Chantix Champix 4 – Enough Already

Anyone considering using Chantix Champix should read this article FIRST, then investigate other methods, particularly hypnotherapy, which involve NO RISK and produce far more long-term success anyway than any pharmaceutical quit-product (see evidence on this site and in the book). If you want to know more about hypnotherapy, visit the Central Hypnotherapy website.

by Chris Holmes

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

Having begun this with a fairly open mind when it came to Chantix Champix – a relatively new medication – in the 14 months since I first referred to it in my book, which was the end of May 2007 when its launch was announced in the U.K., I have decided upon a personal stance. I think it is highly unpredictable and sometimes very dangerous, and should never have been passed in the U.K. because many of these problems had already surfaced in the U.S., and caution – not hype – is the appropriate attitude for medical bodies to adopt when something new appears.

All you Chantix Champix apologists who are trying to claim that adverse reactions are “withdrawal of nicotine”, I refer you to the U.S. Surgeon General. The following link takes you to an article posted on the website of, which is not, as you might assume from the name, a pro-smoking group, but an advocate of quitting without pharmaceutical products. The article is called Champix and Chantix linked to Depression, Aggression and Suicide. Anyone considering using Chantix Champix should read this article FIRST, then investigate other methods, particularly hypnotherapy, which involve NO RISK and produce far more long-term success anyway than any pharmaceutical quit-product (see evidence on this site and in the book). If you want to know more about hypnotherapy, visit the Central Hypnotherapy website.

Here is the rather grim Champix article.

235 thoughts on “Chantix Champix 4 – Enough Already”

  1. I have been taking Champix for 9 weeks now the worst feelings started 10 days ago extreme irritation actually wanting to assault people (didn’t do it though) I felt so angry at everything and everyone, spoke to a doctor a weekago who gave me diazpam to help calm me down considered quitting Champix but chose not to. The last 2 days have been very surreal I went to the supermarket and kept losing my shopping trolley and the panic of realising it wasn’t where I thought it was, yesterday morning I was just really low and felt that if I started crying I would never stop. I am so scared I had my husband hide any potentially dangerous pills and am now waiting to speak to my doctor who won’t be available for another 2 hours. I am scared to take a dose of champix but also I am scared to not take it!!!!

  2. Cigarettes won’t make you suicidally depressed, and neither will hypnotherapy – get off this dangerous drug immediately!

    Giving you another medication to quell side-effects like these is too risky. Has anyone ever tested Champix combined with diazepam? No, never! Hasn’t diazepam ruined enough lives all by itself?

    Champix is supposed to stop cravings, not make you attack people or kill yourself! Obviously something is seriously wrong with this stuff, get off it immediately before something terrible happens. Hypnotherapy is far more effective anyway if you want to kick the habit, and it is stress-free and risk-free.

    Doctors, rebel! Stop prescribing this dangerous and wholly unpredictable concoction before one of your own patients pays a terrible price. Don’t let complacency – or just not wanting to believe it’s true – be the cause of someone losing a loved one. Hypnotherapy and acupuncture have consistently higher success rates than NRT, Zyban or Champix. You know those medications have all been hyped, but this stuff is freaking people out – this is no time to close ranks, there’ll be personal tragedies all over the place. “First, do no harm.” It is your personal professional responsibility. Don’t shirk it, or you are guilty of directly causing that harm. How many more individual tragedies do you need to hear about, for God’s sake?

  3. It is fairly explicit that you should be leery of using Champix if you are prone to depression. If you find yourself getting aggressive or melancholy then stop using it. BTW I’m on week 3 of Champix and this is the longest I’ve gone without a smoke in 25 years.It works. I don’t plan on going the whole twelve weeks but am going to wean off. (one week of 1mg daily-one week of 0.5mg daily) Has anyone else done this?

    I’ll re-post and let you know how it goes. One more thing. Somebody with a book to sell does not come over as a disinterested third party.


  4. “It works” Mark? Don’t you mean that for three weeks you have not wanted to smoke? That might be a good start from your point of view, but it is a bit early to start recommending it, especially when you consider the other posts in the Champix section of this blog (see replies to first Champix post), many of whom reported the same apparent ‘success’ at first.

    If you read around other sites on the web you will find many instances of people who have never previously been “prone to depression” suddenly becoming suicidally depressed on this medication, but not always immediately. I sincerely hope that does not happen to you, and I entirely agree with you that anyone who starts feeling like that should stop taking it immediately. Trouble is, we are being warned by sufferers that this doesn’t necessarily return them to normal.

    One more thing. I am not, and have never claimed to be a disinterested third party. This is a campaign website, and although it wasn’t originally about Champix but the stupidity of Nicotine Replacement Poisoning, I believe my stated view “I think it is bloody dangerous and should never have been passed in the UK” in the ‘Enough Already’ post does rather indicate that I’ve come down off the fence regarding Champix.

    Does the U.S. Surgeon-General have a book to sell? No. Do any of the people who committed suicide already? No, they do not. Do any of the contributors to my site, or any other that is collecting the Champix horror stories? No.

    Does anyone have to actually buy my book to know my opinions, read any of the evidence or even read parts of the book for themselves? No, because plenty of it is published here on the site. This isn’t about selling books. I’m not a professional author, I’m a professional hypnotherapist. But if I hadn’t written it all down, people would be saying: “Where’s the evidence?” The book is the result of four years of research. It is a compilation of evidence, and some of it is published on Truth Will Out for free so you can assess it without buying anything. I’m not impartial or disinterested at all, Mark, I’m angry at the lies and misinformation fed to millions of smokers by a gigantic money-making machine, and I’m determined to prove once and for all that there is no such thing as ‘therapeutic nicotine’ because smoking isn’t a drug addiction in the first place. My real aim is not selling lots of books, it is to expose the 1.2 billion-dollar-a-year international poison factory that is Nicotine Replacement Poisoning, and hopefully destroy it as soon as possible. Anyone out there want to help? Link up, spread the word!

  5. I stopped smoking with the aid of Champix on 30th June 2008. I didn’t complete the 12 weeks’ Champix course but stopped taking them after about 8 weeks and successfully went cold turkey. However, although I no longer have any desire to smoke, my health has mysteriously deteriorated. I seem to have undergone a complete personaility change; I’ve been sad, depressed, aggressive, extremely angry (flying into a rage at the slightest thing) and utterly exhausted. Not just tired. Exhausted. And breathless – as though I’ve been running a race! Not like me at all – I am quite an energetic person.
    It is very worrying to think these changes have probably happened because I took Champix.
    Does anyone know how long it will take for these effects to weart off and I can get back to normal?
    I would really like to know.

  6. I feel your pain Mary. I am living in the UK and was prescribed champix to quit. Was given no warnings as to the harmful effects… 3 weeks later I was having anxiety and anger problems. My girlfriend and I almost broke up. That was followed by a deep depression, which sadly has stayed with me even though I stopped the tablets almost 2 months ago. I have never suffered from these sorts of emotions before and I am a strong go-getter normally. These tablets in my opinion block your pleasure sensors from cigarettes and somewhere in there it affects general enjoyment of life.
    Some people are not affected by these symptoms, but we are all different and our brains function differently. I have been finding life an absolute battle since champix and if anyone is reading this wondering wether to use them, dont. The reason Mary’s health is deteriorating is becasue she is depressed and when you are depressed this can manifest physically. Do lots of excercise, thats the only thing that has helped me.


  8. Hi Shelly, thanks for letting us know and hopefully warning others before they take this drug. Some sufferers have already spoken of the bad effects subsiding some time after you stop taking it, so hang on in there, I hope that you will soon be back to normal. If you can keep us posted as you recover, that could reassure other sufferers too.

    Did you get any advice from your doctor beforehand about Champix with regard to depression?

  9. I started Champix at the end of August this year, i took them twice daily for the first month and i went back to the doctors and got my second months supply which i still have. I weaned myself off by just taking one tablet now and again to prevent relapse. Champix worked wonders for me, the only side-effects i suffered were nausea which wore off after a few weeks and vivid dreams. I am so grateful that i found Champix, i still can’t believe how easy it was to quit smoking.

  10. Hi Chris, Im not sure if you would remember me. Roughly 3 months ago I blogged on your site regarding starting the Champix course and giving regular updates… well, it has been a little more than 2 months since my last cigarette. I had initially taken champix for the first 4 weeks or so and then gave up. Having tried cold turkey before, I knew and understood the symptoms / side effects of quiting nicotine (ie) the irritability, sleeplessness, vivid dreams etc… But initialy the Champix only left me with wind… it then developed into the dreams and irritability (which i passed as normal nicotine cravings and mind-games) but after a few weeks on the 1mg pills, my moods, irratability and dreams were considerably amplified when compared to when I went cold turkey. Now, I did manage these side effects well enough not for them to take over me. As i had mentioned before… I am very wary about taking any form of chemical-based medication but felt that I was at a point where I had no other option but to atttempt medication so as to be able to stop smoking. With the decision to take pills, I made a promise to my wife that if she saw any major change in my behavior, that I would stop the use of the pills. In fairness, she did not ask me to stop as she did not feel that the side effects had become that bad, but I feel that they did not seem that bad as I may have had a better grip on them and decided to give them up myself before they got out of hand.
    Look, I still feel that Champix did give me a great headstart.. I have stayed away from cigarretes ever since and truly have had NO urge to smoke again. (well, I have had very, very mild “thought” cravings when sitting at home bored mindless since my car accident last week…) but nothing major. So, in summary…, I am glad that I took Champix, they did seem to help in my quitting process but do feel that you really do need to be careful of them. Some people and their personalities just may not suit Champix…. and the other way round too.

  11. Nice to hear from you Luis, I do indeed remember you and thank you for further updates – this is what we need to hear! Thanks to Julie too: of course we need a balanced picture. Obviously there are success stories, nobody is suggesting otherwise. But it is interesting from both these posts that they stopped taking Champix quite early on, and that may be the key to avoiding much of the nastiness.

    Luis is quite right to note that the variation in reactions between different people can be very significant, and it appears that he carefully monitored his progress and got his wife to do that too, promising to quit the medication if either of them became concerned.

    So when he noticed, in his own words that: “after a few weeks on the 1mg pills my moods, irritability and dreams were considerably amplified than when I went cold turkey” – which incidentally proves it isn’t just the withdrawal of nicotine, otherwise the experience would have been no different – he quit Champix.

    Julie also quit after a month or so, or tapered off. So it may be that Champix becomes more dangerous the longer you take it for, and may appear relatively harmless at first in most cases. The trouble is, the standard course is three months, after which there is an option to do another three months – which is double the period covered by the published results from the clinical trials, making the suggestion that the trials adequately tested the safety of the drug… er, worthless. Ooops.

    Now – from a legal point of view – who is responsible for deciding to prescribe a drug for longer than it was ever tested for? And how can Pfizer continue to claim that Champix has been effectively tested for SAFETY when that decision is made later? In truth, real safety has been sacrificed in the mad rush to make as much money as possible, and proper scientific procedures – which would have discovered this problem through better testing procedures – have been treated with utter contempt by the pharmaceutical industry YET AGAIN.

    Is it any wonder people are turning to more natural methods to improve their health, rather than play Russian Roulette with dodgy mind candy?

  12. This site looks like Chris’s self publication masquerading as social welfare. Most of the long term smokers in the forum (google champix side effects) had tried hypnotherapy, and Champix was actually their last resort. There are pros and cons to every story.. I personally know 3 people who have stopped smoking long term through Champix. In Chris’s referral to other metods (see previous blogs), he firstly talks positively about the Alan Carr system, then pushes it to the back seats in favour of….., suprise! His own brand of hypnotherapy! Oh, and to cope with all the spare time youv’e gained from removing cigarettes from your life, you might take up reading…. Guess what? He has a book you can buy too, yippee! The dissent should be focussed at the way this (read all), drugs are prescribed. This should be with a thorough (professional) assessment of the individual patients needs. I this case, it seems that patients with any sort of history of depression should not be give the drug. But how could anyone remotely intelligent put full faith in the evidence and beliefs of someone(Chris) so clearly ‘in the same business’ (stopping smoking), as something he is so critical of?

  13. Rory, how could anyone remotely intelligent reading up on Champix generally – not just on my site – not come to the same conclusion that I came to? Read back to the first post: I was not so critical at the beginning, but I’ve read a lot of horror stories since then, and unless you are going to accuse all those sufferers of lying, then clearly there is a serious problem with the drug.

    This is not – as you imply – limited to people with a history of depression, far from it. If you are not already aware of that fact then you clearly need to read more of the independent accounts on all the other websites providing a forum for this debate, because that is the evidence I am citing. Your suggestion – that mounting evidence, here on this blog too, of horror stories should be treated with skepticism just because I have written a book about hypnotherapy and nicotine – is frankly stupid. The book is not about Champix, but you can read the one brief reference to it that appears in the book without even buying the book, because it is reproduced here on the site. So is some of the independent evidence that backs up what I’m saying. There is even more of that in the book itself, it’s a 400 page book. That was written for anyone seriously interested in these matters – which some people are, that is why they have chosen to buy the book. Your sly suggestion that this indicates a lack of intelligence is an insult to my readers that I do not appreciate, but I shouldn’t think it will bother them in any way. Especially if they have read Peddling Doubt in Section Nine, where there are other typical examples of comments that simply pour scorn on hypnotherapy, hoping that ignorant and negative people will just echo that. Of course that might not really be your agenda, Rory. Your comments might just represent your personal views, to which you are of course entitled.

