting them in their effort. Here is a quote from one of our female readers: “… our relationship is at risk. All the symptoms of depression, suicide, upset stomach, fatigue, muscle pain, paranoia, lack of sex drive, etc…has taken a huge toll…”

Now if that is not a cry for help, I don’t know what is… and she’s not even using Champix!

Champix: It’s a damn shame

Shortly after our article earlier this year the manufacturers of Champix (labelled as Chantix in the US), Pfizer updated the label of this drug with the following warning: “…patients who are attempting to quit smoking with Chantix should be observed for serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behaviour, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour.”

Good. So NOW there is a clear risk warning. But what about those already lost in the battle?

Since the drug’s launch in Britain in December 2006, the government’s drug safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has received 1,513 reports of adverse reactions, including 62 reports of suicidal feelings.

The drug is linked to 988 serious injuries in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2007, more than any other product available on the market. Among the reports were 28 suicides, 41 cases of homicidal thoughts, 224 reports of heart trouble, 525 reports of hostility or aggression, and 397 cases of possible psychosis.

Suicide, homicidal thoughts and psychosis?! Why is this drug still available to patients? Why has it not yet been withdrawn? Is the idea to quit smoking, not to preserve life instead of risking it further?

Champix: Bury your head in the sand

Despite all this controversy there are still people who think the drug is safe. A doctor from Wandsworth in London said the following: “I am convinced it is giving up smoking, and not the effects of Champix, which have caused some people to feel suicidal. Without nicotine, many people do become irritable, grouchy and depressed – even suicidal. This is because nicotine stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain, a chemical which induces feelings of happiness. Without it, some people can become down.”

Since when does attempting to hang oneself constitute to feeling “down”? At the moment it seems that whether you are smoking or trying to quit with the help of Champix, either way you may put your health at risk…

Surely the side-effects of this drug need urgent investigation, especially since over six million smokers worldwide have used the drug.

Matters in your own hands

If you are a smoker and you consider tackling the battle to stop smoking with the “help” of Champix there is a few essential things you should pay attention to:

  • Speak to someone that used the drug.
  • Discuss all other options of medication or stop-smoking-aids with your doctor.
  • Discuss any concerns with reference to the side effects with your doctor BEFORE you start taking the drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have experienced depression or other mental health problems before taking Champix, as these symptoms may worsen while taking the drug.
  • Stop taking Champix and tell your doctor right away if you, your family or caregiver have noticed any adverse symptoms such as thoughts of self-harm or of harming others.

Consider other ways to stop your habit, such as hypnosis and acupuncture. Cracking the code with any addiction is not easy and many people fail with their first attempt. It is important that you find a support system that works for you and that your loved ones understand your struggle and sincere desire to quit smoking and improve your health.

Bear in mind all the material in this email alert is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Champix Side Effects ?? Dangers Of Popular Drug Used To Quit Smoking, published online 07/01/08, www.thehealthierlife.co.uk

Champix: Is this smoking pill safe?, published online 22/01/08, dailymail.co.uk

Truth Will Out, by Chris Holmes excerpts for research from online publication at truthwillout.co.uk Buy Champix online, published online, buy-champix.co.uk

Anti-smoking drug Champix may spur depression, agitation, by The Canadian Press, published online 23/06/08

Anti-addiction pill Champix in suicide alert, published online 22/05/08, news.com.au

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  • I have seen clients who have been taking Champix with disasterous results. One man had a rash from head to toe. His doctor told him to stop taking the drug and the horrid rash disappeared straight away. I am a hypnotherapist and have been seeing clients for 15 years with great results for stopping smoking. It has such a high success rate, obviously not 100% of course,nothing is, but there are no horrid side effects. I am not sure why people take serious harmful drugs before resorting to something like hypnosis. I have never seen a client who after hypnosis reported suicidal thoughts or psychotic behaviour. Of course Big Pharma would not receive big bucks for hypnosis would it.

  • I almost started to write about ‘Chantix’ until I realized that Champix is name used in the U.K. for this drug.
    I tried this “medication” to try and quit smoking, but gave it up after only 7 days. My wife said it seemed like I was ‘demon possesed’, and I quit taking it…not just because of that, but…because of the “dreams”. At the time I took it…the compamy said you might experience “vivid dreams”. They were vivid nightmares…very vivid. I have, though, quit smoking, but not due to the Champix/Chantix.

  • Sorry Pfizer I went through hell because of champix soon as I started taking them I wanted to take my life had severe depression and anxiety which I never had in the past
    Doctor never gave me a heads up on the side effect I only found out 3 months later on line
    Doctor was a pill pusher pretty much working for the drug companies who put profits before safety
    All I can say is think twice before taking this drug

  • I first started a course of Champix 2 years ago and successfully quit smoking for a year. However, I took the pills direct by my doctor and quit on day 14. When I stopped smoking, I was to carry on taking the pills. I only seemed to suffer one side effect and it was enough to make me stop taking the pills. Everytime I could smell smoke on other, I’d start to violently vomit. Despite not taking the pills for longer, I still quit smoking for a lengthy period of time.

    I’m now back on champix and looking to quit smoking for definite but I’ve started to get more side effects the second time around.
    This time round my sleep pattern has been shattered. now sleeping throughout the day and awake all night. Constant sick feeling. A shockingly increased sex drive. Eyes keep dilating which blurs my vision and I’m experiencing paranoid thoughts e.g. seeing and hearing things that are not there (nothing sinister… yet).
    This is all within the initial 14 days.

