Scary Chantix Story

This Is My Brain on Chantix

I’d heard it was the most effective stop-smoking drug yet. So I took it. Then those reports of suicidal ideation began washing in.

I have read a lot of the stories about what happens to people on Chantix. This one is very scary, but for me I see a common thread in all of them. DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE TAKING CHANTIX! Also, this guy had some weird nightmares which I have not experienced, maybe that is related to suicidal ideation. At any rate this is something that everyone should read if considering taking Chantix. Just be aware if this kind of stuff happens to you to quit taking it or call your Doctor immediately. Fortunately, I and several other people I know who took Chantix did not have anything near this type of side effect.
Let me know if you have experienced anything like this guy did when you were taking Chantx. Everyone that has commented or other blogs I’ve read about Chantix has been nothing but praise for this ‘Miracle Drug’. I’m curious if this is more Media Hype because it is something that really works! Please post you experience with Chantix. Thanks!

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36 Responses to “Scary Chantix Story”

  1. Joan Johnson Says:

    This Pill has changed my life and not for the better. Mt twin Sister along with my older sister – we all decided to take the chantix drug. After 4 weeks we all became very sick. Leg aches – our feet felt like they were being crushed. So tired could not get out of bed. Terrible dreams – lossing our hair. I thought I was having a heart attack. This medication has ruined my last two years of my life – along with my sisters. We have been doctoring every since. Thyroid problems are the one thing we have figured out and not been able to get under control. There were many days I was in so much pain I just wanted to die. I would never suggest this drug to any one. This needs to be taken off the market. They owe me 2 years of my life back – and who knows how much longer I am going to suffer. Please think good and hard before taking.

  2. emctara57 Says:

    Oh Joan, Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry you had a bad experience with Chantix. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

    Everyone who decides to try Chantix needs to be aware of the risks involved. It is such a new drug that you don’t know what all the side effects really are. This Thyroid problem is news to me and I have been trying to follow the effects of Chantix for quite a while now.

    Again, thank you for making me aware of this and I wish you and your sisters the best of health and God’s Blessings.

  3. Anja Says:

    Was prescribed chantix by my family dr. I had no history of pshychiatric behavior and am/was a totally mental and physcial healthy human being. Was nervous about getting drug rx filled. Ask pharmacist if there were any horror stories, she had none to share but I was still nervous about filling. Gut feeling was so bad, that I wrote a note that said, if anything happens to me, blame it on the chantix, put it into a top drawar in my house in case anything bad happened. I asked my friends and they just said be careful, its a weird drug, but they didn’t provide specifics on the weirdness mainly bad dreams. Ended up taking drug for 2 weeks and ended up in the emergency room, had ALL symptons of heart attack. Drs say I have a heart of an 18 year, thank god, but I know if I had one tiny flaw in my heart, I would have had a heart attack. ER drs said it was severe panic attack from nicotine withdrawal (yeah right, I smoked when I wanted to). My chest/heart was sore for two days after my ER visit. Started taking chantix on 1/18/09, stopped taking chantix on 2/4, went to ER on 2/5 and had severe panic attacks w/ pshcho behaviors until 2/27, if this would have continued, then I wouldn’t have wanted to live……went on short term, lost wages, and now have astounding ER and Dr. bills. This drug is dangerous and drs and pharmacists need to recognize. I should a went w/ my gut feeling

  4. EMC Says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Anja. I am amazed at all the different side effects I have heard about. I agree with you though, always trust your gut! God Bless You!

  5. Tara Says:

    I started taking Chantix last week, and so far so good…..we will see what the results will be….the warning on the package did say it does disrupt sleep and can cause other problems….my quit date is on Sunday the 8th….let’s follow and see where the story goes from here huh? I am scared to quit, but I am more scared of getting cancer, so hmmmmm..right???

  6. EMC Says:

    Oh Tara! You go girl! I hope you read all my stories on quitting smoking and Chantix. I quit over a year ago on January 2, 2009 and I could not have done it without Chantix. I gained 30 pounds and have hypothyroid, (which I didn’t have before) but that is all. Big deal compared to Lung Cancer! I wish you the best and please do keep me informed on your progress! Quitting smoking was the best thing I have ever done for me. Blessings!