    You are quite wrong when you suggest that most smokers who post comments about Champix “had tried hypnotherapy and were using Champix as a last resort”. That’s just bonkers! There have been 400,000 prescriptions issued in the UK alone over the last year and a half, are you seriously suggesting all those smokers had previously tried hypnotherapy? Listen, the vast majority of people in the world have never tried hypnotherapy for anything – partly because of ignorant, inaccurate dismissals like yours – so don’t expect to post that sort of crap on my website without me pointing out just what a half-witted, negative suggestion that actually is… and clearly just an attempt to discredit my profession with an out-and-out lie. You know perfectly well that most smokers who have tried Champix have never tried hypnotherapy, although a few might have done. For obvious reasons, all those smokers who quit with hypnotherapy successfully and so never resorted to Champix are unlikely to be reading and contributing to Champix blogs, so you only hear from the ones who did not succeed with hypnotherapy, but in all the blogs I’ve read, there are very few of them anyway.

    This is a campaigning website – did you miss that Rory? It’s not about me, I’m campaigning against public money being wasted on NRT when that is based on a myth. I’m campaigning against the appalling corruption of the testing and approval system that allows such things to be classified as medications, and allows that ‘approved’ status to stand even when people are later killed by them in alarming numbers. I am not alone in being horrified by that, and if you are not concerned about such a dangerous distortion of what used to be a more independent system, then you should be, because any one of those three people you mentioned might have died because of it, as others have already. This is now established fact, as this article posted on a legal website reviewing an investigation by the BBC proves. It’s dated November 28 2008, and is entitled:
    Champix Problems in Britain.

    As for Allen Carr, he stopped smoking during a hypnotherapy session but later tried to claim he didn’t, so I deal with that issue in the book, but I still regard Allen Carr highly in every other respect. His methods do not quite match ours, but they are a damn sight better than any pills, that’s for sure, and there’s no risk. As there are twelve million smokers in the country, and most of them say they want to quit, obviously there are not enough hypnotherapists in the land to cater for that, not by a long way. So I make the point that instead of poisoning people, the Department of Health should utilise the hypnotherapists, the Allen Carr people and the acupuncturists to do the work and train more, and I guarantee you there will be no side effects, no fatalities from any of those therapies and a much higher success rate. But perhaps that is not what the government actually wants!

    Most of all, sir, I am campaigning for hypnotherapy which has more of a rightful place – when it comes to true efficacy – in any hospital or medical centre than many of the drugs in the pharmacy, not to mention the lawless internet pharmacies, against which I am also campaigning. I don’t just make wild claims, Mr Gillard. I will back them up with evidence and demonstrations time and time again until the ignorance, prejudice and corruption that allows the current, sorry state of affairs is wiped out. Self-interest? It’s in the interests of everybody mate. I’m not on my own, these issues have been raised in many newspapers and on many websites, and just because you know a few people who took that stuff and didn’t try to hang themselves will be cold comfort for people who have lost their loved ones just because they wanted to quit smoking – something I could have fixed for most of them in two hours, just as I proved with the woman from Channel M Television when they challenged me to do that.

    What, you think I shouldn’t try to tell smokers they are being duped and drugged unnecessarily just because it looks like self-interest? Get real.

  14. Yeah, well… I’m serious. People are dying unnecessarily, and the medical authorities are colluding with global drug giants in this, and they have the audacity to tell millions of people that hypnotherapy, acupuncture and even the Allen Carr method are “unproven”. They are lying, and it is systematic and deliberate. Champix, Zyban and NRT all get to be officially called “evidence-based” when the real evidence is that they don’t work for the vast majority and even cause deaths. The spin they put on this is that smoking kills so many people that it is “worth the risk” – as if those were your only options – and by the time everybody realises it’s all a load of hype to make millions of dollars, they come out with another “magic pill” and the whole thing goes round again.

    This whole process has become so unscientific now that to call it “science” is to add insult to injury. Thousands of people are being routinely killed and injured by ‘medications’ like Champix, and drug companies and medical authorities are blatantly insulting everyone’s intelligence by pretending that the testing, approval and control systems adequately protect the public when they manifestly don’t.

  15. I stopped smoking using Champix 9 months ago. After failing several times at every other option to stop, nothing worked. Champix for me was FANTASTIC! No side efects, easy and no cravings. I’m so pleased to say I am now a non smoker and my health is heaps better for it. I took the whole 12 weeks course. I also know 4 other people through my work that also took Champix and had no problems with it as well. But the lady who lives down stairs from me said she was depressed and anxious and so stopped the Champix and got back on the fags. I think it has alot to do with your personality, she is a bit of a negative person and I don’t think she really WANTED to give up smoking. THANK YOU CHAMPIX!

  16. My brother, mother and I all used Champix to stop smoking 1 year ago, and we are all happy to say we are no longer smokers. Felt a little nausea from time to time but only lasted a few minutes, no other side effects, we all did the full course. We are all very positive, up beat people which seems to make the difference. No body once addicted to anything is going like giving up their addiction no matter what it is, and making the decision to give it up can be depressing at times, like losing your best friend. So I guess you need to have the right personality to take this drug and have the right attitude to really want to give up smoking. It works! I luv CHAMPIX!

  17. Ain’t it funny – you wait ages for comments from people who have been totally successful, are off the medication and are now happy non-smokers, having suffered little in the way of side effects – and then two come along on the same day. In fact, within half an hour of each other!

    Not just two, actually: add up all the people cited in these 2 posts and you find SEVEN easy successes altogether, and only one who did not succeed – but we have a reason: she is a bit of a negative person (i.e. no failure of the medication, it was her fault.)

    Hang on a minute though: if Helen is right in suggesting that any “addict” is going to feel bereft over the loss of their “old friend” nicotine, how come all the other seven apparently were not too troubled by this factor? Because they have the RIGHT PERSONALITY!

    Bollocks: Champix is supposed to work chemically, blocking nicotine receptors. If it did what it was supposed to do, it would do that for all smokers – Pfizer never said anything about negative people having different nicotine receptors!

    Are these posts genuine? Well they could be, it certainly isn’t impossible. But I smell a rat here, and not only just because they came in on the same day and sound similar to each other in key ways. It is also because I have read a lot of posts on a lot of blogs devoted to the Champix debate, and these last two posts also bear an obvious structural similarity to pro-Champix posts I’ve read before.

    The thing is, there’s a lot of marketing going on out there – but some of it is disguised to look like innocent and genuine personal recommendation. What makes me suspicious with these two? Well, the common factors in this type of post are as follows: they often boast of several cases of total success, not just one – they usually say there was just a bit of nausea, no other side effects, and it helps if you eat something. They rarely comment on, or refer to the horror stories in the blog, recommending Champix unhesitantly even though it is obviously harming some people. These suspect posts often include some sly suggestion that if other smokers are not enjoying the easy success they claim Champix brought them, it is basically their own fault! Any suffering is always dismissed as nicotine “withdrawal” rather than a bad reaction to the medication itself. This is so close to Pfizer’s official line that it has to be suspicious, not to mention callous when you read some of the truly heartbreaking accounts in this, and many other blogs.

    Finally, just look at the last few words of each of the two posts above, and tell me you’re not at least a little suspicious that they could have been written by the same person pretending to be two different people. Add to that the fact that each post is almost exactly the same length, starts out with the same introductory point (we quit x months ago), both cite several successes, not just one… and both suggest that personality is a significant factor! Coincidence, my dear Watson? Hmmm! I think ‘Gerald’ and ‘Helen’ should get together, they’ve got a lot in common!

    In any case, that cheerleader-style “Go Champix! Yay Champix! We love Champix!” is wholly inappropriate when some people have already killed themselves after taking it, and a lot more have attempted to do so.

    Those are just my thoughts, make your own minds up folks. Nobody gets censored here: Truth Will Out anyway, won’t it?

  18. Okay, it’s now five days since I wrote that last post. Don’t know about you, but if I’d been ‘Gerald’ or ‘Helen’, and I’d been a genuine contributor with a real success story, I’d have been straight back on here saying: “No, you’ve got it all wrong Chris! I really did quit with Champix, and so did all my friends! Sorry if we sound a bit over-excited, and of course we are sorry for these other people who seem to be suffering ill-effects, but we’re just so glad to be smoke-free!”

    Wouldn’t you, reader?

    Nothing. Silence. See what’s going on here? What kind of a person leaves bogus messages encouraging innocent smokers to use a medication that they already know has been linked with serious depression and suicide? This is what I’m talking about – smokers are being ruthlessly manipulated by people who have no scruples whatsoever, they just want to sell drugs and they don’t care if those drugs kill you. They’ll never have to answer for that.

    If you have had any doubt about any of the things I am saying on this site, just consider that as a perfect example of everything the Truth Will Out Campaign is against. Killer drugs, liars and profiteers – and they call that “evidence-based medicine”. Sick.

  19. I have been on Champix….day 4 now! I have to say that I am very scared to continue on with this pill after reading everything I have about it…VERY FRIGHTENING!!!!! So far my side effects include tiredness…I’m not grumpy or moody but scared that I will become that way! I have 3 girls and I really want to do this for them but I don’t want to turn into a MONSTER in the mean time 🙁 I really don’t know what I should do!

  20. Nicole, I am no longer inclined to be even-handed about this extremely unpredictable drug. If you read post no.90 from Jane on the string of comments after my original Champix/Chantix blogpost here on this site, you will see why. A friend of her family began suffering on day five, was advised to continue taking it and hanged himself four weeks later without leaving a note. My advice is to get off it Nicole, throw the damn stuff away. It doesn’t work in the long run for the vast majority anyway, don’t believe the hype.

    If you want to quit smoking, read around this site for the safer, more successful methods – and if you don’t want to just take my word for it, investigate further on-line. Don’t take unnecessary risks, there are lots of ways to quit smoking that have never caused anyone to top themselves, hypnotherapy being the best. Ref. Our Homepage for the links to the independent evidence for that.

    Best wishes and Happy New Year.

  21. I am on week 4 of champix, and have found it to be amazing. Yes, there are side effects but I seem to be getting them very lightly (vivid dreams that are actually quite nice) and nausea (than can be totally avoided if you take the tablet with food). I haven’t touched a cigarette for 15 days and have found it very very easy. Maybe I am just one of the lucky ones, but I really would recommend this drug to anyone based on MY experience. However, I am also sure that so many people can’t be wrong when you read the negative reviews – it’s up to you really. I think that as long as you are careful with it (I have weekly appointments with a non-smoking counceller and my doctor) then it can definitely be a good thing.

  22. “Definitely”? That kind of certainty could be a little premature coming from a Champix user who is only on week 4, Ali. If you read around the comments on this string, and also on the one following my original post titled “Champix/Chantix”, you will see that we have heard this sort of early enthusiasm before from people who have only been on the tablets for a few weeks. I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen to you, Ali, but some have then descended into horror stories. To quote Jane’s latest post (No.92) on the other string mentioned above:

    “I myself had never dreamed that this drug I had regarded so highly in December 2007 would turn out to be a complete living nightmare.” She is not only referring to her own experiences with Champix – which became rather nasty – but the fact that a friend of her family had just committed suicide whilst on Champix. “One year more or less to the day this poor guy took his own life coz of this drug. I’m sure if I had took it for 6 months, I too would have gone even madder than it made me.”

    Ali, it might also be worth you looking at Wayan’s posts on that string (12, 14 and 16) which started out all positive and then changed completely. That pattern is cropping up all over Champix blogs.

    Obviously I hope that such a sudden, nasty shock does not happen to you. It shouldn’t be happening to anybody. The far more common form of disappointment, though, seems to be that the urge to smoke returns with a vengeance once you stop taking the tablets. We already know that at least 80% of smokers will not be cured of smoking by Champix anyway. So I don’t think anyone should be actually recommending the drug to others until they have at least completed the course, and been off the medication for weeks without returning to smoking. Good luck, Ali – will you please keep us posted?

  23. well i smoked for 28 years 30 a day, tried quitting a few times with patches, hypnotherapy the inhalater but to no avail. I then took champix and they worked for me. Apart from a bit of insomnia ive been fine.
    All I can say is you need to find out whats best for you and try your best, everyone is unique.There is no quick fix you still need your own will power.
    good luck to everyone whos trying.

  24. Google ‘Champix furious seasons’

    That will give all you enthusiastic Champix novices a shock. This drug is a killer. It killed someone close to my O/H. It might have killed me.

    This crap changed a lot more of me than people will ever know. Its unpredictable in how it works and most people who start taking it think its the bees knees. I suffered from weeks of nausea to mega-depression on this drug.
    We had to bury someone not so long ago because of this drug. Somebody who had no history of depression – a happy go lucky chap with the rest of his life ahead of him. He wanted to stop smoking for the sake of his health and wealth. There are easier ways to quit. Acupuncture cured a bad phobia I had. I wish I had attempted this avenue when it came to quitting smoking. Beware of this drug and take at your risk.

  25. Mel’s suggestion that “there is no quick fix you still need your own willpower” will instantly ring a bell with anyone who has read my book. That phrase is repeated frequently by the NHS, medical authorities and any source of information which is steering smokers towards the pharmaceutical products. This results in smokers repeating the phrase themselves because they have heard it said so often from a supposedly authoritative source.

    It is brainwashing, and it simply isn’t true. My clients walk in to my office as habitual smokers – many of them believing they are helpless addicts – and walk out two hours later completely free. They don’t need any willpower, except the minimal willpower required to book a session and actually turn up for it. For those who are quite happy to ditch cigarettes at that point in their lives, that’ll be the end of it. No cravings, no overeating, no weight gain.

    Mel claims to have tried ‘hypnotherapy’, but gives no details whatever – just lumping it in with NRT as if they were both equally useless. Perhaps it seemed that way to Mel – or maybe that particular therapist was rubbish anyway. Or a beginner – anything is possible. For it may be that Mel is a real person, and is not involved in the promotion of Champix in any way. But it is striking how these pro-Champix posts usually never mention the horror stories at all – as if they simply don’t exist. Meanwhile we hypnotherapists, the acupuncturists and the Allen Carr practitioners know perfectly well that there is no need for anyone to be running any such risks at all.

