Champix Chantix 9: Varenicline, murders and suicide

I first heard of Champix (Chantix in the U.S.), otherwise known as varenicline, in May 2007. By July 2008 I had already learned enough about it to arrive at the conclusion that it should never have been passed as if it were safe for use in the UK, Canada or Australia because it was already clear it was causing serious harm in the United States. Before another year had gone by I had made it an express aim of the Truth Will Out Campaign to call for the withdrawal of this extremely unpredictable killer drug. (See Homepage for the original aims of The T.W.O. Campaign.)

*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.*

Why Champix Should Be Withdrawn Immediately  by Chris Holmes

Finally – and this has taken far too long – the call has begun for Champix to be withdrawn from sale because of the dreadful damage it has done to so many smokers and their families.  Dr Michael Siegel, a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health has explained why the Black Box Warning on the medication – the strongest type of safety warning there is – is still not sufficient to protect the public.  His voice should not be ignored: Dr Siegel has 25 years experience in the field of tobacco control and has published nearly 70 papers on tobacco.  This is what he says about Pfizer’s dangerous brain-boiling tablet:

I’ve Been Saying This For Years Now

I first heard of Champix (Chantix in the U.S.), otherwise known as varenicline, in May 2007.  By July 2008 I had already learned enough about it to arrive at the conclusion that it should never have been passed as if it were safe for use in the UK, Canada or Australia because it was already clear it was causing serious harm in the United States.  Before another year had gone by I had made it an express aim of the Truth Will Out Campaign to call for the withdrawal of this extremely unpredictable killer drug.  (See Homepage for the original aims of The T.W.O. Campaign.)

That was two years ago.  The foot-dragging of medical authorities all over the world with regard to this evil medication has become truly obscene.   Most recently, New Zealand’s medicines approval body Pharmac – which had hesitated over Champix because of serious concerns regarding its safety – finally did a special ‘package deal’ with Pfizer involving the licensing of a number of drugs, including Champix, making it shockingly clear that their former concerns about the safety of New Zealand smokers could be negotiated away if the price was right.  Never mind that the link with suicides was already well established.  Never mind the fact that by this time, it was apparent that the true success rate of the drug (at the one-year follow-up stage) was only about 14%.  The press in New Zealand churned out the familiar marketing hype about the 55% ‘success rate’ once achieved at the 12 week stage in clinical trials, and a Pfizer spokesperson added the  platitude that the “benefits outweighed the risks”.  What they really meant was, the benefits to THEM outweighed any risks to smokers lives, jobs, health, relationships, liberty etc. as far as THEY were concerned… risks which Pfizer continue to deny can be conclusively linked to the drug anyway.

*Would you like to reply to that denial?  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.  If you live elsewhere, Google “How do I report a bad reaction to a medication in…” (wherever)*

Smokers’ Testimony Doesn’t Count

… as far as Pfizer are concerned, that is.  This is why I encourage all those smokers who have suffered a bad reaction to report it, and make sure their doctor uses the official channels to make that report count.  And although a recent report  found that Champix/Chantix was 18 times more likely to be associated with violent behaviour than any of the other 484 drugs in the study – making it the worst offender of all in terms of aggressive reactions – that is STILL only using the data from the limited number of cases where an official complaint was made against the medication.

Smokers’ testimony counts here, though, on Truth Will Out.  Already we know, from such testimony, that:

– many smokers are STILL not being warned about ANY risks associated with the medication

– many doctors and other medical personnel don’t know much about risks anyway, or dismiss it as ‘media hype’

– many smokers are okay on the drug at first.  THEN it gets nasty

– early results seem much more promising than long-term outcomes actually are

– the last two points have generated massive amounts of PREMATURE praise for the drug

– many sufferers of bad reactions did not know that the drug was to blame

– very bad side effects continue in some people long after coming off the drug.

It seems inevitable that suicidal or violent behaviour in individual cases over the last four years may well have been blamed on the individual rather than the drug.  In court cases or inquests all over the world it seems likely that the connection would probably have been missed, or perhaps dismissed as an attempted excuse.  Certainly the actor Nicolas Williams was thought by some commentators at the time to be using that connection as a way of getting off an assault charge, when he was cleared by a court last June.  But how many have been convicted?

In July last year, Andrew Case  killed his two young daughters and his wife, then hanged himself.  He had been taking Champix, but at the inquest it was stated that none of the drug was found in his blood.  Did the people conducting that inquest fully understand that the horror continues for many Champix victims, sometimes long after the drug is discontinued?  PRETTY IMPORTANT FACT TO BE AWARE OF, DON’T YOU THINK?

A Sure-Fire Way To Get At The Truth About Champix

When people die by their own hand – or as a result of violence, there is always a post-mortem examination.  In this country, and I’m sure in many others, if that person is on any medication from their doctor, a note of this is made as part of the post-mortem and inquest proceedings.  However, if they blew their brains out with a shotgun – or someone else’s brains – then the cause of death is recorded as Death By Shooting.  If they were taking Champix at the time, the cause of death is listed as… Death By Shooting.  This means if Champix really caused that death, Pfizer got away with it.

I suggest that the obvious thing to do is to look back over ALL the violent deaths and suicides which have happened over the last four years, and find out how many of those people were taking Chantix or Champix at the time.  Then compare this information with the same types of cases in the previous four years before that, to see if the Great Global Champix Experiment threw up a spike in the incidence of violent assault, murder and suicide.   Might also be a good idea for anyone accused or convicted of violent behaviour during that time to check for a Champix connection if that was not the way they usually behave.  I’m sure this kind of information could be demanded by anyone under the Freedom of Information Act here in the UK, or obtained by lawyers involved in cases against Pfizer over Chantix/Champix.  Even though this would still be missing the cases where the drug was bought, not prescribed, it would be a very good indicator of the drug’s actual role in all these horror stories and – even if not conclusive in any individual case – enough to get the monstrous concoction banned.

That inevitable event cannot come soon enough.  How many more have to die, Doc?

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93 thoughts on “Champix Chantix 9: Varenicline, murders and suicide”

  1. i came back to my sences in a jail cell and had to ask the police what i had done,got to go to court now for threateningt behavour and possesion of a knife in a public place,thank God i didnt hurt anybody.i couldnt work out what had happened untill i started reading about the side effects of this evil money making drug, it needs to be taken of the market NOW.i had only been on it for three weeks

  2. I can only think that you are employed by the Tobacco Industry. This drug is the greatest aid to giving up smoking. I know so many people who have managed to quit by using this drug, and had failed in other attemps. Sure there are side effects that only effect a few people but for the majority the benefits completely outweight the defects. So stop bleating and far from trying to get this drug banned actively encourage people to use this to quit the evils of smoking. It is not only the smokers who benefit from giving up, it also family and freinds who do not have to put up with impassive smoking but also the dreadful smell.

    1. Vic Gillam responding to Ross Angland:
      Such an arbitrary/dumb argument. If Ross works for the tabbacco industry you must work for the pharmaceutical industry. Champix is nasty and even after the chemical has left your body, it has done its evil by destabilising your mental well being. I will never use Champix to quit. In the end it took a good hypnotherapist and self control.

  3. No, I am a professional hypnotherapist, self-employed, spent most of the last eleven years helping people to quit smoking. No connections with Big Tobacco or Big Pharma – they wouldn’t have any reason to like me.

    Did you not bother reading the post, Vic? Click on the links and read what Dr Michael Siegel has to say about why the black box warning on Champix is not sufficient to save smokers’ lives. Unlike you, I am not assessing this on the basis of the experience of the small number of people I know personally, but the actual number of fatalities and horrendous reactions to Champix which – had they not been misreported by the manufacturer, Pfizer – would have already stopped this drug in its tracks.

    The French Health Minister withdrew public funding for the drug when he heard about that at the end of May. That’s just the start.

    Presumably you don’t know the whole story. When you finally hear about it, don’t blush – I’ve already forgiven you. I’ve been studying this matter for three and a half years. It is the worst pharmaceutical catalogue of horrors I have ever heard of, and I’ve heard of quite a few. Glad it didn’t destroy the lives of anyone YOU know.

  4. I am taking Champix at the moment half way through week 3 and have just come across this website !! I am totally appalled that this drug is still being prescribed and the devastating effect is has caused to so many people. It is working for me for whatever reason, I just dont want to smoke any more! Even after reading about the extreme side effects I am reluctant to stop taking Champix as I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to a hyponotherapist and I really do not want to start smoking again !! sorry just so worried about what to do.

  5. Dawn this is exactly the problem: how can anyone advise you? Fact: some users are absolutely fine on it at first. Fact: in the short-term, it appears to be working in far more people than it actually cures in the long term. Fact: some people suddenly go down with devastating side effects, without warning, which seriously affect their minds and/or bodies. Fact: for some, these effects don’t stop when they quit the medication and we now know from feedback that some of these people don’t recover. Fact: There is no way of knowing, in advance, who will be affected so it is absolutely a game of Russian Roulette with your mind/body/life.

