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A Chantix Diary


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For those of you interested in quitting smoking, alot is being said about the new drug Chanitx. I've tried to quit now for over 4 months. I had thought I was home free since I had quit for about 3 weeks, but things happened with my ex gf, and work, and I went right back to smoking like I hadn't missed a beat. I was using the patch, and gum. Previously, I had tried Welbutrin without success, so Kaiser Permenente suggested Chantix. Since it's so expensive, Kaiser is only willing to pay for it if you have tried the patch, and Welbutrin before. I'm also required to attend weekly smoking cessation classes. The classes haven't started yet, but will on Oct 1.

 

So, I just picked up my meds today, and popped the first 1/2 pill. I was ordered to take 1/2 pill for the first 3 days, then 1/2 pill twice a day for 4 days, then 1 pill twice a day for 11 weeks. BTW, with my co-pay the 60 tablets cost me $25. I have 2 refills.

 

So, for those of you interested, I'll try to keep this updated to see if this works. I talked to the lady at the pharmacy, and she told me it was almost miraculous in her 20 year 2 pack a day smoking habit. She's been smoke free for over a year. So here we go........wish me luck.

 

I'd also like to hear from others with any experience with Chantix. Either yourself, a family member, or a friend.

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I used Champix (Chantix) to give up smoking, you still need willpower but it is nowhere near as hard as going cold turkey. I had been smoking for 14 years, I smoked roll your own cigs without filters, I was a pretty heavy smoker 40+ a day. I would still be a smoker now if it wasn't for Champix and it only costed me $10 for 3 months worth thanks to the Australian government

 

-------------------------------------------------------

 

Lindy - Free and Healing for Three Months, Twenty Two Days, 14 Hours and 53 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Days and 22 Hours, by avoiding the use of 4585 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,990.00.

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Hey there, I figured that since this is a Chantix thread, I'd post my own experience.

 

I was a smoker since I was 17. It started out light (one pack over three days), and then I became a heavy smoker by age 20 (a pack a day, and by age 27 I was smoking a little over a pack a day).

 

I tried lots of things to quit. Cold turkey worked once for about 2 months. But I went back. Tried the patch, but it made me feel sick and sweatty all the time. Just not a good experience. Then I heard other people tell me that they took Chantix, or knew someone who was on it, and was successful in quitting smoking. So . . . I tried it.

 

I only survived for 3 weeks on it.

 

By the end of the first week smoking turned into a useless activity. I really got NOTHING out of doing it. It was like smoking a piece of cardboard. Ciggies didn't taste the same, and I just didn't get that "ahhhhh" feeling when I smoked. I stopped completely by the end of the first week. I think it actually was the 8th or 9th day.

 

Then came the side effects.

 

Crying spells. Depression. Over-tiredness. I took a day off work just so I could sleep in. On one Saturday I slept 'til 4pm.

 

I stopped after the 3rd week because of the side effects. I was miserable. I'm sure the pill affects everyone differently. So I'm not trying to discourage anyone. Just telling my story.

 

Anyway, despite ending treatment early (you're supposed to stay on it for 12 weeks), I am still smoke free.

 

Yay, so that's my story!

 

I wish all the luck to anyone trying to quit. Remember that it's NOT impossible to quit, and that quitting is not always as difficult as you think it is.

 

Oh, mine cost me $5 per fill.

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Okay.........Its DAY 3, and I'm still smoking so far. Maybe a little less than the past few days, but I've been smoking so irratically the past few months, that I don't know if this stuff is working. Tomorrow, I'll start my 1/2 pill twice a day dosage. The doctor and pharmacist told me to just keep smoking for the first week or so. She said by then I'll have almost no urge to light up. I dunno, seems too good to be true, but what the hell. I want to quit anyways. So, just an update for all those interested.

 

PS-I've felt NO ill effects from Chantix so far. Let's hope it stays that way. I've read plenty of HORROR stories about this drug.

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Oh, I guess I should add some more useful information.

 

I started smoking at 17. Since I was a swimmer in high school, and year round actually, I didn't smoke heavily at all. The summer after high school though was a time of HEAVY drinking, drug use, and smoking. Seems like a beer and a smoke go hand in hand. Anyways, while in the first year of college, depending on how hard we partied that night, I'd go through between 1/2 pack to 2 packs a day.

 

I tapered off when I left college, maybe smoking 1/2 pack a day for 5 years. For the past two years, I've been at right about a pack a day. Sometimes a bit over that, depending on stresses at work, or with my ex.

 

All in all, I've been smoking about 12 years. That's about 11 too many. I really enjoyed it for the first year, and actually really enjoy it after dinner now. But when I quit for about a month just this year, I can't believe how HORRIBLE smokers really smelled when they came in the room. No wonder my ex, who smoked maybe 2 cigs a week, hated when I'd come home from work late and want to cuddle. Gosh, it must've been such a turn off. Anyways, to get myself back in shape, (and to get my ex back) I'm dead set on quitting for good. I want to get my swimmer's body back, and had been well on my way before. I just got stressed out and gave up hope. I feel I'm at a crossroads at this point. Either, I stop smoking and get back in shape, or forever become a smoker. No other choices. I guess I feel desparate to quit. Crazy I know.