    Mel is quite right that everyone is unique – that is why the effects of Champix are so unpredictable when a doctor is making out a prescription for any new user. And I’m not suggesting that everyone will take to hypnotherapy. But the fact is that most people do, especially when it is done properly and adequately explained beforehand. So no-one should be encouraged to go for any risky options until they have personally tried all the ones that involve no risk – I mean it just stands to reason, doesn’t it? First do no harm, Doc.

    So why do the medical authorities continue to ignore the methods that cannot harm you – and have a very respectable success rate, actually, despite the official medical mantra that they are “not proven” – prescribing instead things that could certainly harm you, and which have a lower success rate anyway?

    The answer is simple: They are acting in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry first and foremost, which would not allow them to change direction even if they wanted to. What was once the National Health Service is now the National Medication Service. The medical profession isn’t really a profession any more. It has been hijacked by the drugs industry, and Champix is only the latest of a series of very nasty consequences of that.

    It would take a lot more than hope to make sure it is the last.

    safer alternative

  26. Thanks for commenting on my previous posting. I wasn’t in any way suggesting that Champix is a perfect solution, I just wanted to put my point forward that I am taking it and so far (coming up for 7 weeks) I have not had any issues with it. I am perfectly open to the possibility that this could change, and I am under no illusions that when I stop taking it I will still need will power if I don’t want to start smoking again. I just wanted to put forward my opinion, as there is a lot of negative press about Champix but my experience of it couldn’t be further away from most of what I read. I am taking it based on the reccommendations of 4 personal acquaintances (I work in a pub and so deal with people who smoke/used to smoke on a regular basis), all of whom have succesfully given up using Champix. None of these 4 people suffered what I would call serious side affects (they just had the slight dreaming issues and nausea whilst taking the tablet), and so I thought I would give it ago (after consulting my doctor and non-smoking clinic of course). None of these 4 people have returned to smoking.

    I realise that out of all the people who have commented on having bad experiences on Champix, 4 positive stories really isn’t a huge amount. However, I haven’t PERSONLLY had anyone tell me that they have had a bad experience on it which is why I decided to give it a go.

    I am not in the medical profession and so there is no reason why anyone should listen to what I have to say. However, I just wanted to put forward the fact that it IS possible to take Champix and for it to work (to date). The internet is full of horror stories for just about everything, and you are more likely to talk about something if you have had a bad experience on it that you are if you have had a good experience.

    I have no product to sell and nothing to gain by defending Champix. I just want to make the point that there are a huge amount of success stories with it, and that not everyone who takes it will suffer from horrendous side effects. Of course there are those that do suffer the side effects, I am not disputing that, but I think it is only fair for both sides of the story to be told.

  27. Ali, it is precisely because you are not in the medical profession that your view is likely to be unselfconscious and straightforward. Of course we want a balanced picture, and welcome all comments.

    There is only one problem, though, with people defending Champix. The picture that is emerging seems to be that the horror reactions are random, and although Pfizer have tried to suggest that only people with previous history of anxiety or depression suffer ill-effects, you only have to read around the blogs to see that this is completely untrue. Look at Josephine’s post following my article “Champix 5: No Wonder Drug”. It’s really scary, and she begs people not to risk it.

    Ali’s comments are perfectly valid, but if someone reads Ali’s account, and decides to try it, can Ali assure that person that Champix won’t make THEM go crazy and hang themselves? No.

    Now, I might be prepared to accept the argument that people should be offered the medication anyway if they are content to take the risk, if it were not for these factors:

    Doctors are clearly not explaining the risks adequately, for whatever reasons, so for the patient it is an uniformed (and potentially fatal) risk to take.

    No-one should be encouraged to take a risky option when they have not been offered or advised properly about all the non-risk options.

    This is especially true when at least three non-risk options (hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture) all perform better than Champix, Zyban or NRT.

    The only reason this is not common knowledge is because medical authorities are feeding smokers misinformation.

    Drug companies like Pfizer influence medical authorities to such an extent that they can currently prevent this from changing. In other words the whole healthcare system is dreadfully corrupt.

    Some smokers are paying with their lives.

  28. Thank you so much Chris for your prompt reply! I am still taking Champix…day 11 now…and I am still tired! I have not been taking the pills at night for the last 3 nights because I feel that I don’t need them. After the last 11 days I would have to say it has taken LOTS of willpower not to smoke…this pill is by no means “MAGICAL” It has everything to do with your will power…the only thing I have noticed, is that smoke smells awful and it disgusts me when I see people doing it because of the smell…where at one time I would have LOVED the smell of smoke. My hubby is also on it…this drug makes him REALLY on edge, very moody and very tired. He hasn’t had vivid dreams but he does feel nausea. On the other hand, since we have quit smoking, he is enjoying breakfast…before he would never think to touch food so early in the morning…but he still “wants” to smoke but his willpower is helping 🙂 I should also say that my brother has sucessfully quit on Champix! It has been 14 weeks for him…only side effects he’s had were vivid dreams (which he enjoyed…said it was like watching a movie) a bit of nausea if he took it without food…and that’s all!

  29. Whatever happened to Shelly? I’m concerned about her withdrawl symptoms. Chris, what are the withdrawl syptoms? What happens to us…so, we feel good for the 12 weeks we are on the medication and then we get depressed when we stop taking it? Or does it depend on previous depression? You know, we spend all this time researching what will happen to us when we take Champix but we don’t research what happend when we stop taking the medication!!!! I’m going to google that tonight!!!

  30. Nikki, there simply isn’t an answer to that question because the difference between one user and another are so huge that nothing can safely be predicted, and that is why no-one should be prescribed this drug at all. Doctors cannot advise you with any certainty what you should expect, taking Champix is an utter leap in the dark, for anyone.

    In all the blogs it seems that the people raving about Champix or just defending it are still on the medication. We are certainly not hearing success stories from people who have finished the course, suffered no ill effects either from taking it, or ceasing to take it, and are still not smoking. That is the only definition of success that would be valid. You cannot confidently recommend a drug, or claim that “it works” just because it seems to be working whilst you are still taking it.

    I have not heard from Shelly since November. Many people taking this drug do not feel good whilst they are taking it, and what happens when any individual stops is anyone’s guess, but the most likely outcome is relapse into smoking. Nikki clearly still wants to smoke after nearly a fortnight on Champix, and so does her partner: “Really on edge, very moody and very tired”. Some wonder drug that is.

    Now answer me this question please, somebody:

    Here I am explaining to everyone that one session of hypnotherapy will wipe out your smoking habits with no risk, and no effort from yourselves. Champix has obviously caused some people to hang themselves, or try to hang themselves, with no previous suggestion of mental illness, and it doesn’t work for most people anyway, we know that already.

    So: why on earth should anyone choose to risk taking Champix if they haven’t already exhausted all other options? It should be a last resort! Hypnotherapy has a far better success rate anyway – check out the evidence here on the site. What’s the problem – don’t you believe me? Are people afraid of hypnosis, or what? There certainly isn’t any need to be. Is it the cost? Why would anyone choose to risk their lives rather than pay for a bit of private therapy? For some people, the true cost of taking Champix has been horrific.

    Seriously, I’m baffled. And I’m worried about all of you – not just because you’re taking Champix, but because you all seem to have accepted the hype that suggests it is worth the risk ‘because cancer would be worse’… and whatever I say about hypnotherapy, YOU STILL THINK THAT!!!!

    Magic pills, magic pills, still believe in magic pills… see what you’ve done, Doc?

  31. Hi Chris,
    Im a proper regular poster on here now!! Its like looking in a mirror when you read about how some people are so keen when they 1st start taking Champix – I know I was – yet as you are aware Chris I have seen 1st hand the horrors of what Champix can do. It did me a lot of harm and when I came off it I was in limbo for ages. I think the fact that my O/H was so ill from smoking and quit also reduced my anxieties and helped me want to stay quit. I feel like the habit has been erased completly now from my life. We are now smokefree but I can honestly say that if my O/H was still smoking I know that I would be smoking again. I did have accupunture for a phobia I had and I told the lady who did it about my anxieties over smoking. She said that the accupunture I was having would help erase these anxieties. I believe that the Champix helped me stop smoking short term and the accupunture I had for the phobia helped my anxieties. I am now a relaxed happy go lucky person again. I would appreciate your views on this as you have read a lot of my posts that I have left on here.

  32. To Nikki and her boyfriend.

    You must be mad to take this drug. I hope neither of you ever suffer the way I did on the drug. If you feel suicidal stop taking it straightaway. I know somebody who hung himself – no history of depression or mental illness – this drug was to blame. Its dangerous cos its unpredictable-WHY TAKE THE RISK ?? I’ve learnt a lot from what Chris has said on this site. Got to admit I wouldnt be visiting this site again if I hadnt gone through what I did on this drug. I can tell you now when you stop taking it most of the time you want to smoke again – thats how I felt. You may be a success-but why take the risk? I go on other blogs now and leave my Champix experiences to warn others about it. I even told my doctor about the suicide – he just defended the Champix!! What a brain-washed dipstick. Good luck to you! Make sure you come back and tell us whether its been a success.

  33. Well I have taken the tablets for 12 days and stopped smoking 4 days ago, slight irritation with moods for first week and problems sleeping but so far so good, no cigs, no smell its great so far!

  34. I have been on Champix now for about 6 weeks. It has sort of been a double edged sword for me. I really do not like taking medication for anything let alone something that affects my brain, however i had friends that quit very easily on it and figured i would give it a try.
    I have been smoke free now for one month and it has been very easy to resist any urge to smoke. However my personality is suffering and i have been quite miserable. I am normally very calm and mellow, i’m the person that doesn’t get mad and is always nice to the point of fault. I have noticed lately that i am getting very angry A LOT, and not just a little angry, feeling like a want to hit people. (mainly my husband:p) I have also had no energy and just felt sad a lot. This is so not like me, but i am lucky that i am very self aware and have noticed these changes and am keeping myself in check. I can see it being a very dangerous drug for someone that does not have a high degree of self control or self awareness.
    I cut down to one pill per day but have now decided that i am no longer going to take it. I just really hope that it does not take that long to become myself again.

  35. Thanks Josie, hope you’re feeling yourself again soon! I think you are right to play safe and get off it, there is certainly evidence that the longer people take it, the riskier it seems to be, generally speaking.

    Will you please keep us posted on a) how long it takes to get back to feeling normal, and b) how you feel about smoking once the drug is out of your system?

  36. Hi
    I’ve just started my first day of Champix and obviously after reading this along with other websites i am really nervous but “dont want to believe everything i read on the internet” and give up without giving it a chance.
    I am prone to depression and suffered badly from postnatal depression two years ago, i have also suffered from anxiety. So this has made me really nervous!! I feel fine today (although i do have a slight headache im not sure if that would have been there anyway) I am also smoking as normal.
    Chris i have never had hypnotherapy for smoking but anyone ive spoke to doesn’t recommend it, they say its a waste of money. I have had basic acupuncture on my ear but this didn’t work!!!
    I would definitely be willing to give hypnotherapy a chance and ditch the tablets if you could recommend a good hypnotherapist to me in Belfast? Do you have evidence of success rates?

    At the moment i am undecided about continuing and if i do i will keep you posted. If i do get a recommendation for hypnotherapy and it works then i will also let you know!!!

  37. I have been on Champix now for 8 weeks quit for six and I to have noticed changes, mainly irritability and generally feeling down at times. However, saying that it is not out of control and I have smoked for 20 years and have tried everything to quit, Alen Carr and Hypnotherapy being 2 of those methods. I feel much better knowing I have a higher probability of being alive for my children and will monitor the side effects I have had to ensure they do not increase, and will go back to my doctor to monitor my health when coming off Champix.

  38. It’s horses for courses Dawn, not everybody responds well to hypnotherapy for smoking but about 80% will if the therapist is a smoking cessation specialist AND PROVIDING that the client gives hypnotherapy more than one shot at the issue if necessary. I’ve heard some people state that hypnotherapy “didn’t work” for them, but when I pressed them for details it turned out they only ever had one session! Now it is true that about 60% of would-be quitters are fine after the first session, but the other 20% will either not stop immediately for some reason, or start again later. Neither of these is a problem for the therapist provided they return, because there is always a reason and an experienced therapist can seek it out and deal with it.

    In practice, I rarely do third sessions for smoking. If there is no response to sessions one or two – which does happen in a few cases – I certainly would not advise a third, but I have no hesitation in encouraging a second – some of my most interesting cases have succeeded in the second session, not the first. The reason I rarely consider a third session is because there will always be a few clients who are not going to stop at that point in their lives anyway, no matter how talented their therapist may be, and I don’t like flogging a dead horse even if I’m getting paid for it. I’m only interested in success, I’m not interested in wasting anyone’s time or money.

    So good luck Dawn, will you please let us know what happens when you come off the medication?

    Amanda, your doctor should have known that Champix is contra-indicated if there is a history of anxiety disorders or depression. Those are official warnings and any doctor ignoring that is negligent and putting their patient’s life at risk. Look at all the data on the ‘net (google “champix warnings, side effects”) and see if I’m not right. Don’t take any more tablets, do the research then go and ask your doctor whether he/she had been clearly warned about this by the people who advise them on the safety of medicines.

    Who are these people you’ve spoken to who say hypnotherapy is a waste of money? They are suggesting that I am a fraud. Let them come to my office here at Merchants House, 24-25 Market Place, Stockport, U.K. any day from Monday to Saturday, stand face to face with me in my office, look me in the eye and tell ME that hypnotherapy is a waste of money and that I am a fraud.

    Only one person has ever called me a fraud, but it wasn’t face to face. His wife had come for a session to stop smoking – just one! – and he rang me the next day to say it hadn’t worked and so I began to explain that we sometimes need to spend more time on the issue, but he wasn’t interested in any meaningful discussion. He was aggressive, rude and quite ignorant, and then he actually called me a fraud.

