Champix reviews: Australia bites back

By Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

Just before I get onto this post, here’s the latest Champix review from Kara:  “I have been on champix for only 6 days now, and in my opinion that is 6 days too long.  I have had, in this time alone a ridiculous change in my mental state.  Never had problems besides some depression in my early 20′s, and I feel like I’ve changed in just one week!  I am constantly agitated, irritable and angry ALL of the time.  Something happened the other day that made me question this drug; something so out of character it scared me!  I got in to an argument with my sister’s husband, and literally snapped!  I struck him with a leather strap 3 times, so hard it left bruises!  He just stood there stunned, and all I could think was that I wanted to kill him!  He was stunned because it was like a TOTALLY different person!  I was shocked at myself, and scared; I totally lost control, and I attribute it FULLY to this drug!  I’m a very happy person normally.
The other thing is I can’t stop eating! I go to the gym 5 times a week, and am generally very healthy (besides the smoking), but I haven’t been able to stop eating the past 5 days!!!
Today was my last day on this evil drug. NO MORE!”

The phrase “totally out of character” just keeps cropping up again and again with this drug, doesn’t it?  And what if there had been a knife to hand – or a firearm?  “…all I could think was that I wanted to kill him!”  Ladies and gentlefolk, that is NOT caused by just needing a ciggie.  And that’s after just six days on the drug.  Whew! That’s scary.

Back in 2008, I was contributing information about The Evil Champix and to a website called Australian Women Online and Tim Wilkinson posted several times about his own horrible experience with the drug. This week he posted this message on Truth Will Out:

“Hi.
I left a post on the Womens site on Champix in 2008, I have done extensive research into the drug and also how it was tested, how it was given the ‘all clear’ in Australia and the rules and regulations that govern its perscription.
I have received a number of emails that detail the horror stories of people who have taken Champix with adverse results.
I have also extensively researched the possible legal action that could be taken against Pfizer.
Pfizer will tie up any legal action against them in the courts for years, this will also be dependent on individuals’ medical records, if they can tie up a country (Nigeria) in the international courts for more than a decade…
I have found a legal recourse against them that is foolproof and will scare them to death! If you or anyone close to you has been badly affected by Champix (Chantix in the U.S.) please contact me at [email protected]

If you are not from Australia please put your country of origin in the subject line of your message.”

So I sent Tim the following reply:

“Hi Tim, thanks for your latest message! At first I reproduced it on all the Champix posts on Truth Will Out, but then took out the email address immediately as I thought I had better check with you before publicising that quite so broadly. I wasn’t sure if you meant that I should contact you, or anyone who thought they’d been injured by Champix.

Call me paranoid, but I think it would be a good idea to keep the details of the legal recourse you have discovered out of this email exchange, at least for the time being. So, is it okay for me to provide a link on the various Champix pages of the site so that other sufferers can contact you directly? I really hope you’ve found a way to hit Pfizer where it hurts, they certainly deserve it.

best regards,
Chris”

This was Tim’s response, and it rather looks as though he means business:

Hi Chris.
Please post my address as many times as you wish, from my original post to now I have been sent and heard dozens of horror stories that has surprised me as to not only the commonness of adverse reactions to Champix but also the overwhelmingly similar symptoms that people have had.

I now think that the time has come to take action!

Getting recourse from Pfizer will not take away the pain that people have endured but it will go a very long way to helping people know/understand that they are not alone, and what they went through has nothing to do with strength of character nor more importantly the state of their mental health.

If there was a drug on the market that caused some users to lose their right leg it would be withdrawn immediately. Because Champix affects your inner core and for that reason its effects are invisible, the symptoms are explained away as a mental issue. In terms of the pharmaceutical industry it is the perfect cover for a drug that is subsidized and earning its maker billions of dollars in revenue.

I invite all those who have an adverse experience with Champix (including loved ones and friends of victims) to contact me via email so that I can collate information with the view to setting up meetings in Australia. I ask that any outside of Aus keep themselves posted or contact me with the subject line being their location.

I can make no promises as to the outcome, ‘but better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all’!

[email protected]

We’re not going to fail, Tim. Already the French Health Minister has stopped using public money to fund Champix on safety grounds, and that’s just the start. I only wish we could get Champix (Chantix in the U.S.) banned today, so that no-one else has to die, or suffer like you did, but unfortunately – thanks to Pfizer’s lies and deception about the true extent of the dangers that have already occurred – there will be more, because Pfizer will not withdraw this killer drug until they are FORCED to do so.  So let’s get on with it, eh?  More and more influencial voices are calling for Champix/Chantix to be banned, we are certainly not on our own in this.