    How can anyone advise you under those circumstances? What would the doctor say? “You’ll probably be alright, but you never know so it’s your call?” Don’t fall for the marketing suggestion that “it’s better than dying of lung cancer”, like as if Champix were the only way anyone ever quit smoking. The fact is, it has a long-term failure rate of around 86% anyway, they just don’t want you to know that.

    Hypnotherapy is a) harmless and b) way more effective – that’s what the governments should be funding, not this crazy sick drug free-for-all. Then it wouldn’t be “too expensive” for anyone, and all this damage could be easily avoided.

  6. Started Champix 3 weeks ago, it is a miracle I stopped and have no side effects. BUT 4 days ago I strangled my ex. Three days ago I went out for a few beers and woke up in jail, the forensic van for dead people was sent to fetch me as they thought I was dead. Leaving jail I went to a pub at 09H00 and 15H00 back in jail. These three days also contain things that I have heard that I won’t even tell as I am too embarased. Now I will not take any alcohol not even 1 beer. Now still on Chapix still no smoking and feeling fine apart from the thoughts of those 3 days. I thought 4 beers won’t matter, trust me you will soon lose all control, me living is a miracle.

  7. OK that’s a bit incoherent and I’m assuming that this is not a murder confession, and that your ex is actually still alive? I’m not taking that for granted though as a few Champix users have already killed. Hope not though, for the sake of all concerned.

    Champix and alcohol is an unpredictable mix, we know that already. But then Champix is pretty unpredicatable even without alcohol.

    None of this is necessary, you know. We hypnotherapists help people quit smoking every day. No risk.

  8. Hi, Chris. I agree w/you on all counts regarding the dangers/unpredictablity of Chantix. It should be noted that people don’t go to the trouble and expense of getting this script…w/hopes of having horrendous side effects. I was EXCITED when it first hit the market! And, I’ll admit that for me, YES, it did touch on the smoking receptors and DID take the pleasure away.

    And, had it STOPPED there, I, too, would be singing Chantix’ praises…but, it didn’t…and I can’t.

    Once in my bloodstream…it grew feet…and planted evil seeds thruout my brain. Who knew a little, blue pill could actually twist/DISTORT one’s thoughts, DREAMS, reflexes, etc….so COMPLTELY?!! This is one, SNEAKY, slow moving yet THOROUGH, ALL-CONSUMING drug.

    I feared drugs as a teen…can describe at 55 in VIVID detail…an hallucination. I’m w/you, Chris regarding how many people and families had their worlds turned upside down…and never put Chantix in the equation? I know I didn’t. My mom was the one who months after my attempt…started feeding me articles on the negative side effects. After awhile, I took the bait and continued the research.

    OMG…omg…is all I can say. ‘m just a dumb ole H.S. grad who was FORCED into a crash course on big pharma and fda ..when I almost wound up 6-ft. under…for blindly trusting my doctor, my pharmacist, Pfizer and FDA…w/my life. What a fool I was. Never again, tho. Learned the hard way, no one has your back. NO ONE.

  9. i started taking this drug champix in the uk about a week ago everything was going well until the 6th day i thought i was being posessed by the devil i was battling and fighting with myself against sucide it was horrific i was terrified i threw the tablets away and contacted my doctor who has helped me. i am so angry now. my message is stay away for this evil they will ruin ur life they need to be banned NOW

  10. I used Champix last year…though I stopped smoking for a few months I am now back on them again. I would however like to say that my doctor fully explained the possible side affects to me. Perhaps I was then better equipped to cope with the really strange feeling I had the entire time I was on the course. I think with proper support and education this drug could be a good stop smoking aid.

  11. Yeah – if everyone had the same experience you had – but they clearly DON’T, do they? Just re-read comments 7, 9 and 10 – plus hundreds of other comments like that on many pages of this site. People have killed themselves, Alison, after suffering severe personality changes that make them unrecognisable to their loved ones.

    Are you suggesting that these disasters were caused by a lack of support and education? Did you doctor tell you that you might kill yourself? If not, why not? Did they not know about all the suicides (which would be bad, they’re supposed to know all about it), or did they know perfectly well but decide not to tell you (which I think is even worse)?

  12. I’m so glad i found this site!! 1st visit to my stop smoking clinic yesterday and i was given a script for champix to collect in 2 days. The advisor said a couple of suicides were reported in America (but they over-rate things) were her exact words!! Sooo glad i looked into it further and i must admit it’s scared the hell outta me so i WONT be collecting my prescription. I was advised i would feel sick n maybe have wierd dreams and feel let down that NONE OF THE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS were discussed with any of us at the meeting. Thankyou for fetching this issue to my attention because i would have took champix not knowing the full extent of the damage they can cause to peoples lives. Cold turkey it is for me now!! I’ve done it before so can do it again……..Thought i was taking the easy route too with this so called medication.

  13. Hi Chris

    I am at the beginning of week 3 of Champix. I finished Allen Carr’s quit smoking book today and feel liberated. My Husband said I had turned into a monster and I must admit I was having serious mood swings after taking champix for a week. After reading your blog have just flushed them all down the loo. I dont want to smoke and I don’t want Champix – neither are worth the risk.

  14. Everyone on this is site is jumping all over Champix, well not everyone is the same im afraid to say, im noe on my 9th week of champix, 8 weeks without smoking after 25 years of that crap habit, i’v had zero side effects apart from some very entertaining dreams, I agree with Alison and what she’s said, for some poeple this is nothing short of a miracle drug for stopping smoking, I’v had several friend also give up on champix without bad side effects, sorry, but these are the facts at least how i see them

  15. Hi Lee, you don’t need to apologise for anything, your opinion is as welcome as anyone else’s – but I refer you to my answer to Alison (13). If this is the only thread on this site you’ve seen, just have a look at all the others… some have hundreds of contributions from all over the world.

    Suicides, attempted suicides, violent attacks and rages, crimes committed totally out of character, people hospitalised, imprisoned, crippled with pain, mental breakdowns, depression, skin bubbling up and falling off, families ripped apart permanently, more complaints about Champix now than any other medication, GPs who won’t prescribe it, the French Health Minister refusing to fund the use of Champix with public money on safety grounds…

    … I could go on and on.

    Same question to you, Lee: were you warned about all this? Alison never answered that question, but we know from hundreds of other contributors that many, many smokers were NOT warned, in fact some have been given very irresponsible and totally misleading reassurances that Champix is “perfectly safe”. Some of those people are now dead.

    I never said it does this to everybody. But if it HAD done that to you, or anyone you care about – and really, we should care about everyone’s safety, shouldn’t we? – then you would be asking the same question: Why the hell hasn’t this drug been withdrawn when the FDA have known about these problems since 2007? That’s FIVE YEARS of totally unnecessary damage and death to innocent people and their families, and it’s a one word answer: money.

    The FDA are totally corrupt, they have no credibility whatever. Same with the decision-makers at Pfizer. They should all be in prison awaiting trial for falsely submitting trial data on bad reactions including 150 suicides. If they’re not culpable for that then there is no justice at all in the USA.

  16. Hi Chris, yer I’ll answer your question for sure, yes, my NHS smoking advisor did most deffo advise me of all the possible side effects, and i took the time to read the leaflet with the drugs (which also states all possible side effects), and did my own reaserch on the net before I started taking them, anyone who takes any drug without first understanding what there putting in there body is in my opinion being very shortsighted, and i still stand by my claim that at least for me its nothing short of a miracle drug, its given me back my life free from an addiction I’d hated and was unable to seem to kick for many years.
    And I totally agree with you that everyones safety is important, but I think to withdraw this drug from use altogether would be a mistake, how many people die a year from smoking in the world???, many, some gasping and struggling for there last breaths, that scares the hell out of me, theres no nice way to die i guess, but thats way down list on ways I’d want to go, how many families are ripped apart every year by deaths from smoking???, again many, watching a loved one slowly being eaten by a cancer of any kind is no fun, trust me I know.
    So to ban this drug would be a huge mistake, at least in my opinion, I find it very hard to believe that anyone would go to sleep one night, and wake in the morning a knife wielding maniac??, you would feel the effects coming on, the leaflet with the drug, and my advisor said if i feel any strange effects mentally then stop taking them straight away, and seek medical advice, sound advice really.
    I can’t speak for everyone, and I feel for anyone who’s life has been damaged by Champix, but I’m sure im not alone in the world in feeling that this drug has both changed my life, and even maybe added a good few years of better quality life to it, if anything should be banned its smoking products, big business is built on people human d suffering and death, this surely cant be right can it??.
    Anyway, thanks for constructively asking me Chris, and not just jumping all over me like so many do on the internet.

  17. Ban tobacco? If prohibition worked, then fine, but it doesn’t. It makes the thing more popular. How many people took heroin or cocaine in this country when they were legal? How many smoked marijuana?

