FDA: Chantix May Pose Psychiatric Risks

Feb 1, 2008 Full story: The Associated Press 54

“It may also cause an old psychiatric illness to reoccur.”

Government regulators said Friday the connection between Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix and serious psychiatric problems is 'increasingly likely.'

The Food and Drug Administration said it has received reports of 37 suicides and more than 400 of suicidal behavior in connection with the drug. In November, the agency began investigating reports of depression, agitation and suicidal behavior among patients taking the popular twice-daily pill.

The agency's announcement comes two weeks after Pfizer added stronger warnings to the drug. In doing so, the company stressed that a direct link between Chantix and the reported psychiatric problems has not been established, but could not be ruled out. Read more

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HumanSpirit

High Springs, FL

#1 Feb 2, 2008
Think of the poor military men forced to quit smoking while in a combat zone like Bagdad, Iraq and have yet, another psychotropic drug like Chantix distort their mental abilites , alertness for the profits of a pharmacutical industry. I heard the drug also causes sleepwalking.
cassandra

Metter, GA

#2 Feb 2, 2008
I have just started the treatment and have none of the symptoms yet, how long do you take these pills and you see a change in your mood? I really wnt to quit but can you still smoke and take the pill to prevent withdraws?
jatwood

San Lorenzo, CA

#3 Feb 2, 2008
I took Chantix and was insanely anxious within a couple of days. I could tell that I was experiencing a sort of massive withdrawal, which is exactly what Chantix does by filling and blocking your receptors for nicotine. I'd quit for up to 6 months several times over the past 30 years and couldn't stand feeling like I'd had a stroke and need 5-10 years to readjust to my new level of neurotransmitters in order to remember what I am saying long enough to finish a sentence coherently. And for 30 years people had told me I was just making excuses for not wanting to quit or not having the willpower to fight the lingering urge of habit. But I knew and know that I have never been mentally ill, and was not having anything reoccur, I was just experiencing the most massive withdrawal of my life, and unable to think, focus, or function consciously period.
No one wants to admit that a large percentage of the people who still smoke are like me, so they blame the victim, again! Only once, 15 years after the surgeon general's warning had halved the number of smokers in 10 years and then basically stopped progress in quitting, did one New York Times article hypothesize that the remaining 25% of the orignal smokers might be addicted in some way that made their will power not strong enough. Exactly right, but admiting that would mean that the government would have to pay for effective levels of nicotine replacement therapy forever for those who can quit, but just can't function if they do. Much easier to blame the victim, as ever. What a tragic waste.
jatwood

San Lorenzo, CA

#4 Feb 2, 2008
anyone should still try Chantix, because it's like a miracle for many people. If you get extremely anxious, it will be as soon as you are on 1/2 to a full dosage and you will feel insanely anxious. At that point, just stop taking the Chantix, take a tranquillizer for 2 days, and then you'll be fine. It's worth taking the Chantix if you are supported with the monitoring and a tranquillizer if you get the massive anxiety - people should be warned, and prescribing docs should be ready to give 2 days worth of tranquillizers until the receptors start working again. I bet if they tested they could predict who will get this reaction (those whose nicotinic receptors desensitize in more than 350 milliseconds?) and avoid the problems completely.
But, until then, if you want to quit, try the Chantix so long as you have been warned as I just warned you in my post above.
jatwood

San Lorenzo, CA

#5 Feb 2, 2008
you cannot prevent withdrawal by smoking once you are on a full dosage of Chantix. A full dosage of Chantix fills and blocks the receptors for ciggie's nicotine. That is why those who are extremely addicted get so extremely anxious once they have titrated to a full dosage of Chantix. But just stopping the Chantix restores your receptors capabilities within 2 days. Good luck
HumanSpirit

High Springs, FL

#7 Feb 4, 2008
I think once the brain receptors are saturated with the drug you are never coming home to the person you were and will be addicted to psychotropic drug, just like the others mind drugs, and you will be obligated to mental health services and costs for other psychological and health ills for years to come..