    So there you go: 2 experiences of champix by one user. Make sure you speak to your doctor. It will either work really well for you, or cause some issues (minor to severe)

  • Started Champix 2 weeks ago, started with a lot of gas, then lost all taste, woke up Saturday morning with swelling under my eyes, woke up this morning severe swelling under my eyes, headache and severe congestion. Doctor says some kind of allergic reaction, but would not commit to Champix been the culprit. Good news got off Champix and no desire to smoke.

  • I just thought I should share my experience. I had those symptoms before taking the drug, aka, suicidal thoughts, severe depression etc. And they all dissappeared effortlessly after taking this drug. I can now live a normal life and I have been taking the pill for 20 months now.
    It almost appears as though drugs have the opposite effect on people. If someone doesn’t have these problems it well give them problems and if someone has these problems it well take it away.
    To go deeper its a dopamine regulator and serotonin adder.
    Thanks for reading.

  • I think Champix are amazing to help you stop smoking.
    I only used the 0.5 for a total of a month (as 1.0 was making me sick)
    I had to stop as I had a mega hypo, so eased myself off them.
    But it was the best thing I have ever done, and will never smoke again

  • if you have in the past or do now suffered with depression or anxiety mood swings any of these things make sure you get the right advice before taking champix. i took them in 2007 yes i did the course, i also spent 3 hours in a police cell. i was 51 at the time and never ever been in any kind of trouble in my life. they are mind altering drugs i had serious mood swings, depression, aggresive. i had my mum in tears on the phone numerous times. i finished the course nov 2007 feb 2008 i was put on citalapram to combat the effects of champix. i am still on citalapram. each time i try to come off i revert back to how i was on the champix. it was the most horrible experiance. the doctor i saw in february 2008 sent in a yellow card to the health authorities complaining i should never have been put on them in the first place. they also gave me a false sense of confidence. terrible time. the only thing in their favour is i havent smoked since. so please do double check they are safe for you. i do know people that have taken them and been fine..

  • I took chanpix last year and it was great. No desire to smoke, lost of energy and no appetite, I also needed to loose some weight, so great. When something terrible happened a couple of months later I started smoking again, just to rebel actually. I recently decided to quit smoking again. I started champix because it helped me so much the first time. I am now on week 6. I have cravings for alcohol, and get really drunk after two glasses, I then smoke. I have not had my period and gained 5 kilo’s. I threw a glass bowl through the room, I cry a lot, and have a lot of suicidal thoughts. My boyfriend told me last night I hit him really hard in his sleep. I don’t remember that. I was awake, but I don’t remember this incident. I have visions of cutting my wrists, I have nightmares, cry for hours or just stare. I am mean to my boyfriend. I just threw out all the champix and will inform my boyfriend of what’s going on tonight. I don’t wanna start smoking again, because I wanted to get healthier. I think champix is great if its working for you, but partners and family should be warned and take measures as soon as the person taking champix shows any of these signs. I am embarrased for being like this, I know it’s not really me. Take it, cause it can be great, i also had no withdrawal symptoms from champix the first time, but as soon as you have some trouble, quit. Be smart about it.

  • I have successfully quit smoking for 2 months. I took Champix and have been made aware of possible side effects.

    For the last 4 weeks I kept missing tablets and stopped taking them in a regular manner. I noticed that my mood was being affected in a negative way – I was tearful, tired, angry and was being horrible to my boyfriend.

    As I felt confident I wasn’t going to smoke again, I just stopped taking Champix 2 weeks ago without taking medical advise.

    I now feel drunk. I can’t stop talking crap. I’m not tired at bed time. I’m being a little too over familiar with everyone I come into contact with. My sense of humour is strange. My mental list of things to do has become overwhelming.

    I don’t know if this is the drug or me!!?? I’m not actually taking Champix anymore. I have always been very friendly and outspoken but as a customer services and sales manager – my mood is affecting my work. I come off the phone after and laughing and joking with a customer then instantly feel like self harming when I think about how bonkers I must have sounded.

    I am scared about getting labeled with a mental health illness if I tell my doctor how I feel.

    Is this still a Champix side affect? Anyone else with a similar story??

  • Champix I love you finally the miracle drug I needed but I will only be taking .5 of the recommended dose each time. 1.0 and 2.0 too much. After 40 years I have no desire for a cig. feeling a bit funny in head not much who cares when not smoking. Great diet, exercise and no alcohol and you’re on your way yay!!

  • My husband started Champix 2 months ago, and no side affects except that fact that he is as cold as ice. Flat cold eyes. and no appetite for sex. He has been soooo cold to me since Champix are marriage is seriously in trouble.

  • My partner started using Champix this fall, I was weary as I have heard bad stories. At first it seemed great, he wasn’t smoking or even craving a smoke. Two months in our relationships was in trouble, it took a couple of days but then I correlated our troubles with the start of Champix. It wasn’t long before my partner was full blown depressed, not interest in anything, dropping activities, questing his life and our relationship. He has been moody and isolated. I have been very supportive but am at my wits end and wondering if I can deal with it much longer. Champix has destroyed my relationship and the man I live with is not the man I fell in love with. Yes he is not smoking but the toll it has taken on both of us is so not worth it. I would highly discourage anyone from taking it. I have never felt so helpless, stressed or as depressed as I have dealing with this. This drug should be off the shelves!!

