Free Chantix? If you qualify…

Quit SmokingSometimes I take it for granted what I think people already know. I told a friend of mine that I had quit smoking on Chantix over a year ago. She said she would like to quit but Chantix was to expensive. I suggested she try to apply for help with her prescription through Pfizer. She did and both her husband and herself get Chantix for free for one year!! Woo Hoo! Isn’t that cool. So she is all excited and told all of her friends. This is what she sent to all of her Facebook friends:

A NOTE TO ANYBODY WANTING TO QUIT SMOKING! A friend of mine recently told me about a program that Pfizer offers for people wishing to quit smoking. If you meet the income requirements Pfizer will give you Chantix free for one full year! They make you re-apply every year, so technically you can get it for longer than a year, as long as you still qualify! Ed & I received our first 3 month supply yesterday! What a great deal! If we hadn’t found out about this program the medicine would have costs us $136/month each! We started the medicine today & already can see it working! Cigarettes taste horrible! You go to http://www.Pfizer.com to get information & the application! If you qualify Pfizer will send a 3 month supply to your doctor’s office, for free, every 3 months, for an entire year! Ed & I are very excited to quit smoking, we have a lot of hope that this medicine will help us do it!!! Wish us luck!!!

Go to Pfizer.com for more information.


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Thursday 13-Thursday Thirteen Frequent Side Effects of Chantix

t13-71

This list is from the Pfizer/Chantix web site.

Following is a list of treatment-emergent adverse events reported by patients treated with CHANTIX during all clinical trials. The listing does not include those events already listed in the previous tables or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those events which were so general as to be uninformative, and those events reported only once which did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening.

  1. GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS. Frequent: Diarrhea, Gingivitis. Infrequent: Dysphagia, Enterocolitis, Eructation, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, Mouth ulceration, Esophagitis. Rare: Gastric ulcer, Intestinal obstruction, Pancreatitis acute.
  2. GENERAL DISORDERS AND ADMINISTRATION SITE CONDITIONS. Frequent: Chest pain, Influenza like illness, Edema, Thirst. Infrequent: Chest discomfort, Chills, Pyrexia.
  3. INVESTIGATIONS. Frequent: Liver function test abnormal, Weight increased. Infrequent: Electrocardiogram abnormal, Muscle enzyme increased, Urine analysis abnormal.
  4. MUSCULOSKELETAL AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISORDERS. Frequent: Arthralgia, Back pain, Muscle cramp, Musculoskeletal pain, Myalgia. Infrequent: Arthritis, Osteoporosis. Rare: Myositis.
  5. NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDERS. Frequent: Disturbance in attention, Dizziness, Sensory disturbance. Infrequent: Amnesia, Migraine, Parosmia, Psychomotor hyperactivity, Restless legs syndrome, Syncope, Tremor. Rare: Balance disorder, Cerebrovascular accident, Convulsion, Dysarthria, Facial palsy, Mental impairment, Multiple sclerosis, Nystagmus, Psychomotor skills impaired, Transient ischemic attack, Visual field defect.
  6. PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS. Frequent: Anxiety, Depression, Emotional disorder, Irritability, Restlessness. Infrequent: Aggression, Agitation, Disorientation, Dissociation, Libido decreased, Mood swings, Thinking abnormal. Rare: Bradyphrenia, Euphoric mood, Hallucination, Psychotic disorder, Suicidal ideation.
  7. RENAL AND URINARY DISORDERS. Frequent: Polyuria. Infrequent: Nephrolithiasis, Nocturia, Urine abnormality, Urethral syndrome. Rare: Renal failure acute, Urinary retention.
  8. REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM AND BREAST DISORDERS. Frequent: Menstrual disorder. Infrequent: Erectile dysfunction. Rare: Sexual dysfunction.
  9. RESPIRATORY, THORACIC AND MEDIASTINAL DISORDERS. Frequent: Epistaxis, Respiratory disorders. Infrequent: Asthma. Rare: Pleurisy, Pulmonary embolism.
  10. SKIN AND SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE DISORDERS. Frequent: Hyperhidrosis. Infrequent: Acne, Dermatitis, Dry skin, Eczema, Erythema, Psoriasis, Urticaria. Rare: Photosensitivity reaction.
  11. VASCULAR DISORDERS. Frequent: Hot flush, Hypertension. Infrequent: Hypotension, Peripheral ischemia, Thrombosis.

