Discussion in 'Nicotine Replacement Therapy' started by TropicalBob, Feb 2, 2008.

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  1. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Feb. 2: The news for Pfizer's Chantix was not good today. The US FDA says the smoking cessation drug likely causes some users to have suicidal urges, and warnings might be necessary for the product.

    Ah, the implications. Let me first say that I had Chantix prescribed for me, paid the $165 first month's cost and consumed the entire prescribed number of pills. Every morning, the pill hit my stomach like a red-hot poker, causing pain for about two hours. Then came daily nausea. But I persisted. As for nicotine cravings ... I experienced no easing. Nothing at all. But willpower alone -- and resumption of pipe smoking -- has kept me off cigarettes for 200 days as of today, ever since I began Chantix (please don't call me a successful Chantix user!).

    Now I'll let you connect some dots.

    Last year, Johnson & Johnson paid $16.6-billion to buy Pfizer's consumer healthcare unit. At that time, this was written on a financial web site: "Pfizer’s products will give Johnson & Johnson the lead in several new categories, including mouthwash and smoking cessation." Also: "The move would add several well-known brand names to J&J's lineup, including Listerine, Nicorette, Visine, Sudafed and Neosporin."

    Pfizer produces Chantix, and the cost to purchase Pfizer's prescription division would be astronomical. But what would happen if that cost could be decreased by making the stock less valuable? And the way to do that is to scandalize or damage a big moneymaker, Chantix. That's what the FDA just did. Smokers wanting to quit will have second thoughts about seeking a drug that might cause disturbances so severe that suicide seems desirable. Pfizer profits will take a hit. The company's value as a purchase target will decline.

    And smokers will move to NRT products (which the US government actually promotes on federal Web sites with our taxpayer dollars) that will keep them addicted and buying drugs for the remainder of their life.

    J&J must be smiling. But that's the way the game is played. Follow the money. It's all about money and this smoking cessation game is like Monopoly played by high rollers only.

    I expect more bad news about Chantix in days to come. You can sense the money moving on the table as the dice roll.
  2. woody

    woody Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I took Chantix (champix in the UK) and it worked for me while I was taking it BUT when I stopped it after 3 months as directed I experienced the worst black detression imaginable. Never in my life had I had depression, just the normal ups and downs of life but that drug, or the absence of it, made me literally feel suicidal. At the time no-one could help so I joined a Chantix forum. I reckon 20% of the people there had very real problems with severe depression. Now, in the UK there are frequent reports in the news about suicidal thoughts with Champix. These people have my sincerest sympathy. My guess is that when the drug is stopped, and the nicotine receptors no longer have Champix bound to them and there is no nicotine around either, that for a period of several weeks it is impossible to feel pleasure of any description. Stress of any sort, therefore, becomes intolerable. In my opinion Champix should be banned. Better to smoke than be dead from suicide. It took me many weeks to recover and even the memory of that time makes me shudder. Please believe that these side effects are very much for real.
  3. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Woody, I'm glad you made it through that ordeal.

    After Chantix failed to decrease my smoking urges, I became somewhat depressed, but nothing like what you describe. I blamed my feelings on not smoking, rather than the drug. Cold turkey quitting has driven me almost insane in the past, before I returned to smoking. I had to have nicotine to settle my system!

    What Chantix is supposed to do is block nicotine receptors in the brain. With receptors blocked, nicotine has no pleasurable effect. Without Chantix, when smoke is inhaled, nicotine travels from the lungs through the blood to the brain and is processed there, resulting in the release of the natural hormones serotonin and dopamine. Those two chemicals explain how we can be both calmed and picked up by nicotine. But the Chantix cuts those chemicals short -- in all instances. These are the "pleasure" centers of the brain we're talking about disabling. And there's talk now that Chantix could work for alcoholics and those addicted to other drugs. How? No pleasure. Why use?

    But things that normally trigger a pleasant response, like food or sex, are also crippled by Chantix. If those are important to you, it's easy to see how suicidal thoughts of life not being worth living might take over. Nothing makes you feel pleasure. And you're paying $165 a month to be a numb zombie. If tobacco is the devil's weed, Chantix might just be the devil's drug. Beware any other drug, or vaccine to come, that works in a similar fashion and promises freedom from addiction. The price might be more than most want to pay.
  4. woody

    woody Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Chantix seems to effect everyone differently. Whilst on it I felt full of energy and apart from missing smoking my mood was great. Some folks on the forum that I joined actually wanted to stay on it forever. Coming off it was the problem. Brain drugs tread on dangerous ground. My big worry at the time was that the effect of depression was going to be permanent. Thankfully I was wrong :)
  5. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoe ECF Founder Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Out of interest, Woody, did you ever manage to quit nicotine "cold turkey?" If so did you suffer any depression when you did so?