  • Champix is the worst thing you can take,,,After taking Champix 3 or 4 times to quit smoking I found that it’s the after quit that the side effects rear their ugly heads,,,,The only way to really quit smoking is the old fashioned cold turkey…This last time I was sucessfull,,,,The Champix withdrawel is just as bad ad the nicotine/benzine withdrael,,,so what’s the point….besides the Champix caused my liver to shut down, I became very ill…With diet change and Detoxifacation of Liver, colon, and Kidneys ,,,I’m slowly returning to better health…THIS DRUG IS BEING TESTED ON YOU,,,,I do not drink alcohol and haven’t had a cigarette in three months ,,Thanks to me and my desire to live.

  • Need to stop smoking, saw my GP yesterday and asked her if there is anything she can recommend to stop. Was given a leaflet on Champix and a script for it. But since reading all these negative comments about the product, don’t think I’ll give this one a try.

  • I have given up smoking twice last year with champix with no adverse reaction to it apart from very vivid dreams. I was its biggest advocate. I started my third attempt last month and my body doesnt know whats hit it. I cant stop crying, I feel so low and emotional. Towards the end of the second week completely out of the blue whilst driving I had the urge to drive off the side of the road. I just felt like a completely different person. Thankfully I could never do anything like that to my family but this was a such as unexpected and all consuming feeling, I felt so out of control. My relationship of 9 years is suffering as a result which has only made me feel more isolated and low. I do appreciate that champix works very well for most people, it did for me on several occasions, however, I do feel I should have been given more information regarding the possible side effects. I appreciate the information is on the internet to find however not everyone has the ability to access or foresight or to do this. I wouldnt wish the feelings I have been recently having on anyone however I do think that it is down to the individual to make that choice. It certainly seems to have helped lots of people stop smoking who otherwise wouldnt. I think it is tough to say whether or not it should be removed from the market as it does help so many people, I do however think the decision to take Champix should be an informed one with appropriate warnings so symptoms can be recognised and addressed straight away, it clearly effects everyone differently. As silly as it sounds I was actually quite pleased to speak to my doctor today and discover the link to depression and mood swings……..at least theres a reason (and hopefully a solution) to my madness!

  • My friend is suffering from depression because of these tablets and shes also having these really werid dreams. Would Nicotean Gums or something to do with Nicotean help her Quit her to smoke, because she is going to stop using those champix tablets

  • i have been on champax for a couple of weeks stopped takeing them due to chest and back pain also in armdigestive problems and i became very bad tempered no way am i using these again iam on patches there is currently tmedical trials starting intheuk in 2012 on champax along with a placebo

  • I quit with Champix. After over 22 years of smoking 1 pack per day. On Dec 3, 2011 I celebrated by 2 years clean!! Bought a new car and down payment was all the money I saved from not smoking 🙂

  • I started on Champix 7 days ago and I am now smoking 1 or 2 cigarettes a day. It is just the habit now – there is no desire or craving for them at all. I have been having the sad thoughts though but I just push through also a loss of libido. I have also had a loss of appetite and less desire for alcohol. So if I lose weight and quite smoking and drink less its all good – as long as I dont lose my mind!!

  • All i would add to all this is, if you have IBS, think twice. i started suffering problems of hugely exaggerated IBS symptoms in the first week but didnt associate it with the drug. I have since been to the doctor 3 times as an urgent appointment patient. I have had blood and urine tests all of which were perfect. i am now booked in for ultrasound such is the level of pain, but i think i am wasting there time, im that convinced as to the cause of the problem. i have also suffered extreme central back pain leading to anxiety attacks from fearing im suffering a heart attack. im due to take another tablet right now, but im not going to. going to try it cold turkey from here.

  • I have taken the complete 3 month course of Champix with few symptoms, mainly night cramps and tiredness. I am a longterm depressive with copd and was only allowed to try it because all else had failed. I have found that while it takes away the side effects usually suffered with giving up smoking, it doesn’t stop the brain wanting to smoke, even with ecigarette use. Still, it’s been much more successful than I could have imagined. I would have no problem in recommending it – with the proviso to stop as soon as possible if side effects get bad

  • I think the negative spin on champix is a bit ridiculous. People need to remember one thing, drugs will always effect different people in different ways, it’s stupid to deem the drug unsafe or dangerous or counter-productive, because for a lot of people it’s very effective. I myself am in my 3rd week of champix, I haven’t had a cigarette for a week now and I feel great. Aside from some mild stmach discomfort I’ve had no side effects at all.
    At the end of the day it’s simple, if champix doesn’t agree with you and produces severe side effects, you stop taking it, which is generally the rule of thumb with any medication. Champix really did help me quit smoking, and I will continue using it until I’m in the clear

  • i was on these last year and yes they made me quit as i was on 30 a day,patches or nothing else worked for me.but be warned i gave april 2010 and 1 year on am very very depressed,tired and cannot stop eating.