***Update, 31st August 2011:  Since this email exchange I have tried on several occasions to contact Tim, and have been unable to do so.  Since all these attempts were in the latter half of August, this may mean nothing at all – he may be on holiday, or similarly indisposed.  If anyone has tried to contact Tim during the past six weeks and has had similar difficulties, please let me know via the Truth Will Out Contact Page.  I’ll keep trying and keep you posted here.

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38 thoughts on “Champix reviews: Australia bites back”

  1. i also was taking champix to give up smoking , the effects from champix have destroyed my life, while on this medication i was abusive irrational my whole personality changed i coulnt sleep and it affected my appetite i have never had any mental health problems i maxed my credit cards out due to being “manic”and i have never done that in my life i resigned from my job which i loved, and harrassed my former boss i dont think i will evever b able to gain work in this industry again i tried to jump from a top story of a hotel and was admitted to a mental health unit for 15 days i missed xmas with my children and was placed under a carer ( my sister), my doctor told me i was bipolar and prescribed me serequel 400mg i was 56 kilos, while on this medication it was like i was drunk wen i woke up after i had a micro sleep at the wheel of my car and had accident, i did not know i had even hit the other car the only way i found out , was there was a witness to the accident lucky no one was hurt , if i had bipolar i should have shown symptons but i did not since taking chamipix i have had problems with my short memory my ordeal while in a mental health institution was horendous it was like being convicted and sentenced and jailed my freedom was taken away i knew i was not bipolar but i had to take my medication i am a mother of 4 children with i whom is downs syndrome i would like to take legal action against champix for not only destroying my life but for all the pain and worry my immediate family went through this drug destroys lives

  2. The real tragedy is, I’ve been hearing stories like this since 2008. Some of the evidence of bad reactions that Pfizer “accidentally” fed to the FDA “through the wrong channels” so that it was missed in a crucial safety review dates back to 2006. The drug should never have been approved in the U.K., Australia or New Zealand.

    Now Pfizer are targeting China, Russia and Turkey. Their ruthlessness is mafia-like, they have to be stopped.

    One thing puzzles me: if there is any suggestion that a food product MAY have been contaminated or has an ingedient that COULD be linked to cancer, it is immediately pulled off the supermarket shelves. Medications, on the other hand – which are supposed to make people better! – can rack up hundreds of horrendous reactions like the one above, and even kill lots of innocent people, and they are still prescribed by doctors, advertised on TV and aggressively marketed by rogue companies like Pfizer.

    It’s insane.

  3. This one came in today by email:

    Irene wrote:

    Hi Chris. I was on CHAMPIX for 8wks, stopped smoking for 7wks, the course lasts 12wks!! I was admitted to hospital with terrible Lung & Rib pain i was in AGONY! and the consultant told me my Liver has been damaged too, i had blood
    tests taken 2wks prior to starting CHAMPIX and my Liver was normal?? I also have been suffering mood swings, very irritable, aggressive, very depressed, weight gain, bloated, aches & pains, but i thought if i finish course these
    symptoms will stop, how wrong could i be, cessation councillor told me these feelings were normal & would go away!!

    I do suffer Depression, but this is worst ive ever been in my life, i went to my GP told him id stopped taking
    CHAMPIX as consultant at hospital told me to. My GP had not read my hospital report. he gave me a prescription for Anti-Depressants, which im frightened to take as i am worried how long it takes for CHAMPIX to leave your system? i
    don’t want to take more drugs and make my health worse as im still having side effects 6 days after stopping CHAMPIX. I fully understand & sympathise with all the other sufferers of the CHAMPIX drug & i feel it has NOT been
    properly tested, this drug should be BANNED!!!!!

  4. Hi Interesting read… I have been on champix for 8 wks now , as of yesterday I have cut my dose down to 0.5 mg once in the morning. This drug has worked for me in that I have had no urge to smoke, but the side effects are to much for me which is why Im cutting down to stop taking them. The most severe side effect was depression, I thought I was at an all time low just stuck in a rut ,work -bed-work- bed ect ect ( even sucicidal thoughts) also ear ache & head aches & waking up in the early hours of the morning not being able to get back to sleep. My personality changed 100% which alerted myself to the fact that this just wasnt right. Last night I left out the night time dose & bingo I slept for a record 9 hours. My mood seems to be on the up & up aswell although I still have a bad earache & headache. Reading posts on the net about Champix has brought me to my senses at last. This drug does what it says if you really want to give up, but from my expierience I would say stay well clear.

