2009 FDA ACTION UPDATE: Since the below article's original publication on April 2, 2008 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced on July 1, 2009 that Chantix must carry a black box warning, the FDA's highest warning level. This FDA site link discusses the new warning and allows viewing of September 2009 FDA video on the black box warning update.
WARNING: As advised by the FDA and Pfizer, "If either you, your family or caregiver notice agitation, depressed mood, or changes in behavior that are not typical for you, or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away."
WARNING: Do not rely upon any information in this article, including comments made by other Chantix users, to replace individual consultations with your doctor, pharmacist or other qualified health care provider.
WARNING: If you or your loved one is using or considering using Chantix or Champix be sure to read the new patient Medication Guide released on May 16, 2008. Also watch the safety warning video clip released by the FDA on April 1, 2008 (FDA website clip in various formats or WhyQuit link in Windows Media format only). If unable to watch the clips you can read warnings discussed in the clip at the FDA website.
My brother-in-law began taking Chantix 11-07, started losing weight, tingling in fingers and toes, depressed, with anxious feelings about his health. He went back to physician and was taken off his celibrex. Was told he was just having panic attacks, was not taken off his Chantix. This man was a very happily married my of 40 years with Grandchildren. He had not, had anything happen to him to which he would have had a reason for what occurred. On 1-3-08 he got ready for work, kissed his wife goodbye, finished loading his vending van with frozen food and walked into his garage and shot himself with a 20 gauge shotgun. You have to understand, this is the most traumatic, horrific thing that has ever happen in all of our lives !!! I need help trying to help my sister get through this, as she found her husband when she came home for lunch. I"m not sure how or what to do. I am so afraid for her. PLEASE HELP US ! ! !
Lulu Marie - January 22, 2008
When Karen McGhee woke up in a hospital bed and saw her teenage daughter looking anxiously at her, she was completely flummoxed. "My arm was bandaged and the left side of my mouth and neck felt numb, as if I had been to the dentist - but I had no idea why I was in hospital," says the 38-year-old. "Then Jenna told me I'd tried to kill myself. She said her nine-year-old sister, Aynslie, had found me in the middle of the night hanging from the banisters with the pelmet from the curtains tied around my neck." Karen listened in horror as her daughter recalled how she had turned blue through lack of oxygen, and her heart stopped five times in the ambulance on the way to hospital. With absolutely no memory at all of what she'd done, Karen says her daughter's account of what had happened was like hearing about another person. "My last recollection was of being extremely happy," she says. "Just weeks before I was feeling blessed that my husband Robert had survived a heart attack. I was looking forward to the rest of our lives together." In fact, the mother-of-three from Greenock, Scotland, had developed severe depression and tried to hang herself after taking Champix..."
Daily Mail - January 22, 2008
I took Chantix last October for about 3 weeks. I was concerned about taking Chantix because it is a mind altering drug. It seemed to really be working for the first 2 weeks. I wasn't sleeping well but I wasn't craving cigarettes either. I started having terrible nightmares and I thought I was becoming homicidal. I had dreams about killing people. That really scared me so I stopped taking it.
Mac 1964 - January 22, 2008
I started taking Chantix in the beginning of Nov. last year and quit after a week. Normally a happy go lucky guy who got engaged in sept. of '07, but all of a sudden I broke up my engagement, drink every night heavily, cry at the drop of a hat and have suicidal thoughts non-stop, dropped the Chantix adn I am slowly getting better over the last week or so, but also realizing that I did so many things that I never would have even possibly thought have before, most of them terribly bad ...
Anonymous - January 23, 2008
I began taking chantix on May 25, 07. I stopped smoking on May 31. I ended up being admitted to a psych unit with "major depression" on July 22. I have always handled stressful and depressing times in the past with the help of my family and friends. Instead, I was so depressed and isolated that I couldn't continue to function.
Not once did I connect these feelings to the chantix. Hearing the news talk about "a link to chantix and depression" I immediately began researching on sites like this. Thank God for this site. I was able to put the missing piece of the puzzle in place! I have been chantix-free since my hospitalization and continue to get stronger every day. I strongly urge people to opt for other methods of quitting. Chantix has had a devastating effect on my life.
CLM - January 24, 2008
I started taking Chantix about 4 weeks ago. For the first two weeks it was great! However, I slipped up and started smoking again at the beginning of week 3.
After a few days of smoking again and not being motivated, I was planning on continuing with the medication. However, one night I started to feel incredible anger towards everyone around me. I picked a fight with my husband and bad-mouthed my step children, to the point of calling them names and declaring I hated them! I love my children to death. By the next day I was also contemplating suicide and threatening harm towards others ...