  7. Tracey Says:

    Chantix is a miracle drug and I would recommend to anyone who wants to quit smoking. I smoked for almost 30 years starting as a kid and after 2 weeks on chantix, I just didnt think about cigarettes anymore. I did not think I would ever be able to quit but I am so glad I tried chantix. Luckily I had none of the bad side effects not even the nausea. I feel like I am embarking on a whole new life as a non-smoker and it feels great.

  8. Jason Says:

    I give the drug some credit, it worked for me! I am 33 years old and smoked for 15 of them. As of the last couple years smoking heavily. It was nothing for me to hammer down 2 1/2 to 3 packs a day depending on the stress level at work. Cigarettes ran my life!! I got a rx for chantix a year ago but never filled it after hearing stories about the negative sides of it. Beginning this year I decided enough is enough. I have tried the patch and gum in the past with no success so I talked to my dr about it again and got another rx. Jan 31 I took the first pill, at the end the first week I had cut down to about 6 a day. I was impressed. I started having weird dreams but didn’t pay much attention to it. I had known about them going into it so I paid close attention what I watched on tv. After the second week the cravings were no longer there. I work with people who smoke alot, when they would light up it wouldn’t bother me in the least. Wow! I thought I would never see that day. My dreams were still there and around that time the paranoia slowly started to kick in. I have always been a easy going, confident person. The anxiety and paranoia kept getting worse and worse to the point were my marriage was suffering. Relationships with other family members weren’t the same. I would go from being a loving husband and father, to a raging lunatic in a matter of minutes. When I tried to quit smoking in the past I would get the mood swings and being on edge. This was something totally different. Something was not right. A week a ago today it got worse. I walked around like a zombie not knowing whether I was coming or going. Staring at the wall without a thought going through my head…. is that even possible? Start crying for no reason at all.My wife and I went to a work function of her’s at the end of last week. The whole night went well we had some drinks and were having fun. Towards the end of the night I took some things that were said by people there the wrong way. Out came Mr. Hyde! I was accussing my wife of doing things she didn’t do! I wouldn’t let it go. That was my whole problem I couldn’t let anything go! It drove me nuts! We got home fought some more! I ended up leaving in a rage I have never felt in my life. I did things that night that I wish I didn’t do. Nobody is got hurt physically, But close enought to scare the crap out of me. I haven’t taken a pill since. It has only been 4 days, so to early to tell. I’m just lucky enough to have a wife that loves me enough to not leave my side and help me through this.

  9. EMC Says:

    Thanks Jason, Alcohol is not an option with Chantix. Period!!!!!


  10. EMC Says:

    Thanks for sharing with us. I agree, it is a miracle drug but, some people cannot take it, because of the side effects. Congratulations and I am still smoke free!! Keep me posted. How long has it been for you since your last cigarette?


  11. vanessa Says:

    I will agree that after 10 years of smoking, I was willing to try anything to quit. My doctor had prescribed me Wellbutrin, which had no effect on me, positive or negative. Months later a visit to the doctor resulted in me getting on Chantix, although it was not covered by insurance because it was such a new drug, I was willing to foot the bill in order to quit. The first two days I was a zombie! Couldn’t concentrate and felt like I had taken some sort of sleeping pill. I will say, though, I had, finally no cravings for a cigarette. I honestly was AMAZED. I quit smoking before the recommended time because I had no desire to light up…but. During the second week the “drugged feeling” went away and I started to halucinate. I would hear a voice saying my name, very faint that I passed it off as my imagination and I would also see things out of the corner of my eye. I stopped taking Chantix a week later after I started having dreams so vivid ( i really think I was awake) I was afraid to go to sleep. Dreams where people would be telling me to do bad things. Chantix definitely took ALL the cravings away, but I wasnt willing to give up my peace of mind, my sleep…I can honestly say that Chantix was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. Would not recomend to anyone. Shortly after quiting, I heard the story of this guy who shot his neighbor while he was on Chantix?? Long story, but I really can understand how that could happen. Its a drug that should not be on the market. Scary shit.

  12. EMC Says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Vanessa! That sounds scary. You did the right thing not taking it any more. I wonder why some people have such awful side effects and some don’t. Interesting stuff and I think it definitely needs more research.

  13. Adrienne Says:

    I was thinking about taking Chantix, but have a question? Maybe someone can help…Once they stop taking it, after all these bad things happen. Does the urge to smoke come back or do you remain not wanting to smoke because you have already over come that period of “i need it”?

  14. EMC Says:

    Great News Nikki!!