    I immediately invited him to come to the office and repeat that to my face. He said he might just do that. I suggested that now would be a good time for me, but he suddenly remembered that it wasn’t really a very good time for him, because he had to go somewhere else which was already arranged. So I asked him where he was right now, got the address which turned out to be quite near, and said “I’ll be there in ten minutes” and put the phone down. Ten minutes later I was knocking at his door.

    When he opened the door, he only opened it a fraction, and seemed quite a different fellow from the one who phoned me. He wasn’t calling anyone a fraud, for one thing. He seemed confused when I demanded to know how the correct spelling of his surname. He was even more confused when I shoved a cheque for the fee from his wife’s session into his hand. Then I explained:

    “This is NOT a refund. The client pays for session time, regardless of outcomes. I just don’t want that money in my account. No-one has ever called me a fraud, you are the only one. If I were a fraud, after all these years that would certainly not be the case, would it? So it says more about you than it says about me, and it would offend me to have any monies from your household in my practice account. Goodbye.”

    I’m not surprised his wife continued to smoke – who wouldn’t, living with that idiot? Probably couldn’t wait to die, I expect. She should try Champix… or preferably, crush up the tablets and put them in his dinner, do us all a favour. No-one will notice the difference when he exhibits aggressive behaviour, then if he strings himself up… no, wait! There’s a flaw in the plan: Champix found in his system at the autopsy, she’s the one with the prescription, it won’t work. Damn!

    Amanda, I don’t know anyone in Belfast so I cannot give a particular recommendation, but I will say this: Champix has killed people, or rather caused them to kill themselves. Hypnotherapy is risk-free, as is the Allen Carr method and acupuncture. They all have better long-term success rates than Champix, Zyban or NRT. Why would anyone try a dangerous, unnatural medication with a lousy success rate BEFORE exhausting all the risk-free methods – because it’s cheaper? Okay, I’ll buy that for NRT because no-one has topped themselves because of a nicotine patch. But not for Champix or Zyban.

    As for evidence, just click the “evidence” button on this site. Or Google “scientific evidence for hypnotherapy success for stopping smoking” and have a read around. Then ask yourself what you’re waiting for. Take care, don’t take the Suicide Pills.

  39. Thanks for your reply Chris.

    Im pleased to say that i have stopped taking the champix (which means i only took them for 5 days in total) and bought Allen Carrs book which i finished in a day!!! I had my last cigarette last night and am so pleased to say i havent even had an urge to smoke i feel free!!!! I could never of imagined a book would do that!!!!!!

    From reading the book i can see how Champix was never going to work for me as I would always have been anxious about them and therefore would probably have smoked more!!!

    maybe Champix might help you to give up smoking but the risk of side affects were too great for me and having suffered from mental illness before i definitely would not want to go back there.

    Thanks for your advice!!!!!!

  40. Well i haven’t taken a pill since Feb.16 and it was probably about the 23rd i started to feel normal again. There was about 3 days after i stopped taking them that were really tough, feeling very depressed, tired etc. One of those days i even spent in bed.
    Now that i am feeling normal i can see just how bad i was feeling, tiredness being the worst of the symptoms, and not normal tired, sleep sitting up kind of tired. Yesterday was the first day in a long time i woke up in the morning and didn’t struggle to get out of bed and i had lots of energy and felt happy.
    I am glad i quit smoking however if i had to do it over i would not take champix again.

  41. There you go, readers.

    Well done, Amanda! And you’re welcome to the advice – that’s what I do for a living!

    Josie, glad you’re back in the land of the living. Of course I’m glad you ditched tobacco, it’s just a shame you were put through all that – and it could have been worse – when Amanda obviously hasn’t suffered at all, and neither do my hypnotherapy clients.

    Take care, don’t take the Suicide Pills. Help without the risk of harm is what smokers really need, and help is out there in a number of forms, not just hypnotherapy. Although hypnotherapy is certainly the easiest of all, because you don’t even have to read a book!

    Having said that, reading my book seemed to impress the guys who posted reviews on By the way, if anyone would like to buy the book but doesn’t like shopping on-line, you can now order it from any Borders store.

    Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was. Author: Chris Holmes ISBN No. 9780955682902

    It is (I believe) the first book ever to prove that tobacco smoking is a compulsive habit, not a drug addiction – one of the few points Allen Carr actually got wrong. Most of what he says about smoking is absolutely true, of course. But my book tells you all about hypnotism as well, so it is far more interesting than any book that is just about smoking! It’s also much more entertaining that any of Allen Carr’s books – especially the chapter about Allen Carr. But don’t take my word for it! Read the reviews and the testimonials – they’re all genuine.

    ** Update, 22.07.09 Actually, there are now two reviews on there that are not genuine, as anyone who reads excerpts from my book here on the Truth Will Out site can see for themselves. Back in April ’09 the section on Allen Carr was published on another website and the Allen Carr people got very upset about it! Two of them posted bogus ‘reviews’ on slating the book, but in very generalised terms because neither of them had actually read the book at all.

    I’ve tried to get those removed by Amazon but they apparently have a policy of frankly not giving a shit what anybody says about anybody else’s publication, regardless of whether they have read it or not. At first I was a bit irritated by that, but the truth is, if you’re going to start publishing stuff – especially if it is contentious, and my work certainly is – then this is bound to happen. I’m in good company anyway – Allen Carr certainly got plenty of abuse from his enemies. Writers often say that their books are like their children – you want everyone to love them and get very upset when someone has a go at them. The reality is, it’s a jungle – but on reflection I believe I created a book that can fend for itself.

  42. A quick update. I posted a while ago and am still not smoking after nearly 5 months (and don”t feel that I will again).

    I used Champix for only the initial two weeks and a third week at half dose to get me over the initial “hump”. For me, this method worked but to be fair, I don’t know if I could or would want to do the full course.

    Anyway it’s an interesting website, good blog and I might just buy your book.

    Cheers Mark

  43. Thanks Mark!

    Actually, it’s a bit of a relief to get SOME cheery news about Champix, or this site begins to look totally biased, which it is certainly not intended to be. The key to avoiding side-effects does seem to be quitting the medication early, that observation has come up a number of times now.

    Congratulations on your new liberated status!

  44. I have been taking Champix now for 2 weeks and i feel so different… i keep crying, my head hurts so so badly.. i feel totally down and as a rule i am a happy go lucky person… i feel as though the world is against me..

    I am considering stopping these awful things, could i just do this…?? any help will be very gratfully received.

  45. Sally, get off it quick. The world is the same as it was before, and no-one is against you, it’s the medication twisting your perceptions. Stop taking it immediately, and you should start feeling better very quickly.

    By all accounts it can take a little time to really get back to normal, but you will. There are other ways of stopping smoking that don’t involve these horrible experiences. Ditch the scary Champix.

    Also, read around the other comments on this blog, the whole Champix section. It’s not just you, Sally – lots of other people are freaking out as well. Read the Champix blogs on other sites – just Google “Champix suicides”. Don’t hesitate – stop taking it, do some research to reassure yourself that it IS the medication, go back to your doctor and complain about this medicine.

    In fact: anyone reading this, if you’ve had similar experiences – or know someone who has – make sure the prescribing doctors concerned are being informed and that they are reporting it. This dangerous drug must be withdrawn. It is killing people.

    Hypnotherapy is the most successful smoking cessation method – see the Evidence section on this site. It has never harmed anyone, and neither has acupuncture or the Allen Carr method. For more info about hypnotherapy click here.

  46. I am a smoker and I have never taken anything to try to stop smoking (to be honest I can’t think of a time when I have tried to stop) But the reason I was looking into champix and stumbled across this site was due to my ex boyfriend and what I believe were his ‘side effects’ from champix.

    He has never had any history of depression in the past and the best way you could describe his personality would be as happy, fun-loving and very laid back.

    He started taking champix around 6 or 7 weeks ago, and within around 10 days I noticed a serious change in him. Constantly snapping at me about everything and anything, even going out of his way to cause arguments. Then he started snapping at our 3 year old quite often (i.e things that 3 year olds normally do would become “unacceptable”) and she seemed to annoy him more than anything.

    Then last weekend (Sunday night) he came home from work about 23:30 and within 5 minutes of him walking through the door he just flipped (over the fact that there was no bread left!) screaming, throwing things and hitting his own head off the wall.
    Then he started to make cuts on his arms (not wrists, but in a self harming kind of way) and when I tried to stop him from doing this he punched me in the face. I was literally in shock at what had happened and tried to back away from him when my daughter woke up and came through to the livingroom screaming and scared about what was going on. I picked her up to comfort her and try to take her back to bed but he carried on hitting me (whilst holding my daughter at this point) because I was refusing to let him hold her mainly because he had blood all over his arms and she was terrified because of his shouting.

    I have never been so scared in my life and I am heart broken this has happened. My neighbour had to call the police because he would not let me near the phone or out of his sight. I eventually managed to get my daughter to leave the room so she didnt have to watch him continuing to beat me up. The police had to kick in our front door and literally drag him off me to get him to stop. It was like he was possessed.
    He was arrested and has been released on bail, on the conditions that he does not come near myself or my daughter. And of course we have split up and will never be together again because I cannot risk putting my daughter in a situation like that again.

    I cannot stress enough to people that he is, or shoud I say “was” not the type of person who would ever do a thing like this (which is probably why I am so devastated and shocked by it) We were together for 10 years (since the age of 14) and I have spent my entire adult life with him. Up until recently, we had only had 4 arguments for our entire relationship so it was not like the arguing had gradually gotten worse building up to this either. He does not drink at all (never has) and he has been nothing but a loving, caring father to our daughter.

    The only thing that has been different in his life recently is the fact that he was taking champix. I don’t think what happened can be put down to nicotine withdrawls either because he quit smoking just over 4 years ago for around 6 months with nothing near the side effects he has experienced this time round.

    I would advise anyone, especially anyone with young children etc to think twice about taking this drug – whether your doctor has recommended it to you or not. It can alter someone’s entire persona within weeks and although no one has died in my case, it has completely ruined my life, and it breaks my heart that my daughters life has been ruined as well, as she will never live in a house with both her parents ever again.

  47. I cried when I read this post from Lauren this morning. I’m a family man, and although it is technically true that no-one has died in this case, in a way it’s not true, because a family has died. This is an absolute tragedy, and what makes it much worse is that it should never have happened.

    In 2007, a well-known and talented musician called Carter Albrecht was shot dead by his neighbour in the U.S.A. He was behaving in exactly the way Lauren describes in her account, and trying to kick his neighbour’s back door in, for no obvious reason. The neighbour was confused and alarmed, and because Mr. Albrecht wouldn’t stop and apparently couldn’t calm down, his neighbour fired through the door and Carter died as a result. He was behaving completely out of character.

    When it emerged that Carter Albrecht was on Champix at the time, the case became a focal-point for all arguments about whether the drug was dangerous or not – and because Carter had also been drinking, defenders of Champix leapt on that as if it were the true cause. But the man Lauren is talking about here “doesn’t drink at all (never has) and he has been nothing but a loving, caring father to our daughter”.

    Pfizer have also tried to suggest that aggressive and violent reactions are linked to a history of mental problems. But Lauren says: “He has never had any history of depression in the past and the best way you could describe his personality would be as happy, fun-loving and very laid back”.

    Pfizer have also tried to claim that bad reactions are a result of “nicotine withdrawal” – but if that were true, my hypnotherapy clients would experience such things, and they don’t. And Lauren points out that this man quit for 6 months four years ago without anything like this happening. She concludes: “The only thing that was different in his life recently is the fact that he was taking Champix.”

    Given to him by his doctor. It has destroyed his family, his future, and he will obviously never be the same again because of that. It killed Carter Albrecht, and too many others have killed themselves, or tried to kill themselves. Already, there are more complaints of bad reactions being officially logged against Champix than any other drug… but was this one of them? How many more reactions like this are going on, but nobody realises the cause? How many incidents like this are still going unreported?

    Lauren, my heart goes out to all of you – none of you deserved this. He was only trying to improve his health, for God’s sake – probably for the sake of his daughter, as much as anything else. It’s heartbreaking, but what is particularly horrifying is that the doctors who are handing this stuff out are clearly way too ignorant about the risks involved. Champix should never have been passed as if it were safe in the first place, because it clearly isn’t, and putting warnings on the packet simply isn’t good enough. Every day, smokers pick up a packet of cigarettes that says SMOKING KILLS all over it, and just hope it doesn’t happen to them.

    Even if Champix had a reasonable long-term success rate… which it doesn’t, certainly not compared to hypnotherapy… this kind of random, devastating reaction means it is just not worth the risk. Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture all involve NO RISK AT ALL.

    Finally, Lauren: although I completely understand that your top priority is your daughter’s safety and security, please believe that it wasn’t his fault. He took that medication in good faith, in fact he was following medical advice. No-one deserves to lose everything that is dear to them just for doing that. Read around the Champix blogs, and you’ll find more and more accounts of reactions like this. There are numerous accounts of people returning to normal in due course, once this evil stuff is out of their system, and although I am not in a position to fully assure you of that, I certainly hope that turns out to be the norm.

    Given that you were so happy together before – and for such a long time – and this episode is so totally out of character, it may be too soon to decide you can never be together again. The fact is, if he had never taken Champix your daughter would never have been at risk in the first place and neither would you. Obviously, after a reaction like that he would never dream of touching Champix again, so if he is one of those that returns to his former self – and maybe everyone does, I really don’t know yet, I don’t think anyone does for sure – why should you all lose so much just because of those lying bastards at Pfizer?

    Doctors: don’t prescribe it, you don’t want to be responsible for causing this kind of mayhem. Smokers: go for the no-risk alternatives. Pfizer: I have only the deepest contempt for you – and your well-paid legal representatives – because you all know damn well you aren’t telling the truth and it’s all about money in reality. You don’t care how many lives are wasted or ruined as long as you all get well rewarded. You are truly the scum of the earth.