Brittny - February 3, 2008
I started taking chantix, and the first week I would get bad headaches, but I was trying to deal with it. But the second week I didn't get out of bed, I just wanted to die. I felt like I was a burden on everyone, and my husband and children would be better off without me. I stopped taking chantix and got better.
I went to the doctor, and he did nothing. But if I hadn't stopped taking Chantix, I don't know if I would have been here one more day. I have never really been a depressed person, and all this took me by surprise. Someone needs to do something!
Crystal - February 7, 2008
This drug has also affected my family. I received a call notifying me that my cousin is in jail for 3 counts of attempted 1st degree murder of an officer. My cousin is the most mild tempered person I've ever met... Good looking, excelled in school (both high school and college) and was working for a law firm... he had it all. Apparently, he made a call to 911 telling them that demons were trying to kill him, when the police arrived, he thought THEY were the demons and began shooting at them. Luckily no one was injured. I just found out today that he was on this medication... Stay away from this drug!!
Jennifer - February 8, 2008
I was fine at first, just nausea was the worst, but hey, it was worth it if I wasn't smoking. So I continued and I started getting really emotional and crying and yelling all the time. (Very depressed and suicidal) I was a mess. I hated myself, then I felt sorry for myself. It was so HORRIBLE. I took myself off the drug and within 2-3 days it was so much better. It's definitely worth quitting smoking but at what expense??
DS - February 13, 2008
This is my 3rd week on Chantix, and I plan to quit taking it. Although I have quit smoking, the side effects are too much for me to handle. I feel like I live in a fog all day. I have no recollection of the drive to and from work. I forget things all of the time. The nightmares are more like night terrors for me... I wake my husband up screaming. My vision has been blurry--I thought I needed new glasses. I have insomina and average about 3 hours of sleep a night. I am tired all of the time. I no longer have a personality. I am on an emotional rollarcoaster ride that seems to never end. I'm so depressed--I don't know how to function. I have no energy!
BEFORE Chantix, I was the happiest person alive! I would NEVER recommend this product to anyone! I do not believe enough studies were conducted on this product before FDA approval.
PT - February 14, 2008
Yeah, my doc told me only one guy in Texas had problems with Chantix. I am on week number 5 and smoking 1-2 a day. I smoked at least a pack from 14 and am now 48. The nausea was awful the first three weeks. Gas is still there. There is definately a difference in mood when you get to the higher dose, and it intensifies with every day. Depression, suicidal thoughts, pissed off at everything. Life feels pointless. I have no psychiatric history. I knew this was too good to be true. I will start reducing dose and stopping it tomorrow--hopefully I won't smoke.
Ste - March 11, 2008
I started Chantix in January and took it about 3 weeks ... But. . . I almost lost my job. My supervisor gave me 10 days to get myself together or she was going to fire me ... I knew that something was terribly wrong one day when I was sitting at a red light and couldn't figure out what to do, so I watched other drivers around me to know when I was supposed to go. I had no motivation to go to work ...
Angela - March 15, 2008
im taking chapix now , and never in my whole life have i had depression or any suicidal thoughts until yesterday , and a wave of depression came over me , didnt want to go home , just wanted to take my dogs lead and go hang myself , i talked it through with my very understanding wife, and she got on various sites , and said yes their was maybe a link to the stop smoking pills. so im stopping them and just see how it goes from there
David - March 21, 2008
I began taking Chantix to quit smoking at the end of February ... I started getting extermely irritable and "down" ... I began having bad nightmares, and this began to concern me. I was having dreams of things I would never even think about, things that have never crossed my mind. For example: I dreamt of shadows coming out of my legs that were some sort of deamon or devilish thing. I knew that the only way to get rid of these shadows was to cut my legs off. I woke up the next morning panicked, thinking what if I wasn't in a deep enough sleep and I actually went into the garage and fired up the chainsaw. This was my final straw, I thought it must be the Chantix ...
A few days went by and my craving for cigarettes returned. I thought, well I'll give it another try, maybe it was a fluke. Five days later I got into an argument with my mother, which for us is no surprise. But this time I just snapped. I decided to take a drive to clear my head. I ended up driving about 70 miles from my home. I was frustrated that I had gotten lost (at this time it was 4am). I pulled off the road after passing the same farmer's field 5 times.
At this point it's like I completely gave up. I took a pocket knife from my car, went into the woods and slit my wrists. I was in a remote location on an unmarked road in a field not very visible from the dirt road. I severed the main artery, 3 tendons and 2 nerves in my left hand and 1 tendon in my right. By the grace of God someone saw my car in the field and called 911. A police officer got to me at 1pm, I had been unconscious for approx. 9 hours. It is a miracle I am alive. I've never been one who wanted to hurt myself. I have the most amazing and supportive friends and family, whom are all baffled.