    The U.S.A. tried banning alcohol in 1919, but a mere 14 years later they abandoned the idea because it simply created a golden age for the mafia. People don’t like being told what to do – that’s why most of us started smoking, isn’t it?

    Lee, I understand your enthusiasm for Champix right now. But I also help smokers quit virtually every working day of my life with hypnotherapy. It takes two hours. Some of those people need another session later on, if they relapse, but most do not. The method is totally safe – as is the Allen Carr method, and acupuncture. If a smoker has tried all the SAFE methods, and they have been properly advised about Champix and they are prepared to accept their fate if it seriously damages them – and they have been told the truth about the actual success rate, which is about 17% at one year – then fine.

    It is not a case of Champix or cancer – take your pick. The vast majority of ex-smokers in the world quit by themselves. Including me. But if I’d known about hypnotherapy in those days, I’d have used that. Then it wouldn’t have taken years to succeed.

    Good luck, Lee – will you keep us posted?

  18. I took champix for one month and I had no side effects what so ever so check yourself with the doctor first or don’t take any perks or oxy’s with this drug so I guarantee that other people were taking other drugs with this drug cause I’m 100% fine

  19. Deanna, you can’t guarantee any such thing, the drug has totally different effects on different people. It doesn’t damage everybody, but you cannot accuse all the victims of Champix of taking other drugs just because you were ok.

    This came in today on another thread – THIS is why I’m warning everyone:

    “Our son took his life after two weeks on this drug. He had a new car, a beautiful fiance… he was 23, a sweet kind and caring person. All he wanted to do was improve himself by quitting smoking. Two weeks in, he completely changed. Champix killed our boy. People need to know… this is not a “side effect”, this is a direct effect. He is gone and all of us suffer now. Champix killed our boy. They murdered our son for profit.”


  20. I have almost finished my first supply of champix and for the first week I felt great and then all of a sudden I just couldn’t stop crying. I became paranoid about everything and became so sensitive to the silliest things. After weekend I felt great again and that lasted until yesterday and I have been an emotional wreck again but also I’ve been irritable, nasty to my Mum and earlier today I just felt really aggressive. I had to look myself away from people. My health advisor at my stop smoking advised that there had been reports that some people had attempted suicide but it was never linked to the drug. After reading all your comments I cannot believe I bypassed the worst side effect that I was told about, depression. The next level up from depression is harming yourself or others around you. And this drug clearly a human beings worst nightmare if your taking it or your associated with someone who is. The rest of my champix is going down the toilet and I need to apologise to my mum. I want to quit smoking and so far I have and if I go through the rest of my life without smoking again and returning to my former self then thank you champix and I class myself as very lucky. But I will be telling my health advisor and anyone I know who is considering taking this drug will be directed to this page. I wish to send out my sympathies to anyone who has suffered the side effects of this drug and the lose of loved ones.

  21. Thanx for people like you Chris. I’ve been on Champix since 27 Feb. but I’m DONE now. Mercifully, it seems. I’ve not been myself for the last 8-9 days, noticeable to my loved ones and colleagues, AND the kids whom I teach. It’s been a matter of trying to suppress irrational, resentful, vengeful thoughts, incoherent speech, outbursts, self-pitying spells & ”inexplicable” hostility towards my life partner , whom I usually cherish . Luckily nothing physical. Physical symptoms are insomnia (which aggravates mental & emotional symptoms), heart palpitations and irregular pulse rate. Yesterday I expressed my dissatisfaction with people & life. Scary potential precursor to God knows what! I am on no other medication. Hence I’m convinced of the cause. It’s a no-brainer. Can the damage be lasting when quitting after 2 wks 3 days?
    *World rulers are obsessive about controlling the minds & creating zombies of citizens. A captive mind will offer little resistance to the execution of their evil schemes. Governments use pharma, in particular psychiatric drugs, legislation & amendments to bills, to pursue their cause. This is TRUTH, not Champix, speaking

  22. My mum took champix and is now suffering severly from depression. It has almost been a year since she first took the drug. I would like to know if any one who said the drug was fine months ago, whether they have now developed mood changes months down the track??? She has tried to take her life three times now and is not showing signs of getting better. I would rather the risk of death by smoking in the future rather than trying to quit causing you to be so sad you take your life early!!!

  23. Today will be my 4th day on champix. Side affects so far is headaches stomache and chest Pain. Nauseas and fatigue however I will keep you updated on my symptoms half way through taking chamPix. Yesterday’s smoked about 20 cigarettes, Shouldnt champix be kicking in by the 3rd day or at least helping me reduce the amount I smoke ?

  24. Hello, today is my first day on champix. I am a heavy smoker, and so far today I have had 2.5 cigs, usually by this time I will of had may be 6-8. So, from my point of view, so far so good.

    However, my partner and I are trying for a baby. I asked my smoking nurse if it was ok to take Champix whilst trying and she said yes, to continue trying.

    Now, after reading all this I am really worried that if I fall pregnant whilst on Champix, some harm will come to my unborn baby?

    Please advise.

    Thank you, Orla

  25. The truth is, no-one has any idea. Not me, not your smoking nurse – not even the manufacturer. The drug was never tested on pregnant women or any kind of developing child, born or unborn.

    It has some pretty horrific effects on adults, though, we know that. Trouble is, it’s random.

    My advise is to find some other way to stop smoking. For most smokers this mad drug only works in the short term anyway, if it works for them at all. 86% will be smoking again within one year, so it’s not worth the risk in reality. Medical personnel seem to be genuinely unaware of these facts.

  26. Hello Chris,

    Thank you for your quick response. I have tried going cold turkey in the past as well as patches, neither have worked. I just want to quit ASAP.


  27. Harvard University have just proved that nicotine replacement doesn’t work any better than willpower, which I have been saying since 2008.

    Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture all have better success rates than any of the meds, and none of those methods have harmful side effects, so they should be first choices really.

  28. Hi Chris and everyone 🙂
    I have been getting headaches, agitation, blocked ears and depression on and off for about twelve months now. Initially it started the first week I came off champix, I had been successfully taking it for about 6 weeks, with the common side effects of nausea, but other than that I was ok. Unfortunately its taken me about 11 months to notice that my severe headaches ear pressure started just after I had used champix. My headaches and ear pains have been so bad that I have had CAT scans, I have been to an ear specialist and back and forth to my GP, who could only recommend meditation as my remedy. I recently started acupuncture to try and help the headaches and it was when I was asked several questions regarding my health that I made the connection between champix and my headaches, depression. I have not been the same person for the last 12 months and really feel that although I haven’t been on Champix for 12 months, that it has left some long term side-effects that I just can’t get rid of. Im so sick of feeling like half the person I used to be, its almost like my zest for life is gone, and to top it off I have the irritating pain in my head, temples, neck and ears. I just wanted to share this as I don’t think people realise that the side-effects don’t just go when you stop taking champix, for me this feels like a permanent side effect, and has really got me down and constantly fighting to be my usual positive and active self. Thaks for all your research Chris. If you know of any ways I can rebalance my brain so i can function at 100% again I would welcome any help, as Im so over this, and going to doctors who can only offer meditation (which I already have been actively doing for years) as a solution.

    frazzled head
    Mel 🙂

  29. Well hello – I live in South Africa – Cape Town – I have just completed 84 days on Champix and yes have stopped smoking – last week Tuesday I took the last two tablets I was suppossed to and though Hooray – OMG what happened on Friday night was beyond me – I had a complete breakdown and started talking about suicide and and that it was over for me etc – eventually 4 policemen calmed me down and I was taken to hospital and locked up in a psycho ward. I was told that am a a threat to myself etc. Fortunately I was released on the Sunday so got out – I went to see my doc yesterday who said that it must have been a combination of the Champix and the wine I had drunk. Sure it could have had an effect but I am strongly of the opinion that this is a dangerous drug and I am terrified there will be further attacks of the kind I experienced on Friday – I believe this drug should be banned

  30. I have 3 weeks left to go on Champix. I suffered from depression before i started chmpix and have found myself to be much happier whilst taking it. My doctor warned me of the side effects and against taking it if i had ever suffered depression but to be honest, how will we ever know if it is champix that causes all these bad effects? we are living in an aconomic downturn where money is scarce and times are tough and we dont know what people think at an given moment. we live amongst flesh eating bugs and swine flu and other mannerisms of things we are yet to comprehend, but im damn sure that lightbulbs werent invented until there were a whole lot of trial and error events first. We will always be guinea pigs to something, because there isnt any guarantees on anything! and chris, you cant guarantee hypnotherapy either.