  • My husband had nearly all the side effects on the pills but felt it would be worth while to quit a 30 year 20 a day habbit. That was untill he tried to come off them that’s when the dissorientation, mood swings, aggression set in home life has been hell no-body warns the rest of the family. Work has been difficult and traumatic being sent home when he couldn’t cope. He went back to doctor and they put him back on tablets all be-it a lower dose. He hates not being in control of his own head and we are both scared of what it is doing to him and us. Can anyone tell us how long this will go on. He has been on reduced dose for just over 2weeksand as soon as he cuts to 1 tablet the symptoms are unmanageable. He wants to back to his normal self, but if he doesn’t have a tablet he cant cope with work/home/people etc. Cant afford for him to have time off can anyone advise. Desperate wife.

  • Wow. This stuff looks really dangerous. I’m doin it cold turkey… come hell or high water, I won’t swallow this stuff!

  • Hi everyone I’m on my second day today 12/4/2011..Was really concerned about side effects before I started..THen gave it a go with the support of my local gp..took first without food or plenty of water just to see if it’s giving me any nausea or anything..so far so good no side effects yet ..I know it only day 2 but it’s still something..I used to smoke joint or two a night gave up that too..god help me I just want to quit smoking..smoked 7 to 10 ciggies a day since 1997 🙁

  • my partner has taken champix for 3 months he would get ratty when due to take the second one of the day but within 10 mniutes or so he’d be calm as can, be that should have been a warning!thing is all the aggression anger mood swings mind fog paranoia have staarted since hes stopped taking it ,almost 2 weeks now i want to know how long til these side effects wear off and he feels like a worthwhile human being again?

  • My husband has just ended a 10 year marriage after 6 weeks on champix. No problem (I thought) until he started the tablets. My advice, don’t take them.

  • No side effects except one strange dream. No withdrawal symptoms whatsover, its like Champix puts you in a neutral position, no draw to smoke or even when you think about it, your brain says ‘whats the point’ and you just forget about it but it’s not a struggle. I’m only free of smoking for 6 days but thats a miracle already, I dont think I ever went without a cigarette for more than 2 hours in 30 years except on a long flight or train journey. feeling good but suggest you see your NHS cessation nurse on a weekly basis, they are very good.
    I certainly would recommend Champix under medical supervision of course…it certainly WORKS..thanks

  • Me again..
    Day 20..
    I haven’t smoked since day 14.
    No side effects apart from vivid dreams which are ok.
    It’s amazing what technology can do: I don’t feel like smoking.

  • I’ve been smoking around 20 cigs/day over the last 35 years. Started Champix 13 days ago. I am supposed to quit tomorrow. It’s really helping. Today I had only two cigs. and those two tasted really bad. Incredible. I have not experienced any side effects so far.

  • I have beem taking Champix for the past 3 weeks. Hvae been smoke free for 8 days. Had the ususal nausea,lack of energy but nothing more, until 4 days ago. it started with a painful knee which I assumed was down to a musclepull or something similar. This gradually got worse until my whole leg ached, then it progresed the my other knee andfinally the other leg.Around the same time, I found myself crying for no apparant reason and also had become very irritable and losing my temper very easily. I began reading up the internet and am very alrmed by what I have found. I haven’ttaken a Champix today so far and dont intend to take any more.I hope i start to feel better soon and am praying that I don’t have to go through the early symptoms of withdraw all over again. If it gets real bad i’ll see my GP for somepatches…safer I think!!

  • I’m glad I found this. I thought I was going insane last week a mate of mine suggested I look at when issues started to arise in my life and we discovered a week after starting ti take champix. I felt I was 2 people all the time I could be loving and caring then snap into a depressive, angry, suicidal me. That’s normally not me at all I’m caring, gentle lad. I wasn’t warned about any of these side effects before taking champix. I had 2 big fights with my partner after drinking alcohol once again I was told nothing when asked. Since the start of taking champix my life has been turned upside down my stent failed, my partner left and doesn’t want to contact me every again. So I lost everything I loved in life thanks to this wonder drug, I was also still smoking less but still was for the past 2 months so that’s no it. all I wanted was to give up smoking for my health and my partner as she is a non smoker instead I lost everything. Don’t take this tablet it can really damage u. After a week if not taking it I’m finally back to me and single thanks champix …

  • I took Champix for a long period of time last year as I quite a few times over the year and with Champix it was an easy ride (the hard part is to keep smoke free beyond the 3 months benchmark). I did experience some blues and tiredness in ocassions, but the mildness of it made it worth staying away from the cig. And yes, lot of dreams, but hey, don’t they say to dream in life? 🙂

    I also Know of some people who have used the excuse of “symptoms” to quit champix and stop trying to quit altogether which consciously or subconsciously may be done in purpose.

    I am aware that some other people in the business of quitting smoking have some interest in discrediting the drug as well, specially hypno-therapists. Careful with those out there with warranties to quit smoking and such schemes as most are waste of time and money. I spend £350 in one that was supposed to be guaranteed and I have not hear back from him after it did not work…so back to Champix…it’s worth the mild side effects!

  • taking champix for about three years. i used to take 1mg twice a day, but felt like a zombie and strange. i take 0.5 once a day, and im not smoking.the tablets help at very low level. and i dont agree with the stronger strenght. i get nausea if i take 1mg it makes me really sick, i get dreams which are always good.

  • I started taking Champix Oct. 26th, 2010 and my quit date was set for Nov.2nd. Although it has only been a few weeks I can say that the cravings have completely subsided. My chest doesn’t feel heavy like I “need” a smoke and the thought of a cigarette very rarely ever crosses my mind. Stress also seems to be much more tolerable/manageable. The only side effects I have noticed to-date have been an increase in appetite, tiredness and as of late very odd dreams.