    The sooner that horrible concoction is banned the better, and anything I can do to hasten that day, I will do without the slightest hesitation.

  48. Hello,

    My friend satrted taking the drug 2 weeks ago, she started to feel un-emotional last Monday by thursday she was saying she couldn’t feel anything for her children, luckily enough that was the straw that broke the camels back and hasn’t had one since, but she is still very cold, she split up with her boyfriend on Saturday (much to his suprise) whom she was really besotted with….also she is dealing with some really bad family news at the moment, so I just hope th tablets wear off soon, so she can deal with her life with a sound mind…………

  49. Hi,
    i have just started researching champix and as a health worker am horrified by what i am reading. recently my husband has had a change of personality. Aggressive, withdrawn, secretive, yelling rather than talking and much more, also having recent diagnosis of diabetes. I could not understand this behaviour. Then i found the sample packet of Champix. I contacted a friend who i knew was taking an anti smoking drug and asked about it. He said he would talk to my husband about getting off these as he himself had had a psychotic episode at work, attacking someone, fortunatley colleagues pulled him off. This friend has to be one of the most “together” people I know and i was shocked to hear about this. Again disproving the fact that “should not be given to anyone with history of mental illness”. You dont’ need a history to develop these problems on this drug. i can’t help wondering if the diabetes is part of this too, as i don’t know how long my husband has been taking this – he kept it secret to surprise me when he quit smoking!

  50. Hiya, I just thought I would update you on my situation as it has been a couple of months since I last posted.

    I am happy to say that I haven’t had a cigarette since December 24th (12 days after starting on Champix). Not only have I not had a cigarette, I haven’t even been tempted to have one. Giving up has been so easy, it is unbelieveable. Unfortunately I have now turned into one of those smug non smokers that annoys everyone, but it is worth that now that I am smoke free!

    I didn’t take the full course of Champix, due to the fact that after taking it for 8 weeks I really felt that I had kicked the habit for good. I just stopped taking the tablets one day (which was about 7 weeks ago now I think), and have not suffered any side effects from coming off the drugs. Neither has my desire to smoke come back in any way, shape or form. I have just come back from 6 days in Austria with 9 friends, and I was the only non smoker. You can still smoke in bars and restaurants over there, and so I was surrounded by smokers and all it did was reinforce how happy I am to not be a smoker any more.

    Anyway, from looking at the posts on this site it is clear to see that I am in the minority, but I do want people to see that you CAN take Champix successfully, with absolutely no bad effects. I have tried giving up so many times over the years (patches, gum, hypnotherapy, Alan Carr) and nothing has ever worked. When I did give up for a month or so, I was miserable and constantly fighting the urge to smoke. For me, Champix has made quitting smoking so so easy and I am grateful to it.

    I will now be honest and say that one of the people I mentioned in a previous thread who was also on Champix has now had to come off it due to the nausea. She was actually being physically sick every time she took the tablet, and just couldn’t handle it.

    It does sound like I have been fortunate as I have had no side effects, other than mild headaches during the first few days, and mild nausea that can be totally avoided if you take the tablet with a decent sized meal. I am now off the tablets and have had no adverse withdrawal effects either.

    I do also know of 3 other people who started Champix at the beginning of January, and all 3 people are now non-smokers (2 are still on the drugs). Only one of them are suffering from side effects, but these again are minor.

    If I am ever asked in the future whether I would recommend Champix, then based on MY experience I would say yes. I would just give the following advice:

    1) Make sure you take the tablets with a proper meal
    2) You may get headaches during the first couple of days – these can be easily got rid off by taking normal painkillers.
    3) Expect animated dreams
    4) Ask family members and friends to look out for any signs of changes of mood etc
    5) Have weekly Doctors appointments and/or visits to a smoking cessation clinic.
    6) Don’t feel you have to stay on the full 3 month course OR take the full dose every day. Consult your Doctor if you feel you don’t need the full amount and they can recommend cutting down to one tablet a day or coming off the drugs early.

    I am not saying that everyone should take Champix, and I am not saying that I don’t believe that it can be dangerous. I am just pointing out that I have found it to be a fantastic anti-smoking tool!

  51. Thanks, Ali. I’ll just add a little piece of extra advice, if you don’t mind.

    7) Before deciding whether or not to try Champix do read around these blogs where quite a lot of people who were only really trying to improve their health seem to have been seriously affected in obviously unpredictable ways which – if they had only known that Champix can do that to people, but most of them were not told – could easily have been avoided. Some of them are dead, some (like Lauren, who wasn’t even taking it herself) have lost their partners, been attacked by Champix-crazed loved ones…

    Oh yeah, and do try to swallow them with food, or you might get a bit of dyspepsia…. WHAT?????

    Ali, obviously you were lucky. That is what the damn drug is supposed to be like FOR EVERYBODY. But what disturbs me about your readiness to RECOMMEND it – based entirely upon your own personal experience – is that in order to do that, you would also have to pretend you didn’t know about all these other experiences people are writing about. But you DO know, don’t you? And you didn’t bother to advise checking that out.

    Just having weekly assessments or asking loved ones to monitor your behaviour… these are inadequate suggestions that Pfizer might come up with, to suggest that if you treat Champix with care and respect, it won’t turn around and rip your head off without warning. What about the case of Karen McGhee, who woke up in hospital with no recollection of getting up in the middle of the night and trying to commit suicide? She was found by her nine-year-old daughter hanging from the bannister with the pelmet from the curtains around her neck. Her heart stopped five times on the way to hospital.

    Who can monitor your behaviour in the middle of the night? When you are driving alone? What about people who live alone? Or people who take Champix secretly, to surprise their family by stopping smoking?

    Clearly these things don’t happen to everybody, but it is now clearly established that with Champix, they do happen to some. Tell them that, Ali. And also make sure they understand that before these horrifying reactions actually occur – by which time it is a bit late to stop taking the medication, obviously – no-one has the slightest clue who it is going to be! So telling them that it didn’t happen to you actually tells them nothing about what is going to happen to them, and may lead them into a false sense of security that will disappear like smoke if their world caves in.

    Read around the blogs, people. And then, ONLY take Champix if you are quite prepared for the slight, but very real possibility that a member of your family may have to cut you down from the bannisters, dead or alive.

    I once had a client who was a heroin addict, and what made him retreat into that soporific existence was the fact that when he was sixteen, he discovered his best friend hanging from a tree at the spot where they used to play together. I’d like to be able to tell you that I used hypnotherapy to make him all happy and well again, but he only came for one session. I wouldn’t really expect to be able to sort that one out in a single session, would you? Wouldn’t wish that on anyone really, eh? Especially when anyone can quit smoking with safer, more effective methods anyway.

    Try telling Karen McGhee’s nine-year-old daughter that Champix is a “fantastic anti-smoking tool”. I’m not having a go at you personally, Ali – you’re only telling us what happened to you, in the interests of balance, and so that we can see that however evil Champix may prove to be for some people, it isn’t all bad. Hitler loved his dogs, didn’t he – there may not be any such thing as PURE evil.

    Mind you, he still shot ’em in the end anyway, once the grim reality became impossible to deny any longer.

  52. hi. im on day 5 of taking champix…..first 2 days of feeling sick but didnt last long…….maybe 1 hr longest.set my stop date as day 8….started feeling sore back and a little bit of a sore chest ……had my first vivid dream last night was really funny and real….usually cant remember my dreams……take 2 packets of crisps and a milky way every morning then my pill dont feel sick now at all….. started to have longer periods between the fags now ….have a friend hwo tried and is now smokefree for 16 weeks and was off the tablets by week 6….anyways ill try keep u posted on how i get on..

  53. I love this site to bits.
    Open your eyes people this site is just one big advert for a simple book for the gullible amongst us.
    Champix is a fantastic tool against the dreaded weed. It completely cured my vile addiction over a year ago and I’ve not looked back.
    While I agree it’s not for everyone the only side effects I had were the normal effects you would get going cold turkey.
    Please do not let some bloke with a book to sell stop you from trying all available cures from this horrible ADDICTION. And never stop trying to stop whatever way works for you.
    Good luck.

  54. Hello Richie, thanks for your contribution.

    Just because you write the word ADDICTION in big letters doesn’t make it any less of a nonsense, as the book proves. But you haven’t read it, have you? Of course, you don’t need to, because you already ‘know’ it’s an addiction, because the scientists say so, and you found it hard to stop smoking by yourself.

    Yeah, so did all my smoking clients, but after one session of hypnotherapy – during which nobody mentions ‘nicotine receptors in the brain’, by the way – they are fine! No ‘cold turkey’, no cravings, no willpower needed, nothing! So what happened to their ADDICTION, Richie boy? Explain that one.

    As I’ve pointed out before, no-one needs to buy the book to find out what it’s all about, because quite a bit of it is published here on the site for free. The book isn’t about Champix anyway, it’s denouncing NRT.

    Champix is a “fantastic tool” is it? Doesn’t work at all for most people in the long run, whereas hypnotherapy does.

    “While I agree it’s not for everyone…” – is that all you have to say about the rising death toll? None of this is necessary, safer methods work better. I’m trying to save lives here, not sell books. Everything I’ve written about Champix is on the site, not in the book.

    Just because Champix didn’t wreck your life – how self-centred are you? This is what I despise about cynics: just because they are all out for themselves, they honestly believe that everyone else must be too. Don’t know what you do for a living, Richie, but I save lives. I help people quit drugs, quit smoking, quit drinking, lose stones in weight, get over depression, survive and recover from abuse… I’m not selling books about any of that, am I? But you know an advert when you see one, don’t you Richie?

  55. I agree with Richie,Champix has stopped me smoking long term aswell.Champix has also stopped alot of my friends and family smoking.This site is just to advertise this book.
    You arnt a medical person anyway by the sounds of it.
    Champix is a smoking miracle cure and is cheaper than hypnotherapy-which neva worked for me.
    The only thing I got from Champix was mild nausea and a few weird dreams-but I stopped smoking on day 7 on Champix and took the hole course of 12 weeks.
    Nicotene addiction is real and Champix stops the cravings and makes it easy to stop.If you can give proof there is no such thing as nicotene addiction proove it.BUT YOU CANT.

  56. Actually I already have, but of course you haven’t read it.

    “You arnt a medical person anyway by the sounds of it.”
    Yeah, Harold Shipman was “a medical person”, and it was precisely because people like you just assumed he was superior because of that training that he was able to become the biggest mass-murderer in British history.

    I’m not going to reproduce here what I have already written elsewhere – as I have always said, the site is about Evidence, so if you really are interested in the facts, read the Evidence. As I pointed out to Richie, you don’t have to buy the book to do that, a lot of it is published right here on the site for free.

    OK readers, I have some doubt that these last two contributions are genuine – or if they are, I really cannot understand how they can talk about Champix AS IF it isn’t killing people. Richie just says: “While I agree it’s not for everyone…” – which is just horribly inadequate, isn’t it? Read around the blogs, I’m not the only one saying these things, so the suggestion that I’m just trying to promote my book is bollocks.

    I am an expert in smoking cessation who has helped thousands of smokers quit, usually in just one session. I know what I’m talking about, whereas “marsha” obviously doesn’t… that is, if “marsha” is even a real person. I have pointed out before how these bogus pro-Champix posts are usually structured:

    the use of poor spelling and faulty grammar is supposed to make this look like a guileless, honest straightforward opinion…

    the mention of not one, but several “friends and family” who have “all” stopped smoking successfully with Champix (unlikely, since we already know that it doesn’t work long term for the majority)…

    the attempt to insist upon the smoking habit being a “NICOTINE ADDICTION”…

    the claim they’ve tried everything else without success, usually specifically including hypnotherapy (just to cast doubt on my claims for its success), when in fact less than 2% of the population have ever tried hypnotherapy for anything, which makes it pretty dubious that all these rabid inarticulate pro-drug people will all have tried it!

    the use of phrases like “fantastic tool” and “smoking miracle cure” to describe a drug that is randomly causing horrific and all too often fatal side effects in so many people that there are now more official complaints being lodged against Champix than any other prescribed medication. And it fails most smokers (86%) anyway in the long run.

    There is also a possibility that Champix affects spelling in a very curious way: “marsha” can apparently spell “nausea” “miracle” “hypnotherapy” “advertise” and “weird”, but we are supposed to accept she has difficulty with “aren’t”, “never”, “nicotine” “whole” and “prove”.

  57. Hi,
    I have tried many times to stop smoking, with patches, hypnotherapy, behavioural programmes, acupuncture and a long etc.
    I know my addiction well , which in my case is mainly psychological. I have recently stopped and have used Champix, purely because I had not tried it before, although had stopped a couple of times cold turkey and have been ok for a while. My difficulty is in maintaining the non smoking behaviour. I have as from today stopped Champix because it is starting to make me feel weird and don’t want to be on it long term after reading this blog , but mainly because of how it is making me feel.
    I am only taking 0.5mg since day 1 and have continued to do so as my physical addiction is not very strong as recommended by the psychologist on the program that I am on. I had a few headaches the first couple of weeks and felt a bit hazy in my head, I also have had problems with wind and feeling bloated. More recently , I cannot get to sleep easily and have had nasty vivid dreams a couple of times. I also think my moods are starting to be a bit erratic for no apparent reason so I think I have had enough of this weird drug which is also costing me a fortune. Fortunately, I bought the starter pack so I didn’t waste a lot of money. I am doing this as part of a group program which lasts a year and members choose what they want in terms of support to stop, Zyban, NRT, Champix or nothing. I will talk to the person who runs the group, but I am stopping regardless of what her advice is.
    My idea was to take 0.5 mg every other day for about a week and the stop. Any thoughts on this?

