Monday, August 18, 2008

Stopping smoking and the danger of Champix (varenicline) and alcohol

I have helped a lot of people stop smoking over the past few years, although my own struggle with cigarettes continues to be tempestuous!

I used a medication called Champix (varenicline) successfully in 2007, and gave up for seven months, but unfortunately started again. I used Champix a second time in June 2008, and have discovered some serious side effects, so much so that I can no longer recommend its use.

I was aware of the depersonalising effects of Champix, and associated these with the sleep disturbance, but while we were on holiday, one evening when we’d all been enjoying a few drinks, I experienced what can only be described as a psychotic episode. I could not explain this episode at all; up until then I had been pretty happy, enjoying a much needed break.

As you might imagine, I was pretty upset about what happened, but discovered by chance when doing some research for a teaching session on suicide that the mix of varenicline and alcohol can be extremely dangerous.

Recently there has been some discussion over the death of the musician Carter Albrecht, who was shot by a neighbour following his use of alcohol with Champix (known as Chantix in the US). Albrecht, best known as a member of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, started taking Chantix in late August 2007. He was well liked in the community, and had no prior history of violence. Immediately, Albrecht began to complain of vivid, hallucinatory dreams (a Chantix side effect). One night about a week after he started taking Chantix, Albrecht had a violent encounter with his girlfriend.

The episode occurred after Albrecht had consumed a couple of alcoholic drinks. Albrecht’s girlfriend reported that he was confused, and did not recognize her. Before the night was over, Albrecht had been shot dead by a terrified neighbour on whose property he had trespassed. After Albrecht’s death, many other Chantix users complained of similar episodes of violent or suicidal behaviour, especially when they had consumed alcohol. The Chantix label does caution against alcohol use, but it does not warn that drinking alcohol while taking Chantix could lead to violent or suicidal behaviour. Furthermore, Chantix’s reaction with alcohol has not been studied in clinical trials.

This page shocked me. Read some of the stories, and you might begin to imagine what might have happened while we were on holiday.


UPDATE: There is now accumulating scientific evidence that varenicline is associated with thoughts and acts of aggression/violence see these articles - 

Thoughts and Acts of Aggression/Violence Toward Others Reported in Association with Varenicline

Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others


113 comments:

  1. Well..I used Champix and so far it worked. I had to stop after about 2 1/2 weeks. My personality has changed drastically and I can only hope, as this drug leaves my body that I will regain who I was before.

    I refuse to go back smoking. I will not do that now, it's been over 2 weeks and I know I can do it.

    My biggest concern is what long term effects will this drug have on those of us who did take it??!! Scares me.

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  2. Well I am not sure guys, as after suffering severe depression and alcochol and drug abuse, that we can use champix as an excuse. I have been taking it for over 8 weeks now and to be honest with you the only side effect I have encountered are strange dreams and a bit of heartburn, but perhaps you would be quick to say I was having a heart attack or champix had created a monster?? What about ROACCUTANE? Have you seen the effects that drug has on people. Easy to blame a tablet on psychotic behaviour, however as we read in the press yesterday, even facebook creates such reactions so why blame the tablets? I would say "stop being a weirdo and get on with life and if you stop smoking through it then good, but if you kill someone and blame this drug which cannot be possibly to blame, then you deserve what you get" Don't forget how many people have killed people through drink and drugs alone without having to come up with crap that oh the tablet the doc gave me to help me stop smoking "WHICH YOU ASKED FOR". WISE UP PEOPLE, THE ONLY PERSON CAN HELP YOU WITH SMOKING IS GOD.

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    Replies
    1. God is a smoker.

      Delete
    2. You say God will help you quite smoking what a lot of bullshit.
      If you want to quite you will do it and if you need help doing it great,
      I am a normal guy who has a mental illness and 5 voices in my head every day and yes I have heard that this pill is very important on one side but very bad on the otherside. I have been informed that I can not take this pill because of my illness because one of my voices is very bad and will hurt people so that's my thoughts on this.

      Delete
    3. You say God will help you quite smoking what a lot of bullshit.
      If you want to quite you will do it and if you need help doing it great,
      I am a normal guy who has a mental illness and 5 voices in my head every day and yes I have heard that this pill is very important on one side but very bad on the otherside. I have been informed that I can not take this pill because of my illness because one of my voices is very bad and will hurt people so that's my thoughts on this.

      Delete
  3. hello,i`ve been using champix for seven months and have not had a cigareete in six.my only concern is that i am nearing the end of my supplies.what will happen then?

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  4. I wasn't aware of this side effect until my sister pointed it out to me after having one such psychotic episode.

    I don't remember much of it either, my partner and I were drinking quite heavily that night and having a really fun time. He made a comment about an ugly dress and that was it.

    I am not making any excuses, I can get a little hot headed at times, but this was far beyond the spectrum of normal.

    The psychotic episode was so that we, who were very much madly in love, are no longer together because of the hurt that I caused my partner, not to mention the violence.

    June have you ever thought that you might be a bit ignorant? Drugs affect people in different ways and to have such naivety on a topic that has more and more evidence to back up these findings astounds me, not every thing is black and white as you may think it to be.

    And yes I have since stopped taking Champix and will be consulting my physician on the topic to rule out any underlining mental issues that Champix may have surfaced.

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  5. To anonymous:

    My heart goes out to you; I'm really sorry you had such a terrible experience. What you describe is so similar to my experience - to be so utterly out of character is frightening.

    I hope you are able to make sense of what happened and move on.

    Luckily my family have been really understanding about what happened and shocked to read similar stories.

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  6. Hey guys ive been takeing champix for 5 weeks now and i have quit totaly

    unfortunelty i have suffered from a heart attack.. Ive never had problems with my heart before and feel that this pill is somehow link.

    Had anyone else suffered from mild to very strong chest pains?

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  7. To anyone else who hopes to spam this blog with adverts for champix, please note your comment will be deleted.

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  8. My best friend(45) is taking it as well. She was drinking red wine yesterday and ended up being extremely confused, not knowing which direction to walk to go to toilet, not recognizing her own house when we brought her home, not knowing where she was and having some serious halucinations!!! She is my best friend and I know how she behaves after having some drinks-we really worried about her!!!! I have never seen her in this stage!

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  9. To the person with chest pains, sorry I didn't respond earlier. I hope you took medical advice. I'm not aware of any link between Champix and cardiac function, but nothing would suprise me.

    To the person with the 45 yo friend - I really hope your friend recovers. At least she has a good friend in you who understands it is likely to be champix that has contributed to her being disorientated.

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  10. I used champix and haven't smoked for a year now. Honestly, I was reading some of the posts and it amazes me that those of you who had 'episodes' because of mixing alcohol with champix....why can't you just do without alcohol for a few weeks??? If the pack says they don't mix...don't drink! You shouldnt drink with antibiotics either....do you????? Common sense never goes astray huh?

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  11. Jan, in principle you are absolutely right. However, as far as I was aware, the packet did not warn against alcohol then - hopefully it does now.

    I appreciate your sentiments, but wonder if you'd rather I did not post something to warn about the real risks involved?

    I'm glad you successfully stopped smoking, too, and I know Champix has helped a lot of people. My concern was that the drug was released without being fully tested.