    I’ve done a lot of reading up on the drug and most complaints seem to be about depression and self-harm or harm to others. I can admit that I’ve dealt with depression since the age of 14 (now 31) and yet surprisingly, with all the negative feedback concerning Champix and depression, I find my depression has lessened. The problem with any drug is that it affects all individuals differently – hence the term individual. I’ve tried quitting cold turkey and have managed to get all side effects that are supposed to come along with champix (aggitation, depression, suicidal thoughts, aggression etc.) without even taking Champix – so is it really the champix causing the side effects or is it the way our bodies/mind deal with the nicotine withdrawl????

    The only way to know for sure whether the drug will work for you is to try it. If you or others begin noticing negative behavioural changes, common sense would tell you to drop the drug.

  • I started taking Champix in December 08 and didn’t experience a single side effect except for the vivid dreams, which were kind of cool. I quit on day 8, finished the 12 week program, and haven’t craved a cigarette since. This is after smoking 2 packs a day for more than 30 years. I don’t miss the smoking, but I do miss those vivid dreams.

  • … Heres a thought. What happens if a person were to take this medication who already experiences said side effects?… Would that intale the creation of a monster?

  • After taking the full 2 books of tablets I have stopped smoking ,but at a cost… I struggled through the course fighting nearly every listed side affect. I am now a week out and things are really starting to get bad . I think its criminal that I wasnt informed of these known problems. Does it get better soon and how long will this last?

  • I have been taking Champix for 2 weeks now,but I decided to stop taking them this morning because of how I felt when I eventually woke up. Two weeks is nothing but I know that on the second week I felt as if I were two people, one feeling anger and wanting to lash out and then start crying for no reason and, the other trying to be my normal level headed self. This morning when the alarm went off I normally jump up and I’m off getting ready, but this morning, I sat up, swung my legs round out of the bed and felt so confused and not sure what I was supposed to do, I called out to my husband as I can say I felt really frightened. This is NOT ME! It also made me feel that I was looking in on myself. Yesterday I couldn’t seem to get words out or would use the wrong words(not good) The experts can not say it’s because of the lack of nicotine and not champix that’s making me feel like this because I HAVE NOT STOPPED SMOKING YET!! I received a call back from a Doctor today who told me to stop taking them and prescribed me 25ml patches. Please Please be careful out there, I could not believe the change in me so quickly, my husband keeps asking me if I am alright and I just glare at him, even writing this now I feel I could attack something or someone or have a good cry..Oh I do hope it wears off soon!!

  • I have started using champix on May 2009, after six weeks I stopped taking it. Didn’t have a desire to smoke since. Started jogging, done my first marathon on September 2009. Miracle drug…

  • I took Champix in March of ’08 and I am still suffering from most of the side effects of this poisonous drug. I started to feel some of the bad effects (nausea, mental fog, trouble sleeping, sore eyes, constipation, gas) of Champix while taking it but I was determined to quit smoking. For the first month I felt exceptionally good and I was telling all everyone how great it was but the euphoria came crashing down and I went into a deep depression. I was able to make it through the full 3 month course but when I stopped taking it is when I really got messed up. I developed Psychosis NOS, Major Depressive Disorder, suicidal, Emotional instability, aggression, rage, panic attacks, hallucination, Somatoform Disorder, Delusional Parasitosis (bug crawling sensations all over my body), Hyperacusis (sensitivity to certain frequencies of sound causing severe pain and pressure in my ears), Severe Insomnia, Memory Loss, Brain Fog, Lowered Inhibitions, Hair was constantly hurting all of the time and lost lots of it (27 year old male), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (started as extreme constipation and gas, fatigue, Severe Eye pain, unsightly puffy bags under eyes, excessive weight gain, gingivitis, prostate pain, black out and become out of control when drinking, decreased sexual pleasure and ability to maintain erections. I think that is everything!!! I went to the psych ward recently due to being suicidal and beyond my breaking point with the symptoms and I was treated like scum and given brain damaging neuroleptic (anti-psychotic) drugs against my will. I have made some small improvements since taking Champix but it looks like the nightmare will never truly end. If you are one of the many that gets burned by this medication be warned that the doctors will probably not be able to help you and will most likely deny that anything is even happening to you or that it is related to Champix and the side effects may be permanent.


    please spread the word. If you have already taken Champix please report any side effects to Health Canada, FDA etc so that they will take this poison of the market before it destroys more lives. Doctors are not obligated to report adverse reactions so you must do it yourself.

    I have seen many reports on the web saying Champix is great from people who are still on it. I understand that many people who take Champix experience only minor side effects while on Champix but in my case I really got screwed up after I stopped taking it so please do not post until you are done taking Champix.

  • Have been on champix now for about four weeks along with my partner who also started at the same time. At first all good, told everyone how great they are. Now not so sure, I am self employed in construction but some days I feel really woolly, like I can’t concentrate on what is important anymore. Had several days when I thought why even bother going to work. Basically just total apathy and tiredness. Relationship taken a complete nossedive, apparently she doesn’t love me anymore etc etc. If you want your relationship to last, don’t try champix. BE WARNED

  • Had all the side effects mentioned above, Just thrown the tablets in the bin.. My bodily instincts are telling me STOP TAKING THIS DRUG.