Post-Marketing Experience:
12. The following adverse events have been reported during post-approval use of Chantix. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

13. There have been reports of depressed mood, agitation, changes in behavior, suicidal ideation and suicide in patients attempting to quit smoking while taking Chantix. Smoking cessation with or without treatment is associated with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the exacerbation of underlying psychiatric illness. Not all patients had known pre-existing psychiatric illness and not all had discontinued smoking. The role of Chantix in these reports is not known (see WARNINGS).

Get the Thursday-13 Code here.



Smoking Cessation Resources: Quick List

Here is a Quick List of Quit Smoking sites on the internet. This is by no means a complete list but some of my favorites that helped me along the way:

QuitNet
WhyQuit
American Cancer Society -Nationwide network of free local quit lines at 800-QUITNOW, questions answered by e-mail, message boards, brochures, other information on quitting smoking
American Lung Association -800-LUNG-USA-Freedom From Smoking online program, information about quitting smoking, facts about lung diseases and treatments, more
Chantix
Smokefree.gov
National Cancer Institute -877-44U-QUIT-Detailed information about tobacco and how to quit, surgeon general’s reports, live messaging service at Cancer.gov/Help
Nicotine-Anonymous.org -415-750-0328-List of local meetings in the United States and worldwide, publications in nine languages

Quit Meter
FREE >>> Download SilkQuit v2.60 for Microsoft Windows << FREE

One Year Smoke Free!!!

Yay! Yippee! I made it. It’s official.

Tough decisions we make.

Tough decisions we make.

On January 1, 2009 it was one year without a cigarette. According to Quitnet.com that is equal to
Your Quit Date is: 1/1/2008 10:00:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 371 days, 7 hours, 10 minutes and 16 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 12995
Lifetime Saved: 3 months, 9 days, 6 hours

Now that is awesome! Thanks to Chantix, lots of prayers, and good old determination, I haven’t given in to any cravings to smoke for over a year! It is truly a miracle and I am soooo grateful.

I was scared that I couldn’t quit. It seemed I was doomed to a short life of smoking forever. Then a long came Chantix and I tried it a couple of times. The first time it made me sick and I thought. Forget it. I don’t want to throw up all the time. It’s not worth that!! Then I remembered that Chemotherapy makes you throw up. There are no easy choices here. So I tried it again and this time I resolved myself to the fact that indeed I was going to throw up and I would just have to change the way I walked into my building at work so there was bushes near by to vomit in so now one would see me. Yuk, I know but…I was determined to quit this time. I didn’t care if I threw up every day, I knew I had to quit. I wanted to quit.

Fortunately, the nausea doesn’t last that long and I never did vomit in the bushes. But, the fact that I was willing to do that, to go to any length to quit smoking was something I had never done before.

I gained weight pretty fast, like 20 pounds the first month. The second month I gained 7 pounds and that was it. I have not gained or lost any more weight. Losing weight, depriving myself of anything is not on my agenda today. Today, I don’t smoke cigarettes. Period. That’s it. I’ll diet, deprive myself of food or chocolate later. I suppose if I gain any more weight I might have to think about a ‘Diet’, but not now. As long as I am eating healthy and walking a couple of miles a day, then I’m not worried. I read once that a person who quits smoking would have to gain 70 lbs. to do the damage to their heart, etc. that smoking does. Wow! 27 lbs is a long way from 70!

I’ll write more later. I plan to include tips and “How to’s” the entire month of January. So check back often. And if you have started with Chantix, hang in there. It really does work.





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Coming Soon: One Year Without a Cigarette

On November 19, 2007 it was the ‘Great American Smokeout‘ and I had decided to try once again to quit smoking.  I didn’t think I would make it through the day but I was doing something different this time. I had decided to try Chantix.

Now you may be asking yourself, wait a minute, that was over a year ago. What happened?

Well, I was doing fantastic. Not smoking, cravings weren’t bad, so I decided to quit taking the Chantix. That’s typical of me. I find something that works and I quit doing it. Kind of like walking with my dog for 30 minutes every day. I felt great when I did that so I quit doing that! Why? Who knows.

Anyway, back to quitting smoking with Chantix. I quit taking it and 18 days later I was smoking again and it happened to be on January 1, 2008. I thought that was funny too. I started smoking on New Year’s Day. Most people quit on New Years. So, January 2, 2008 I smoked my last cigarette at 10:00 a.m. on my way to a Doctor appointment that had been scheduled a while back to discuss my Osteoporosis. As it turned out, we discussed that and my quitting smoking. He gave me a new Rx for Chantix and sent me on my way. I started on the Chantix again immediately and haven’t smoked a cigarette since. I have been off the Chantix since April, 2008 and I am happy to say, I am somewhat sane and still smoke free.