  31. What, we’re supposed to accept the horrors of Champix because it is some sort of “trial and error” thing?

    I’ve got news for you, Christine: both these comments came in the same day as yours, and I absolutely GUARANTEE that hypnotherapy will never do anything like this to anybody:

    “Not sure where to start. I was a perfectly happy, constructive, outgoing, and active person. I wanted to quit the butts. Now , after Champix-thank God I had the brains to quit after two weeks, I’m left wondering what just happened. I have no memory of the two weeks, missed appointments, lack of sleep, nausea, and a phycotic string of events that rivals some horror movies. Like driving along talking to myself, and having a strange voice enter my head and getting mad at me, it freaked me out so bad I had to pull over and looked around my car to see who was talking to me. I forgot my helper of 15 years name. Heard the phone ring and spent 15 minutes looking for it, just to be told it was in my hand, This drug is evil, Stay away, I hope this buzz in my head goes away, cause if it doesn’t, I will be in the local ward for disturbed people soon. And sleep…wow. I usually funtion on 6 hours, now I need 10 and still can’t funtion. I keep forgetting to eat. I forget everything. I hope this hasn’t sparked a family hereditary early onset alzheimers.. but fear it’s too late.”

    “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 days.”


  32. Take particular note of that sentence in No.2: “I have no family history of mental illness or depression.” Be warned, people. Christine hasn’t spent the last four years hearing this feedback from the victims. I have, and that’s why I’m campaigning for this mad drug to be withdrawn before it destroys many more families.

    I can shut down a smoking habit in anyone who genuinely wants to quit in just two hours with NO RISK, and so can any other well-trained, talented hypnotherapist. All this Champix madness is completely unnecessary, Doc.

  33. hello im from canada after trying all the possible solution for quitting, 1 seems the best – cold turkey!

    12 days after being in the treatment [Champix] i am at a point where im ready to shoot any living thing in a 20 mile radius! Never in my whole life been so full of hate! I used to be a caring and understanding father and husband
    so im calling the pharmacy and my wife took the kids out for a while!

    if this story is not enough contact me at [email address] its just the tip of the iceberg its a good thing I reasoned myself on thinking something was triggering this hate i might have saved myself

  34. after calling my drug store they obligated me to bring the pills back within 2 days after explaining the situation they obligated a follow up consultation within 5 days!

    they comfirmed deaths, murders and suicide! which they did not tell me at first!

  35. Chris

    My partner was diagnosed with level 2 COPD having smoked for over thirty years. She has had many failed attempts to quit and finally the Doctor prescribed Champix with a full explanation of the side effects. She stopped about a week ago – truly amazing to see her success, she is one of the most committed smokers I have ever known. She became extremely upset that I was continuing to smoke – I don’t smoke at the same level as her. We had a very big argument but in the end I realised I now had to quit. I’ve been wanting to for a decade and always failed. My methods were patches and then cold turkey. So in an attempt to see if the magic pill worked I – irresponsibly – ‘borrowed’ one of hers. In about twenty minutes I had zero cravings – it was a shock as i could see how she had managed to stop. So the wonder drug I think – incredible and why dont I know about it? She knew I had taken it – I wasn’t hiding it. I took the pill yesterday at 1900 and last night had the most bizarre dreams. this morning I get the usual cravings – albeit much less than normal. I take another of the pills and half an hour later I am absolutely without any interest in smoking. How does this work I think? I must rush to the Doc and get my own prescription, I’ll do a bit of web research first. And I find your website. It’s certainly got me thinking – but I am strongly tempted to continue with official Champix for a few weeks and see if the side effects are getting any worse. I can live with a few weeks of dreams if that’s all it is – I feel genuinely free of the need for a cigarette for the first time in my life. However I am going to closely monitor all the web traffic I can on this drug.

  36. Hi Malcolm, thanks for that.

    This drug has made vast fortunes for Pfizer, not on the basis of the real, long term outcomes – which seem to pan out at somewhere between 13-15%, same as Zyban really when we look at the results at the twelve month stage – but because of the exciting early reports like this which are all over the web. Smokers want it to be a simple solution. For some it certainly seems to be that at first, so in their excitement they tell everyone.

    I can’t tell you how it works, when it does. Or why it doesn’t work for everyone. Or why it works for a while, then stops working even when people keep taking it. I can’t tell you why some people get horrible side effects with their first dose, and some people only get side effects much later – even on a second course, when they didn’t get them on the first course. I can’t tell you why the side effects can vary so wildly from one person to another, or why some smokers don’t seem to believe a partner who tells them that their personality has changed. I can’t explain why it doesn’t work at all for some, but yet works perfectly for some too, with minimal side effects.

    Of course they rave about it, just as those who have lost a loved one through suicide cry for the drug to be banned.

    No-one can tell you what will happen to you if you take this drug. All I’m saying is, no-one should risk it unless they’ve already tried all the risk-free methods first. Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr book and acupuncture have all got better success rates AND are completely safe. The original Allen Carr book is the cheapest – even costs less that a prescription charge in the UK! – and hypnotherapy is by far the best.

    Good luck Malcolm, whatever you decide. Please keep us posted.

  37. Well…
    I wish I read this blog before starting with Champix…
    At least before considering having a party, using Champix.

    A very weard thing is that the Swedish documentation are stating that u can “eat and drink” as normal! And said NOTHING about alcohol. The doctor may ask if you are having “problem with alcohol”, and if you do not have that (I do not have that) they leave the subject…

    Anyhow. I had this party. Drinking normal. But early, I got totally paranoid (or something) believing that allmost everyone (not in fact everyone) was lying to me, or was hating me, or something like that… It did not matter what those persons said… I just didn’t listen, or understand, anything. It didn’t got angry “at” anyone… but it made me feel so totally depressed, sad and missunderstood (well, nothing I said made any sense, so that part might have been correct)… Really scary. Because I still remember the feeling. And it gives me the creeps to think about it. (Not to mention the fact that I do remember some of the most idiotic things I said to people.)

    A funny thing (well, there is nothing funny with champix/alcohol-mix, but you understand). After, say, 4 hours of paranoia it started to fade away, and I was still drunk, and still kinda messed up in my head – but suddenly – I was happy!
    Well, this is not to suggest that the thing ended in a good way – just imagine the hangover, and how bad I still feel for that night, and what I said to people.

    Afterwards, doctors are saying that I should be happy that I didn’t commit suicide, or if possible anything worse, during those hours.

    Well, soo far, when writing this, Champix have made me reduce smoking by 50-75%, and actually I consider to continue, to make it worth the cost. …and if you haven’t got the point yet – I will not have a sip of alcohol until several days after finishing the damn medicine!

    Champix might work, but with alcohol it is a nightmare. DO NOT MIX!

  38. I have been a smoker for 35 years never managed to give up. I was ready to try Champix but afraid now because of so many bad side effects. What does anyone think i should do

  39. I first went on Champix 3 years ago, did the full course and gave up smoking for 2 years. only side effect was a few weird dreams. Unfortuneatly I started smoking again so went to get a new course from the doctor. 5 weeks in and I am now close to finishing it all. I can’t sleep, keep shaking, crying uncontrollably and look at knifes in the draw, pass the bath and see myself lying there with no more problems and it won’t stop.
    Doctor stopped me taking them 5 days ago, 2 days later he put me on valium and I’m still not able to control myself without taking valium to put me to sleep. Currently I’m looking at the valium and thinking if I take the lot then it will stop all this crazy feeling.
    worst thing is I know what is causing it but can’t stop. I think the drug should be banned because it is crazy. Does anyone know how long this will go on because living alone I don’t know if this will stop before it takes control of me. it has to stop soon I pray

  40. Drew, hypnotherapy is the quickest, easiest and most successful method, followed by Allen Carr’s approach (his first book is the best), and acupuncture also works for some people (about 25%) all of which methods are SAFE.

    Dave: hang on in there mate, keep telling yourself IT IS THE DRUG, IT’S NOT ME, IT IS ONLY THE DRUG AND IT WILL STOP. HOLD ON. People do recover entirely from this. Please keep us posted, and remember you’re not alone. Just keep telling yourself what you would tell a close friend if they were in your position. And make sure your doctor REPORTS THIS.

    Please keep in touch Dave.

  41. I had been taking Champix for only few days last month and end up having a breathing difficulties so severe that I drove myself to the hospital. The doctor said that I had a side effects but didn’t suggest me to stop taking Champix. God but I did straight away. From then on I am soo depressed, been thinking only negatively, resign at work, have a thoughts I never had before and even suicide crossed my mind! Hope that poisoned drug will stop working soon! I did take it only for 5 days. PLEASE DO NOT EVER THINK ABOUT TAKING THIS HORRIBLE DRUG AND IF YOU ALREADY HAVE STOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. I have read most of the posts and can only add that yes, I have stopped smoking for over two years now but for over two years I have been so depressed and at times have wondered would any one really miss me if I weren’t here anymore. I am so paranoid and don’t trust anyone. If someone upsets me a little bit I go so over the top and usually can’t stop crying for hours. I took champix for several weeks but did not complete the course set out by the practitioner as It made me feel so bad. Seriously, will this ever end?