    I heard that it is quite a common and underreported symptom of nicotine withdrawal.

  6. woody

    woody Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Not cold turkey exactly SJ, but I have withdrawn from NRT as directed in the past. Certainly I noticed feeling somewhat down but it wasn't the same kind of reaction as Champix withdrawal. In the end I came of Champix by cutting the pills in half and then quarters and so on and on each reduction waves of black depression would hit about 36 hours later. This could even wake me during the night with a feeling of dread like nothing I have ever experienced. On the forum I was taking part in some of the people had total breakdowns and it became accepted that a VERY slow withdrawal was the only way. Oddly, others felt lousy on it and then felt huge relief when they stopped it.
    My theory is that Champis binds to nicotine receptors 24/7 unlike cigarettes and when removed abruptly is a massive shock to the system. Interestingly though, cravings did not increase for nicotine. NEVER AGAIN :shock:
  7. jamie

    jamie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    We know the behavior of the receptors isn't the same in everyone or we would all have the same addiction habits and level with the same products at the same point of use. I recently read a summary of a medical paper about Chantix binding to receptors that haven't yet been "activated" by nicotine in some/many people, and this causing many of the side effects, particularly the common nausea (just like when you first smoked and some receptors were hit with nicotine, or when you overindulge with cigs). In addition to those effects upon taking the Chantix, now the Chantix is training ADDITIONAL receptors to expect nicotine. It would make sense then, that when the Chantix use dimishes or stops those new receptors behave unpredictably, along with whatever happens with the receptors that were already activated as part of the addiction.

    I called the Chantix line recently with some dosage questions (that they couldn't answer), and before hanging up was requested to listen to their new warning which included "Avoid driving while using Chantix".
  8. woody

    woody Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I recommend avoiding Champix/Chantix at all costs. Recent suicides in the UK have been attributed to withdrawal from Champix. That is one side effect that is not listed on the pack. You would be better off smoking. |It might save your life! :(
  9. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoe ECF Founder Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    On a note slightly tangential to the topic but related to Bob's "follow the money" observations, it has been noted by some that the release of data showing the lack of effectiveness of antidepressants in most users neatly coincides with the fact that a whole class of drugs, antipsychotics, are being re-packaged as antidepressants.

    Some believe that this has been entirely instigated by the pharmaceutical companies who, of course, produce both classes of drugs.

  10. BananaDoc

    BananaDoc Senior Member ECF Veteran

    more good news....

    My wife used to work in big Pharma. As a result she still receives email updates from the big drug companies and the FDA.

    She just received a warning (i believe from the FDA)regarding an elevated risk for sudden onset heart attacks within Chantix patients... supposedly it is messing up the heart rhythm for some people.

    Evil Drug :evil:

    Stay away!!!! :eek:
  11. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I peruse a lot of wire copy every day, most of which you never see in print. In Kentucky the other day, a guy fairly new on Chantix was driving a rural road with his girlfriend. She said his eyes rolled up and his truck turned off the road, splashing into a creek. She got out and swam to shore. He got out and didn't know where he was. She kept shouting at him and he dog-paddled over to her. He still had no idea what happened. And the story said his doctor blamed the incident on a reaction to Chantix.

    Truck drivers are now prohibited to use it; pilots are prohibited; and even those working on airplane engines are told not to use it. Evil drug is right!
  12. jamie

    jamie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

  13. quirky

    quirky Senior Member ECF Veteran

    My own experience with chantix is similar to Woody's. It was awful. I am prone to anxiety anyway, but as the chantix began to clear from my system the anxiety was so bad I was nearly mad.
    I can not even describe the feeling - like falling at a hight rate of speed and being overwhelmed by a large ocean wave all at the same time. Even the lady at the grocery store noticed that I did not look myself.

    (totally off topic) but why do manufacturers think we need two different names for each side of the Atlantic? Why is my mars bar not the same in the UK as it is in the states? This is the worst marketing practice ever.
  14. Klaue

    Klaue Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Well, they recently renamed "mars" to "hopp" (like in "hopp schwitz" = "go switzerland") here because of the soccer EM. *****ic, if you ask me ;) But oh well, I hate soccer anyway
  15. karenwest1961

    karenwest1961 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Chantix Concerns Ignored by FDA, Doctor Says

    Why is this not surprising? If you haven't seen them yet, be looking for injury lawyers ready to represent YOU.