  • I started taking these on the 1st April. The first week on the lower dose I found I did need to take with food, but I found it turned my Circadian clock upside down. I was sleepy at meal times and hungry at bedtime.
    After starting the full dose in the second week that kicked in the nausea and the most revolting taste in my mouth. Quit date was to have been the 14th but ended up being the 11th (smoked those last 2 just to get rid of them) after vomiting after my pre-bed smoke on the 10th.
    The third week on the full dose I started with the sleep problems. I either sleep for 30 mins and come wide awake or just not sleep at all, my body from the waist up craved sleep, from the waist down was all ready for a game of footie or to dance the cancan. My mood remained positive and cheerful (unusual for me) and is the only thing that was keeping me going.
    Midway through the 3rd week I began taking the morning pill only and stopped the evening one. Things improved slightly, the taste in my mouth got bearable, the nausea tolerable, I now get 2-3 hours sleep a night, and the restless legs have abated. At the Doctors appointment marking the end of the first 4 weeks I mentioned all of these symptoms and was offered sleeping pills, which I turned down (no point in swapping one addiction for another). I said that I had reduced the dosage and my Doctor was horrified. I explained to him that it was either I took 1 pill got 2-3 hrs sleep, no cravings, and stayed positive. Or I take both pills, get no sleep, and end up killing someone for a smoke to relieve the frustration of the neverending days.
    I guess I’ve been pretty lucky with it but I would still like to see some information regarding ways to alleviate the side effects without resorting to yet more drugs.

  • I started Taking Champix on the 1st Decmber 2009 whilst on holiday in florida.
    I have to say that although I hadnt actually stopped when we flew back I felt fine even during the long flight.
    I finally stopped smoking during the second week of taking Champix and apart from feeling sick if not eating something to push the tablet down I seemed fine.
    I used to smoke 30-40 per day easy.
    Well the good news is I havent smoked a single cig since the second week in Dec 2009 so 4 months on all is fine.. well maybe not!!!!!!!
    I have to say that whilst taking champix My temper and mood swings where very strong indeed. and even though Ihavent taken Champix for a good while Ican still be very Moody and at times could very easily parden my french” punch the living crap out of someone”. Althoug Never had …..
    Anyone else had the same.

  • Maybe not. The full course is intended to allow your body to withdraw fully from Nicotine without your going through all the symptoms of withdrawl. I have met people who have successfully quit without going through the full course. I am in the middle of my 3rd week, really happy (maybe too happy?) with what’s happening, and I am intending to go through the whole program by the book.

  • If you have friends or loved ones monitor your behavior for the first couple of weeks, you’ll have the feedback you need to stop if things don’t go well. The probability of experiencing serious or lasting harm is, statistically, extremely small. These are much better odds that most people have if they keep smoking. I am on week 3 and am very happy with the results. It is important for most to follow through with the complete course so Champix can do its work while your body gets completely over the withdrawl process. Stopping Champix prematurely involves the risk that cravings will start again after the drug leaves your system. I know that THAT would be too much for me, so I plan to continue to the end. Hope this helps.

  • It is important to note that the numbers above represent a percentage of the population taking Champix. If the percentage is, on average, 2%, then 49 out of 50 people will have the chance to benefit from Champix without significant side effects. For most, the risks associated with starting Cahmpix far outweigh those that come with continuing to smoke. It is clear that friends or loved ones should help monitor your response to Champix when you start taking it. If problems occur, then you stop the drug. Simple. The perecntage of those who truly experience some kind of lasting harm from taking this drug is, I would guess, VERY, VERY SMALL. A small percentage of the small percentage cited above, or 1 in thousands. I am on week 3 of the course and things are going well. If the other methods don’t work and you are relatively stable to start with, give it a go, and have a friend or loved one monitor your behavior for a couple of weeks. So much to gain…

  • I am on day 8 of my treatment on champix, and im really worried after i read all those comments.. I am asking if taking champix for just 3 weeks, (1 week preparation and 2 weeks without smoking) can help me stop smoking?

  • I took Champix in the normal doses between September and December 2010. I did this after a full assessment by my GP and notwithstanding that I have a history of severe depression.
    I had *no* symptoms that could even remotely be described as serious.
    I successfully quit smoking after a 35 year period of smoking 30-35 a day.

  • Two clever monkeys – Paul and Jon: Paul – Wikipedia is not really a reliable source of information and I doubt that the manufactures of Champix (Pfizer) will allow anything negative to be widely published about their little ‘wonder pill’ (too much money to be made from it…), worst they probably funded the analyses themselves… Here’s what you’ll find if you look on a professional site like drugs.com which provides free, peer-reviewed, accurate and independent advice on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines & natural products:

    Psychiatric side effects Varenicline of have included insomnia, abnormal dreams, sleep disorder, and nightmare (2%). Anxiety, depression, emotional disorder, irritability, restlessness, aggression, agitation, disorientation, dissociation, decreased libido, mood swings, abnormal thinking, bradyphrenia, euphoric mood, hallucination, psychotic disorder, suicidal ideation, and erratic behaviour have also been reported. Depressed mood, agitation, changes in behaviour, and suicide have been reported during post marketing experience. At least one case of varenicline-induced manic episode has also been reported, in addition to a case of exacerbation of schizophrenia… These are only the psyciatric side effects, there more here if you don’t believe me dear Paul: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/varenicline-side-effects.html

    John, you seem to have a bit more sense, but truth be told you will only know when you’ve taken the drug yourself… statistics means nothing for those who suffer adverse effects or lose loved-ones because of the dangerous side-effects of prescription drugs…

    Champix is just another example (like Prozac and Voixx) of a drug that should never have been approved!