  43. Hi all, if only I had known the side effects of this powerful mind altering drug 18 months ago, I could have saved my husband and our family from the hell we have suffered for the last six months. In January last yr my husband started taking Champix , he was on it for 6 weeks and was clean in4 weeks, we all congratulated him on quiting smoking and how well he had done. It was within about a month I noticed the change in his personality, agitation, paranoia , sleeplessness , hallucinations, mood swings and heavy drinking. As he was being made redundant at the time I put it all down to stress and tried to brush it under the carpet. However in December the moods, temper and irrational behaviour came to a head when after a horrendous week he threatened to kill himself and our 12 yr old daughter. I called the mental health crisis team who as a matter of course called the police to do a safe and well check on him, I battled all day to get someone to recognise that my husband was desperately ill, the police unfortunately arrested him after taking statements from myself and our little girl, he was charged with threats to kill and sectioned to a mental health unit. We were allowed no contact and they imposed bail conditions which meant he couldnt see either of us. It has taken us 6 months to get the cps to drop the charges and the case and allow him to come home. Before Champix we wrre a normal family doing normal things. This drug has ruined our lives, he has been home 2 weeks and we are trying to rebuild our lives, the question is where do we go now? How can we ever prove that Champix was at fault?!!

  44. The evidence is building. I’ve been fighting to get this drug withdrawn for years, and I’ve been hearing these stories since mid-2008. There were cases in the U.S. as early as 2006, so the drug company, Pfizer, have been playing down the dangers all along, in full knowledge that there had been bad reactions including suicides, some of which they covered up by submitting the reports to the FDA “through the wrong channels”, which led to them being missed in a crucial safety review.

    Individuals are suing Pfizer, and there are class actions being carried out as well, in various countries but the first thing to do is to make sure the bad reaction gets properly reported by the prescribing GP. Some doctors are clueless about the facts, so print off any material you like from this site and show them. Get them to realise how dangerous this drug is, and then start talking to other smokers on Champix blogs and support each other. Your husband is NOT alone, and we have even had worse reports where people DID kill themselves, attack other people and even a few cases of murder. It was NOT your husband, it WAS the drug and all of you – especially your daughter – need to fully appreciate and understand that this evil drug can do that to even the most loving, happy and mild-mannered person, so all victims of Champix aggression and violence need to know that the person affected by Champix is a victim too, not a prepetrator.

    I’m very glad you’re back together after such a horrible ordeal, and please will you keep us posted?

    There’s a wider lesson in this. Drug companies are not to be trusted and drug testing is inadequate, but more chillingly, even when they KNOW the drug is doing these things to some people, they continue to market it aggressively, KNOWING it will destroy more lives – and all for profit.

    It’s not just Champix that is evil.

  45. Funny but my posts on here seem to have vanished? Almost to week 5 of Champix and both me and my partner are smoke free and side effect free. Seems that there is a bit of one sided censorship going on here.
    We’ve also read Allen Carr’s book, the Easyway to stop smoking and I can’t Recommend it enough. It really does put you in the right frame of mind to dumping the weed for good. Without Champix, I doubt the quitting procedure would have been so easy though.

  46. They haven’t vanished, I only censor people who are being extremely offensive, and that numbers only four in four years. Your other comments are on another Champix thread, but there are quite a lot of them now so I’ll have to seek that out when I’ve got time to trawl through it all, I haven’t today.

    Allen Carr’s first book is the best. I also recommend his book on alcohol. He’s a bit repetitive and melodramatic, but most of what he says is quite true. I’ve read eight of Carr’s books.

  47. I was also one of those many people that would love to stop smoking. after being told about this amazing “Champix” i couldnt wait to start my course to give up smoking forever.
    The first few days went well and on day 10 i had the scariest night ever!!!
    i was busy watching Idols and having Pasta and thats all i remember till i woke up the next morning in bed full of bruises. My husband and daughter told me what i did. IT WAS SHOCKING!! i physically attacked them both and started foaming from the mouth. I wanted to strangle an make believe person in the front seat while driving, accusing nurses of stealing babies, i tried jumping out the car while driving, apparently hospital security was called and the nurses even asked my husband which pshyciatrist was treating me. The next day all i could think of was suicide and that i really didnt want to live anymore, and told my daughter the only reason im living is because God doesnt even want me. i am now seeing a pshyciatrist and getting admitted into hospital for a week of intense therapy due to the fact that suicide is still on my mind constantly even after throwing the champix in the bin 2 weeks ago.
    As far as im consurned this is the most dangerous drug on the market and should be BANNED!!!!
    It doesnt only affect you, but also the people closest to you.

  48. I’ve been on it since January, smoke-free other than one or two hiccups off the wagon.

    I heard only bad things about Champix and was determined to only use it while under doctor’s supervision. So I did. And it helped me quit smoking.

    There’s a “but”:

    For these past six months I have been daily managing a tension that keeps my jaw clenched, I have experienced outbursts of humiliation and anger, two specific occasions that caused both personal and professional (and permanent) damage to both my spouse and myself.

    We have discussed it many times. He says I am “not the same person” since taking it. He would prefer I lead a shortened life as a smoker than so full of rage on Champix.

    It has turned me from a generally happy person to one not happy at all. Stress in other aspects of life just seems to increase the edge Champix gives. This drug scares me and I’m convinced I can keep off smoking without it, so I will be asking my doctor to assist me in getting off it. If I smoke again and want to quit I I will never take it again. It’s not worth it.

    good luck to you all. For those of you who have had no side effects, be thankful, but don’t assume it’s the case for everyone. I’m on no other medication and my extremes of mood swings can only be attributed to this drug.

    So sorry to hear of all the pain and loss.

  49. hi, i have 2 experiences of quitting with champix-the 1st the worst-depression, crying, not sleeping, a permanant worried/anxious/butterflies feeling….i absolutely hated my partner and was losing it with my then 6 year old over nothing-i stopped taking the tabs just before my last packet, the symptons stayed for another couple of weeks though…a year later i tried them again which i was happy to do as i now knew the signs from last time thatthings might be going wrong….and considering the effects the last lot had the docs prescribed them again…..this time round i have completed the whole course but found the same anxious,worried,butterflies feeling has returned after stopping, also the losing it with my now 7 year old over nothing….i told her to go to hell the other day and have been on the verge of attacking her, i am not a violent person and never have been & i am treating my child in this way!!! i know im wrong what im saying/doing but i cant help myself….i havent touched a hair on her head might i add, to be honest as pleased s i am to of quit i was a happier person as a smoker!!!

  50. Some commentators on other threads who know very little about Champix damage from a personal point of view have accused me of self-interest, so I’m posting this latest comment, from a mental health nurse, on several popular threads. THIS is why I’m doing all 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.”

  51. my husband of 27 years.father of my 3 children.has become a monster after taking this drug.He moved into our spare junk room.Wont sleep.uses internet porn sites and dating agencies.But wont talk to me or his family.He locks himself away all day and goes on the computer all night.Constantly bickers.Feels sorry for himself.Insists nothing is wrong.Spends loads of money.cries alot. aggitated.doctors wont he is aggressive when we try to talk to doubt this will end is 3.36 am I have been woken by him.

  52. Hi Chris
    After reading the comments on here, in addition to other sites I’ve found regarding Champix, I feel quite scared. Particularly after having thoughts of physically attacking people, whilst walking through my local higgh street yesterday, feeling angered with it being so busy.
    I stopped taking Champix on day 11, after experiencing the following; Heart pulpertations. Trouble thinking and speaking. Yellow eye balls. A feeling of Malancholy – all within the last 3 days. Prior to that was extreamly tired, constant headache & strange dreams.
    Everything has stopped with the exception of the constant head ache.
    I am a very calm, non aggressive/passive person and feel scared to think what could happen, considering my thoughts yesterday.
    I was foolish not to research prior to taking them. My ‘stop smoking’ nurse simply said ‘if you read the leaflet you probably wouldn’t take them but thats the same with lots of medication’ and laughed!
    With that in mind and me thinking mind over matter, I went ahead and took thm regardles. Fortunately I had the sence to think again, after suffering ill effects and stopped.

    I will do all I can to raise awareness and advise people not to take them.

    I hope this head ache and thoughts will pass – can you recomend any other links regrding timescale of effects after stopping? Ad I have no faith in my local NHS – particularly as a friend was prescribed anti depressent in March, and the same GP then prescribed Champix a week after – she has been taking them both up until a week ago. However she is not well at all, and I;m scared for her.
    Chris, thank you for your site and good luck with the campaign.

  53. PS – violent thoughts occured 4days after stopping.

    PPS – I have completed the on line yellow card report – I hope everyone else with ill effects does the same.

  54. Hi.

    My doctor was very well informed about the mental effects and I was well warned. I also have a history of depression and insomnia. That said, what I knew was ‘can have major depression/suicidal symptoms’. I had not read about the type of experiences documented here in the comments.

    I quit Champix on day 4. I consider myself pretty ‘in-touch’ with my mental ramblings and could tell after 3 nights of 0 sleep that this was not going to end well.