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    Replies
    1. There is no warning about alcohol on the information leaflet, I too suffered a serious psycothic episode and attack someone, I thought I was going crazy, I couldnt understand what happened or why, I am so glad I came across this blog, Im still mortified and ashamed but dont feel like im going insane now

      Delete
  12. champix ,, it works the side effects are not nice , cramps , fluid retention ,not sleeping , deppression and more depression not good i think the best way to use this tablet is for 4 weeks only then use your will power once you stop smoking its up to you ... thats what i am doing as i do not want to loose my job out of depression or my boyfreind out of depression and lack of sex drive..
    .. this tablet has some serious side effects not good.. but nit its used for a very limited amount of time well and good ... goodluck everybody

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  13. CHAMPIX .. SHOULD ONLY BE USED TO GET YOU TO STOP SMOKING ... THE REST IS UP TO YOU WILL POWER AND WILL POWER IS FAR BETTER ... AS I HAVE NOTICED SOME SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS AND THEY ARE NOT GOOD..

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  14. I HAVE BEEN TAKING CHAMPIX FOR 6 WEEKS AND A BIT, NOW I THINK THIS IS ENOUGH TIME, AS HAVE NOTICED SOME SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS.. DEPRESSION .. DEPRESSION AND MORE DEPRESSION . FLUID RETENTION . LACK OF SLEEP AND PLENTY MORE TO ADD TO THE LIST.LACK OF SEX DRIVE, LACK OF EVERYTHING , ALL I WANT TO DO IS MOP AROUND AND BE MISERABLE OR AGRO,STOMACH CRAMPS, CONSTIPATION SHALL I GO ON EXTREMELY SORE TEETH AND ITCH SKIN , THAT IS NOT HEALTHY ITS A BIG WORRY INFACT, I WOULD NOT DARE MIX ALCOHOL ,AS ON PACKET SAYS WILL EFECT DRIVING , IF THEY EFECT DRIVING , WOULD BE TWICE AS BAD WITH ALCOHOL , DUE TO THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THESE TABLETS I DO NOT WANT TO LOOSE MY JOB OR PARTNER OR MY LIFE THE LONGER YOU TAKE THESE TABLETS THE WORSE THE SIDE EFFECTS GET I WAS A HAPPY PERSON SO I HAVE DECIDED TO STOP TAKING THEM FROM NEXT WEEK AND WEEN MY SELF OFF THEM . AS THE DOCTOR TOLD ME THEY ARE FOR TO GET YOU TO STOP SMOKING THATS ALL ,MIND OVER MATTER, WILL POWER, POSTIVE THINKING .GIVE IT A TRY .AND . GOODLUCK ....

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  15. In general, don't mix alcohol and medication period. Even alcohol and something as innocuous as Tylenol (ibupfrofen) can be extremely damaging to your system (your liver can sometimes convert this to morphine when alcohol is present). I am not sure why it is not an explicit disclaimer, but your doctor or pharmacist should inform you of the risks of all medication and alcohol. In general, if you are on a prescription just forgo the cocktail. As for champix, I have heard the same things about Zyban (bupropion HCL) which is just another name for the anti depressant wellbutrin. I am a champix user, I have nothing but good things to say. But at the same time, this is not candy, and there will be side effects. Adding other chemicals such as alcohol or recreational drugs will most likely have exasperatory effects on potential side effects. Alcohol is a drug as far as your body is concerned, and it will complicate things. Even if you do not experience outward symptoms, alcohol and champix is probably not a good idea for your kidneys or liver. Best of luck to everyone trying to quit smoking.

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  16. Hi folks.

    Has anyone been prosecuted for anything they've done whilst under the influence of these pills. I had a psychotic episode at the end of august, after taking them for a month. I attacked my girlfriend, assaulted her several times and then passed out. When the police arrived, I was asleep and when they woke me to put me in cuffs, I assaulted them too. In the end it took 4 of them to arrest me. I have never been in any trouble with the law - not even traffic violations. I have lost my girlfriend, flat and job and am now facing 12-18 months in prison for ABH, assaulting officers and threats to kill. . I remember none of it, I only have good memories of the evening in question. I emailed Hugh about 2-3 weeks ago, but got no response.
    Can anybody help? I need expert witnesses, Or just people who have been in the same situation. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!!
    Thanks, Nick

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    Replies
    1. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago..i am now waiting on my 2nd court appearance for assaulting 3 police officers. Champix should show health warning on packaging. This could ruin my life, may even end up in prison. I have never in my life been violent. Feel so ashamed.

      Delete
    2. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago..i am now waiting on my 2nd court appearance for assaulting 3 police officers. Champix should show health warning on packaging. This could ruin my life, may even end up in prison. I have never in my life been violent. Feel so ashamed.

      Delete
  17. Nick, please contact me on h.palmerAThull.ac.uk I didnt get your email via my google mail account.

    I'm really sorry you have been through this. I will be happy top help - only hope I'm not too late.

    Best wishes

    Hugh

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi
    My husband was taking champix and for the first few weeks was on a high and very very silly to the point our 6yr old grandaughter commented.. grandad has an unusal mmood??? when i asked what she meant she said ummmm happy ( not that he was grumpy to start with) then about wk 9 went realy depressed and fed up with life. On a works night out he had an very agresive row with his boss which is so out of character for him hes so laid bk as a rule but the thing is he cant remeber a thing about it, he has now stopped taking champix and we hope his mood lifts when it is out of his system.

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  19. I am on my third week and smoke free for 6 days now. All was well just nausea until I drank a far bit of alcohol last night and today after getting him something to use next year i thought why did I buy that he might be killed before then. It horrified me to think this he is my whole life and totally proud of me for quitting.

    so i am wondering Alcohol and Champix probably don't go.

    If I think like this again i am going off them

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  20. 3 months on Champix. 11 weeks without a smoke (20 a day for 25 years). Have drank alcohol as I usually do (too much!), worked, laughed and been fine. A lot of what I am reading here is association. My car wouldn't start, only a week after starting Champix - do you think theres a connection - course not. If it makes you feel ill, don't take it, but as someone who has quit cigs cold turkey before, all of the symptoms I read here, I suffered from, Champix actually made it more bearable. Withdrawal from cigs always sent me a bit psychotic - could go from fine to screaming temper fit in seconds - without Champix, hence this, for me, is what I recognise as nicotine withdrawal.
    However you quit, good luck to you, its not easy, but it is worth it.

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  21. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/psn/transcript.cfm?show=90#3

    Update - in the US, there is a FDA warning about this drug - to all the people above who said these effects are merely nicotine withdrawal or co-incidnece, perhaps you were wrong.

    Sadly the UK is lagging behind.

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  22. Here is an update from Health Canada regarding the use of Champix. It was updated January 06/2010

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/medeff/champix_pc-cp-eng.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  23. My partner started Champix a meer 8 days ago. We sat down to relax with a couple of mid week drinks, after only a few, he flew into a rampage with verbal abuse that I can only refer to as disgusting. He suffered a 2 day hangover with vomiting and body shakes and has no recollection at all of the events. Over the weekend, this happened again, only this time, for no apparent reason decided that he would end our perfectly happy relationship. I don't know where he is as he won't answer his phone.
    This is not him and I blame it soley on Champix.

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  24. I am devestated and worried sick, especially after all the 'google' research I have done. I even spoke to the company that makes it and the "DR" told me that this is a side effect of the drug! Why prescribe it to people, yes it stops them smoking but the events over the last few days has made me wish he never started it. I would rather he spent $100 a week on cigarettes that be like this. Its heart breaking to watch and to be part of.