    Thank you

  58. Im saying Champix worked for me and other methods didnt.
    Ive red the replies on here and some seem to be made to feel sucidal and get depressed.
    Do you know anyone who killed from this drugg?
    It is a miracle drug as far as IM concerned as it stop me hand alot of me friends smoking and we all not smoking nomore.
    But you aint a doctor and doctors aree qualified and smokin nurses at the clinics are trained to give advice and serport when wee quit.
    So who do you know who is dead now from this drug.
    Oh ill reed yer bits out of the book aswell.
    tar Marsha.

  59. Don’t take my word for it – Google it: “Champix suicides“. Read all about it, then ask yourself: did my doctor tell me any of this?

    “… you aint a doctor and doctors aree qualified and smokin nurses at the clinics are trained to give advice and serport when wee quit.”

    If doctors and nurses are not instructed to give proper warnings, then they don’t. That is negligence by the people who hand down the instructions, the prescribing authorities. If they are instructed to give proper warnings, but they fail to do so, that is negligence by the doctors and nurses. Qualifications don’t really have anything to do with it from a legal point of view.

    Look folks, no-one is suggesting that Champix has never worked for anyone at all, so there are bound to be people popping up to say: “It worked for me and I’m fine.” But before they start calling it a “miracle drug” and encouraging everyone to take it, they need to look at the bigger picture, because it obviously does very different things to different people, and I’m not just talking about whether or not they carry on smoking.

    No, I’m pointing out the well-established fact that this drug does not work in the long term for the MAJORITY of smokers, so it just isn’t worth the risks. In fact, even Pfizer have never said it worked for the majority. The best result they ever managed to get in a clinical trial was 44% not smoking after twelve weeks, but the placebo (dummy pill) used in the same trials scored 18% anyway, so the Champix only made a difference at twelve weeks for 26% of smokers – just a quarter.

    But that is not the real success-rate, that was just at the twelve-week point. A follow-up trial showed that half of them were smoking again anyway 28 weeks later… so as ‘miracles’ go, it’s not really up there with the loaves and fishes, the walking on water and raising Lazarus from the dead, is it?

    You see, if it did no harm – like hypnotherapy, acupuncture and the Allen Carr method… which all have a better success rate anyway… I’d say give it a try. But for a lousy overall result like that people are being encouraged by medical personnel to take a drug which THEY NOW KNOW, BUT USUALLY DON’T TELL THEIR PATIENTS BEFOREHAND causes horrifying and sometimes fatal reactions in some people, completely at random – well it’s insane, isn’t it.

    Marsha made the point before that Champix is cheaper than hypnotherapy. My successful clients save the cost of the session back in less than a month, and from that point on they’re quids in, with no risk at all to their health and well-being, success rate upwards of 70%. Champix could cost you your life, and is pretty unlikely to stop you smoking anyway in the long run.

    NOTE TO MACU: If you’ve noticed that your moods are starting to be erratic I think you should quit immediately. The guy Jane mentioned who reported back on side-effects like that, but was advised to continue taking the medication later hanged himself without leaving a note. No previous mental problems or depression is his case either.

  60. hi…. im nearly finished 2nd week of champix…..been smoke free for 6 days now ….still feel a bit of sickness nowand again but otherwise going fine so far but if i start feeling strange ill stop taking them….only goin to take them for 6 weeks no longer

  61. Why wasnt I tolld any of this when I started Champixx ?

    I still feeel like smokin but I wont have one.
    Iwas tolld I was addicted to smokin and nrt would help me stop or I cud havve Champix.
    So Are all these doctors lieing to us all thenn?
    Im not very clever anyway as I am disabled and have trouble as it is-I am confused now as Im been told 2 different thingzs.Im gonna show my doctor yur book.
    ta marsha

  62. Ah! Looks like Marsha is real after all! Sorry Marsha!

    “Not very clever?” Believe me, however much people may doubt their own brainpower, that won’t stop them from being personally successful if they are given the RIGHT information and the RIGHT kind of help. Many of my clients have significant self-doubt, but it doesn’t stop them being successful anyway, much to their own amazement usually.

    Personally, I’m not afraid of getting things wrong from time to time, because I know exactly what to do about it. I hold my hands up, and say very loudly and clearly: “Whoops! Made an honest error there, didn’t I! Sorry everyone! Let’s correct that immediately.”

    This is what I believe Pfizer and the Department of Health should do right away, before anyone else dies because of their mistakes.

    “I still feeel like smokin but I won’t have one…”

    Some miracle.

    “So Are all these doctors lieing to us all thenn?”

    To be fair, probably not intentionally where Champix is concerned. They’ve been told a load of drug company hype, and it’s a while before the true facts become apparent. But with nicotine replacement, I’ve yet to meet any GP who has the slightest faith in that nowadays, but they certainly aren’t contributing to this blog, are they? That’s one silence that is certainly not golden, Doc. It is actually shameful.

  63. Oh thatz okay.
    I now me spelling is bad sumtimes.
    cannot help thatt.
    been diabled physicallly after a accident lonng timeago and sumtimes cannot plaice words anymore.
    ill show me docor the book k asz may help sum other peoplle.
    ta marsha.

  64. That explains the unusual inconsistency I picked up on. In general, I don’t take much notice of whether people can spell correctly or not, but at first it looked like one of the bogus posts I’ve seen on this, and other blogs. Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong! Especially as I’m not a cynic by nature… but taking on the government, medical authorities and drug companies would probably bring out the cynic in Uri Geller.

    Actually my own spelling isn’t that great, although it has improved. When my wife proof-read the book, she found hundreds of errors I’d not noticed. Years ago when I used to mark students’ essays and exam papers, I realised that some people’s spelling is faultless and their handwriting beautiful, but they’ve got nothing to say – whereas other papers look dreadful, but are far more interesting to read. If, indeed, you actually manage to decipher them.

    Thanks Marsha, for contributing to this debate and for showing your doctor my book. Don’t be too surprised if the doctor simply dismisses it without reading any of it, though. I certainly won’t be.

    In fact at this point I would be bloody astonished if any doctor, anywhere, acknowledged the existence of the Truth Will Out Campaign, or engaged with the public debate here, either over NRT or Champix. They all seem to have lost their voices. One year on, and still not one nurse, doctor, pharmacist or drug company representative has contacted us to defend either NRT or Champix. That’s how much faith they have in the products, apparently. (Update: it’s more than three years now: still not a murmer from any medical person. This site now gets 6000 page views a week. That’s some silence, Doc!)

    Maybe when you qualify in any of the medical disciplines, you are awarded a framed certificate and a big bucket of sand to stick your head into when necessary.

  65. Hi there,
    Since my firs posting I have to say I have been coming off champix and I will be glad when I take the last half pill this wednesday. I have taken 0.5mg every other day as I was advised by the person runnin the gorup I attend as supposed as stopping suddenly and I have to say it has not been too bad. I have been a bit more tearful than usual for a couple of days but have had a difficult family situation recently and my back has been playing up and a few other things as well so it is hard to know what’s what . I am however, very determined no to even have a puff this time could be my time to stop for good. Not thanks to Champix though, because I had actually stopped before all the stressful things began in January and managed for 2 weeks of full on stress without smoking before I relapsed again for 3 weeks and now I have stopped again for 3 weeks. When I stopped in mid January it felt just as easy, if not easier, as with the firs week of Champix and I did not feel weird and hazy in the head and everything else I have had with those bloody pills. Again I don;t think I was given enough information about how it can make you feel and that is just not good enough. Thanks for your advice and information on this site and keep up the good work.

  66. Thanks for that, Macu! After the abuse I’ve been getting for saying these things on a certain Australian medical site, such encouragement is most welcome!

    The mad thing is, none of this unpleasantness and risk is necessary at all. Most smokers can be ‘smoke-free and happy to be’ in just a couple of hours spent with a hypnotherapist who specialises in smoking cessation therapy. No weight-gain, no risk – I’ve done it thousands of times.

    On the Australian site mentioned, several posts accused me of simply attacking Champix because it is competition, with nothing but a profit motive. Actually the truth is completely the other way round – I’m just fighting back. They don’t like that, these Champix-pluggers. But they’re also getting a bit nasty now, because they know that it’s only a matter of time before everybody knows that taking Champix is like playing Russian roulette. And with a lousy long-term success rate anyway. And as for the absolute farce that is Nicotine Replacement Poisoning, just read the latest blogpost “Department of Stealth 2”.

    Hypnotherapy is by far the easiest, quickest and safest way to stop smoking, AND it prevents weight gain when it is done properly. If you would like to know more about it, there is plenty of detail on my Central Hypnotherapy site.

  67. me frend jim bourght book from internet and we s howed to docotor.he said wass such thinzs as nicotin adddiction and said it was proven.
    yur book more er logicall than waht doctor saidd.
    we started smokinn anywayy azs we got cravings for em frend jim and me boft on that stuff champixx.
    ta marsha.

  68. Oh I do apologise, Doc! I’ll just recall all the copies of the book you never read at all, and just shred them, shall I? After all, Doctor knows best!

    I told you the doctor would just dismiss the book without reading it.

    So he said nicotine addiction was proven, did he? Yeah, that’s why I wrote the book. Some people have tried to suggest that I’m only saying all this BECAUSE I “have a book to sell”. But they’ve got that the wrong way round: my aim is to destroy the nicotine myth and Nicotine Replacement Poisoning. If I tried that without producing clear evidence, they would dismiss me saying “Where’s the evidence?”

    So that’s what the book is. 400 pages of evidence, some of which is taking the research that is supposed to indicate that nicotine is addictive, and tearing it to shreds. I had a lot of fun doing it too, because it is in fact unbelievably dumb. And I prove – beyond a shadow of a doubt, though I say so myself – that cravings are nothing to do with nicotine whatsoever. The Nicotine Tale is a lie, and your doctor is simply ignorant of the true facts, and will look very silly in the long run, once everybody knows it.

    Thanks for your contribution, Marsha!

  69. champixx dont work (me spellling badd) anyhow cos me frend jim andd me r smokin again.docor says we can ave patches iff wee want.6 of mee frends smokin again aftere champix-abouut 1 monfth from stopp takingg em cravings forr faggs agan and jim me frend went too shop onn highh streezt and gott 20. Nowzs me frend jim annd mee cannot stop smokin.
    Doctor wantz us too go patchess -but wee arre not surre.
    you arre a nicee kindd mann who me frend jim and me like.
    me frend jim says good bookk-he tis always readind boooks,
    ta marsha.

  70. Try zyban (bupropion HCL) few side effects,easy to get on with stopped smoking in 2 weeks,mental dreams though quite funny,take care all Scott

  71. Oh and one other point,hypnotherapy can,and has been proven to cause schitzophrenia and other phycoses in vulnerable personalities,we just are not made the same.Take care Scott

  72. Here’s a little tip for the future, Scott – if you want to come across as if you really know what you’re talking about, it might be an idea to use a dictionary for the more difficult words like schizophrenia – which does not have a ‘t’ in it – and psychoses, which you just got completely wrong.

    “Take care”? If you really want people to take care, don’t recommend Zyban! It only has a long-term success rate of about 12% anyway, and has been linked to sudden deaths, convulsions, suicides and seizures. This is from an old story in the Mail on Sunday:

    “Eighteen smokers have died after taking Zyban – the new ‘wonder cure’ for nicotine addiction, The Mail on Sunday reveals today.

    The deaths, reported by GPs to the Department of Health, have occurred in the seven-and-a-half months since the drug was launched. Those who died were mainly in their 40s and 50s – although one was aged just 21.

    Health Department figures also show that 3,457 Zyban users have suffered a disturbing range of suspected side effects – from chest pains to fits, seizures and depression.”

    So that was the death-toll after just seven and a half months. And it doesn’t work anyway for 88% of smokers. Bad advice, Scott. Really bad advice.

    I’ve been a hypnotherapist for nine years now, and I’ve worked with thousands of people. If there were any risks involved I would know about them by now. What I certainly do know about are the many lies and scare-stories put about by drug-pushing scaremongers like Scott here, who is trying to present himself as a little sweetheart with all this “Take care, take care all” bullshit as if he were just a genuine, happy ex-smoker.

    Hypnotherapy is simply a means of communication. Trance is a normal state we’re often in anyway. Daydreaming is a trance – that IS the hypnotic state. Clearly Scott doesn’t know that, or he would realise that suggesting hypnotherapy is dangerous is EXACTLY as silly as suggesting that talking to someone who is daydreaming can cause psychosis or schizophrenia!

    Question, folks: What is the opposite of ‘vulnerable’? Answer: Invulnerable.

    Do you know anyone who is invulnerable? No, neither do I.
    The word ‘vulnerable’ is being used here exactly the same way the word ‘susceptible’ is often used in connection with hypnosis by people who don’t know the first thing about it, and the aim is to spread fear and alarm. In fact the only thing Scott says that I quite agree with is that we are not made the same. Quite right, mate: I’m not full of shit.

  73. Hi

    I am on day 4 of taking champix and have been reading your site with interest. I was aware of the dangers of taking Champix before starting, just as I am aware of the dangers of smoking. I have tried other methods without success and have decided to take a ‘risk’ by chosing the Champix route. It is very helpful to be able to read about people’s bad experiences of the drug as I will obviously be looking out for any symtoms they experienced. However the success stories are encouraging too.

    Many people take this drug because it is recommended to them by others who have used it with success, just as there are those who recommend other quitting methods. I understand why you are rather harsh on people who post on here recommending the drug based on ‘their experiences’ as you know that taking it could damage someone’s health, but if nothing else has worked for them then their next cigarette could be the one that does untold damage anyway.

    For me it’s about weighing up those risks, and I will always recommend anyone to read here before deciding to try the drug… whether it ends up working for me or not.