Yes indeed, I am a living miracle. It is almost as if I never smoked and it’s almost as if I never quit. Does that make sense? After smoking two packs a day for 27 years it’s hard for me to truly believe that I am a non-smoker. After this long without a cigarette, it’s hard for me to believe that I ever smoked at all. It’s very strange. I am looking forward to my one year anniversary without a cigarette. I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement from my children and family and friends.  I do have my moments when all I want to do is light up once again, but it does pass eventually. Don’t believe them when they tell you the cravings only last a few seconds and then pass. Some of mine have been days of crying and cursing, wanting some relief. It is God’s grace that has gotton me this far.

I have had many dreams where I smoke and I am always so relieved when I wake up and realize it was just a dream. That is how this last year has been for me, a dream, but a happy one!


Cravings Never Go Away-The Non-Smoking Journey Continues

Cravings Never Go Away-The Non-Smoking Journey Continues…

Okay, here goes nothing. I haven’t written for so long I think I may have forgotten how. I am still smoke-free and it has been …hang on a minute, I have to go check my calculator for how many days now. I know it has been 9 months, but not sure on the days… 294 days, 1 hour, 57 minutes and 9 seconds. Well now that is pretty awesome isn’t it?

Tough decisions we make.

Tough decisions we make.

My weight is still the same, no more, no less. I am still taking the Thyroid medicine and now have added Lipitor, 40mg, for my Cholesterol. Uggggh! Being in denial about my health was so much easier, and cheaper. Of course, denial allowed me to continue to slowly kill myself with cigarettes. Not where I am really at now a days.

Being a non-smoker is pretty wild:

  • I can complete a project without hurrying through it so I can go get my fix, i.e. scrapbooking.
  • I can go on a trip in a car with non-smokers and not feel bad for making them pull over every two hours so I can get my nicotine fix.
  • I can walk in the woods with my camera and take pictures and not have to keep taking breaks to get my nicotine fix.
  • I can be totally relaxed in the movie theater and watch the entire movie without trying to figure out how I can go out and get my nicotine fix.
  • I can just BE. I can BE in the moment, BE where I am, BE who I am, BE with my children, BE with my Dad, BE with my friends. I can just BE for hours and hours of sweet, relaxing, peaceful, and serene joy.

It sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well, it is great. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my moments of cravings, the “deep in the pit of my stomach, gonna die if I don’t have a cigarette,” type of cravings. That was only about 30 days ago. So, yes, cravings never go away, it just goes into a sort of remission and from time to time it will rear it’s ugly head again.

I have thoughts about smoking probably daily but I don’t dwell on them and feed them by focusing on how great it would be to feed my addiction one last time. When I have a thought, I push it out of my mind as fast as I can so I can move on to the next thought that is about something else all together.

This will be a lifetime process I am sure. I just hope the thoughts aren’t quite as frequent, like every day. Every other day will be good. It has slowed down some, it was every minute in the beginning. I am still very grateful that I had Chantix to help me through those times. It helped me until I could help myself. It was a miracle drug and I have no regrets for using it. I feel blessed that I could take it and not suffer from the side effects that some people have been through.

But for the Grace of God go I…

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Chantix: R&D Chief MacKay’s Personal Opinion

Pfizer Research Chief’s Personal Take on Chantix
Posted by Scott Hensley
With questions about the safety of anti-smoking pill Chantix hurting sales, Pfizer’s head of R&D took to the opinion pages of the local paper in support of the medicine over the weekend.

Martin Mackay

Martin Mackay

Martin Mackay (pictured) wrote in the Day of New London, Conn., about his firsthand experience with the health toll of “cigarette addiction, having watched both of my parents smoke for most of their adult lives and my mother die of lung disease.”

His basic message was in keeping with points the company hit last week in a roundtable meeting with journalists. Quitting smoking is important, but hard. Chantix, despite some risks, remains a safe and effective option, in Pfizer’s view.

The drugmaker has upgraded the cautions on Chantix’s instructions to advise patients to stop taking Chantix in case of agitation, depression, or unusual behavior. Thoughts of suicide are a particular worry. A heightened concern about risk from Chantix led the FAA to ban the use of the drug by pilots and air-traffic controllers last month.

In his Chantix defense, Mackay couldn’t stop with data alone. He invoked some hometown pride in Chantix, one of Pfizer’s “homegrown” medicines.

The active ingredient in Chantix was invented by scientists in labs in Groton, Conn., on the eastern bank of the Thames River. On the opposite shore, in New London, other Pfizer workers designed and ran the clinical tests that led to the FDA’s approval of Chantix in May 2006. Pfizer employs 6,000 people in the area.

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