  • Just found this on Wikipedia
    A cohort study published in November 2009 analyzed medical records of 80,660 persons attempting to quit smoking (10,973 of which were using Varenicline) and found no evidence of an increased risk of depression, self-harm and suicidality, although a small increase could not be ruled out on statistical grounds.

  • Today is my 8th day of taking champix. I have had a couple of weird dreams but nothing else. After reading these comments, I am not sure whether or not I want to take these tablets. So, I am now looking for facts, percentages. There seems to be two types of forums on the internet, one pro champix the other anti champix, which do we believe?. The answer I guess is both as we are all affected in different ways with different drugs. So, my question is, what is the reported percentage of people having these adverse side affects and what percentage of those have suicidal thoughts/tendancies?.

  • Wow, I was gonna ask my doctor to be put on champix as I need to give up smokin, I suffer with c.o.p.d. it was recommended by a friend. I have tried all sorts of remedies trying to give up. I thought that champix was gonna be the wonder drug I needed! I’m an ex heroin and crack user and have been abstinent from these drugs for two years but I just can’t seem to be free from cigarettes! After reading comments left on this site, I’m gonna have to think very carefully about this drug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • On day 11 and have become a pretty violent erson from a person who only reacted out of anger. Now I pick fights with any cunt and find myself getting angry at myslef sometimes.

    Will continue with the drug and see how it goes. God help anyone if it gets worse

  • Myself and my husband have now stopped smoking after using champix. After about 3 weeks I felt so sick taking them that I stopped cold turkey, my husband however carried on. He has now become so unbearable I feel like leaving him and did walk out last week. He is a totally different person but can’t see it even though lots of people have told him. What can we do even though he is now not taking them but I want my happy go lucky husband back!!! Any suggestions

  • I took Champix for 2 weeks. It killed my desire to smoke after a week. I had lucid dreams and experienced nausea, diarrhea, tingling sensations in my scalp, face, hands and feet. I also lost my appetite and started experiencing mood swings . I stopped taking Champix and the symptoms became worse. I went to the Doctor and was told that Champix had produced bad side affects in me and that she hoped they would settle down. I still have mild symptoms, but they are settling down and hopefully will go away. I would never recommend this drug to anyone. It works on your central nervous system and is very dangerous.

  • David, stop them now, they have absolutely mullared me. I am now suffering with severe panic attacks after taking the tablets for five weeks. Find something else.

  • I quit smoking by willpower alone about 20 years ago & stayed off the weed for 8 years. It was sheer hell & I ended up divorced. Remarried a couple of years later & tried all ways to stop again. None worked. Ended up divorced again. Met an American lady for whom smoking was a deal breaker, so went on Champix to try to quit. Took the full course & succeeded. Married last December, but now split up. Conclusions? I am a very easy going, happy guy usually. When I quit smoking, I get on a very short fuse & act out of character. This happens however, with or without Champix & I believe it does for most who quit. You can feel it welling up, but it’s impossible to control. I smoked 40 to 60 a day for 45 years. If I hadn’t used Champix to help quit, I don’t think that I would be alive in 5 years time. I experienced most of the “side effects” that people on Champix blame on it, but I have to say that I experienced most of them when I went cold turkey as well. I know that I will never smoke again now, but if I did, I would definitely use Champix again to quit. Sure, you also need willpower, but Champix does make it a lot more likely that you will succeed in my experience. Better to suffer a few nasty side effects for a while & lessen your chance of a horrible death from the effects of smoking. Nearly 2 years on & I now feel more in control of myself. If my last wife had hung around & understood, we would now perhaps be having a great life.

  • I started the treatment without any problems. I continued to smoke for 10 days before quitting on the 1st August. The first day was strange: I didn’t feel like smoking but my body was giving the usual signs of needing it. Still after getting through that day it all seemed easy. The only thing I suffered with was nausea, but it was manageable. However my partner had already told me she was moving out taking our 2 year old. I was upset but not to bad, the last week has been impossible though. Feelings of utter despair and the odd suicidal feeling. I went to my parents for support thinking it was the relationship ending doing it. I have since found out it could be the Champix. I could not continue to feel that way, I tried everything to stop the sinking feeling but it kept getting worse. I made the decision last night not to take anymore. Getting a craving now but it has been a week and I am hoping I can quit cold turkey.

  • Hi, I’m on Champix for 3 weeks and stopped smoking. The first week was brilliant, very happy with my decision, the cigarettes tasted awful and was really looking forward to stopping. Week one was ok apart from feeling ‘sick’ and weird dreams. Since a week ago, I got all the mood swings, feeling very angry and flying off the wall without any reason whatsoever. But not craving cigarettes and very determined that it stays that way. After my family and friends seen a change in me they spoke to my GP and now I am taking reduced dosage. I hope it helps.