  74. Did I come across as harsh?

    Well, to understand the reasons for that I guess you would have to see this from the hypnotherapist’s point of view, especially those of us who specialise in smoking cessation. You see, we know for sure that no-one needs to be taking any serious risks like this. We also know that the Department of Health, the medical authorities and the drug companies don’t want ordinary smokers to know that, so they have created a gigantic misinformation machine that boasts false ‘success rates’ for drugs, and plays down risks and dangers, whilst lying about alternative methods and using publicity paid for by taxpayers to spread those lies far and wide.

    Then there are people who are involved in the drugs market who pose as ordinary people when they come on a blog like this, but their real agenda is to attack those of us who are trying to warn the public that they are being told lies – such as the nasty little suggestion from Scott about hypnotherapy which is completely untrue.

    One point I would like to make very clearly is that professional private hypnotherapists like myself do NOT work with mentally ill people. That is the field of psychiatry, and in the past there have been people in that field exploring the use of hypnosis in the treatment of the mentally ill. If any of that work has ever led to problems I wouldn’t be particularly surprised, but that says nothing useful about hypnosis. It merely reflects the difficulty of treating mental illness, whatever therapy is being used. Do the drugs they prescribe sometimes make matters worse? Yes, for sure.

    There have also been a very small number of cases of stage hypnosis causing problems – very small, that is, relative to the number of people who have ever taken part in them – but that is because the stage hypnotist is doing his act with people he has never met before, and wouldn’t have a clue if they were unstable or mentally ill. Even so, it is very rare for any problem to arise because most of what goes on in stage shows is just daft larking about, so as long as none of that touches on their mental issues, it wouldn’t bother them anyway, as there is nothing about trance states that involves any risk. We drift in and out of trances all the time.

    Notice how none of that has anything to do with modern, professional hypnotherapy? So when someone like Scott comes along, recommending a drug that was first recognised as a killer ten years ago and has a lousy success rate anyway (Zyban), then throws in a suggestion designed to frighten people about hypnotherapy, he can expect short shrift from me.

    My views about Champix have changed over time. When I first mentioned it on this site I was quite open-minded, but I’ve heard a lot of horror stories now and the fact is, Champix is going to end up killing a lot more people than Zyban, and all for a long-term success rate that is not much better. The underlying suggestion in your post, Tonya, is that you have to weigh the dangers of Champix against the dangers of carrying on smoking…

    Only if you completely ignore hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture, which all have better success rates anyway. No risk with any of them. It’s just common sense to only try the risky options if you’ve tried all these already, and most of the people who have been encouraged to take Champix have not.

  75. It was your response to Ali that I thought was harsh and condescending…..’But what disturbs me about your readiness to RECOMMEND it based entirely on your own experience, is that in order to do that, you would also have to pretend you didn’t know about all these other experiences people are writing about. But you DO know, don’t you? And you didn’t bother to advise checking that out!

    Hypnosis didn’t work for me, and I know of three others that it didn’t work for either. But I tried it on the recommendation of a friend. I think more people know of failed hypnosis sessions and are therefore scheptical about trying it for that reason. I was told I’d probably only need one session… err no, I had two, still smoked and never went back. How often does that happen? The guy probably thought I was cured and put a tick against my name.

    Are you not being misleading when you say to one poster ‘Here I am explaining to everyone that ONE session of hypnotherapy will wipe out your smoking habits with no risk, and no effort from yourselves.’

    And then you say in a later post… ‘In practice, I rarely do third sessions for smoking. If there is no response to sessions one or two – which does happen in a few cases – I certainly would not advise a third, but I have no hesitation in encouraging a second – some of my greatest triumphs have been in second sessions!


    I would seriously advise you and Champix newbies to take the damn stuff for a while longer and then see what happens. I’ve been on this thread for ages and Chris has been with me the whole time .This drug will probably start to take effect on you in more ways than one over the coming weeks. Short term it may stop you smoking – long term you may experience side effects beyond belief… sickness, weird dreams, depression, anger and possibly suicide. Before you say anything-it screwed me up completely and a friends relation on my O/Hs side committed suicide by hanging himself.
    Even though I have quit smoking, when I came off Champix the desire to smoke returned and I ended up having acupuncture for a phobia I had, and even though this was not the reason for the acupuncture I have since lost the desire to smoke.
    I suggest you come back in few weeks and then let us know how you are getting on.
    Have you tried an electronic cigarette? I suggest you use one of these instead of taking this potential suicide pill.
    I used to think Champix was the answer to my prayers – but it isn’t, and I support Chris 100 per cent in his campaign to get rid of this drug.

  77. I am a smoking cessation specialist, not all hypnotherapists are. The fact is, most of the smokers who come here will be smoke-free in one session. If this was a service provided by the NHS, that would be regarded as fantastically successful. No-one would expect an NHS hypnotherapist to have a 100% success rate in just one session, that would never be possible because initial client responses differ. So if there was a problem with the response, you would simply go back.

    With NRT, we now know that the overall success rate in the long run is only about 7% and of those, the average number of NRT courses undertaken by those individuals is seven. So you see, even with a useless method like that, people are quite prepared to persist with it as long as the service is free at the point of use, and the recommended ‘medical’ method.

    Most smokers have never seen any hypnotherapy, but they have seen stage hypnosis. So their perception of hypnosis is that it is some sort of mysterious magic trick that is supposed to be instantaneous. At the same time, they don’t quite believe in magic tricks, so they might be prepared to “give it a go” – but with a triple dollop of doubt, fear and skepticism – not realising that the outcome of a hypnotherapy session is not decided by the therapist.

    So if the client’s immediate response is positive, as it usually is, fine. Everybody happy. If not…

    If not, there is always a reason. How often does that happen? Well, a damn sight less often with hypnotherapy than with Champix, Zyban, NRT and willpower, yet smokers will often return to those methods because a) they have been seriously misled about their actual effectiveness in the long term, and b) because they are funded by the taxpayer.

    So the doctor and the quit counsellor can let you down any number of times, and most smokers will still return to them for their ‘expert advice’. We hypnotherapists know that we have just one chance – or two at the outside –

    Why is hypnotherapy not available on the NHS? Well actually it is, for just a couple of applications, but smoking isn’t one of them. That’s got nothing to do with effectiveness, it’s because GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Co. have already grabbed that massive hunk of taxpayers’ money and they ain’t letting go of any of it, as long as they have massive lobbying power with the Department of Health, regardless of how many smokers die needlessly as a result.

    Perhaps I was a bit unfair on Ali, but this isn’t just about whether methods work or not for one person or another. Champix is – without a doubt – causing suicides and other severe reactions in fairly random and sudden ways. Hypnotherapy has never done that, and it is far more successful in long-term outcomes – as is the Allen Carr method AND acupuncture.

    In your second paragraph, Tonya, you are pretty negative about hypnotherapy generally. Yet you and Ali both know, from reading these blogs, that Champix is randomly causing fatal reactions. All I was thinking was that even if I had quit that way, I really would hesitate to recommend it to someone else KNOWING that I certainly cannot assure them they’d have the same experience I had, and knowing that I would feel absolutely dreadful if they killed themselves.

    And of course, if Champix killed you or Ali, your families would be reading this blog with very different feelings about all this.

  78. Ah, my mistake, didn’t know that this wasn’t for newbies.

    Best of luck as you do have an important message.

  79. No, IT IS for newbies! I’m grateful to Jane for her support, of course, but I’m sure she doesn’t really recommend that people should take the damn stuff for long enough to experience a bad reaction themselves, she was just expressing her annoyance that someone with no personal experience of the horrors she went through was having a go at me for warning people about Champix.

    Who are we trying to warn? Tonya! And anyone who hasn’t yet been harmed by Champix, but could be.

    Now, I want to clarify an important point. Personally, I think Champix should be withdrawn. The Truth Will Out Campaign, which is really calling for Nicotine Replacement Poisoning to be scrapped by the NHS because it is useless and based on a myth anyway, has also made a call for Champix to be withdrawn part of the Campaign aims also, because it is too dangerous and doesn’t produce enough long-term success to be worth people taking risks like that.

    However, until such time as Champix is withdrawn, I believe smokers should be free to choose that option PROVIDED they have been fully and truthfully informed about the likelihood of long term success, the actual record of bad reactions so far, and true facts (for a change) about the success rates of risk-free alternatives.

    While I’m waiting for that sort of level playing field though, I won’t hold my breath for obvious reasons. Onward, troops! Link up, spread the word.

  80. It is clear to me that all the people visiting this site don’t
    want to give up smoking 100%,I was one of those people I “enjoyed” smoking and I was about 60% intent
    on giving up the ugly habit,but to no avail,thats why I turned to Zyban.I know of two people who gave up with sheer willpower alone one being my sister,on asking her how she did it,her reply,you’ve guessed it she wanted to stop 100% and with that behind her did it quite easily without the dangers of any drugs or hypnotherapy.and speaking of Zyban some folks hear including Chris may not know that nearly 2 million yes 2 million Americans use a drug called Wellbutrin XL for depression,and guess what…….It is Zyban! at exactly the same strength 150mg tabs look it up and read the studies and double blind test results you’ll be quite surprised.However my parting advise would be
    to be as close to100% committed if you can,you must want trully to stop,and trying to stop smoking half-hearted,well you WILL fail,and get down about your failure like I did when I failed using patches,as for Chris he sounds a brave man trying to take on a company like GSK,but I send my good luck
    but then will he be taking on GSK to get Wellbutrin banned as well,I think not,maybe you should do a little more homework yourself Chris,take care all Scott

  81. I’m not just taking on GSK. I’m taking on A.S.H., all drug companies that make Nicotine Replacement Products or indeed any product based on the notion that smoking is nicotine addiction – which it is not, as the book proves – all the official bodies involved in the regulation and approval of pharmaceutical products and the medical authorities. I’m taking on the Royal College of Physicians, and particularly the stupid piece of ‘research’ entitled “Nicotine Addiction in Britain” which is supposed to prove there is such a thing, but actually doesn’t, as my detailed critique of that lazy, careless, complacent piece of work shows (Section 5 in the book, Case Mysteries No.4).

    I’m taking on Edzard Ernst, and all his little friends who constantly snipe at alternative medicine on behalf of the medico-chemical industry, but who usually pretend they are wholly independent, ‘scientific’ writers.

    Oh, there’s too many to mention them all by name – just as there are too many drugs like Wellbutrin to take on all those cases one by one.

    It’s really very simple: the healthcare system has been bought by the pill factories and ‘science’ went out the window long ago. It’s not like the people who work within the system don’t know that. It’s just that they don’t know what the hell to do about it, just like the bartender in a Las Vegas casino wouldn’t know what to do about the fact that the place is run by the mafia. So if he witnesses any wrongdoing himself, who is he going to mention that to – the cops? The last guy that talked to the cops got whacked, surprise surprise. That’s how they keep everyone else silent.

    The Mafia

    So the nurse got struck off. Did you hear about this today? She used a secret camera to show how badly elderly people were being treated by the NHS, out of concern for them, because that concern is natural to her, she’s a nurse. Well, she was, but now she isn’t. She didn’t just get disciplined, suspended or sacked, she got struck off the nursing register, so now she can’t be a nurse ANYWHERE.

    They SAID it was because she failed in her duty of care, because she prioritised secret filming over her nursing duties – although it was entirely her professional concern for the appalling standard of care that prompted her to do it!

    No, it wasn’t REALLY because of that, AND EVERYBODY IN THE NHS KNOWS IT. It was because she blew the whistle – she talked to the cops, so she got professionally whacked, not only as a punishment, but as a warning to anyone else working for the Mafia that might be thinking of telling the world the truth about anything.

    Am I ‘brave’ for taking these bastards on? I don’t think that comes into it. For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing, so I’m doing something.

    Folks, if you think what happened to that nurse was a very bad sign of the way things are going – SHAMEFUL, in fact, in a democracy, to have your professional integrity, identity and livelihood maliciously destroyed, just for telling the truth – then link up, spread the word. Pick up your whistle and blow. Do it for her: because if she was your friend, or a family member, you’d be livid right now. Don’t let the bastards get away with it.

    Let’s all blow our whistles until their ears are bleeding. Truth Will Out.

    Oh, by the way, Scott: I don’t know if this was a sneaky suggestion or whether it just came out that way:

    “I know of two people who gave up with sheer willpower alone one being my sister,on asking her how she did it,her reply,you’ve guessed it she wanted to stop 100% and with that behind her did it quite easily without the dangers of any drugs or hypnotherapy.”

    There are no dangers in using hypnotherapy, Scott. And when people come to see me for smoking cessation, very few of them want to stop 100%. They may have very mixed feelings about that, which is why the session takes two hours. If it takes more than one session, this too is the reason. It is part of my job to deal with all of that, and in doing that of course I need the cooperation of the client.

    Most are successful despite their mixed feelings at the start, much to their own surprise, usually.

  82. No Chris it was’nt a sneaky suggestion,my apologies I
    was typing with a bit of haste,it just that I have read some scare stories myself about hypnotherepy,however I can’t really comment because
    its only what I have “read” and we all know that its a possibility its bullshite.
    I do agree with your analogy Mafia,NHS,and the big pharmas,no one likes there living taken away,
    especially whistle blowers,maybe we should make a stand,but I need to be more informed,thats why I visited,people are susceptible to scare stories I was mearly trying to add a positive experience.Scott

  83. After nine years in this profession I have heard all the scare stories about hypnotherapy, believe me! They are very much like the scare stories schoolchildren tell each other – the innocence of the listener is an essential ingredient. To know immediately that the scare story isn’t true, you have to be already fully aware that what you’re being told literally is not possible, and most ordinary people have no idea what is, and what is not possible with hypnosis. Medical people usually don’t either.

    It’s all down to the illusion of Stage Hypnosis really, which is why I included the section on Stage Hypnosis in the book. Hypnotists do not really have any power over anyone, but Stage Hypnosis makes it appear as if they do, so all the scare stories are based on that idea (or nearly all of them).