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  25. I have changed since taking this.I do not want to talk to people,just want to be left alone. Bad dreams,depressed,short temper

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  26. http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/13492/chantix-suicide-side-effects-34.html

    Things are hotting up

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  27. http://www.metro.co.uk/news/830021-casualty-actors-attack-on-girlfriend-caused-by-smoke-drug

    Worth reading

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  28. I'm here because I was looking for the side effects of stopping Champix. I've smoked for 33 yrs and have quite with Champix, one and half months smoke free so far. I've stopped taking them because I needed proper sleep. The dreams were tollerable at first but I couldn't function anymore without a full night's sleep. Anyway, I've been off the pills now for about 3 days and find that the littlest upset makes me cry. I am a sensitive person but I don't think all this weeping I've been doing is normal. Can anyone comment on coming off of Champix??

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  29. Well done for quitting. My advice is to stick at it for a few more days, because you should soon readjust. If in a few days you are still getting easily upset, go and see your doctor and let him or her know about it. If you can't cope, please do talk to someone, and avoid alcohol for the time being.

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  30. Thank you but things are not better today, I think they're actually worse. I'm on vacation this week and so far have done nothing but sit here and cry or sleep. What a waste! I've now faught with my neighbours, my daughter in law and my son. It's taking everything in me not to have a cigarette. I called and spoke to a pharmacist who suggested seeing my doctor for something mild to take. I don't want to take any more pills. I've thought of going shopping as a distraction but my eyes are so swollen I don't want to be in public. Besides I'm likely to to cry at the the first person who looks at me. Is this a side effect of the pills??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's a side effect of nicotine withdrawal. It is a highly dangerous and extrememly addictive drug. Read Allen Carr's easy way to give up smoking - it works.

      Delete
    2. hi i started taking champix and within a few days i started to get severe stomach pains and the skin on my hands was peeling(very painful), i tried to eat before taking champix but still got stomach pains. i quit on 7 th day, was very agitated and sleepy, i lasted 3 days of no smoking. i went to DR's bout stomach pains they took me of champix there n then, i thought that was the end of it but no two weeks later i still have sever stomach pains feel like vomiting, last two days i've woke up with pain head eyes are sore n light sensitive and have a painful neck. i wish i had read what other people have sad;y gone through on this drug before i started it. PLEASE PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING OF TRYING CHAMPIX GET AS MUCH INFO FIRST.

      Delete
  31. Me again, talked to my doctor and I'm now on Wellbutrin. This is insanity!! I bawled talking to the pharmacist who said you need to talk to you doctor. I said "I just did and here I am now talking to you!" Why can't anyone answer the simple question "Is it the Champix or is it possible something else is going on?? I paid for my prescription and then picked up a pack of cigarettes. I'm not crying anymore!

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  32. This is my third attempt with Champix-i went out and had a drink the other day- and that is all I remember. My husband said I was very angry and yelling all evening. I don't rememebr a thing. Needless to say, i stopped again, but still suffereing fr depression and leg cramps.

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  33. I have been taking champix now for 6 weeks, i stopped taking them for a few days and had no cravings at all but was in a room with a smoker at a party and had a couple of cigs and really they had no effect on me at all, back on the champix now and going strong! I will say that im a heavy drinker and yes they do have an effect with alcohol and my friends tell me that im more aggressive than usual. I flipped out last week and started arguing with a couple of close friends and it was very verbal. I also use recreational drugs too and I find that I dont get the same effect from them, but hey ive given up smoking!! but because of the personality changes if i could reverse it I would. the problem i face now is when to actually STOP taking the blue pill??

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  34. Hi, My daughter and I were both using champix, I had tried to give up smoking several times without success, found champix was working so recommended them to my daughter. After taking them for about 6 weeks I realized that every time I phoned her we we were haveing the nastiest arguments by this I mean spiteful and vicious . Decided to google Champix and after reading reports advised her to check side effects, we boh stopped taking champix she is still smoking I have not smoked for 12 months have gained 10kg and am still very emotionl lack motivation am frequently self pitying. I have always been a positive active person and wonder if thes tablets obviously control a certain part of the brain responsible for cravings therefore how long does it take for this medication to completely leave the system. I refuse to go back smoking have started exercising and trying to control my eating habits. My major concern is how long these side effects stay in our systems?!!!.
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  35. Hi
    Going back early in 2009 I went to my doctor about my snoring as it so bad my partner could not sleep in the same room, the doc advised me to give up smoking first, as a smoker the specialist would not see me and blame it on smoking also said it could be the cause, so he prescibed me ZIBAN WOW!! that completely screwed me up mentally and physically thought I was having heart attack my hands uncontrollably shaking, wandering around not knowing who I was or where I was, couldn't`t hold a conversation just very erratic high and happy one minute low and crying the next WOW!! had to just drop them after 1 week, so I left it for quite a while before trying again, so about March, April 2010, I went back to doc and he put me on CHAMPIX, did not read side effects as I didn`t with ZIBAN as I didn`t want to be influenced by them, at first just a bit of nausea and bad constipation got over the nausea by eating an hour before taking the tab, constantly feeling tired so so tired, got a bit wacky but I never took much notice and I didn`t feel I was doing anything nasty to anyone but others did notice, any way woke up one morning and for the first time in my life I had ACHNE( I am 48 years young) well tried some achne treatments but nothing worked slowly it started to fade but 1 spot didn`t on the side of my face by my jaw this spot had gone pussie inflamed and very painful so of to the docs and he gave me Flucloxacillin for an ABSCESS and that is where it all started, I have had 5 Abscess 1 I had to have surgically removed as it was so big it had 4 heads on it and I named it th PIT BEAST and that is what it was a beast, all the abscess have been near to a gland never just on my arm leg back tummy but on my face near my gland in my neck, 2 under my arm, 2 in my groin and I am now on my third course of Lymecycline (Antibiotic) for another 2 months so I have had since early July 2010 five courses of Flucloxacillin and 3, 2 months course of Limecycline. In September 2010 my teeth started to feel uncomfortable gums a bit sore at times but didn`t think much of it until January 14th and my gum was inflamed and noticed the gum had receded from mt tooth (bottom front) visit to dentist and she says could be gum disease so I had a course of Afluxacilline I think thats what the tab was called.

    I still get very tired and I`m still suffering the abscess, I am also 3 stone heaveier as my body functions just stopped working it was awlful, but each time I had to see the stop smoking nurse she denied any of the suffering had anything to do with CHAMPIX, so I read up on it myself and it all has to do with Champix ok I haven`t smoked since 19 July 2010 and I feel I would never smoke again but they should admit to the side effects and deal with them not deny them I have about 6 package leaflets so why are they lying and yes there was also the eratic crying and I still just cry for nothing or get very growly with people but I am learning to deal with my feelings when I get like that, but I am not always able to so people get growled at now and again.


      Giving up smoking was suposed to improve my health but I don`t feel healthy, ok I can now taste my food and smell wonderful smells but I don`t feel healthy.

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  36. I started taking Champix on 17th January and was really impressed at how easy it was to quit smoking. I didn't any real side effects until during the 4th or 5th week when I forgot to take them for a couple of days. I was decorating at the time and suddenly felt extremely scared about climbing a ladder, convinced that the rungs were going to give way. I was irritable and anxious and my poor boyfriend didn't know what had hit him. When I realised I hadn't taken the Champix for a couple of days I took one and within a couple of hours I felt much better so I knew then that I had experienced withdrawal from Champix. I have since stopped taking them after gradually reducing the dosage but I am angry all the time and feel generally depressed. I did feel a little better after I started taking multivitamins & minerals a week ago and increasing my water intake. However, I have felt particularly bad today and woke up at 4am this morning with an awful paralysing stabbing pain in my stomach. Interestingly, I don't normally drink a lot of alcohol but last night I had about ¾ of a bottle of Jacques cider and today I could have fallen out with my own shadow, I was so angry. I got into an altercation with an assistant at B&Q and had a major row over the phone with my son. I am totally convinced that cessation from taking Champix, with or without alcohol, can have a serious effect on cognitive behaviour.