  • The one thing that really DOES work is called the Never Smoke Again method, in Holland Roy Martina started a pilot training in July 2008, now in Germany in October 2009; this really works, on subcounsious mind… It hits on the HABIT that smoking really is…

  • I started taking champix a fortnight ago, the first week on .5 mg was fine, but after only two days taking the 1mg dose, I had to stop.
    It started with feeling feverish, and aching muscles, after two days those symptoms passed and was replaced with a lack of energy and sleeping all the time.
    Now I have joint pain, in one shoulder, both knees and elbows, (as I am writing this).

    Hopefully I stopped taking the champix early enough, for this to cause no lasting problems.

    I guess I was one of the unlucky ones who got this, (according to the side effects breakdown).

  • I started taking champix on April 17/09… I have not had a cigarette in two weeks now…..I have felt emotionally good for the past few weeks, but now I am experiencing constant muscle pain in both arms and shoulders…..I also have an increased desire to eat a lot more….. I am not blaming the drug, but I do wonder why I seem to be in chronic pain… Has anyone else experienced the same side effects?

  • Me and my husband have been on Champix for 4 weeks and both not had a cigarette for two weeks. We were both heavy smokers, I was on 20+ and my husband 30+. At this point I can say that smoking does not entertain me what’s so ever, even when I go to the local pub I am just not interested. Up to now the side effects have been nausea and tiredness and a few strange dreams. I am now getting pains in my stomach, the only way I can explain the pain is I feel like I have done 500 sit ups. I can only think it’s the tablets that are causing this discomfort. I am going to keep taking them for now and hope the discomfort wears off. Me and my husband did have a huge row the other night that went well over the top, I just hope it was the larger that caused the row and not the start of a side effect from Champix. I will keep you informed.

  • I was tipped off about Champix by my mum late last year who, having smoked 40-60 for 40+ years had been prescribed this drug and haven’t smoked for 2 months, so a couple of weeks before xmas I got a recomendation later from my local Stop smoking group for my GP.
    I had already Googled Champix and found that in a few cases there had been feelings of depression and in extreme cases attempted/ actual suicide among other effects.
    My GP seemed reluctant to prescribe and insisted that if I felt any side effects whatsover I was to stop taking the course immediately.
    I’ve always been a very positive, outgoing and level headed type. Not to mention that I also started a new job last November which is going really well, have no massive money worries, a beautiful 2yr old daughter and another baby due later this year.
    I started the course of Champix a week before xmas – Day 8 was xmas day – so I picked the 27th Dec as my stop day although I started feeling that smoking was a waste of time and throwing away 1/2 smoked cigarettes from about the 23rd. I had also cut down from c.35 to 25/20/15 etc
    Apart from a very occasional craving, which was fairly easily resisted, I have no interest in smoking whatsoever and have been recomending Champix to others.
    So far so good, then on Monday it went very very wrong. I’d had a minor row indoors and sulked off to the pub on Sunday evening. When I got back, we made up and all was ok. Seemingly.
    When I woke up Monday it was as if a black cloud had had descended. I called work with an excuse (odd in itself as I wouldnt normally go sick unless I was really ill, especially so soon after joining a new firm). Then deciding that I’d had enough, emptied all the tablets in our medicine cupboard into a plastic and stormed out of the house mid morning.
    From here it gets a bit blurry, apparently I found a pub open and hit the double whiskies (I only ever drink lager with a lemonade top) for a couple of hours then found a quiet corner and swallowed all the tablets.
    I must of “come to” because again apparently I called my partner, told her where I was and what I’d done. So she called an ambulance.
    By the time it arrived, I’d left the pub eventually to be found collapsed in my front garden around 2pm.
    My partner has some medical experience and says it was almost like there were 2 of me – one wanting to commit suicide and the “real” me trying to fight it and get help.
    I’m now back at home, having had my stomach pumped and a psychiatric assessment (which could find no reason at all for me to do this other possibly Champix).
    Obviously I’m not taking Champix any more, and have only had 2-3 cigarettes in the last few days (it has been just a bit stressful) but I’m now going to give up by willpower alone.

    All I can say is that Champix definately works in terms of giving up but be careful as the warnings are there for a very real reason

  • Have felt worse the last few weeks, so have stopped taking the tablet. All the negative problems, suicidal thoughts really vivid dreams. Finding it hard to remember what is real and what is not…

  • I started taking champix on the 20th October. I have noticed some real differences in my personality and so have the people around me. I totally loose control when I drink which sounds silly but have always had a laugh when out socially now it seems different and the mood swings the following day is aweful. I feel totally suicidal thinking of ways to end my life with real feelings of extreme anxiety. When I have infact everything to live for..

  • I have been on champix for 8 weeks now, slight side effects (loss of sex drive amd nausea) but have helped tremendously in helping to stop smoking

  • Iv tried Champix and had no side-effects that im or my partner is aware of. But it did not help me to stop smoking. If there is another wonder drug out there id be willing to try it. Other therapies have not worked in my case either.

  • what the figures fail to disclose are out of how many people actually taking cganpix were those 1500? What ratio? Out of 250000 people 1500 is not that big a figure to react to a drug…..

    How many People in250000 have issue with say asprin, penacilin etc.

    I have suffered manic depression for 10 years and stopped smoking with champix with not one issue and or suicidal thought… I agree with the doctors quote, it’s the lack of nicotine and the synics out there jump on NEW and in my opinion wonder drug.

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