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I have quit smoking now for 13 months. I was a smoker for 6 years. I did the cold turkey route though. My husband used Chantix, he was a smoker for 10 years. After the first week he was down from a pack in a half a day to just 2-3 cigarettes a day. Then he was able to quit completely. He said he had no urges or cravings.

 

A lot of Chantix side effects can also be withdrawal symptoms. The only side effect my husband experienced was weird vivid dreams.

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To the OP...I tried Chantix...had a horrible panic attack as a result...just blew up, throwing things, breaking things, then a crying bout for 2 hours. My doctor immediatley took me off...he said about 10% of people experience this!

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^^ KG, I never told you I stopped taking it after a couple days.

 

For the couple days I took it, I felt very "withdrawn..." Just wanted to sit around and not interact. Not me!

 

OP, you mention half a pill. Here, we get cards with the pills in them. Starts with 1 pill a day, then 2... You mention your dr had you taking half a pill. How many milligrams is the pill? I just find this interesting and wonder if starting with less milligrams and working up to a full pill then two would have made a difference.

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^^ KG, I never told you I stopped taking it after a couple days.

 

For the couple days I took it, I felt very "withdrawn..." Just wanted to sit around and not interact. Not me!

 

OP, you mention half a pill. Here, we get cards with the pills in them. Starts with 1 pill a day, then 2... You mention your dr had you taking half a pill. How many milligrams is the pill? I just find this interesting and wonder if starting with less milligrams and working up to a full pill then two would have made a difference.

 

1mg pills. Today I start 1/2 pill in the AM and 1/2 in the PM. From what I've heard 2 pills a day is what a lot of doctors prescribed when it first came out or shortly thereafter. The concensus (by patients on message boards) is that is too much.

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^^ KG, keep me posted on what the dr says!

 

Golden - just for clarification.... When you take half, it's .5 mg, right?

 

KG, the packet I got started off with .5's. Did yours?

 

Yeah...i thought it might have been 10, but it's 5. Darn!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, I've not been consistent on posting here. So here is the Reader's Digest version.

 

I kept taking the Chantix as prescribed. I continued smoking as prescibed as well. I did notice the cigs tasting badly, and I wasn't that satisfied with them. But, I still wanted to smoke. In fact, it seemed I smoked MORE with the medicine. Maybe since they were less than satisfying, I kept wanting more.....I dunno. But, all in all, I think the medicine did take away the physical cravings, but didn't take away the behavioral cravings. Anyways, my 'quit day' with the class was October 8. I'm happy to say, I haven't smoked once in those 3.5 days. Sometimes, especially after dinner, I'll get a BAD craving, but I tell myself to think about something else for 5 minutes, and after 5 minutes I'll allow myself to feel the full craving in all its hellish glory. This trick, IMO, is more powerful than the medicine. After 5 minutes, I never think about the craving I put off. I most of the time go for another few hours until I remember that craving. This has been the key to me being successful thus far. Delay the craving. Promise yourself that you'll take a time out for 5 minutes. It works great. But, I'm continuing to take the medicine, and I do believe it has some merit to it. Last time I tried to quit, it was pure hell. This time seems fairly easy. So, I have no doubt its doing its job. Miracle drug? I don't think so. Anyways..........

 

I've been fairly depressed this last week. Is it the drug? I can't say. I've just really been down about my ex and the situation with her right now. I don't know where its going, and that's hard to handle at the moment. The situation hasn't changed for awhile, but this past week has been VERY hard for me. Maybe it is the Chantix. I'm not sure, but I can't wait for this feeling to be over!

 

So, now that I'm a non-smoker, I've started to do some 'non-smoking' activities. I started swimming again, today I just went hiking for 4 hours. I'm actually enjoying the hell out of this non smoking thing. It feels good to be 'freed' from the figurative chains that smoking is. No more planning events based around smoking, no more worrying about smoking in parks (against the law here), no more worry about pissing people off with the smell of smoke. In fact, my friend who still smokes smells HORRIBLE. Its really starting to get to me. Did I really smell like that? What a turn off for my ex. No wonder she didn't like kissing me after I came home from work. I REEKED!

 

The classes. At first, I was thinking how horrible the classes would be. How pissed I had to 'waste' 2 hours of my day every week. But.............as I've gotten to know the people in the class, I feel some sense of being honest, and I feel I need to do my part and not smoke. There are people that are more serious than I am, and I know I'd somehow let them down if I went back next week and tell them that I smoked one. I could lie, but knowing them, and sharing so much with them, I'd feel horrible about that. It's so much easier just to stay quit. So, the classes are working and helping as well.

 

Now, another side effect of the Chantix is the dreams. I'm having CRAZY dreams. So vivid and detailed. Full technicolor type chit! But I dig it. Yeah, I really am digging the crazy dreams! In fact, its hard for me to get out of bed in the morning sometimes because I just want to lay there and dream more. Weird, but true. LOL.