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  37. I have been taking Champix for a couple of weeks and yes, there are strange and vivid deams (one night I felt that I had worked all night rather than slept).
    As for alcohol, much discussed here, I was surprised that beer did not taste good any more and that I am down from three or four (Canadian)a day to less than one (no regrets!).
    As for smoking the reward you get from smoking (particularly within the first few hours after taking each pill) definitely declines and the existentially tormenting and physically overpowering urges to grab the nearest damned thing that can be smoked are very much reduced.
    But the bottom line is that I have a very strong addiction (and it is not to beer) and I have to want to quit!
    I quit cigarettes a decade ago with Zyban (more than a pack a day). If Champix can do for my cigars (up to 10 a day) what it did to my beer, I will be delighted.

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  38. Firstly, thank you for the post Hugh. At the very least now, I know what is causing this miserable feeling. It's 1030 Monday morning and I can't get out of bed to go tO work. I have been on champix for about 6 weeks now and haven't smoked for 4. The first month was great - a miracle drug I thought! Yes, a few vivid dreams but I would rather those than lung cancer or heart disease. In the past week things have changed. In short, I can truly say I haven't felt this down my whole life. The sad thing is I've got no reason to feel like this. Everything in my life is going so well. Suicidal, is a strong term, but I can imagine how someone with a volatile mind to begin with, would be susceptible to such thoughts. On Saturday night I went out with some friends and had a few drInks! I had trouble communicating with my wife the next day!. Confused. Paranoid. Scared. Hallucinatory. Severlely, I repeat, severely depressed! Do not mix alcohol with champIx people! I wonder how much longer this feeling will continue? 30 hrs later, am I still feeling like this because the alcohol is still in my system?

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  39. To the last person commenting - I'd suggest you stop taking champix and see your doctor. She or he will probably need to fill in an adverse reaction form to report these side-effects of champix. I hope that you will feel better soon; you should recover over the next few days, but please seek medical advice. Well done for giving up cigarettes, though!

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  40. my boyfriend has been taking champix for a little over a week now, there are no warnings against alcahol on his pack. I double checked after he had a completely out of character episode last saturday night after a few drinks. the next day i spoke to him about what happened the night before and he does not remember a single thing. Its quite frightening and i worry for him as he is working with machinery on high buildings and i wonder if the effects could carry on while on the job.

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  41. I actually went through all these comments before i started taking champix and was thinking, this is ridiculous, how could a tablet make a person go on like that when mixed with alcohol, grow up!

    But... I drank two nights ago and i dont remember a thing, i was told i went on like a lunatic. I remember nothing and woke up the next morning feeling like i was dying. I also seen photos of myself from that night and it was like it wasnt me, my eyes were very empty. To tell you the truth im a little scared.
    Im an honest and very loving person, never ever in my life been in trouble with the police or anyone for that matter. I cant explain it, im just really glad nothing really stupid happened and im not locked up!!!

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  42. hi
    I smoked for 56 years a pack of 20-25 aday. Took champix and havnt had a smoke not even a puff for 16 months. But, at week 9 I had 2 days of extreme anxiety - I thought this was severe cravings coming back i rang my Dr who advised to stop the tabs as he said the drug had saturated my brain. He advised to stop for 2 days and then go back on 1/2 dose. I just stopped and felt so good I didnt go back on the tabs. Hey! I cant beleive that I am a non smoker after all those years of severe addiction.Just hope there is no long term probs with the drug.

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  43. Champix certainly stopped my nicotine craving/addiction but like so many others it also caused some serious side effects. Aggressive behaviour, depression way beyond anything I have previously experienced, loss of temper over minor issues that normally would not bother me and culminated in a psychotic episode 4 days after finishing the full course. Unfortunately this occurred during a work conference and now my entire career is in jeopardy. I had drunk 2 small beers and 1 glass of wine with dinner and not wanting to spend the whole night at the bar drinking heavily with colleagues I went to a quiet pub 10 minutes walk down the road. I had 4 pints and a cheese burger, a friendly chat with some locals and a game of pool. I then headed back to the hotel and thought I went straight to my room and slept. The next day my MD took me aside and told me I had joined some colleagues in the hotel bar and had become extremely aggressive and abusive, saying things which I have never even consciously thought. I was asked to leave the conference and will be subjected to a psychological assessment to determine if I am fit for my position. I have absolutely no recollection of this episode and definitely did not drink enough alcohol to cause this.
    I have previously always behaved very diplomatically and am well respected in my industry, even though I have been inflicted with bouts of depression for many years. I have never behaved in such a fashion before and can only hope that my reputation and career can be restored.
    I have spent many weeks searching within myself for reasons why I had become as I describe and the only single causal factor is Champix. Once I started searching the net I found that many others, such as on this blog, have had similar experiences. Some have had much worse including suicide within days of completing the course and others have attempted suicide during or soon after stopping Champix usage. All testimonials I have read regarding attempted suicide note that the person has no recollection of the event.
    Never was I warned of such possible side effects, never was I warned not to drink alcohol whilst taking Champix. Never I have I blamed someone or something else for my own conscious actions. Those nay-sayers that have posted here should find better things to do than ignorantly rubbish other peoples genuine experiences. Jan & June particularly demonstrate mindless ignorance. I too have quit smoking before and these effects have NOT BEEN nicotine withdrawal - ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!
    Hugh - Thanks for getting this started.
    Steven - Be very careful when you do stop Champix and talk to your GP first.
    Nick - My best wishes and hopes go out to you.
    Final comment - Sure Champix works without serious side effects for the majority of users but even the manufacturer states that they do not know exactly how varenicile works so how can they be sure how it affects everyone?

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  44. I'm about to start my 1st day tomorrow on Champix- i do like a drink (or 6!). Wondering if im making the right decision now??!!!
    This now has me worried as im a single mother with 2 young kids:(
    I would so love to give up smoking though! Is there any other help to stop smoking?

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    1. I have been on. Hampix a week. Felt headachy, tired and generally horrible. Someone told me to eat before I took the tablet. Which I did found this helped with the sickness for the headache I went out for some fresh air. I am still at the smoking stage but can feel my desire to smoke decreasing.

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  45. Stopping smoking is the best thing for you and for your children. I managed using nicotine lozenges (these are usually free from NHS stop smoking clinics)although some people prefer other types of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) like patches, gums or even nasal sprays. If you do decide to use Champix, in my opinion you MUST avoid alcohol and monitor your use of the medication regularly with your doctor. Cheers and good luck! - Hugh

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  46. u used champix second time round. first time i quit smoking and smoked marijuana 4 weeks in, had psychotic attack and nearly stabbed myself to death.

    this time i used champix 4 weeks in again i started drinkin on it and flipped out, quit my job and now i have have done alot of stupid things i am now regreting.

    im now back off champix. i cant use this drug,. it is dangerous and makes me lose the plot bigtime, id rather smoke and die then take this crazy stuff and who knows what could happen!!!!!!!