    Something felt very strange with my thoughts. Apparently I was experiencing a type of conscious sleep (alpha state) associated with many depression drugs as well as Champix, but I stopped because I knew I would drive myself insane this way as the content of my thoughts was uncharacteristically ‘third reichish’. By this I do not mean racist or hateful, but somehow clinical, less human. I was losing control of the destination of my thoughts. I also am often a lucid dreamer so I could tell they weren’t just regular dreams. There was a self-detachment.

    In any case, it was nothing severe and I sympathise deeply with the scenarios I have read about here, many of which were tragic and terrifying. I have shared this and other sites with my doctor.

    I just wanted to add my pre-emptive experience. I had the feeling on that 4th day that something terrible would lead from my mind if I continued, and I believe it was over and above psychosomatic. If you’re on it and feel strange mentally, just stop, as you should know by now having visited this informative site.

  55. Hi, I feel like Champix has ruined my life..
    I do have a history of depression but have been fine for ages now, the nurse gave me them with no question or warning about it or any warning to not drink alchohol.
    i was ok for the first few weeks but then started having strange dreams and not being able to sleep. Then I started feeling paranoid and agitated at the smallest things and thinking my fionce was cheating on me. We were really happy, trying for a baby and in the process of buying a house..because of how I was feeling I decided to have a drink to make me feel better and just went crazy..I sent my fiance nasty messages and posted ridiculous things on facebook, sent people I love nasty messages…also I took some money which wasnt mine and lost it and I have no recollection of doing any of it..All this is out of character for me, now my fiance doesnt want to know me, I feel like everyone thinks I’m crazy..I havent been able to go to work because I’m in such a state and cant stop crying..I feel like my life is now over..everything is ruined.

  56. I’ve only been on Champix for around three weeks now, I stopped smoking after day 9.
    I’ve tried practically everything else to quit; lozenges, gum, hypnosis (I guess it depends on the hypnotherapist but the one I used was useless).

    So far the Champix has worked in that I no longer crave cigarrettes. Unfortunately my mental well being is diminishing, I’ve got very bad insomnia and suicidal thoughts. I’m very lucky I have a laid back job because I reckon I’ve only done around 1 hours work in the past fortnight (the lethargy is appalling). I move into a new internal vacancy next week so I know I need to come of these or I’ll be jobless!
    The one thing I enjoy is the crazy dreams along with being smoke free of course. I went out last Saturday night and went completely mental!!!!!! I will not be drinking again until I’m certain this drug is out of my system.

  57. This drug is not only causing suicides and violence, but physical harm leading to hospitalisation and it is also clearly destroying relationships, families and marriages. This has got to stop. Doctors, don’t put your patients at risk. Many of these people did not have any prior history of mental illness or depression, it is utterly random.

    Helen should never have been given the drug according to current guidelines, and she wasn’t warned. Natalie’s ‘stop smoking nurse’ made a joke out of the warnings on the leaflet – wtf????

    Helen’s story made me want to cry. AGAIN.

    This is not healthcare. It is ruthless profiteering at the expense of people’s lives. Please, people – make sure the bad reaction gets reported through the official channels by the person who recommended it. They could have killed you – or caused you to kill someone else. Let’s do everything we can to stop this random horror and heartbreak as fast as we possibly can. The long-term success rate of the drug is so low anyway that it’s just not worth anyone putting their life at risk when there are much safer ways of quitting.

    Patrick is right about hypnotherapy, you do need a good therapist. Just like you need a good surgeon, dentist, mechanic… useless ones are no good!

    “So far the Champix has worked…” The reputation of this drug as a quitting aid is based entirely on these early reports, because the short term effects are far, far more promising than the actual long-term outcome. Nevertheless some are successful and I really hope you’re one of the lucky ones, Patrick. Please keep us posted.

  58. I took Champix for 2 weeks. It has now been a week without Champix and I am feeling extreamly depressed. I feel like it has made me a crazy person! I am hoping for my kids sake I get over this.
    Can’t believe I found the website, I had no idea how dangerous this drug was.

  59. May 2012 – I attended the Medical Practice to quit smoking and had an appointment with the Smoking Lady. Asked if Champix was what I wanted I eagerly agreed to run the 12 week course to end my unhealthy smoking habit. I have spent hours away from my kids in another room smoking and it was time to end this filthy unsatisfying habit. It was probably the only doctors appointment that I have ever looked forward to, and given I am no fan of attending the doctors and neither bringing myself to talk about my problems this drug was limitless. It was only 2 weeks ago that I became conscious that my dosage was coming to an end and although I only came off Champix on 22 Sept, yes that’s four and a half months on Champix, I even went to the extreme of lying to the doctor that I lost a prescription to obtain a further 14 days, this was easily prescribed by my surgery but, not followed through and has since been terminated by my own doing. I even asked people to obtain this from their own GP but, it never happened as they wouldn’t have done it and neither did it feel right for me. I have always been a paranoid, self conscious person etc but this Champix was different gravy. It gave me confidence that lasted all day and night and I could take on the world. But now the stabilisers are off and keeping my shit together is unimaginable, the feeling this Champix leaves you with is best explained like this. Imagine coming home from a night out and being totally off your face, then walking into a room and family and friends try to make conversation with you. Then your chest tightens and pains appear from your shoulder to your hand each and every time and your not comfortable in the conversation and don’t know where to put yourself. You can’t focus on the person you are talking to, your legs go like led and you feel your suffocating. Moreover every so often you break down in tears. This drug is fucking nasty and I hope someone curses the sellers and makers of this product and bring sickness to them. Was this the biggest mistake of my life, I am only 4 days into being off this drug and I have already been in front of a Psychiatric Nurse and offered antidepressants.

    To think I told my employees and friends to quit by Champix. Good luck everyone, if I have anything positive to report back you will know about it.

  60. I am not the person l was. Always happy go lucky. Now a mere shell. How long will it take before these side effects go away? not sure how long l can live like this x

  61. Hi I’ve been on champix 23 days now and I’m feeling a bit crazy or a lot I mean. The other day I wanted to kill my self and I’ve even wanted to kill my dogs and its ruining my relationship also. But I am done, enough is enough. After reading your blog I am for sure now its champix doing this. And the crazy thing is I am already 6 months postpartum depression and had explained to my doctor that i wanted to quit smoking. She told me take champix its wonderful even the government of ontario thinks so too and who ever wanted it, it was completely covered. Wow!!! Only if knew all this information on champix I would of never took it in the first place. Now I am overly worried and sad to think I might not ever get over my depression from what I’m reading on here is there hope to ever feel normal again. For the sake of my daughter and husband. Its been 6 months too long and its worst more then ever now thanks to champix. Its sickening… Help, encouragement something please.

  62. Reassurances to Janah and Tashia: Quite a lot of people seem to recover entirely, some quite rapidly. It’s kind of weird though because a few people get worse after they stop taking it, but these seem to be mostly people who were relatively OK whilst taking it. The range of reactions is so varied that there is no norm, but the cases where there seems to be no recovery seem, from the feedback we have, to be in the minority. It is important that all family and friends affected read the information on this site and understand that it was the drug, not the person that is to blame, and also for the bad reaction to be officially reported by the prescriber, and/or the patient through whatever scheme monitors that in your country. If you live in the UK you can do this directly through the link at the top of this page. Protect others! Report it! This is the quickest way to get the drug withdrawn.

  63. I have taken several courses of Champix before. The first two had minor (and mostly welcome) changes in behaviour – a little manic, obsessive, sometimes full of rage, very energetic, it generally didn’t bother me. While taking it I had no desire to smoke and would tell anyone what a miracle drug Champix is.

    I started a third course almost two years ago, and I still haven’t entirely recovered from the fallout. My family told me I was not myself but I didn’t listen. For those who claim that people suicide on this drug merely because of withdrawal symptons, I must say though I suffered from extremely low (uncharacteristically so) self-esteem, I was not for one second suicidal. My doctor told me that if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve never had these problems before, and that they slowly disappeared after a course of anti-psychotics, he would have diagnosed me with rapid-cycling bipolar. I went through disturbing and humiliating episodes where I was violent and hypersexual. I alienated just about everybody around me but my family members. I convinced myself of a fabricated history of rape/sexual abuse. I engaged in extremely risk-taking behaviour – to the point that I’m grateful it was just my mind and friendships that were harmed, as bad as that sounds. I have always been an animal lover, and during my psychotic episodes I would feel sexually aroused when imagining hurting animals. I was paranoid and not functioning at all, yet most of the time sane enough to sneakily hide it. I simultaneously clung to this strange version of me while dismissing people who earnestly told me that Champix was changing me.

    I feel disgusted thinking about the poor people who suicided while in alien and unnatural states of mind. This drug should really be taken off the market. There are many doctors in my extended family, I have always had a blind trust in the medical profession… but I certainly don’t anymore.