  5. Hi
    I am from the UK and I have had to stop taking this awful medication just after two weeks. In that short time i have become very depressed and at times had suicidal thoughts. Other times I could get so angry and have no worries about who I would upset. This medication is awful and it should be banned. I work within mental health services and I know people have been assessed because of a change in mood and being on Champix. I am now waiting to hear from the BBC watchdog programme as I have informed them about this drug etc. I just want the side effects to go!!

  6. I wrote my first post in 2008 after my near death psychotic episode caused by the champix. It’s now 2011 and life is an ongoing daily battle with the black dog. As I said, I’d never experienced depression before champix. Now I can truly empathise with depression sufferers, the thoughts of self harm, feeling like a waste of space. At times I get fed up with the facade I show the world, that everything is okay. Champix messed with my brain chemicals in ways I’d never thought a drug could, permanent ways. Antidepressants and vitamin d are my life savers. My loved ones and my doctor try but they just don’t get it.
    DON’T TRY CHAMPIX PLEASE, you could end up like me or worse.

  7. What I find most appalling is that this medication was never issued to me with a MIMs, or any information about side effects, how to take the shit, nothing. I asked the pharmacist if this was normal, to which he replied that it was, and that they weren’t obligated to inform users, or to provide information, about Champix.

    Surely this isn’t legit?

  8. “Champix worked for me, plain and simple.”

    My pack a day habit lasted 29 years. In that time, I tried cold turkey twice. In both cases I was back to smoking in under two weeks but I learned something about the power of addiction and the power of the mind.

    You’re breaking an addiction and your body has to cleanse itself so bear in mind that sleeplessness, weight gain, chest pains, coughs, colds, headaches, fever, tingling in the hands and feet, mood swings, depression, constipation, and dry mouth are all absolutely NORMAL, so you can reasonably expect to experience them even while using Champix!

    I approached Champix as a cessation therapy with an open mind and a sincere desire to stop smoking. Having read the horror stories, I asked my wife (who quit cold-turkey two months before me) to watch for noticeable side effects.

    I did experience a slight lack of focus or “foggyness” for a few hours on the very first day (50% dosage) and again when increasing to the full dosage. In either case, I was fine the next day.

    Following the directions regarding eating and drinking plenty of water, other than an increase in intestinal gas, I didn’t experience any symptoms that I hadn’t experienced when trying to quit without the drug.

    By the last day of the second week on Champix, I was acutely aware and found it encouraging that I wasn’t receiving the “nicotine high” I’d always enjoyed. Coupled with the rediscovered fact that cigarettes actually tasted bad and that the smoke no longer smelled pleasing, I no longer saw any reason to continue smoking. THAT, in and of itself, WAS AMAZING!

    It’s been ten weeks since I quit and the only side effects I noticed were the upset stomach issues resulting from not taking the pill on an empty stomach.

    Like everyone else, I still get tempted and it still requires a conscious decision but those situations are MUCH easier to overcome with Champix.

    Whatever you decide, when you quit it has to be for good. You have to decide every day that you won’t even take one puff on a cigarette and keep making that conscious decision every day until you don’t have to. The good news is that it gets easier every day.

    Champix worked for me but it’s not a “magic bullet”. If you’re serious about quitting, you MUST have the SINCERE desire to quit. Champix won’t give you the desire to quit, but it will give you the resolve to make the decision and to stay quit long enough for not smoking to become a new habit.

    If you experience extreme changes in mood and personality, stop Champix but don’t continue smoking and don’t start smoking again!

    You’re probably finding out just how addicted you are! It might take more than one try!

  9. Warren states:

    “You’re breaking an addiction and your body has to cleanse itself so bear in mind that sleeplessness, weight gain, chest pains, coughs, colds, headaches, fever, tingling in the hands and feet, mood swings, depression, constipation, and dry mouth are all absolutely NORMAL…”

    If you try to stop smoking but without effective hypnotherapy, you may well experience all this unpleasantness, even with drugs like Champix. This is precisely because it is NOT an “addiction to nicotine”, so nicotine-related methods usually don’t work. The fact that a small proportion of smokers quit with Champix anyway proves nothing: just about any method, if used widely enough and with sufficient hype – will turn up a small number of successes. My research has found scientific trials in which placebos (dummy medications) – or just willpower – can reach success rates of up to 13% with smoking cessation even at the twelve month follow-up. (Garvey et al, 1992, quoted in the Hughes report of 20th October 2003.)