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  47. Hi all, stopped smoking 18 days ago and was really impressed how well this drug works... But and it's a big but, wine and champix don't mix well. I can cope with the dreams but the effect it's having on my mood is horrible, having read one of thee blogs, I'm going to halve the does and see how this works

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  48. hiya, i been takin champix for 9 days now, only first day in nt smokin,but still managed 2 smoke 2,hopin tomorrow better, i have heard a lot of people give up on them an think their fantastic, but have heard 1 person have suffered alopecia from them, an reading all the reviews cant believe the side effects, im feelin ok at the moment, should i stop takin them or take them for only a few weeks, ive only now read the side effects with them and dont know whether 2 stop takin them, but i dont know how else to give up,tryed the patches,didnt wrk. obviously with these comments do not drink on them but after stop taking them how long again before i can drink on them or could just miss one or two days and drink?? please help.

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  49. To the last poster, I'd suggest stick with the Champix; stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself, BUT aviod alcohol and seek medical advice if you notice any changes in your perception or feelings

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  50. Started Champix 3 weeks ago. My wife to be also started an affair at the same time. I have started drinking heavily and yesterday I woke-up in jail in another town. I remember going there and that is it, the police picked me up lying in the street and I was very aggresive, I can remeber waking up in jail and trying to break the place down. After my release at 09H00 I hit the first pub and once again can not remember a thing, apparently aggresive and walking over a busy street causing havoc, arrested again, don't have a voice today I was screaming like a mad thing. Body does not have a part that is not hurting, some cigarettes has also been put out on the top of my hand, how or why I do not know. So losing the love of your life taking Champix and alcohol is DISASTER. That I am alive is a miracle, I could have died 20 ways the last two days. I will now try Champix only, no alcohol.

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  51. Ok people listen

    I've taken champix, I've done the whole 12 weeks, it's now been 2 years! All these people taking about sucidal thoughts and crap, didn't take champix correctly. Anyone who is concidering taking champix, follow these rules and u'll be fine!

    1) This may sound silly but stop drinking tea. Tea has an active ingrediance that effect ure central nerve system. Drinking tea with champix will make u feel sick!

    2) Never take champix on a empty stumache. Always eat a fist full of food minimum, and wait ten to 15 mins before taking champix

    3) If u get drunk, skip the pill. Don't worry ure doctor won't mind!

    If u follow these rule the only side effect u may feel, is slightly tired for around 5mins. When this happens I normally sit back relax and let it pass! This will normally happen around 30mins after u take the pill.

    I'm not a doctor, but I can proudly say I have achieved my mind body connection and found these to be the golden rules of champix. U should always get professional advice, and best of luck guys!

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  52. I first tried Champix in 2007 for about 2 weeks, but it made me very sick in the stomach so i stopped. After a few weeks i started to get side effects. ie , shortness of breath, high blood pressure and pulse rate. I was not warned of any potential adverse reactions to champix. So after about 6 months i tried champix again because i was blaming cigarettes for my breathing issues. After taking champix for 4 weeks and suffering the usual abdominal cramping and sickness i was smoke free and feeling good. I stopped taking champix and within a few days i couldnt breathe, blood pressure was 170 / 135. pulse 150,, i was rushed to hospital. All tests were negative for any type of disease . After trying to make the DR beleive ( unsuccessfully ) that Champix was the cause i was released. Its now been over 2 years and i am still very ill.. And for all you sceptics out there i had a full checkup done 2 weeks before taking champix and all tests were normal . This drug has ruined my life and the medical profession cannot or will not help.

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    1. I'm terribly sorry for you feeling bad. I'm in the US and have a blog about my and other alleged Chantix heart attacks. Feel free to read my story.
      WWW.chantixheartattack.blogspot.com

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  53. I have been on champixs for 8weeks of a 12 week course I have decided to stop taken them as I was getting scary negative thoughts I had a drink last week end and I cant remember a thing the only other side effects was a sore head for the first week being sick if I take them on AN EMPTY STOMACH AND ANGER ISSUES IE VERY SHORT FUSE I HAVE BEEN A BIT LESS AWARE OF THINGS AROUND ME AND I HAVE JUST NOTICED I AM WRITING THIS IN CAPITALS FFS LOL I HOPE THIS IS OF HELP TO ANY ONE WHO CAN DECIPHER THIS CHAMPIX INDUCED RAMBLING ,S LOL anyway I have stopped smoking .and champix. does anyone know if its ok to stop taken champixs suddenly ? it was very depressing after week 6 so I just stopped but I haven't had the urge to smoke a ciggy yeeeeeeeha.so it works amazing just be very aware of changes in your mental state if you feel sad and angry stop .

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  54. I would not have taken them if i knew the results. I want to know how long till the effects of this pill wear off. I have stopped smoking but also gained alot of weight and feel very depressed, often cry for no reason and still feel this way although i have been off them for a week. When will it go away? I wont even go into how i felt when i was on them cause that is over now but to be a week off them and still feeling like this. I am just so god damn angry.

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  55. Alicia, well done for stopping smoking.

    I really hope that you will start to feel better soon. I would suggest going and seeing your doctor if you are still feeling depressed and angry in a few days time.

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  56. Hi, I am on week 6 of Champix and had no idea that it does not mix well with alcohol, I had 2 pints of lager and half a bottle of wine with a meal on Saturday night and have no recollection whatsoever of what happened, apparently I was very intoxicated aggressive and insulting to others around me.
    I haven't smoked for 4 weeks which is great but i have been very short tempered, and cannot believe how intoxicated i became.
    There is NO warning at all about contra indictaion of mixing with alcohol and I am shocked about this. I have not taken since saturday and do not plan to take again.

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  57. I am using Champix and regularly consume large amounts of achohol withou any weird side effects.

    I think in some individuals it amplifies there current state of mind. It's not like you are going to play Lego with your kid or play outside and the next moment your gonna snap and shoot or hit your child.

    Some people just shouldnt drink alcohol at all, they cannot handel it and often get into fights, champix might then amplify there current state of mind, which is angerness at that moment.

    Sometimes people are not even interacting with other individuals, they go into a deep state where they are having an "internal dialog" with themselves. If you are having internal dialogs with yourself and tend to get angry or become agitaded afterwards you should perhaps see someone about that, becuase everything hapens in your head / imagination and your getting upset about stuff that you thought out / isnt reality, add alcohol to that and you have potentialy unstable person, add champix or any other "mental" medication on top of that and the situation can get out of control.

    Sorry for my bad English.

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  58. champix and alcohol dont mix period the up side is champix seems to make it easy to abstain from alcohol.take the short course stop smoking dont drink and get the hell off them,Scary to act out of character with know recollection.doctor told me champix wont kill you but smoking will.

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  59. Ive been taking them for 9 weeks and the only side effects I have had is heartburn though to be fair its been the holiday season and just recently have had sore gums with a bit of bleeding when I am cleaning my teeth.
    My Doctor wants me to do the whole 12 weeks which is fine but I have concerns about how quickly they wean you off so am starting myself from tonights tablets, slowly weaning myself down to 1/2s and missed days over the next 8 weeks.
    I havent smoked for 7 weeks and am determined not to start again.

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  60. I drink 2 Beers and some wine a day - and planed stop smoking with Champix. But now I won't, with all I read here, I am scared, as I can't stop drinking at the moment... I think to have an Alcohol problem.

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    1. I have been taking Champix for 6 days and today is the first day i had drink with my dinner, so that's why i checked it out, all this comments have made me to make up my mind to stop taking this drug, i had crazy dreams last few nights and i was moody , my decission is to stop taking champix and try to stop smoking without them.

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  61. I'm an alcoholic and have been on champix for 10 days now. I have been sick in my stomach, I am still smoking but not many. I have been to rehab, aa and been on all manner of tablets for many years to no avail. But low and behold I now don't want a drink, have no urge for one whatsoever. I have done and more on alcohol and other drugs the things people have talked about above. I don't know if any other alcoholics have experienced this or not but for now I'm sober .