    Adrienne-the urge to smoke is always with me but, since I quit in January 2008, I have only had one “urge” that I gave in to about two months ago and I puffed on a cig and it tasted like crap and I through it out the window. Without Chantix I couldn’t have quit after all these years and I am amazed everyday I wake up and am not a smoker! It is a great feeling and even with the side effects I would do it all again. It’s a lot better quality of life now.


  15. carrie523 Says:

    I’ve been successful on Chantix for 10 months, gradually decreased the dosage over a two month period to .25mg and then zero for the past three days. And it is definitely not without its side effects, though I haven’t experienced the common nausea related ones – just sleep disturbance and mood effects. And now, the coming off the Chantix phase, I’m just hoping some of the mood disturbance and labile states do go soon. I’d be interested in comment from anyone else who’s taken Chantix over a longer period than the 12 or 24 weeks.

  16. George Says:

    This is my 4th day and no side effects so far, and I already start to feel “not need to smoke so often as i do”, i’ll try to keep you posted.

  17. EMC Says:

    Way to go George! Keep up the good work. It does get easier. Please keep me posted. I will have two years on January 2, 2010. Chantix works!


  18. Cris Says:

    Today is my second full day on Chantix. No nausea, no bad dreams, just a little dizziness for about 5 minutes after I take it. I can already tell that the urge to smoke is going away. I think about smoking a cigarette, then almost as quickly, forget about it.

  19. AK Says:

    I started Chantix on 12/7/09. I set the start date for one week later and chose to quit on my quit date a week later, although I did after the second day smoke 1/2 the amount or less. Today is day 10 on Chantix. I have been naucious, but funny enough it seems to happen at trigger times…almost eliminating the desire to smoke. I agree with Cris, the urge may come and it’s gone within seconds. This has been a success for me so far. I also enjoy wine normally and haven’t had the urge to drink my “nightly couple glasses.” I was really worried about taking Chantix coming from a long history of severe depression and alchoholism. I’m paying close attention and so far side affects are manageable! Some vivid dreams and tossing and turning. I’m not sure I’ll need to continue to take it twice a day for the next 3 weeks.

    I wonder if it’s okay to just take one pill a day…

  20. Nickee Says:

    I just started Chantix today! I am super excited to quit smoking, but will admit that after carrying the drug around and reading those side effect warnings over and over, it made me a little scared to try it. I took it at 10 AM, it is now almost 4 PM. I too experienced a little dizziness after taking it, but it wore off after a few minutes.

    Now I just have really bad cotton-mouth!

    Anyone else experienced that?

  21. EMC Says:

    Congratulations! You go girl! Yes, cotton-mouth goes with it. The dizziness goes away after a few days of taking it. Hang in there and I wish you the best!


  22. EMC Says:

    I only took one a day and it still worked for me. Two was just way too much for me. I wish you the best and hang in there!


  23. Jen Says:

    Hello, I started the Chantix challange yesterday. I have had a bit of the dizzyness but not too bad. I did heara story of a man on Chantix acually had blackouts after takeing it. Totaled 2 cars and almost died from blackouts while driving. Thats scary! I had myself down to 1/2 pack aday before i started and yesterday I only had 7. Yeah for me… I just hope none of those other side effects come along!

  24. Becky Says:

    Started taking Chantix 6 weeks ago, stopping today. Agitation has increaed to where I feel so guilty at the end of the day for yelling at my children for the most littlest things. Constantly nervous and shaking, agitated with intermittent periods of a depressed mood sensation, no sex drive whatsoever, and occasional muscle aches. The other milder side effects were easily dealt with since I figured not smoking definately outweighs these. I actually enjoyed the dreams…until I woke up every hour or so and find myself back in the same dream once I got back to sleep. A week ago I went to the doctor due to thinking I had strep throat. I had all the signs and symptoms of classic strep. Culture negative, it did go away until 2 days ago. I noticed my throat would get moderate swelling with nasal passage swelling also about an hour I would take my Chantix. The swelling would eventually dissipate over time and would be time again to take the next pill. After doing some intense research the past two days, I am throwing them away. I am not weaning like I had originally planned. Being a nurse tells me instinctively that this is a moderate reaction to this drug. I do not want to expose myself, even to a lower dosage secondary to fear of possible anaphylaxis. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else had this same issue! Most of the people I work with and family has succeeded with this drug. I think quiting cold turkey will be easier than this and I wouldn’t be in fear of the side effects of a drug.