    Champix is noted for promising short-term results (44% at 12 weeks), which collapse into far less exciting results at 12 months (14%-20%, which is barely out of the placebo range, even with all the hype and global government endorsements Pfizer could buy. Once everyone KNOWS what the real outcomes are, it will probably drop back into the placebo range just like Zyban did!

    But if smoking WAS “nicotine addiction”, all my smoking clients would also experience the symptoms Warren describes above, because they are no longer smoking at the end of the session. It’s a single hypnotherapy session. An abrupt halt. Instead, they are absolutely fine – no withdrawal, no cravings, no bad moods. This is what made me realise it cannot be a physical addiction and cravings cannot be withdrawal symptoms, otherwise my smoking clients would get them in abundance after the session. The only clients that do experience any of that are the ones who turn out to have a serious conflict about stopping, and that can very often be eliminated in a second session along with all the cravings and associated unpleasantness – provided I can figure out what the conflict is, which I usually can because I’ve been doing this for eleven years now.

    This is why I wrote the book, to explain all this – and hypnotherapy – in detail, and to tell the smokers of the world that the reason they find it difficult to quit permanently with willpower, NRT or drugs like Zyban or Champix is because those methods are based on a myth. Tobacco smoking is a compulsive habit, not a drug addiction.

    With my methods using hypnotherapy I can also shut down the cravings and impulses driving many other habits: drinking, gambling, drugs like cocaine, cannabis – and of course hunger pangs – IT’S ALL THE SAME SYSTEM! It is the Subconscious mind controlling this – not the tobacco, the slot machine, the cocaine, the chocolate or any of that. I prove these facts to myself and my clients (and their families and friends, of course – who are always astonished! – routinely every working day of my life.

    You know, it’s funny: I set out to prove that Nicotine Replacement Therapy was entirely based on a myth, but this blog seems to have become all about Champix. This is really because no-one has the slightest faith in NRT anymore anyway but the newer methods are still based on the same myth!

  10. Hi Everyone, Well I really don’t know why most of you seem to be having these problems with Champix.
    I have smoked for 40 years and Champix is the only method that has enabled me to stop, I am onto my last week of the course ( 3mths) and I have never had any feelings that my mental state has deteriorated at all, this drug has stopped me from having the terrible craving in fact it has been quite easy.
    I quote this and wonder what planet the writer came from”Tobacco smoking is a compulsive habit, not a drug addiction” IT IS BOTH, AND PROVEN.

  11. Aha! Another “psychic reviewer” with the amazing ability to dismiss my arguments without actually reading any of ’em, just assuming the mainstream view is the correct one.

    Also apparently unable to imagine anyone having a different experience of Champix than the one you’re having yourself, AND claiming “success” when you’re still on the drug.

    Read around, Iain. Some sufferers only got hit by bad side effects on their SECOND course of Champix – they were ok the first time around – so I wouldn’t assume anything about its safety if I were you.

    By the way, if you’re referring to the “proof” of “nicotine addiction” known as the the IVSA experiments cited on the website of the Royal College of Physicians, I’m guessing you haven’t actually studied it in detail. I have, and I’ve done a detailed critique in Volume One of my book which absolutely tears it to shreds. Did you think I was just blithely stating that nicotine isn’t addictive? No, the medical profession often confuse compulsive habits with addiction because they don’t know what the difference is – this is evident in their very definitions of ‘addiction’. That’s why I wrote the book, to explain the difference in terms absolutely anyone can understand. Also, there have been scientific studies carried out since then which support my argument about cravings being unrelated to nicotine levels, most notably by Dr Reuven Dar from Tel Aviv University’s Psychology Department.

    I’m on the same planet as him, Iain. If it’s a bit ground-breaking for you, well – don’t worry. You’ll catch up with us eventually.