Anonymous - April 6, 2008
... After about 6 weeks i couldn't take the feeling of wanting to hide in my bedroom away from everyone because i knew my behavior was not normal. I was talking to myself, crying alot and had to no idea what was happening. My faimly talked me into quitting the chantix and i did.
A year later i wanted to try chantix again, this time i was having nightmares, sleepwalking, and had thoughts of overdossing just to make everything stop! I decided i would rather smoke and die slowly then keep going through this horrifac experiance. I DO NOT RECOMMEND CHANTIX TO ANYONE!
M.G. - April 17, 2008
I started taking Chantix in Sept. i went through the second dose pack, then had to quit. I ended up in the mental unit at the hospital, was having severe panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.
It started about a week after starting the drug but I continued taking it thinking the symptoms would go away. But they didnt. So had to stop. I have been smoke free since then. this medication will definetly help you stop smoking. But your life will never be the same. I now can not have a relationships with my children or my grandchildren because of the depression and the anger. I miss and love all of them but i dont want to hurt them.
I have had a big change in my personality, Im not the same persom anymore. I really have no feelings about anything or anybody. Its really sad to live like this. I miss my family. The depression and the suicidal thoughts are there everyday. Have been many places for help, but have not got any.
I have lost my home and the people I know I still love. This is no way to live your life. Am having chest pain and arm pain also, am still having severe panic attacks. None of the medications help.depression is getting worse. Don't want to go out or see anyone. Cant think straight. My life as I once knew it is over, I don't think I will ever get it back. I sure hope someone finds somethig soon to help.
Suzann - April 25, 2008
My brother committed suicide at age 43 taking this horrific drug one week. I was within for two days before he blew his head off. He had horrific dreams, insomnia for days, and did not know what was real or unreal, if he was in reality or a dream, or nightmare. He was a non smoker, but "dipped." He was a manufacturing eecutive, had just seen his daughter graduate from an Ivy league school six months prior, and was ready to hire his son for the summer at his company after completing his first year of college ...
A Sad Brother, Dayton, Ohio - April 28, 2008
I started taking Chantix on April 20th and noticed a severe change in my mood only three days later. By the seventh day If I had any emotion at all it was angry. I have the best husband in the world and by the seventh day could care less if we were together or apart. We have two children and by the seventh day they heard me crying myself to sleep.
I felt as if no one cared about me and I just felt like crawling in a hole and dying. I explained to my 11 year old that sometimes you just have to cry to get "things" out of your system and that I had been upset and just had to "get it out". But I actually had feelings of --well, my family would be better off without me--but I really knew deep down inside me that was not true. I only took seven days of this medication. Yesterday, on Monday I was in bed all day not wanting to live and tried to sleep the day thru. I also take Wellbutrin and Xanax ...
mmw - April 29, 2008
I have tried many times to quit smoking, without the help of drugs. Nicotine withdrawel did not cause me great harm or the horrible side effects I suffered from Chantix. You are correct in stating the drug works. But, after taking Chantix 3 weeks I had nightmares, delusions, nervousness, and pain. All these effects were acceptable. Smoking can be fatal. I pray that you never experience the biggest side effect as I did. I tried to kill myself in Jan of 2008. Thank God I pulled through. Please don't discount those who actually did commit suicide and those of us who lived thru it.
Lucky to Be Alive - May 9, 2008
I took this poison for 2 weeks, and it was the worst 2 weeks of my life. I guess it's great if you are one of the few that don't experience the awful side effects, but for most people it is a gamble not worth taking. I felt horrible all the time. Extreme depression, anxiety, rage fits, suicidal thoughts constantly, it's a miracle that I'm not in prison or 6 feet under right now.
I have quit before using nicotine replacements and cold turkey, and although I did experience some anxiety, irritability, and trouble focusing, I never at any moment thought I might as well end it all or perhaps hurt a loved one.
TNF - May 13, 2008
My father and my family have become recent victims of the rare but severe adverse reactions linked to Champix in which my father had accidentally taken his own life during what appeared to be a major "psychotic event". He had been drinking in combination with taking Champix, which appears to have resulted in hanging himself in the garden shed.
I had spoken to him only hours before, and he was his usual happy self, just settling in for the night to watch some TV and have a few drinks. He was a contented happy man with everything going for him and everything to live for. He was happily married and had recently become a grandfather and was about to become one for the second time. With no financial worries and his working life nearing an end, he was positively looking forward to his twilight years of watching his grandkids grow up and share his retirement with my mother, family and his wide circle of friends.
He had began taking Champix in early February and had reported to the family that he had suffered from some of the more common side-effects including vomiting, headaches and disturbed sleeping, but did not elaborate on why he thought his sleep had been effected. On the 23rd of March 2008, his body was discovered by my brother at the family home ...
Mark - May 14, 2008