  25. johnnycakes Says:

    I started taking chantix a few weeks ago and i havent had a cigarette in 3 weeks. However, while i am amazed at how easy it was to quit, im scared of the person i have become on this. The dreams are absolutely horrible, so violent and vivid it scares the hell outta me. Next is the depression, i just dont want to do anything anymore, and its effecting my job, marriage and social life. I stopped taking the pill today because its just not worth it to live your life like this. Anyone taking or thinking about taking it please at the 1st sign of something wrong stop taking the pill immediately.

  26. Nathan Says:

    So I googled how to get chantix free or discount found this and got really excited. I was aware of the side effects of the drug, but some of these stories have scared me. Not so sure I am into it. Also I read that I need to fill out an app to get it for free. Which from what I understood I qualify! However I need a doctor but have no insurance, so it puts me right back into not being able to get the prescription. Ideas?

  27. Connie Says:

    I am so scared to try this. I have felt so motivated to quit smoking after my Dad passes away a yr ago at the tender age of 55 from sudden massive heart attack.
    I really want to quit but know that I need help in doing so. These stories scare me! I got the RX a week ago and have been nervous to start it. I was planning on starting this morning, but got on here to read stories, and they are terrible! Maybe I can quit cold turkey after all. As the mother of 6, life is stressful enough without adding the side effects this drug has.
    Please let me know what you think.


  28. EMC Says:

    I can’t tell you what to do but, what I think is that Chantix works! If you really want to quit smoking take Chantix. If you don’t really want to quit then don’t bother taking it because you’ll be wasting your time. You can try it and if you start to have side effects just quit taking it. It is worth a try because it works and not everyone has these extreme side effects. With every drug there is a risk but for me the risk is just that…a risk, continuing smoking guarantees an early and sometimes painful death. For me, it is work the risk of side effects from Chantix rather than the alternative, certain death. I hope you at least try it if you really want to quit. Good luck on your quitting journey whatever you decide.


  29. MR Says:

    I have been a smoker for 10 years and I have struggled with the idea of quitting for some time now. I know in the near future my husband and I will have kids, so I want to quit now while I have the option of Chantix, then get pregnant and be forced to quit cold turkey. Lukily, my grandmother a smoker for over 50 years had huge success with quitting on Chantix. I also know a few other people that were able to quit just fine. I recently got my prescription, I am on day 5 and so far so good! I set my quit date one week from my start date, but only being five days in, I haven’t had a cigarette in over 24 hours… I’m ahead of schedule and I really hope that I can keep this up! I’m not going to lie, after ready these stories, I am kid of afraid of what the weeks ahead have in store for me.

  30. Parker Says:

    Its true you do dream about killing yourself .

  31. Anonymous Says:

    EMC stop encouraging folks to take this mind altering drug. I have been married 35 years to the most loving and dedicated man now I am married after the Chantrix Crap! to an argumentative,don’t care about anything person. This drug has a permanent result on your brain as you will never be the same! and he is not! its like living with someone with a brain injury. Everyone notices the difference and and I am completely sad and longing for my old husband back cigarettes and all! We visited my in-laws on T-Day and his Mother was shocked by the non responsive individual. SO PEOPLE DON’T TAKE THIS DRUG PERIOD! you wont be the same remember it blocks the dopamine in your brain the pleasure area that cigarets influence well guess what it blocks EVERYTHING permanently! no getting better!! I repeat the side effects are permanent! You may not smoke anymore but there is no guarantee that cancer wont show up even after you quit so go cold turkey patch anything but stay away from this drug!! EMC you may think nothing happened to you but reading your posts? well dear your a tad argumentative and I am sure your closest friends will say the same! the thing is you don’t realize it just as my husband so good luck to you sorry you took the drug but don’t think for one minute that Chantrix does nothing permanent!