  12. My Husband took Champix earlier this year, the full double course. He has been a 60 a day smoker for many years. He cut down to around 30 a day, but at no stage, during or since, did he even feel like stopping completely. He was certainly different mentally — he felt ok but I could observe a change. He was miserable, lacking in motivation, sleep difficulties, tired but the biggest concern is that it apparently affected his ability to drink any alcohol. He has always enjoyed a beer in a social context but now literally can not drink one. He says it makes him feel sort of trembly/shaky/churning inside. I am interested to know if there are any similar reports and more significantly, if anything can be done to stop this reaction. It has seriously impacted on our social life and his ability and desire to socialise, which is not healthy. Champix appears to have messed with different receptors in his brain.
    My daughter also used it. She became very depressed, irrational and about 2 months after stopping the drug, developed cytoclastic vasculitis in her feet, which a dermatologist attributed to Champix.
    Scary stuff!

  13. I started taking Champix on the the 1st August 2011… I stopped smoking on the 8th August 2011… and havent had a fag since… Its now 11th September… I feel great.

    I now hate the smell, the after smell, the walking through clouds of smoke… Bets thing I have even done…

  14. I took Champix for 8 days and yes it did stop me from smoking, I’ve now not had a cigarette for over 2 weeks, which is great. I am however “VERY CONCERNED” at the side effects it gave me – headaches, unable to sleep, depression, awful dreams and thoughts, VAST mood swings, blurred vision and a feeling of well – not really being with it!
    I’ve now been off the Champix for 2 weeks, however I am still experiencing the above symptoms. How long does it take for Champix to get out of your system? Does it EVER get out of your system?? I’m VERY worried!!!

    I certainly WOULD NOT recommend anyone take this medication!!!

  15. I took Champix for four weeks. Ten days into the course I started to feel slightly high and developed mild restless leg syndrome. I persevered for another couple of weeks but decided to give up as I had started to feel a bit wound up in general (the “high” had faded away at this stage). I thought that if I stopped taking champix then the side effects would go away. I was so wrong!
    After about a week I started to think everyone hated me (paranoia) and that I had done horrible things (delusional). The “high” came back and I thought it would be a great idea to kill myself. In my mind, I thought this was the best idea I ever had. I checked out several bridges in the area and then proceeded to try to-launch myself off one of them. Fortunately someone had noticed my strange behaviour and rang the police. They rescued me but if they had arrived 10 seconds later I would definitely be dead by now.
    I spent the next 10 weeks in a psychiatric ward. I was completely crazy ay this stage and getting crazier by the minute. I thought the food and water was poisoned and that my family was in cahoots with the staff to have me murdered.
    This is just a brief description of my descent into insanity, courtesy of Champix. It was actually much worse I have described and just thinking about it makes me quite fearful. I was prescribed two heavy duty anti psychotic drugs but that’s a whole other story. Thankfully I have made a complete recovery and I am now a fully functioning member of society. I should also mention that I had no psychiatric history prior to my experience with Champix. There should be a worldwide ban on this drug.

  16. Hi Siobhan,
    Thanks for telling us about your experience with Champix, it sounds horrific and absolutely terrifying!!!

    I only took Champix for 8 days and still don’t feel “well” in myself 2 weeks later. Could you tell me how long it took for you to feel like yourself again? What helped to make you feel better? (apart from the anti psychotic drugs). Did exercise help?

    I’m going to see my GP this week and tell him exactly what I think about this drug. There should be a worldwide ban, I agree! My worry is for the other unsuspecting smokers who are about to start a course of this drug!

    I’ve started smoking again this weekend, even though I wasn’t craving a cigarette to try to alleviate my general feeling of misery! To be quite honest it hasn’t helped.

    Thank you so much for your story Siobhan, I atleast feel a little more hopeful that I will also some day feel like myself again. Take care and keep spreading the word about this truly awful drug!

  17. Hi Sarah, i’m sorry you’re feeling like this. I would advise you to see a medical practitioner immediately. I didn’t when my symptoms first appeared and look where that got me! I would also advise you to be around people you love and trust. I was alone in my house for 5 days before I attempted suicide. In these five days my thoughts went round and round in my head and insanity took hold. The craziest ideas seemed perfectly reasonable. This is why I am urging you to GET HELP NOW!
    In answer to your question, I got out of hospital exactly 3 months after I began the course of Champix. It was around this time that I started to feel normal (as normal as you can feel when you’re taking anti psychotics). The ability to feel joy and happiness came back about 4 months after that (I threw the anti psychotics in the bin). The only exercise I took was long walks with a good
    friend. I’m not sure if it was the act of walking or the great conversations we had during the walks that helped. Probably a bit of both. Being with people certainly helped and if you are blessed with friends and family who can make you laugh (I am), well that’s even better. If you find yourself alone in the house switch the TV channel to comedy. I was advised to do this by a friend who is a psychiatric nurse and it does help. You might not laugh right away but you won’t be thinking of the easiest and most painless method of cutting your own throat either. If there is anyone in your life who doesn’t have your best interests at heart, cut them loose. That helped big time. I hope this helps but I really think you should go to your doctor right away before it all gets out of hand.
    Chris, I only realised today that this thread relates to Australia only. Sorry, I’m from UK.