 

Anyways, If you're trying to quit smoking, I'd say this has worked for me so far. I can't say the Chantix is the miracle drug lots said it is, but I'm smoke free so far. I think in combination with the classes and learning different ways of coping with cravings, and the support of the people in the class, that's what makes it successful for me.

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Okay, just an update for those still interested.

 

It's been over a week since I've quit smoking. It was easier than I thought. The depression is still here. A lot of thinking about my ex. Anyways, I just had an incredible urge to smoke one. The first REAL urge since I quit. I bummed a cig and lit up. I smoked about 50% of it before throwing it out. It was about 49% too much in my opinion. It tasted terrible, and I hated every drag. Maybe I needed confirmation of what I've been 'missing', but i don't see myself smoking ever again. That bad.

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I've tried many ways to quit. I still smoke. Not a lot but it's still in my life. I am very active so I'm hoping I will someday really want to quit badly enough for it to work.

 

My Chantix story, side effects immediately and overwhelming to the point where I was entertaining suicidal thoughts. Finally I couldn't stand it any more and called the doctor. I had to not only stop taking it but immediately start taking welbutrin and go to therapy.

 

The story has a happy ending, my life has been improving every day since. So I still smoke, it'll come around again, no need to make myself miserable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Off the Chantix.

 

I was starting to get depressed. It was starting to suck, and I quit taking it and told my doctor. I'm now taking Wellbutrin for smoking. Plus, since I have ADD, it's widely used as treatment for that as well. Kill two birds with one stone.

 

Anyways, the cravings for smoking have been coming back a bit since coming off the Chantix. Powerful medicine. It really did the job with me, but damn, something's just not right with that drug.

 

Well, I'm still smoke free at this point. What is this now 3 weeks? Yeah, 3 weeks and I've only smoked 1/2 cigarette. Ahead may be the hardest part............Staying quit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still going well Golden? You've done a great job!

 

Questions for those of you that have experienced agitation, depression, mental stress while taking Chantix. Has anyone asked a doctor if they just stay on .5 mg twice a day if that might lessen but still work? Just curious.

 

My mom quit using Chantix. Since she's been so successful with it and been nicely onto me about smoking, I am giving it a huge effort. Plus well... smoking is Trashy!

 

And! ______________________________________

 

I'm on day 7 of Chantix. Taking .5 mg / twice a day. Will start the 1 mg's Saturday and I'm a bit scared.

 

I'm still smoking - since the dr's advised smoking til 7th day is fine and works well while letting your body get used to the meds... I smoke much less. One before work - a few in the evening. No more smoke breaks at work though. I think Saturday will be my first day - No smoking.

 

I'm feeling really different all together.

Nighttime (10pm til ?) - Used to hang out on my porch, chatting on the phone and smoking.

Morning - Used to get up and sneak outside before getting everyone else up.

 

Now, I go to bed about 930. Fall asleep quickly (I've never been one for going to bed early.) Have my awesome vivid dreams all night. Sometimes toss and turn a bit but the sleep I'm getting is better than in a long time. Start waking up at 5:30 am but kinda lay in bed thinking but restfully until 6/630.

 

Smoking is such a waste of time (I always knew that but it's been proven this week.) And money... it feels so good not having to go buy cigarettes... (such a nuisance!)

And health...

 

Hope you continue to share your progress Golden!

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Well, since I quit the Chantix, the cravings have come back. Nothing that I can't fend off with my coping strategies. The Wellbutrin is GREAT. I'm concentrating more. I'm feeling a bit more carefree......I hesitate to say happy.......but things kinda just roll off my back now. All the emotions of trying to win my ex back, my job, etc, are thoughts, but I'm dealing with them better. I don't like Chantix at all. I was really dwelling on the bad stuff all day with it. But, man does it work. Like a light switch!

 

I hope you're taking some kind of classes. I was skeptical at first, but really got a lot out of it. That helped me more than anything.

 

I'm still smoke free. 30 days today! 600 cigs saved, and somthing like $200.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well, since I quit the Chantix, the cravings have come back. Nothing that I can't fend off with my coping strategies. The Wellbutrin is GREAT. I'm concentrating more. I'm feeling a bit more carefree......I hesitate to say happy.......but things kinda just roll off my back now. All the emotions of trying to win my ex back, my job, etc, are thoughts, but I'm dealing with them better. I don't like Chantix at all. I was really dwelling on the bad stuff all day with it. But, man does it work. Like a light switch!

 

I hope you're taking some kind of classes. I was skeptical at first, but really got a lot out of it. That helped me more than anything.

 

I'm still smoke free. 30 days today! 600 cigs saved, and somthing like $200.

 

 

how is your progress going?? Hope you're still fighting the good fight!

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Still not smoking. If that's the fight ur referring to. The other fight, I'm just not strong enough to fight.

 

 

Yes, I meant the smoking fight...lol

 

 

I think too many of us are too weak when it comes to fighting the 'other' fight...but we shall trek on!! ](*,)

 

 

Congrats about still not smoking...That's a hard battle to deal with!

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