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  62. It does look as though Champix can be used to help people with alcohol problems, so I am really pleased to see someone is experiencing positive benefits. Good luck to you.

    I still would advise anyone who occasionally drinks large quantities of alcohol (binge drinking) to seek in-depth medical advice before using Champix to quit smoking.

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  63. Four weeks on the pills, 3 off the cigarettes.
    I'd go on with the full treatment until the end even for the mild heartburns, fogginess of the brain, the dreams that go on and on and on and on until I tell myself to wake up, especially since some of them were of the x-rated type and dry metallic mouth but I just can't take the "it would not be so bad if I just died right here and now" flashes that I've been getting lately or the "I will rip your head out if you look at me the this way again" mood swings. I have noticed that the anger is magnified out of proportion when I have something to drink which I don't do at excess but if I won't have a smoke I sure as hell will have a few glasses of wine. Since I am doing good with the mild smoking urges, I will cut right away the quantify to only one pill in the morning for the next couple of weeks and then stop it altogether and cross my fingers to have the strength to hold off by myself. I cannot bear the thought of going on 2 more months like this and I'm scare I might hurt someone. I'm nearing the half-century mark, have been smoking since I was a young teen and I would really like not to be holding a cigarette in my hand when I blow all 50 candles on my birthday cake this summer. I have been reading on the net about side effects and many have mentioned that some of the side effects are not temporary but can last many months or even years and that scares the living daylight out of me. Anyone can pacify me with this?

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  64. Hi patbee - firstly, good luck with quitting, I hope you really will be blowing out those 50 candles without a cigarette in your hand!

    Keep it up. I have been off cigarettes now for over a year, and am feeling much healthier.

    Your experiences are very familiar to me. I do not have any data regarding the long term effects of this drug, but can assure you after my one episode in 2008, I have not had ANY similar experiences. I would be interested to see if any other readers have views on this.

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  65. Hugh,

    Can you suggest the correct way to stop Champix? My husband has been on Champix for 6 1/2 weeks now and wants to stop. He has the vivid dreams, the moods/depression and definately is very tired ALL of the time. I'm sure he would sleep all the time if he had the chance. He just doesn't like himself on these pills.

    He has had success with stopping smoking and hopes that he can continue on this path.

    I just worry about the side effects from stopping midway thru the program??

    Thank you!

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    1. It should be ok for your husband to stop taking Champix but I would recommend taking advice from your Doctor first. Just keep encouraging him, and help him stay off the cigarettes! Good luck :)

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  66. I have just came home from a weekend away and I was seriously worried that I was losing my mind, thank god im not the only one.

    I had been drinking with my friends on the way to our hotel and when we got there I was told that I started crying for no reason, then proceeded to claim I was in a hospital and 'The people' would not let me out, this went on for about 4 hours. I even thought my friends were against me. Seriously, I was so scared.

    Started thinking about every single thing I have been saying or doing and really though I was starting to loose it.

    I never forget anything when I drink alcohol and I certainly never act like this. I felt really embarrassed the morning after when my friends told me what had happened, ruined the whole weekend.

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    1. This is why I wrote the blog in the first place, you are not alone. At least nothing more serious happened, which is good news, despite your weekend being ruined.

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  67. i am on day 6 and i cant sleep.....nausea in the am after taking the pill and crazy dreams when i do finally get some sleep,abnormal sweating during these dreams as well. Almost ready to quit the pill before i lose my job from being so tired during the day from lack of sleep. on the bright side i have cut the habit in half so far.

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  68. Started Taking Champix 3 days ago, first day of taking them I read its still ok to continue to smoke,and I thought Great, I Couldn't find anything about not drinking alcohol, Went out with friends for a usual Friday night drinks and suddenly was hit with an extreme nervous and depressed feeling for no apparent reason, Very out of character for me, Friends were worried about me being so down..Ended up leaving early only to spend a night with my head in a bucket vomiting all night and right through the next day, I put it down to a bug or something going around and have continued to take the pills, Feeling a little bit different lately, mood I`snt as bubbly,Have had vivid dreams and heartburn,appetite is low but I have been expecting a few of these side effects, Really glad Ive read this blog, I wont be taking any more alcohol with it NO MORE!, Far out feel bit freaked out by other peoples reactions, I think doctor should have warned me about the side effects with alcohol before I started taking them, Does anyone know If it ok to take a mood booster such as 5HTP with it to help with the mood and sleep???

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  69. My partner has always been a very kind considerate and caring man with a great deal of empathy for the people he loves.
    About twelve weeks ago he started to take champix to help him stop smoking, after attending a NHS stop smoking class.
    He took Champix for around 4 weeks and I started to note that he was often quite agitated and was struggling to sleep. He then had two psycotic episodes whilst drinking and he realised that he needed to reduce the dose. He took half dose for a week then stopped them all together. His agitation had started to ease as had the aggression, he was much calmer and I hoped that things would start to get better.
    He has now been off the champix for around 7 weeks and whilst I have found that most of the time he is ok, if he drinks he is still having very serious side effects.
    For two weekends in a row he would'nt sleep staying up till around 5.30 in the morning then waking me up because he was so upset about how he's behaving and how he's hurting me, both times it took me an hour to calm him down and eventually he went to sleep.
    This weekend has been the worst so far. he went out to watch his beloved football team and was very happy when he returned as they had won. We were watching tv and as the evening progressed he started to become aggresive, angry and very abusive to me and his twelve year old daughter. We both went to bed thinking it was best to leave him to calm down. About an hour later I woke up when I heard a strange noise and I felt that something was wrong. I ran down stairs to find him trying to hang himself with an electrical cord, I managed to free him and luckily he was ok. He said that it was just a joke and he was testing a theory and I should go to bed. I would'nt leave him and said that I wasn't going to bed until he came with me. He then said that he was going to do it anyway if I was there or not. I was terrified but just tried ta talk to him about all the positives in our life and eventually he calmed down and went to sleep.
    The next day he was very distant said that he could remember what happened but he just wanted to forget about it, not talk about it and not tell anyone about it. I am terrified by what has happened and by his reaction to it all. I have told him that we need help and that I am struggling to cope. He reacts as if I am being unreasonable and still won't talk about it. I am at my wits end and am terrifed by what has happened and what might happen I really don't know what to do.
    I phoned my doctor today and I have been told he will ring me back tomorrow but I don't know if he can do anything if I cant persuade my partner to go and see him.
    I was so glad when he stopped smoking but I wish he had never taken champix I feel it has taken away the man I love. His behaviour is so out of character, he would never behave in this way.
    Can anyone tell me what I should do next?

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  70. To yesterday's poster, I am really sorry that your family is going through this terrible experience. Your husband is a fortunate man to have such a loving and caring partner.

    You must get your husband to see his GP; it sounds as though he really needs to be assessed by a psychiatrist, and as soon as possible. Tell your GP about your concerns, and about what has happened, especially the psychotic episodes and the attempt to hang himself.

    Getting the current situation sorted is urgent. Worrying about the role of Champix in all this can wait.

    I really do hope that your husband recognises that he needs help and can understand that he can and will recover. I remember the hell that I and my family experienced when on Champix, and know that it will pass. Best wishes - Hugh

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  71. Side effects of quitting smoking are, extreme fatigue, depression, weight gain, and disturbed sleep patterns. (will last six months) Nicotine is a nasty little drug, even in withdrawal. I smoked for 25 plus years and am happy to have quit - thanks to champex. Now, staying nicotine free is a matter of will power - it's all a matter of sticking to the decision to be a non-smoker. I hope I will always stay a non-smoker. I think the psychiatric issues that others have experienced may be from lack of REM sleep and may be corrected by speaking with their MD and asking for help.