  18. No, that’s absolutely fine Siobhan: Champix kills globally. All comments welcome on any thread.

    Two interesting developments I’ve noticed this week (don’t know if they’re new), Champix jokes on Twitter, eg. “I stopped smoking with Champix – I killed my neighbour and you can’t smoke in prison”… not funny really but it shows how notorious Champix is becoming and I suppose it does raise awareness a bit more, albeit in a tasteless way…

    … and then there’s this. Champix Kills gifts, including “Funny Champix Kills Keychains”. Bit of free promo for you there, Pfizer. Maybe we should all buy one of the keychains and send it to the Health Minister.

    Just in case anyone’s wondering, I have no personal connection with shop.cafepress – but I hope they sell millions of “Champix Kills” T-shirts, mugs and bumper stickers. Thanks for helping out raising awareness of this monstrous brain-melting chemical concoction they call Champix.

  19. Thanks for your reply Siobhan, it’s very much appreciated.

    I began smoking again at the weekend and this seems to have cleared the “blocked” feeling I had in my head. Whilst not ideal to start smoking again, it definitely helped me feel better in myself. You’re so right about speaking to loved ones, which I’ve done so this week, they had no idea what I was going through and thankfully I’m feeling a lot more like “my old self” today.

    I did speak to my GP this week and he was really quite offhand when I told him about the symptoms I was experiencing, quoting that only 2% of people taking this drug would have the symptoms I experienced. I was absolutely shocked with his response to be honest. He didn’t even ask how I was feeling!…

    I’ve now decided to stop smoking “my own way” and not with the assistance of mind altering drugs!

    Thanks again.

  20. Doesn’t that make you feel special Sarah? YOU don’t matter, only the percentage.

    Your doctor has absolutely no idea how many people are suffering all over the world. He only knows what the drug company have told them in their marketing literature, which your doctor has swallowed as if it were gospel. Pfizer have already been fined amounts higher than any other drug company in the world by the US Supreme Court for misleading information on medicines. They are already convicted liars, and they made sure documents from the drug trials on Champix detailing hundreds of bad reactions, including 150 more suicides, were missed in a crucial FDA safety review by “submitting them through the wrong channels”.

    When that fact emerged last year, the French Health Minister stopped public funding for Champix on safety grounds. I bet your doctor, and most other doctors writing out prescriptions for Champix, knows none of this. Why Not?

    The FDA, incredibly, did nothing. Almost as if those extra 150 suicides just did not matter at all – or any to follow. Corrupt? Oh, rotten to the core. And I’m going to keep saying this until everybody in the world knows it. They should be put in jail. People are dying, and there’s no need for ANY of it.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sarah. I think you need a better doctor.

  21. Hi Chris, Yes, I’m absolutely SHOCKED that this drug is still being given as a SOLUTION to stopping smoking. I think every smoking GP should be given this drug to try themselves before being so SURE that this is the right drug for their patients. I’m very sure if this was the case then CHAMPIX would not be prescribed AT ALL! I’ve spoken to so many friends and colleagues about my experience since this happened, I initially felt ashamed and embarrassed as I didn’t want them to think I had “gone crazy”, but they are as SHOCKED as I am! I will continue to spread the word about this KILLER drug in the hope that it will stop anyone else going through the same torture as thousands of other unfortunate people. I’m SO pleased I found this forum, so THANK YOU and keep up the great work!

  22. what a load of shite you guy’s talk and all the hate and vitriol. most of us just want to quit smoking but suddenly through champix which i have taken your all going insane, troppo, OTT get real people your blaming your lifes problems and issues on a take it or leave it drug designed to stop you smoking DUH!!!!!