If you have a problem on the drug you may get committed to a mental health hospital, jailed and be responsible for the damages you cause beside the possibility that you could become violent with your family or friends. Not for me!
Momof2

United States

#8 Feb 8, 2008
I take it and maybe I'm a rare case, but the only thing that I have noticed about me that has changed, is that not only do I not crave cigarettes, but I also don't crave caffeine either. I also dream every single night; and my dreams are very vivid, extremely weird; but never violent. Maybe it helps that I'm on Paxil. I love Chantix. I can't wait to add up the amount of money I will save this year. I am fully committed.
Kate

Belgrade, MT

#9 Feb 10, 2008
Can you take Zoloft with Chantix?

Since: Aug 07

Inglefield, IN

#11 Feb 10, 2008
cassandra wrote:
I have just started the treatment and have none of the symptoms yet, how long do you take these pills and you see a change in your mood? I really wnt to quit but can you still smoke and take the pill to prevent withdraws?
I quit over 10 months on chantex with just one
prescription {4 week supply} and I couldn't be happier that I did, but.
I experienced some of the side effects that people are talking about including the suicide desires.

The crazy dreams were the first thing i started
having which really screws up your sleeping
patterns but I didnt even want a cig after 5 days
so I just dealt with it.
WARNING! read this carefully please!
I have an unusual awareness whats going on with my body and I did have some pretty intense suicidal
thought for 2-3 weeks but I knew it was from chantex even though I wasn't aware it was one of the side effects. all of this happened in the middle of the night for some reason.
if you take this drug and start having suicidal
thoughts i would strongly advise getting off the drug as soon as possible.
I was just aware of what was happening from the drug and I didnt want a cig so it was kind of {no pain, no gain} to me.
its a shame this drug has this flaw in it because it really is pretty effective.
I wonder how long it will take for sheri to swoop in here with her{anti everything}that's negative towards smoking?

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#12 Feb 10, 2008
PROV1X81 wrote:
<quoted text>
I quit over 10 months on chantex with just one
prescription {4 week supply} and I couldn't be happier that I did, but.
I experienced some of the side effects that people are talking about including the suicide desires.
The crazy dreams were the first thing i started
having which really screws up your sleeping
patterns but I didnt even want a cig after 5 days
so I just dealt with it.
WARNING! read this carefully please!
I have an unusual awareness whats going on with my body and I did have some pretty intense suicidal
thought for 2-3 weeks but I knew it was from chantex even though I wasn't aware it was one of the side effects. all of this happened in the middle of the night for some reason.
if you take this drug and start having suicidal
thoughts i would strongly advise getting off the drug as soon as possible.
I was just aware of what was happening from the drug and I didnt want a cig so it was kind of {no pain, no gain} to me.
its a shame this drug has this flaw in it because it really is pretty effective.
I wonder how long it will take for sheri to swoop in here with her{anti everything}that's negative towards smoking?
You gave full disclosure and a warning. That is what people need to understand, especially from one who has taken it. Despite what you think, I am grateful that you were able to reach your goal and had the strength to endure those compulsions. Congratulations.
ADR

Philadelphia, PA

#14 Feb 12, 2008
Some adverse reactions to Chantix reported to the FDA between April and June, 2007:

INSOMNIA
ABNORMAL DREAMS
DEPRESSION
WEIGHT DECREASED
ANXIETY
FEELING ABNORMAL
ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING IMPAIRED
LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
NERVOUSNESS
PAIN IN EXTREMITY
PANIC ATTACK
SLEEP DISORDER
SUICIDAL IDEATION

source: www.adverse-drug-reaction.net
daisy

Philadelphia, PA

#15 Feb 12, 2008
Kate wrote:
Can you take Zoloft with Chantix?
you should check on websites that have drug interactions and see if it is safe
Buddy

Evanston, IL

#16 Feb 12, 2008
Good luck to all of you in your battle to quit smoking! I know it's hard.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#17 Feb 12, 2008
Kate wrote:
Can you take Zoloft with Chantix?
go here http://www.medscape.com/druginfo/druginterche...

“<insert witty comment here>”

Since: Jul 07

United States

#18 Feb 12, 2008
Momof2 wrote:
I take it and maybe I'm a rare case, but the only thing that I have noticed about me that has changed, is that not only do I not crave cigarettes, but I also don't crave caffeine either. I also dream every single night; and my dreams are very vivid, extremely weird; but never violent. Maybe it helps that I'm on Paxil. I love Chantix. I can't wait to add up the amount of money I will save this year. I am fully committed.
I'm glad somebody else is having more dreams, I thought it was just me. I started taking Chantix in December and took it for 3-4 weeks before I actually quit. When I was down to two or three cigarettes a day I knew it was time. My last cigarette was Jan. 7th and the cravings are very few and far between now. But, like you, I've noticed that for the first time in decades I'm having dreams again.
arom

Philadelphia, PA

#19 Feb 13, 2008
54 reports of Abnormal Dreams as an adverse reaction to Chantix reported to the FDA between April and June, 2007.