  32. James Bardsley Says:

    Just started this week. I have been a smoker of 25+ years, and have had issues with tightness and soreness in chest for past 2 years, constantly. It is very mild, but always there, and more nagging than anything. I have had CT scan, Chest Xrays, EKG’s, Nuclear Stress Test and a Pulmonary Function test over the past year and a half. EVERYTHING shows up as normal, no issues with either my cardio or pulmonary systems. This makes me want to quit even more, but still unable to put them down…
    Anyways, started Chantix this week, on my 4th day today. I have found that the first 3 days, my smoking picked up MORE than normal. I am thinking this is a mental thing, my body bracing to be going without any at all…??? Day 4, my stretches between smokes have become greater, I do not feel the need to have one as often. My wife smokes, which makes it harder on me, as I am still around smoke constantly. She does smoke outside, so it isnt taking over the house, but still there, just the same. I have gone cold turkey before, and actually cut down to 3-4 smokes a day, and have even had days in between with none, but the habit always lingers in the back of my mind. Hoping this will kick it.
    No side affects to this point, with the exception of feeling a little spacey. No nausea, no dizziness, no thoughts of jumping off the 12th floor rooftop here at work… Will continue posting.

  33. tlc101 Says:

    After finally choosing to try Chantix this past June, I have nothing positive to say about it. Only took it for 3 wks, but very bizarre behavior the third week. So much that I almost left my husband, I DID lose my job (good job too). I was not back to my normal self for at least a month. Seemed like forever. Maybe Chantix is ok for some, but you just never know unfortunately. My experience was life altering! Picking up the pieces now.

  34. Jerry Savary Says:

    I must chime in here. I was on Chantix for a month and had a extremely bad go with it. After a week I was off the smokes but on some very intense vivid dreams night after night. To a point I did want to sleep. When awake I still could see my nightmares. I turned to my wife and told her I just wanted to die. Dreams so severe that I woke up clutching my chest and breathing very shallow. A dream of being hit by a car and could feel the pain of dying to my flesh being torn slowly from my body. My whole attitude did a complete 180. violent mood swings. Black outs. I finally threw the med away and called my doctor. Still feeling the very intense and agitated even anxiety meds are not helping. The only thing that is keeping me functioning is my two kids (seven and a year and half). I have heard two positive comments of this med and about thirty negative.

  35. Tim Callihan Says:

    I am on day 31 of Chantix. Even though I’ve been keeping up with the many posts (good and bad) about this drug, I can say that the side effects that I’ve been dealing with have been manageable/tolerable. Upset stomach for 20 minutes or so after taking, Sleep disruptions (I wake up every two hours or so but get right back to sleep), as for the dreams I was actually looking forward to experiencing SOME of what I’ve read but my dream patterns really haven’t changed. I do get mood swings but I’ve been able to identify the when/why/how and have managed to keep them in check. The absolute worst side effect is the amount that I sleep. After eating dinner at 6:00-6:30 by 7:30-8:00 I’m out like a light. If I’m doing anything besides sitting on the couch watching TV I’m OK, but if I sit down I’m in dream land.
    It did take three weeks or so for me to totally quit but cut down tremendously shortly after starting.
    Needless to say I would recommend Chantix to people who want to quit smoking.

  36. Megan MR Says:

    My husband and I decided to quit smoking together. We went to our own doctors, both of them prescribed Chantix to us without mention of any dangerous side effects. My husband started on Monday and I started on Thursday. That night I woke up with an excruciating headache. I took some over the counter pain relievers and went back to bed. When I woke in the morning I still had a headache, I was tired, yet jittery, I felt nauseous and just not myself, like I had taken cold medicine. We had event tickets that night. Despite how I felt, we still decided to go. I never took another Chantix pill. I started to feel myself again after a few hours there. My husband on the other hand was not himself. He was uncharacteristically irritated about the schedule of events, I felt like anything I did or said pissed him off. At one point he was so mad at me (for nothing) that he left and said he was walking home (22 miles away). I expected him to come back, but he never did. The only conclusion I could come up with was that this was the Chantix. I didn’t even know where to start looking for him. I did my best, but eventually gave up. I was convinced I’d be making a missing persons report the next day. Not until the next morning did I find out that he had a full blown psychotic episode that night. He spent hours walking the streets, visiting bars and trying to get a hotel room (they were all booked). He has large moments in time missing from his memory (black outs). He eventually took a taxi home and decided to spend the rest of the night in our garage. While in the garage he had hallucinations of flashing lights, fire and tarantulas crawling up his legs. He said he removed his clothing and put it back on several times and spent hours talking himself out of his overwhelming urge to kill himself. Eventually he came to the realization himself that this was the Chantix. Had he not realized this, he probably would have killed himself that night. Neither one of us have ever had any mental health conditions, we were just trying to better our lives for our 4 year old son. This was all just last weekend. I can only hope there are no long term effects after just 5 days of taking it.

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