  23. I had the flu shoot in November. In December I developed Guillian Barre Syndrome. I was in the hospital for 1 week and in a rehab hospital for 4 weeks. I am still very week and now have to use a walker to walk. I would think twice before you get the flu shot. It is funny, if you read foreign publications Guillian Barre is almost always linked to the flu shot but the US doctors refuse to admit the link.

  24. I have been taking Champix for only a few days and have never had a problem with depression in my life. I have been so angry and said some terrible things to one of the people I love most in the world. Thank god she realises why and forgave me. When I am not angry I just want to cry and the things that have been coming out of my mouth are just not me.

    It has scared me to see how much my personality has changed in just three days. I have no family history of mental illness or depression. I will be telling everyone not to take Champix under any circumstances and only hope I am back to normal in a few day.

  25. I have just located this blog. I started on champix nearly five years ago (about 2007)! Yes it stopped me smoking (miraculously) within the few weeks as they prescribed and i was amazed. However, within that short period, my mood was aggressive, not overtly to me, but to others and as evidenced by the fact that my driving managed to rack up sufficient points to loose my licence within three weeks & not to mention the phsycotic dreams that found that i was having; was presribed anti-depressants by my GP to help & they did sort of.

    Now five years on;
    i am seeking further medical advice, more anti-depressants, psycologists & phyciatrists, i drink to much, i smoke to much, i have dropped out of my successful financial management career, can’t afford the life that i was previously anticipating & expecting, not to mention my lovely & supporting wife and (now adult) children: i am currently being sued for bankruptcy, i cannot function physically or mentally as i used to; and believe that i would do every one of my family a favour by not existing!!!
    No! this is not a choice but a realistic assessment of my current situation…..
    So where to next?………..

  26. I have been using Champix for 7 weeks and have not smoked in 5 and a half, early days still i know but i am more than happy with the results so far. When i started the treatment my GP went through all the possible side effects with me in detail so i have been aware of the danger signs to watch for. I have experienced some mild side effects, i am more emotional and a little moodier and when i first started the course the tablets did give me stomach pains but these quickly ceased. My GP advised me to have regular meetings with the practice ‘quit specialist’ which i have done. In these meetings we discuss any side effects i am experiencing and i am advised whether or not to continue the treatment.

    I am not disputing some of the terrible side effects people have experienced from using Champix, it is just my belief that if more GP practices etc monitored the treatments in the way my own has, these side effects could be managed, i.e. people took off the treatment before things went to far.

  27. As I’m getting a little tired of people accusing me of self-interest, I’m posting this latest contribution, from a mental health nurse, and this and several other popular threads… THIS is why I’m doing all this stuff about Champix: to prevent THIS:

    “I really wish I’d found this site before I started taking Champix, I definately wouldn’t have taken it and would have saved myself so much misery!
    I started taking Champix 4 weeks ago and have had problems from week one, not realsing it was related to this evil drug. My symptoms have incliuding nausea, constipation, stomach cramps, weight gain, vision problems, sore throat and losing my voice, flu symptoms, forever tired and memory loss, both short term and long. I have had hallucinations, visual and audial, thankfully fleetingly and have also had fleeting thoughts of suicide. I am starting to feel depressed, but I think that’s because I’ve been feeling ill for these 4 weeks with no sign of recovering. My GP said it was pyschological withdrawal, gave me a script for antibiotics and told me to carry on with the good work of not smoking! I’m worried for my job too, I only started 4 months ago, have already used up all my sick leave and am not working to my potentail. Oh, I’m a Mental Health nurse and the side effects that some of these people describe frighten me to death! IT IS NOT a withdrawal from nicotine.
    For all you people who are having postive experiences using Champix, please be aware of the possible side effects and ask your nearest and dearest to keep a close eye on you.”

  28. I can’t believe that after 2 years of stopping champix the side effects have returned. In 2010 I stopped taking champix because of the fog brain, depression, memory loss, could not function worst time of my life. I started smoking after 5 months because I couldn’t take it any longer and I returned to my normal self. I did cold turkey 3 weeks ago and I can’t believe all the side effects I feel now are the same when I took champix. My head tingles all the time, I can’t think properly etc. I don’t even think of a cigarette (and I’m scared when I drink alcohol) as if I was taking the drug again, which is good however I am considering starting again so I can get myselft back. I have two beautiful children and a supporting husband who love me dearly so I really want to stop but I can’t function at home, in the car at work. Can these side effects return?? Had blood test all came back clear, doctor not concerned, which really annoyed me!