    It sucks to be in the minority of people who suffered serious side effects of Champix, I just never thought that such outlandish, absurd things could happen to me.

  64. Hi again Chris. I have had some time to really think about your site, my last post on here and the effects of Champix on me. Having lived with Major Depressive Disorder for the past 6 and a half years, to the extent that I am considered permanently disabled, I have learned to really look at myself, my motivations, my feelings and experiences in depth. Having been a smoker for over 20 years, with multiple attempts at quitting, I know also the effects of quitting.

    I have been on Champix for 7 weeks now (in addition to my normal meds Trazodone 200mg once a day, Faverin 100 once a day, Epitec 50mg twice a day and Zopivane 15mg once a day). My only side effects have been the technicolour dreams, which are really weird and startling. Lol I think I could write the next 5 sequels to Alice in Wonderland using that material!

    I must also say that for longer than I care to remember my depression has been so bad that I have become a total hermit, fearing to leave the house, or even just my pj’s.

    Since starting on Champix, however, things are so very different! I stated some of the positive changes in my last post. Last week, though, I bought myself a bicycle and my daughter and I now cycle together daily. Lol we go down the street, with me laughing out loud with joy!

    Keeping your posts in mind, however, I would prefer to not be using Champix at all. I am still not smoking (39 days now). I have tried twice to give Champix up, once cold turkey, and the other time by halving the dosage. Each time, however, I reverted to pre Champix behaviour…… the desire to just sleep ALL the time, cry incessantly or just “give up completely and end things”. I would get up in the morning, take my daughter to school, return to bed, get up to fetch her from school, do homework with her and return to bed.

    I am honestly afraid of having to ever give up Champix. I must also make clear to other readers though that, as is the case with most anti depressants, a drug that can improve things psychologically can usually potentially also have the reverse effect. That’s why psychiatrists find the correct antidepressant for a patient only by trial and error. Very little is understood about why these drugs do what they do.

    I would like to suggest that Champix is certainly a mood affecting drug, whether positive or negative, and that it urgently needs to be studied further. I can only thank God however that it is still on the market, and pray that it stays available, and that more information is made available also on the prolonged use of Champix/Varenicline. I don’t want people who can potentially be helped by it to be refused this treatment, though of course I don’t wish for my illness to be brought onto anybody by the drug either. My strong suggestion is that people not avoid taking it, but that not only the smoker but also somebody who lives very close to the smoker is made aware of the potential side effects, and that the other person is made aware of the need to check in with the smoker on a regular basis, and to call a healthcare professional if necessary.

    I do think that sites where discussion of a medication is promoted are very important, not only to inform other potential users but also as a channel for feedback to the health care practitioners and pharmaceutical companies. You obviously are sincere, as you do keep posts defending both the pro’s and the cons of this drug. Thanks!

  65. This is to everyone who gave up smoking with Champix without nasty side-effects. I agree that the drug can stop you smoking, while you are on it. But the smoking cessation clinics get paid for ‘results’. That’s ok, but I would not call 4 weeks without smoking after you stop the drug ‘success’. Years of smoking does irreparable damage to your body, and stopping for 4 weeks is not going to suddenly stop years of smoking damage. Another point that people don’t seem to make is the fact that smoking does not kill everybody, disease comes from your genetic makeup. If every human had a genetic test done when they’re born you would be able to find out what diseases they are more likely to get. What I am trying to say is you are born with disease, it just depends on environmental aspects whether it is going to be triggered in you or if you are just going to be a carrier and it never bother you. Drugs, food, smoking, even gamma rays from the sun can be enough to trigger the disease in some people.

    Some drugs can prolong your life, and yes give you your quality of life back. Because really that’s what its about, quality of life, if you have to take a drug for the rest of your life, because you have a disease, and it makes you feel better then you must do it. But it’s not a miracle cure.

    Now about 30% of the world population has genetic mutations, and because we don’t all have genetic tests done when we are born you would not know if you are one of the 30%. Neither would your Doctor, or consultants, you may think they would, from a blood test or other tests they do. But no – all the tests your Doctors have done is to rule out disease, if you start to show symptoms. Now drug companies are different they now know all about genetic diseases, and coming up with a cure is what they are about. Not to help mankind really, it’s to make lots of money. If they really wanted to help mankind they would not put patents on their drugs so then every country would be able to produce their own. And yes new drugs can not be developed without problems, that’s why we have clinical trials. But if all the clinical trials are being funded by the people who have paid millions for the scientists to perform, how many bad side-effects do you think they are going to mention, if they are only happening in 30% worldwide, I say not the really nasty ones as its only thirty percent, not worth mentioning until it comes to the patent period being up. Then other companies can get the recipe, start making their own version. The drug becomes cheaper to produce because we get rid of shipping costs among other things, oh and don’t forget the jobs and revenue that could create.

    Anyway, when a patent becomes up, the company who developed the drug will have to give out the recipe. Now in the case of Champix (varenicline) the patent is not up until 2017. So that gives them a lot of time to make lots of money from this drug exclusively. That is why a lot of drugs don’t start ringing alarm bells until the patent is up, or sombody leaks the recipe. I have the recipe and I would like to let people know that Tabex, another stop smoking drug that you hardly hear about. As I think it was not considered as safe as Champix. Was developed back in 1997, by a scientist, paid for by Pfizer and GSK, yes a rival company. He produced cytisine from extracting it from the seeds of the Laburnum shrub. From cytisine he created Tabex for GSK. And then the first of its kind, he made a DNA copy of cytisine and Pfizer named it varenicline. Now if you look up varenicline, as a Doctor in their medical dictonary that all doctors have on their desk, you will not find varenicline, or cytisine. If you look up varenicline in latin, its Rx which means recipe. I promise: ask them if they know what varenicline is. So if they don’t know what it is, which by the way is the same thing happens with all new drugs. How is your Doctor supposed to know, if you are going to be ok taking it? They cant. They rely on goverment bodies such as NICE, MHRA, and MRC to give them prescribing guidence. Now ask the question were do the government bodies get their info from? The drug company who developed the drug. Now all the drug companies need to do, is not inform goverment bodies of any nasty side-effects that were seen in any clinical trials, and advise that to warn areas that it has not been tested on. And then they can just blame the doctors, by saying they should not have give it to you. But doctors are just going off government guidelines. In my case I had to sign a form to state that it had not been tested on people with epilepsy. It did not state, and still does not in UK, anything about it triggering epilepsy, Parkinsons, or other degenerative disease. If you look up nicotine use for epilepsy or Parkinsons and A.D., you will find that it can help with these conditions, including depression. So when they say all of they side-effects could be caused by nicotine withdrawal, yes it can but very rare. And considering, nicotine is out of you sytem within only five days. And the fact that most people who take Champix, have stopped smoking by the second week of a 12 week course. It can not be down to nicotine withdrawal. I just wanted to let the people who have been ok from Champix, just to be mindful that we are all different, and what works for one might not work for another because of that fact. That is why if you can manage to cut down on smoking with help it gives your body chance to get used to the change, and then its not such a shock to it, when you stop completely. You would not take a drug addict or an alcoholic or even somone who has been on medication years, to just stop as your body goes into shock and this can cause a seizure. Thats why they go into rehab to be watch for these things, its the same with smoking for some people.

  66. Hi Chris/all

    I started Champix 3 weeks ago and was just starting my 4th week last Thursday when I woke up and thought I just don’t feel right and was feeling fed up feeling generally ill, not being able to sleep or not being able to stay awake and having mood swings, so didn’t take the tablet and haven’t since. Now I have the most dreadful taste in my mouth and if it smells as bad as it tastes I feel sorry for my wife! My mouth has ulcers and the top layers of skin is shredding its not nice and very uncomfortable and i keep getting hot flushes, in fact im having one as I write this. I have only just found this site yesterday and have been reading it all day and I’m sure pleased I stopped taking this stuff, shame I hadn’t seen this site before I was recommended it by a “top stop smoking clinic” that is part of one of the “top hospitals” in London (although I guess I should be thankful that they told me I might have some vivid dreams and might have some nausea but would be ok if I took it after food) and that was after I had told them that I was on anti-depressants and had just come off anti-psychotic drugs. This is a bad drug that is obviously making people hurt themselves and others and just generally feel like shit.. I have a meeting with the clinic this week and will be giving them a link to this website if thats ok and will most probably let rip on them too…


  67. If there were such a thing as “nicotine withdrawal” then we would see it in all smokers who stop with hypnotherapy, because that is immediate cessation. No such thing occurs. What smokers experience when they try to quit without effective hypnotherapy is a Subconscious reaction to the change, which was a conscious decision the Subconscious knew nothing about and was not expecting. If it was simply a bodily reaction it would be equally observable in all my smoking clients. It is not, which is how I figured out that this is not a drug addiction in the first place, but a compulsive habit.

    Best wishes to AV, Shanita, Samantha and Jeremy, thanks for your valuable contributions to this important debate.