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  72. Both me and my other half made a decision 2 months ago to give up smoking, we both started on the electronic cigarette. I was a much lighter smoker than the OH and did really well on the electronic cigarette, only used it for ten days and then went onto the nicotine gum which I still use (maybe three or four pieces a day). I've had great success and haven't smoked since the day I stopped. My OH found it more difficult, and went to the smoking clinic where he was prescribed Champix. He was told to look out for suicidal thoughts but was told this was very rare. He's now been on the tablets about a month, but I've noticed a real change in him. He has been very agitated, to the point where I've been anxious talking to him in case I upset him. He's been over reacting in a big way to things he wouldn't normally. The only saving grace is the fact he works away from home - otherwise I would have had great difficulty dealing with his moods. I know this isn't just withdrawl from the cigarettes, as he's quit before without champix and not behaved like this. He doesn't really drink a lot, the occasional beer. This weekend he went out for the day with friends, went to a concert, and then off into town. I'd say he's probably drank more than usual, but no more than he has on a lads night out before - yet he woke up this morning with a headache that was unbearable. He's suffered with migraines so knows what a bad head feels like - yet he said this was the worst pain he's felt in his life, he looked dreadful, he's been very poorly all day. This was no normal hangover - he's been violently sick several times. I've spoken to him tonight and he's said he will not be drinking again until he's finished the course. I urge people not to drink on these tablets and in fact think carefully before even starting on champix. I believe if my OH didn't work away we would be in real trouble in our relationship. His mood swings and temper, being suspicious, have been totally out of character. He is normally a laid back placid bloke - I've been coping with a man who is flying off the handle at the drop of a hat. He said he doesn't realise he's doing it - until he's done it and then is mortified. He is now at a stage where he doesn't want to throw in the towel after not smoking for so long, so we are trying to stick it out. No more alcohol though.

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  73. hi im ian,i went to my doctor in the beginning of feb 2012 to give up smoking and i was prescribed champix,for the first couple of months i wasnt to bad and apart from weird dreams and waking up sweating like a pig,i also was short tempered at work and had no tollerence with my colleagues,i did manage to give up smoking for 3 months but i got so short tempered that i actualy left the champix alone and started smoking again to try and get back to being my old self again as i was always so layed back and chilled about everything,iv been off champix now for over a month and im still a bit crazy in the head,i lost the plot and walked out on my girlfriend for a month and iv kicked doors clean off there hinges and punched holes in walls and doors,it seems like this drug doesnt want to leave my system and let me be me again,time will tell i guess but if your thinking of giving up smoking then dont use champix if you want to stay sane

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    1. I am 25 years old have smoked a pack a day for 10 years. I started champix 20 days ago and I have been smoke free for 15 days. My mood has been better since I have been on champix I do not freak out has often has I did when I smoked or tired to quit cold turkey. I am only planning on finishing this second pack which has about 9days left, I am hoping no long term side effects or effects when I stop taking the drug. The things I have notice so far is no sex drive, dizziness, foggy, tired all the time, feels like I have a constant head cold, lots of urination(10-15 times a day and when you gotta go you gotta go can not hold bladder), dreams every night(not bad though), memory loss(I will do something or say something and 5mins later foget I did it or said it. I will get up to do something and forget why I got up. It has work well for me so far it has been the easiest time I have ever had quitting smoking but the feelings I get from it, memory loss and the story I have been reading makes me want to stop taking the drug after 28days. I am confident that I will not smoke after I stop taking champix. I will post again when I get off it and let everyone know how I feel at that point.

      Take Care

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  74. Hello form the lagging behind United Kingdom....
    i smoked for 40yrs! took Champik for 3 months only side effect was a bit of nausea...
    now a none smoker !! whats the buzz with this champik love to all you smokers xxxx

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  75. i just finished my 3 months on champix and the only side effects while taking them was nausea and the strange dreams other than that i was fine UNTIL i stopped taking them i finished my 3 months and then the problems started. feeling dizzy, foggy in the head irritated at everything. and extreme fatigue, has anyone had any side effects after taking them?

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    1. Hi, yes I feel worse after 5 stopped taking the tablet then what I did when I was on the tablet.

      Can anyone please tell me how long before this damm tablet leaves my system. It is busy driving me insane.

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  76. Oh my word I am so glad I came across this forum I never usually post on these things but feel I have to after reading.

    I started on champix 9 weeks ago and have now been smoke free over 7. I felt I was lucky not having side effects just vivid dreams and a bit of trouble sleeping. I stopped taking the tabs 5 days ago as I feel like my hair (dry), nails (flaky) and skin (dry on body greasy on face) has been suffering and rightly or wrongly linked these to the pills and decided to stop. Anyway, to be honest I am known to be a bit hot headed when I drink and always have but the last few times I have been out drinking its been horrific. I have been starting nasty arguments with strangers for no reason and not remembering all the details and the last straw came when my friend told me I was in the club toilets screaming over and over 'I'm going to go downstairs and smash her face in' I have no recollection of this, no idea who I was talking about or what they had supposedly done to provoke me and I never talk like that! I'm a bit mouthy but I'm not a fighter, I was disgusted with myself. Now I see the link and am glad I've stopped the pills. Reading through the posts I realise I've also been so sluggish and not bothered to do anything which is unlike me. It's a double edged sword as I can't thank champix enough for helping me quit, I know I wouldn't have without them but in hindsight I probably shouldn't have drank on them (nowhere on my packet did it say not to drink)

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  77. I am taking champix for the 3rd time. 1st. time I had vivid dreams that were actually enjoyable, nausia which I soon realised was preventable by having the pill partway through my meal.

    That was it - all was great & I easily stopped smoking.

    Unfortunately a few months later I started smoking again, for the reason I think being in the company of smokers & being subject to passive smoking - The passive smoking got me hooked on cigarettes again.

    I had champix again - quit again - all good as before I thought.

    I felt aware & thought I was prepared, but started smoking again a few months on.

    So here I am again 10 weeks in on champix, stopped smoking 9 weeks ago & I feel at deaths door.

    I am breathless. Totally exhausted. My body aches all over. I cannot concentrate. I forget just about everything just about all of the time. I have wicked thoughts. I feel life is pointless. I forget where i'm going & had to park up to think & remember where to go. I feel jittery. My vision suddenly goes blurred &/or I struggle to focus. I forget the names of objects & get my words muddled up. I am disinterested in everything & don't even enjoy the things in life I enjoy. I feel lonely but prefere to be on my own. I have chronic pain in my hips & legs - especially in bed. I literally feel like i've had a labotomy, my mind goes to a fog.

    I am usually a focused, determined positive person. Yet today I have done nothing, just sat on the settee in a pathetic heap - it's been an effort to get some fresh fruit from the bowl & nuts to eat & water to drink. I had to walk my dog(havn't done for 5 days - large garden though) & had a friend come with me in case I collapsed. I did visit my doctor this Monday 25th June, had blood tests on Tuesday - Taking in a urine sample tomorrow with a completed HADS form (Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale) - seeing my doctor again on 4th.July.....