  29. I decided to try Champix to quit my 12 smokes a day habit. I was a bit reluctant at first because I had tried Zyban about 6 years ago but suffered bad side effects (insomnia, nightmares, sweats & shakes) so stopped using it. This time with the Champix, I made sure I was at a happy place in my life to minimise the potential stress of quitting. Life was going well – no money trouble, happy relationship, happy at work etc….
    I took Champix for 7 days. After 3 days, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping & was getting really upset & angry at the smallest things. After 5 days I just wanted to punch people if they even looked at me the wrong way. Today, after 7 days on the drug, I woke up in the morning (after a terrible broken sleep) & felt extremely depressed, angry & hungover even though I hadn’t drank the previous night. All this before I’ve even stopped smoking! I now believe the horror stories. Champix may be OK for some people, but not for a lot of us. For me the effects were even worse than the Zyban, much worse!

  30. Hi Matt, hopefully your side effects won’t stay around too long, like they did for me. Have started smoking rollies and slowly feeling better. Will be trying to stop again soon, but the natural way! Good Luck I also did Zyan 8 years ago only lasted a week but agree side effects were much better and actually stopped for about 3 years!

  31. Jodie, I know what that is. Those are ‘replays’ of the original experiences and it is a reaction to the circumstances of the Champix quit attempt and the real side effects. I’ve been a hypnotherapist for 12 years, and I know that the Subconscious mind can replicate exactly any previous experience, not just in the mind but in the body.

    Your Subconscious mind did not know you were taking a drug, and has attributed the original unpleasantness/suffering to stopping smoking, when it should have been attributed to the drug. So when you quit again in June, it ‘reminded’ you what happened last time, aiming to start you smoking again to protect you from the “side effects” of not smoking!

    It is a simple misunderstanding on the part of the Subconscious mind and any decent hypnotherapist should be able to get rid of that for you. If you want to do that, I’ll be happy to provide explanatory notes for the therapist you choose, explaining exactly how to stop it.

  32. Hey guys,
    I stopped taking Champix the night before last…. I was into my third week of feeling flat, detatched, irritable, sad, just to name a few the list goes on but from what I’ve read on here these side effects are too similiar to not be caused by this wicked poison I’ve put into my body….the crunch came for me the other night when I broke down, with what felt like “my brain screaming out from inside my head”. It felt like even to think of a happy place I had totally NO control of my feelings at that time…all I wanted to do was be able to jump out of myself and run the hell away from what I was feeling…If it wasn’t for my boyfriend…. I was very close to jumping into my car and driving it into the nearest tree.

    It’s been 2 days nearly since taking my last champix and altho I’m feeling a lot better I still feel very flat….I’m so hoping this doesn’t go on for much longer.

    I hate the drug personally as do many others it’s affected…and for the people who can tolerate this drug and give up *cheers for you* but don’t sit there and judge us or our lives as being pathetic before we started on the drug… you don’t have that right!!!!

  33. Hi Chris, thank you for your reply, that gives me an understanding of what the hell happened. Could you please forward the notes as I plan to see a therapist.

  34. Hi from new zealand, I’m a 44 yr old male living in darkness thanks to the horrors champix has left me with after using the shit for 9 days, i can tell you that something clicked over in my brain within 15 minutes of using this for the first time, and has left me feeling depressed, anger, DARK, and I have suicidal dreams of going out hanging myself… I was ordered to stay clear of them after the 9th day of the first card of champix by my doc after I told her that I have been driving 5tonne forklifts, and having things jump out at me whilst driving, hallucinations after the 2nd day, I also had visions of severe anger towards my Immediate boss at work, and often times I get the feeling of being smothered by a heavy wet blanket, my head is cloudy with dark negative thoughts… in reality my safety factor is my 6 yr old daughter and my job, I also live alone…. the doctor wants to try me on anti depressants, and sleep tablets, but I dont feel they have anyway of helping me,, there is a natural product on the market called Rhodiola that helps to rebuild the seratonin, I will try that first before my doctor fux me up more..

  35. Hi. I am sorry I know its an old thread. I have tried patches
    inhalator and they didnt work so I thought I would try champix.
    what a big mistake. I didnt have the nightmares or depression but
    8 day after first tablet I had severe stomach cramps, vomiting and
    diarrhoea. I have lost a stone and a half on three days, I have no appetite and feel really really ill.
    I have now stopped them and I am still smoking but there is no way on earth i want to feel that ill again.

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