Some other sleep related reactions were:

INSOMNIA- 55 reports
SOMNOLENCE- 30 reports
SLEEP DISORDER- 18 reports
HYPERSOMNIA- 7 reports
SLEEP TERROR- 4 reports
POOR QUALITY SLEEP- 4 reports
INITIAL INSOMNIA- 2 reports
MIDDLE INSOMNIA- 1 report
SUDDEN ONSET OF SLEEP- 1 report
SLEEP TALKING- 1 report

Source: www.adverse-drug-reaction.net
harmony

Indianapolis, IN

#20 Feb 18, 2008
i tried chantix and after 6 wks i felt like i could kill someone i have never had a problem with depression or axiety in my life but i had no energy very depressed and felt like i just wanted to sleep all the time, i told my dr. something was not right with the medicine he stated i probably just needed a cig. he was right it beat the alternantive
Robin the first

United States

#21 Feb 18, 2008
nova0311 wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm glad somebody else is having more dreams, I thought it was just me. I started taking Chantix in December and took it for 3-4 weeks before I actually quit. When I was down to two or three cigarettes a day I knew it was time. My last cigarette was Jan. 7th and the cravings are very few and far between now. But, like you, I've noticed that for the first time in decades I'm having dreams again.
My experience was very similar. I took it for about 10 weeks before I was actually able to quit and it was right around Jan 7th of this year as well.

I've always been a dreamer but the Chantix did make them more frequent and vivid so I would remember them after I awoke. I would say that I about 1% of my dreams are normally bad and it was the same on Chantix except it was more vivid (same for the wet ones - woohoo:). I've always enjoyed dreaming and even kept a dream diary over the years so the experience with Chantix was actually pretty enjoyable for me. My dreams went back to normal about 2 weeks after I quit taking them

The previous "quit smoking" drugs I tried were nothing more than antidepressants that were found to have the side-effect of curbing the craving to smoke. I didn't like them because they did actually alter my entire mood so I new that when I quit the pills I would go back, which I did.

I smoked for 19 years and was a pack a day smoker for the last 10. I had my son in '06 and I went back to smoking about 8 weeks after I had him. Being an older first time parent I really wanted to quit so I would be around to see my son grow up and I'm glad for Chantix.
Been There

Chicago, IL

#22 Feb 18, 2008
Kate - "Do Zoloft & Chantix mix?"
I wouldn't try it & definitely talk to your doc.(excuse me if my dates are incorrect, but I think...) My husband started taking Chantix in Jan, 2007. 3 - 4 days into the regimen he was hospitalized with a racing heart. Ran all the regular heart tests & nothing. Docs came out with no real diagnosis. At the time, heart affects, Panic attacks, etc were NOT listed as a side affect. Nor was there any indication about suicide or depression that I recall. I reported to the Pharmacy, doc that prescribed Rx & the hospital. Does this mean his side affects were reported to FDA? I'm not sure or trust in the fact of what is reported, recorded, ect. Seems we need to look out for each other via blogs on sites such as Wed MD, etc. I do know doc started him on Wellbutrin (as first step to quit smoking), Chantix became available & he was not supposed to take both at same time - quit Wellbutrin before starting Chantix regimen. He did. But, makes you wonder if there should have been a bigger time span in between?
I also believe when I researched the affects on line, Chantix was just released in the US a few months prior to Jan 2007. That, in and of itself made me VERY nervous when he began taking it. The REAL issues usually are not made known until YEARS after the general population are used as guinea pigs on so-called FDA approved drugs.
He quit taking Chantix. Still smokes. And, it only took a year to pay off the $10k hospital bill!
Nate

Houston, TX

#23 Feb 18, 2008
Ok so im only 20 and have been smoking for like 3 months and really want to quit so I got this stuff but after researching it on the internet and reading these blogs im scared and wish I didnt take the Chantix. I started this morning and I dont want to go crazy and kill my self from some medication! What do I do!!

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