  68. Hi everyone. I started Champix beginning of August 2012 and after 5 weeks threw them away! Why? Simply because I could feel myself getting so very angry and argumentative towards the people I love…really so out of character for me. I struggled every day with my dark thoughts until in the end I had had enough of turning into a Bunny Boiler! My mood has now gone back to it’s normal, laid back self, thank goodness, however, I have still not regained my sense of taste and my sense of smell is very poor. This is quite distressing in itself, I never had a problem with either when I smoked. I can only put it down to yet another side effect of Champix. Am I glad I don’t smoke anymore? Yes most definately. Would I of used Champix had I known I would lose taste and smell (considering everyone says these 2 functions improve once you kick the habit!!) No definately not! I was aware of the posibility of mood swings and so kept a vigil eye-out for the signs, but this taste/smell loss has got worse not better…. I would like to hear from others if they have had the same reaction please. Thanks.

  69. Hello,
    I am a 17 year old boy living in South Africa..
    I have been diagnosed with very strong Bipolar Disorder, and I also have a small form of epilepsy on the brain.. So I’m on strong anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and anti-epilepsy drugs..
    I won’t go into too much detail but I have been taking Champix for about 6 weeks now and unfortunately only a week ago did it hit me.. I was one of the unlucky ones.
    Sure, Champix worked and I stopped smoking immediately, no cravings whatsoever..
    But for about 2 weeks now I’ve been having the most horrible issues with my body.. Which I can explain further if you want, just say so in the comments..
    Anyway I asked my mom if she could make an appointment to see my pyschiatrist who prescribed it to me. My mom asked why, so I tried to explain but she was distracted and said I must keep on taking it.. Anyway, Unfortunately the Psychiatrist is extremely expensive and busy, so I haven’t seen her in almost 2 months..
    Please please please could someone give me advice? I’ve stopped taking it for about 4 days now (1mg) as I refuse to take it anymore, but it feels like now I’m having withdrawal from the Champix.. It feels like my brain is fried (As if I’m under the influence of Marijuana) and life is hell for me right now, where just under a month ago it was amazing…
    Please help, I’d really appreciate it.. *Worried*

  70. Does anyone know of anything whatsoever one can do to get rid of the long term effects of taking Champix?? The depression, aggression and total lack of interest towards life?? I just want my husband back!

  71. I live in South Africa and had been smoking a long time. My doctor prescribed champix as I wanted too stop smoking, after a mont i turned out to be very aggresive towards my loving wife and daughter and even with clients at work. Swearing started too dream awefull dreams , hitting the walls with my fist so lot of things happend. My poor wife and daughter they took it all and are still by my side.

    NS: Im still smoking

  72. I took Champix in November 2012 and it felt like my neurons were fried. I had to take anti-depressants, which worked well, but I weaned myself off those, and am again experiencing the rage, anxiety and misery I felt while taking the Champix.

  73. My husband started taking Champix about 2 months ago now and I barely recognise him now. He does have a quick temper when not on this drug but normally for justified reasons. Now I only have to say something in the ‘wrong’ way and he flies off the handle. He has become paranoid and very aggressive and we have now reached breaking point. He is still smoking although he has cut down and refuses to believe Champix is affecting his mood, he is blaming me for his change in personality. I am desperately fighting to save our marriage, can anyone give me some advice on how I can help him before we leave or he does something stupid.

  74. I had smoked since the age of 16. As I was about to turn 32 I decided now was the time to give up smoking. I was an outgoing Really happy women, good job, loving partner, great life. I have no willpower and was prescribed champix from my doctor. At first the only side effect was feeling sick when taking the first tablet in the morning. In week 4 I finally smoked my last cigarette, I was advised to continue the course until the end of the 12 weeks. Approximately a week after stopping the tablets I noticed by behaviour had become very irrational along with my partner. One min I was happy, next I was an emotional wreck. I visited my gp who advised I was just tired but could be a side affect of tablets. (side effect of giving up smoking is insomnia) and prescribed sleeping tablets and advised me to take another 2 week course of champix and ween myself off my lowering my dose. To cut a long story short I did not retake the prescription, I have been back to my gp another twice in last couple of weeks as my behaviour has become extremely worse and the only support they can give is councelling . Please do not take these tablets!!!!!!! They have just about ruined my relationship and my work!!

  75. My normally placid and kind fiance attacked me physically and verbally tonight out of the blue. He has been on Champix for 12 days. I know it is these tablets that caused his behaviour.e

  76. I simply can’t believe what I’m reading. I have actually just come off champix because my behaviour is so out of character at the moment that I’m worried sick. I started champix the first week of February and at first I had no side effects but nearing the end of this treatment I literally feel I have lost my sanity and I’m working so hard to hide it. I had a urine infection and didn’t get it treated right away. I started getting confused, aggressive, nasty thoughts, suicidal thoughts, sensitive to noise and eyesight is definitely not right. My doctor and myself thought it was the infection but I don’t think it was. I still feel suicidal even after treating the infection, I am 57 yrs old and definitely the old school but I burst into tears at my doctors office the other day. I told the doctor for the first time in my life I feel depressed and thought I needed something to calm me down but he refused saying I was a strong person and just needed time to myself. I’m thinking of going private and getting to the bottom of this before I have no friends left.

  77. Sue Vorster and people who have been traumatised –

    What works for someone may be disastrous for another and Champix is a prime example of this. However I have made a full recovery from this nightmare, I was on Seroquel for awhile. My psychiatrist tried other drugs too, with unpleasant results (Prozac and avanza, though again these work brilliantly for some). The biggest help to me once I was calm enough to be receptive and off all meds was seeing a cognitive behavioural therapist. If you can find an experienced one I really recommend it.

    It has taken me over a year to recover but I’m very happy now.

  78. Good day
    South Africa

    My Husband was prescribed the drug by our Doctor of 20 years who is well aware that my husband drinks alcohol every day, when I saw the side effects I told him he is not taking it and threw them in the bin thank God for that

  79. my husband was prescribed Champix and yes i noticed a lot of the depressive symptons you mentioned as well as memory loss severe headaches as well as aggression at the time of him being prescribed this med he had actually gone for a complete physical just because there was a history of heart disease in his family and i nagged him to go everything turned out fine no problems all blood tests they done for cancer markers came out clear but the doc said he he should stop smoking and prescribed champix 3 weeks later he developed a sore on back of ear he has now been diagnosed with melanoma the flesh eating cancer i want to know if this drug could have caused this

  80. I honestly don’t know, Wendy. The incredible variety of side effects it certainly does cause (ie that we hear over and over again) means I wouldn’t rule it out, but there may be no connection on that one. I wish I could be more helpful, but I just don’t know.

  81. Went to see my GP this morning to seek his advice on stopping smoking, he gave me a perscription for Champix. He knows I am a regular drinker, and when I asked him about side effects he replied “a bit of nausea”

    I feel really let down by him now, he must be aware of the link with suicide etc. Shocking. They will be going straight in the bin.

    God bless everyone who has had bad effects using Champix, but I can only thank you for sharing your stories to warn others like me of the dangers.

    And thank you Chris for the website, you may have saved my life. Can I ask what to look for in a hypnotherapist, how can I check if they are any good? Many thanks.

  82. Hi Joe, there are so many different types of people in the hypnotherapy profession it isn’t easy to answer that question. The best thing to do is ring a few, and trust your gut feeling. More advice on the hypnotherapy approach here.

  83. I took champix for 6 months at 1/2 dose. At the time I didn’t realize it but my mild temper turned into a firecracker temper. 2 years after I quit champix, now I think that I am back to normal, but who knows for sure

  84. My sister took her own life on December 30. We have just found out she was on day 4 of the anti smoking drug Chantix. I am convinced her death could have been avoided had she not been taking this drug. Chantix must be taken off the market asap!

  85. I am on day 13. I was hungry and needed to eat before taking my tablet. But I was not in the mood to cook so I told my husband to do it, I was very agitated. He didnt listen. I could hear him laughing at something on tv. I got very angry. That I started to cook everything myself but making a giant mess in the process. I slammed the frying pans on the bench and threw the food on the plate. Then I grabbed a knife and threatened to stab him.

  86. I am a survivor of Champix.
    This drug turned my life completely upside down and came close to ending it!
    Within a couple of weeks of starting Champix I had a nervous break down.
    I had no urge to reduce or stop smoking leading up to this point!
    In brief I completely lost about 2 years of my life including my job and nearly my wife and two young children.
    Three years on I have made a huge recovery (compared to the wreck that champix turned me into) but am left with what seem to be permanent emotional side effects from this event and smoke more than I ever had.
    Champix has crushed my soul and quality of life.
    I feel for those who have lost loved ones and those like myself who now have a diminished life from Champix.
    I cannot describe the full extent of my experience in a blog.
    You will not truly appreciate the side effects until it actually happens to you.

  87. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering problems with your site.

    It appears as if some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let
    me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a
    problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

    Appreciate it

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