    My best friend is a breast cancer survivor...twice. She used Chantix for a month to come off the cigarettes. (She went behind her oncologist's back and got them from another doctor. DUMB MOVE. I warned her NOT a good idea.) Long story short, she ended up with some side effects that could have been irreversible. Matter of fact, some of the physical side effects are not totally gone yet and she has been off Chantix for about 4 months. We'll have to see.

    And most doctors don't do a complete physical on the patient before prescribing the medication to see if there are any pre-existing conditions or medications that may interfere with the medication.
    I also believe anybody who is depressed or suffers from anxiety, sleep disorders and the like are NOT candidates for this drug, period.
  16. GiantShift

    GiantShift Full Member

    Stomach problems TB? Wow, maybe this is why I developed Crohns. It happened at the same time I started Chantix! :(
  17. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I don't think so Giant- I too have Crohn's disease- and it's an autoimmune problem- not somethign caused by something else- The actual mechanics of autoimmune diseases is quite complicated, but it is highly unlikely that somethign liek Chantix is to blame- you probably and most likely had Crohn's long before you went on Chantix, but it hadn't worsened yet- it's juct coincidence that it started flaring while on Chantix- now, it may be that Chantix irritated hte Crohn's although I've not read anyhting abotu htis heppneing, and I too tried Chantix and didn't suffer any ill effects Crohn's disease wise- and I have very advanced Crohn's too.
  18. GiantShift

    GiantShift Full Member

    Sorry to hear you have it too, I know how bad it is :(

    Maybe your right, but I never had even the slightest pain in my stomach or the diarrhea/nausea symptoms before the period that I started Chantix.

    But I guess I really just want to blame something for it.
  19. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Yeah I went htrough long period where I searched for answrs and 'reasons', and tried all manner of alternative health measures to try to help myself, but none helped. I know some htigns will aggravate tyhe Crohn's, and it';s quite possible chantix triggers a reaction/flareup, but again, it's only acting on a preexisting condition if htis is hte case. In the beginning, I didn't have any stomach issues or runs or anythign either, I was just slowly, very slowly losing wieght- took a few years, then the symptoms began & I remember my family went ot all natural everythign hoping to help the ondition- but it just kept gettign worse and worse- almsot killed me- had ot have all of lower digestive tract out and 1/3 of stomach sewm shut and rerouted- had pretty severe flareups after that and quite a few more operations, and finally had to have my stomach completely reconfigured to bypass areas that were beyong repair. toward the end of last operation 2 years ago, I was only able to eat pudding as that was only hting that would stay down logn enough to get nutrition from.

    I guess hte point is htat the disease has a mind of it's own and wil ldo what it wants hwen it likes, and htere's really nothign we can do but try all manner of powerful drugs to try to stop the progression. I kept askign Docs if htere was anything I coudl do dietwise to try to help, & always got the answer "no not really- you can try, but when it's this advanced, there's really nothign that's goign to help to point where it heals up enough to avoid surgery."

    Some diets iwll help when the disease is in the begiining stages- I think the southbeahc diet was foudn to help some- but I could never stand being restricted as I was already forced into restrictions and didn't want ot add to it with soem diet that kept me from soem of hte thigns I enjoyed and could eat at that point.

    I do find though that some meds and drugs will aggravate my condition (I am weak and certain drugs iwll cause more weakness) and drugs that affect stomach certainly shoudl be avoided.

    I never did well on Chantix as far as not cravign ciggs- infact, it seemed to do just hte opposite- Ciggs never tasted so good and I found I craved them more- I took myself off Chantix, cravings diminished- went back on- increased cravigns started again- I tried htis a coupel of itmes to make sure- and each time same result- I finally just stopped takign it altogether and resigned myself to beign hooked on nicotine. That's when Esmoking found me- slowly i'm weaning myself off real ciggs- very slowly, but i'm makign progress I'm happy to report

    Note- Nicotine is not good for Crohn's- it's good however for Colitis which is similar, but not good for Crohn's and hte reason is the Crohn's is in stomach sometimes, while Colitis is not & Nic leaks into stomach and aggravates the raw portions.
  20. GiantShift

    GiantShift Full Member

    Geeze man, are you still having a lot of pain now after all that work they did on you?
: chantix, chase
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