    I have always had superb eyesight, my optician had said he'd be out of a job if everyone had my eyesight. However last year I started with problems with my eyes which I just thought age was catching up with me a bit at 47. At the time I didn't make any connection of their deterriation with champix. My eyesight gradually improved over time. Now back on champix & it's worse than ever

    Also last year i'd experienced such chronic pain in my legs & hips & had several months visiting the physio dept., doing the exercises at home, but with no improvement. The nurse reccommended that I attend a Pain Management Clinic. Again I made no association with this condition to be connected to champix. The pains gradually subsided over time but never went completely - I just learned to live with it. Now the pains are back in full force.

    Also last year I mentioned to my dentist some swelling on one side of my mouth towards the back by my jaw, though it wasn't swollen on that day. I described it as uncomfortable & the swelling had white lumps on it.

    I'll be honest I was concerned it was mouth cancer. She said not to worry it is proberly blocked saliva glands. It appeared when I ate & I thought it was a bit allergic to something, which I thought was honey. Then it seemed to stop being a problem, I had no honey & over time & I forgot about it. A time later I had honey without a problem. Yes it's flaired up again & i'm taking champix.

    It has only been today, sat in my delerious state that I have realised these connections & thus explored the internet for the dark side of champix - Literally up to today I have sung champix praises.

    Shall I stop the champix or should I wean off them with a few half dose white tablets ????????????????????

    P.S. - I have not had any alcohol whatsoever.

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  78. Hi there, I think that if you are worried about the champix you should discuss coming off it with your doctor. I don't know if your symptoms are connected with champix or not, but you have made a link, which I take seriously. It does sound as though you are struggling and I hope that you manage to get things sorted out and begin to feel better soon.

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  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  80. I am on week three of using Champix and have found that if I drink any quantity of alcohol with it I have vivid, very nasty, persecutory dreams. As soon as I don't drink, I sleep fine: better than I do without Champix. As with all psychoactive substances, mixing them can have unforeseen effects.

    That said, Champix does reduce the cravings a lot and I am finding it a useful tool. I've therefore chosen to eliminate alcohol while I am using it.

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    1. Good luck with your quitting - it sounds like a sensible plan. Hope it worked for you.

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    2. Hi, would alkohol have any symptoms after you have left the tablet for sometime already, have stopped using the tablet in mid October.

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  81. Hi, I am on day 2 of my first week of taking champix, I am a non drinker so I'm hoping that this will work in my favour with regards to others comments.

    One thing that does make me think is day one I had bad chest pain and then today I had a sudden onset of chest pain, burning and squeezing pain. I couldnt breath, but I wasn't out of breath. I went to the dr and my Bp was fine but my pulse was 137.

    I don't know if champix is related, my dr didn't say anything about it.

    Question, how long until you start feeling side effects, can it be instant or would it take a little time, noting I have one taken 2, one a day for two days now

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    Replies
    1. There is some evidence in the US that Champix is linked with chest pain - and the FDA issues a warning: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/Drugsafety/ucm259161.htm
      My advice - quit the champix until you can be sure

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  82. I am so glad I have just found this site. I am on week two of champix.
    I went on holiday and started taking it on my first day. The first week was fine. Gave up smoking on about day 12. It works great for not wanting to smoke!

    When I got back fRom holiday 4 days ago I thought I'd picked up some bug as I felt so tired weak and dizzy, like my legs and brain weren't working together..

    Last night I went out after work and had 2 pints and 3 glasses of wine (pretty average for a Friday night). At about midnight something strange happened. I don't remember any of this but my friend filled me in. Apparently I started shouting at her, talking absolute gibberish, crying, screaming, couldn't focus, completely out of character (I'm a happy funny drunk usually). This went on for 2 hours. Then all of a sudden I just snapped out of it and was normal again with no memory of what happened, got up and went home. Had messages from friends saying they were worried about me and they thought maybe my drink might have been spiked. I am now thinking this isn't the case and that the mix of booze and drink could have caused it. It was scary and I feel a right idiot. I'm going to the doctor's on Monday for the next prescription and will speak to him about this. No warnings on the packet about alcohol. Its scary. Think I will avoid drink until I've done the course.

    Wonder if I could just take the lower dose for the rest of the time?

    All day I have been throwing up and diarrhea. It's been a terrible hangover, like I'd been drinking shots all night, but didn't. In fact I've had night's out with much more alcohol and felt fine the next day.

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  83. I went to the doctor for a follow up this morning and told him about my experience over the weekend and he didn't think the Champix caused it (even with alcohol) and asked if my drink was spiked. Now i really don't know what the hell it was. I still think it was the Champix and alcohol mix though.

    I really with Pfizer would put a warning on the UK pack about avoiding alcohol. It could help people to not experience what we have.

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  84. Of course your drink may have been spiked, but it sounds very much like other stories in which Champix is the culprit. Many GP's are unaware of how poorly some of the medications they prescribe are trialled and researched, so would naturally assume another cause.

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  85. I've just started the tablet and i'm on my 5th day. I been having some crazy dreams and aches and pains but nothing to complain about.

    With regards to the posts about there being no warning about drinking with this drug I too went for a drink on Friday. I ended up having a argument with an idiot in the pub but he did say some outrageous comments about hillsbourgh so I dont think I was out of line but also I cant recall everything about getting home. I do vaguely remember crying when I got in the house for an unknown reason and woke up on the bedroom floor???

    The next morning i was in an unusually happy mood,(doing house work, singing,little gig now and then, ha ha) maybe cos I was still a bit drunk but I'm not entirely sure it was just the drink, I was too happy if you know what I mean??

    After reading the past posts I'm not going to drink again while I am taking Champix and just focus on the stopping smoking, which I intend to quit on Wednesday this week.

    I do have to say though that I'm quite concerned with peoples experiences with Champix and I will be closely watching my own behaviour, also I have informed my family and friends of me taking this drug and that they keep an eye on me.

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    1. gday mike how did u get on with stopping smoking on wednesday

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  86. I've taken this drug for... I think about 25 days now. Only side effects I've noticed are a little bad sleep, some general very mild depression and a few times some very mild nausea.

    My doctor warned me to not drink more than a certain ammount. I couldn't remember what he said so when I picked up a new package of the med I asked the pharmacist. She said no information is entered about the drug so the normal very limited use of alcohol should be followed.

    After reading this article I'm feeling maybe I should stick to no alcohol at all. A nice, belly warming whiskey after work can wait a few weeks after all. :)

    The quitting part made me feel awesome and I'm thinking this gives a lot of people these positive feelings I've heard many attribute to the first weeks use of the drug.

    Now that I've quit I'm going to try to get off the drug to see if I can make it alone already. The less one has to use a drug of any kind, the better.

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    1. That sounds really sensible, Jim, as long as you feel ok, and it works for you. I have been stopped for two years now and am really feeling the benefit.

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  87. Hi,
    I used champix for 8 weeks, and have not smoked for 9 mnths up to now....so yippy it worked! !
    But in the last 6 weeks I've been suffering from bad depression and weight gain also very snappy a lot of the time....
    I was wondering if anyone else has had this happen? ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I took it for 3 weeks and decided to stop taking it. My moods where low and I became very depressed and very hot headed indeed. I've not taken it for nearly 4 weeks now and although still not smoking I feel very low, sad and very unhappy indeed, every one around me has noticed this too.

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  88. hello,i`ve been using champix for seven months and have not had a cigareete in six.my only concern is that i am nearing the end of my supplies.what will happen then?e-cigarette starter kit

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  89. Greetings. Champix is a drug. Drugs effect different people on different ways. All research I've seen says mixing with alcohol is not a good idea. So use a bit more will power and not drink alcohol while taking Champix. It seems those people that consumed alcohol while on champix weren't diligent enough in finding out all the information that is out there.

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