    Any general suggestion that trance or hypnotic states could involve risk is exactly the same as suggesting that daydreaming is a hazardous practice! If you would like to know more about such matters, select the Read The Book option on this site, or visit Central Hypnotherapy.

  84. Hi there,

    Just wanted to update you – over 4 months on and haven’t touched a cigarette since before Chrismas. Whether this is down to Champix or down to the fact that I am determined never to smoke again I don’t know, but either way I am proud of being a non-smoker!

    I realise there are lots of stories on the internet about suicides/deaths relating to Champix, but is there any actual documented evidence? I’ve seen some reports on Zyban but can’t recall seeing any hard evidence about Champis causing suicides/deaths. I’m not disagreeing with you all and saying that it doesn’t, but I would like to see some actual facts and/or proof.


    (by the way, I’m a female Ali, not male!)

  85. Hi Ali, congrats on your smoke-free status!

    It is striking that most of the reports about suicides and warnings seem to date back to 2007 – I too would like to see more recent updates. This report from June 18 2008 is probably the most important one I’ve found so far.

  86. I started taking Champix on December 1st 08 and took them for 14 days, during the time I took them I felt progressively more and more ill, I contacted my doctor twice and was told its normal to fill ill on them and to keep taking them.

    On 14 th December 08 I was admitted to hospital with chest pains, 1 week later and a lot of tests I was discharged, no diagnosis, just sent home, since then I have been diagnosed with Diabetes and Reynauds Syndrome, have balance problems, problems with my endocrine system and have been off of work (now lost my job), so how do you go from healthy to feeling ill and being admitted to hospital in 14 days, then 6 months later have the same mystery symptoms, my guess is that as Champix works on receptors in the brain it messes with a whole lot more than just dopamine receptors.

    Can I prove this, the answer is no, I’m a layman and the doctors tell me it isn’t the case, they know because they looked on the manufacturers website, so coincidently within the 2 week period I was using champix I turned diabetic, suffered circulatory problems, endocrine system problems and lost my balance and gained vision that comes and goes as it wants, lost the ability to work, drive my car and generally do tings that normal people do, also I dont know where the end of this is, nor do the doctors..

    If you google Chantix lawsuit you will find that in the US there are a whole heap of people with similar problems to those I’ve suffered, and am suffering now, find another way to give up smoking, I wish I had….

  87. I’m 47 years young and have smoked since 16. I used to be a laid back, easy going, life loving, flower power type of girl. In July 08 my doctor prescribed champix as none of my many previous attempts worked. All was great, stopped smoking by day 8, yippee! Then on day 13 the happy switch in my brain went off. For two days I didn’t feel safe enough to leave my room and by day 3 all I wanted to do was die by painting my bathroom blood red. Needless to say, I ended up in hospital under suicide watch and being dosed with valium. All the doctors who saw me put the sudden change to a full blown psychotic meltdown down to the champix. After a week I was sent home with valium and was set up with numerous appointments to keep an eye on my progress. Life eventually got some semblance of normalcy back but I didn’t feel the same levels of joy and contentment. In March 2009 I was finally diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety with thoughts of self harm. For someone who had never experienced depression and anxiety before, it’s scary. The blame was put on the unknown long term side effects of that poison I took last year. Now I live life as best I can on anti depressants and valium topped up with heaps of love and support from my family, friends and local gp. I know this drug works well for a lot of people but I really dont think it’s worth the risk of ending up like me.

  88. This is exactly why I won’t give up until this horrible drug is banned, and the lawsuits against Champix give Pfizer the biggest legal kicking any pharmaceutical giant has ever had.

    Just one point, Deb – actually the drug does not “work well for lots of people”, despite what you may have been told. In truth it fails at least 80% of smokers in the long term anyway. So, DEFINITELY not worth the risk.

    Most successful methods are also the safest: hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method (which is just another form of hypnotherapy really) and acupuncture.

  89. Hi, Just wanted to let you know that I’ve finished taken champix after 12 week course and while it did seem to work to stop the cravings from nicotine I now find myself withdrawing from this poison, as you call it. Though these feelings of anxiety, anger, some obvious depression didn’t just start when I finished the champix, they started a few weeks ago. Good thing I know what it’s being caused by otherwise things could be bad. I’ve been so angry at times. Haven’t harmed anybody, but I’ve wanted to. I will tell my Doctor about these symptoms but will refuse any anti depressants he may offer because they also make me feel bad. I hope this stops soon so I can get on with caring about life and family, as this too seems to be affected. Also after reading some of these replies and feeling this way I going to not recommend this product to any one. Wow I just realized that this started when I started weening off this, I decided to ween even though I was told by my doctor there was no ween and you just stop. I didn’t want to risk withdrawal from champix but now realize that its part of this.

  90. “Haven’t harmed anybody, but I’ve wanted to.” I find that chilling – that doctors are freely choosing to prescribe something which can make their patient feel like harming other people.

    “…feelings of anxiety, anger, some obvious depression…”

    This is supposed to be MEDICINE. Does anyone remember a time when medicine was supposed to make you feel BETTER?

    That’s why I’m calling Champix a poison. It kills people, and even the ones it doesn’t kill often report feeling the way Rob does – much worse than they did to begin with. Why do we avoid consuming poisons generally? Because they might kill you, and even if they don’t, they are very likely to leave you feeling much worse than you did to begin with.

    Rob, thanks very much for your contribution, and may I wish you a full and speedy recovery. I am also very glad that you are going to report the suffering this nasty drug has caused you – everyone who has suffered should do that, or the bereaved if they are unable to. Only this week a client told me about a relative who leapt to her death from a motorway bridge here in Stockport whilst on a course of Champix. Every single case of harm should result in an official complaint to the medical authorities who STILL haven’t done anything to stop this insanity – so if you, or anyone you know has suffered because of this lethal drug, please – make sure it gets reported.

    Champix should never have been passed as if it were safe enough for human consumption – it certainly is not. BAN CHAMPIX. SCRAP N.R.T. Spread the word, by Facebook, twitter, anyway at all – Truth Will Out is all about keeping smokers informed, protected. No-one should be suffering like Rob, no-one should be lying dead on a motorway just because they wanted to quit smoking – something I help people do every fucking day without the slightest risk to their health – do you hear me, all you complacent fuckers at the B.M.A.? Do you hear me, at the National Institute for Chemical Excess? Do you hear this, at the Medicines and Healthcare Rubber-stamp Agency? YOUR WONDER DRUG IS DESTROYING LIVES. Hypnotherapy could be saving the vast majority of them, and you lot are still pretending it doesn’t work for smoking, partly because you can’t stand being wrong and partly because you love being wined and dined by the global drug-pushers.

    Truth Will Out will do everything possible to push Champix/Chantix and Nicotine Replacement Poisoning right off a cliff. Lie all you want, smokers will find you out. Carry out all the fake “Cochrane reviews” you will, smokers will realise it is all a PR exercise to make it look as if ‘science says’ methods like acupuncture and hypnotherapy don’t work! ‘Science’ sold its soul to the Devil quite some time ago in fact, and now it says whatever it is told to say by the pharmaceutical industry – it is their money that pays for all the trials and reviews. ‘Science’ said Champix was safe enough for general use, when it obviously isn’t. It said Prozac worked better than the placebo, when it didn’t. It says that smokers are “up to four times more likely to quit” with NHS services, when in fact the services only make a difference of less than one percent (see blogpost ‘Dept of Stealth 6 – The NHS Lie Exposed’).

    The Alternative

    People are learning the truth about mind-body medicine every day, despite all the misinformation put about by medical authorities and those working for the drug companies – so really it is only a matter of time before it is just common knowledge that hypnotherapy is by far the easiest and the safest way to quit the habit, as well as solve quite a lot of other common problems.

    If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy, click here.

    **Update, 23.07.09:
    Okay, it is obvious I’m just repeating myself now so I’m not posting any more comments or replies – say what you will, people! The floor is yours. I’m retiring from the debate, I’ve said all I care to say. This site is really about the nicotine replacement farce, so please do read the final two blogposts that sum that up: ‘The NHS Lie Exposed’ and ‘The British Press’.

    Finally, don’t have nightmares: we do still officially live in The Free World, according to all Western governments. That’s why we were able to get that damning information about the abject failure of NRT out of the Department of Health – because we have a Freedom of Information Act. So then we tried to share the information with the rest of the public, only to find we don’t have a Freedom of Access to the Media Act, do we?

    So knowledge is not power. The control of information is power, and I’ve had enough of this bullshit. I’m turning over the Truth Will Out site to the public. Do what you want with it, and if you choose to trust Big Pharma’s version of Sci-Earns, you’re all going to end up having gastric bands fitted and taking pills to make your blood keep flowing and your eyes keep blinking stupidly, just like all those people from the land where medications are advertised on the telly with happy songs and dances. Ta-ra.

  91. I’m using Champix at the moment.

    The side effects I am experiencing are fatigue, slight depression and mood swings – the common side effects you would expect after stopping smoking. The side effects are getting less and less now, and overall I feel a lot happier in myself.

    Obviously Champix will not work for everyone, that’s impossible. Everyone is different and reacts differently to different drugs.

    I must be one of the “lucky ones”, Chris.

  92. You might be, James. Bit early to say, since you’re still taking Champix.

    How people feel when they quit smoking will vary, but I can assure you that my successful hypnotherapy clients certainly do not experience “fatigue, slight depression and mood swings”, which makes it obvious that those feelings are not simply due to the withdrawal of tobacco, otherwise ALL smokers would feel like that if they stopped smoking, including ALL my clients, regardless of how successful the hypnotherapy was.

    When I quit smoking for the final time, I didn’t use anything – not even willpower really. I was just sick to death of smoking, so it kind of petered out. I just felt better, almost immediately. This was before I knew anything about hypnotherapy, by the way. I think that the ease with which I stopped smoking was largely due to the fact I wasn’t that bothered either way: stopping was more of a preference than anything else, and because I wasn’t all wound up about the issue, there was no conflict. I’m inclined to agree with Allen Carr’s comment in his book on Alcohol, when he says that the only thing that makes quitting seem difficult is the conflict over it. If any.

    Not only does Champix not work for everyone, James, it’s long-term success-rate is certainly under 20%, despite it having the advantage of being hailed as “the latest Wonder Drug”. Once it has been around for a while, and everybody knows it is not a wonder drug at all, that 20% figure will slump further as smokers lose faith in it, which is what happened to Zyban. That now delivers a success-rate of 12% in the long-term, which is rubbish. It is actually well within the normal placebo range, so in fact it is effectively worthless. And not safe.

    So if you do – in the end – turn out to be a non-smoker and don’t – during the process – fling yourself off a bridge or attack someone, then yes: you will turn out to be one of the lucky few who didn’t relapse later or find yourself adding your own harrowing story to the “Champix Ruined My Life” website. Nothing to do with me, by the way – apparently I’m not the only one who thinks it should be withdrawn.

    So best of luck, and do let us know how it turns out in the end. All contributions are welcome here, whatever the outcome. As long as they’re not bogus drug company marketing bullshit, of course.

  93. Hi there,

    I am stunned at what I am reading here.

    I went to my doctor a few months ago for a check up. I don’t ever go to the doctor really, I am very healthy and for anything minor I tend to go to a naturopath instead. But I needed a pap so I went to my doctor.

    We went over the usual list of questions and the possible health issues etc. I was very happy to realize that I have literally no health problems or risks other than that I have not been able to quit smoking (which I realize is a considerable issue of course).

    My doctor says he would totally recommend Champix. I ask him what it is. He explains that it turns off nicotine receptors in the brain, and that it has almost a 100% success rate for quitting. I was surprised. I never take any pharmaceuticals, at all, especially not something that would affect my brain chemistry! But I was really impressed that my doctor was essentially guaranteeing that I would be able to quit smoking if I took Champix. If that were true, I could be off the cigarettes and have an absolutely clean bill of health. This would go well with the fact that my life circumstances have been so positive lately, it sounded so fantastic!!

    So I asked him about the side affects. He told me there were NONE. Then he admitted actually it can make you a bit nauseous and some people get vivid dreams. He said usually the nausea goes away. Okay, so a little nausea, some vivid dreams, and I’ll be a non smoker. Wow! I asked him again, and again, and yet again, if there were any other side affects. I asked him REPEATEDLY and told him how important it was to me to know. NONE, he told me. I was excited! I broke my rule of not taking pharmaceuticals because I decided the smoking was more risky than a little nausea and some bad dreams.

    I started taking Champix just about 6 weeks ago. After about 10 days, I couldn’t even look at a cigarette. The day I quit I actually kept lighting a smoke and then staring at it, shocked that every time I took a drag it was like smoking a ‘smoke stick’, with no pleasure in it at all, just a nasty smoke taste. Amazing! I was so happy. I continued to take the prescription as directed.

    At about the fourth week, I was getting set to go away for 8 days. Before I left, I had a big fight with my boyfriend, and I broke up with him by text message. My behavior was really off the map. I was rude, and hostile, and really unfair. I was stunned. We had never had a fight before, and I just lost it. I went away for my week feeling really confused. When I came back, things were made up, but I was still just feeling so weird about things. My mind wouldn’t stop racing, obsessing over issues in our relationship.

    I started having dreams that I would wake from crying. This past weekend I went to visit my boyfriend at his cabin with all his family and the whole time I had to control myself using all the strength I had, just to not act out. I was feeling crazy. Everything was a trigger. This feeling would pass, but then it was back on like gangbusters. Racing, obsessive thoughts. Panic, desperation, sadness.

    This morning I woke up hysterical for no reason. Bawling. Sobbing. I got out of bed and tried walking around to calm myself down. I almost vomitted, I couldn’t stop crying. I am a mess. I don’t know if this is a coincident or not, but I started tapering off the Champix two days ago as I feel like I am very done with smoking and decided I didn’t need to keep taking it. I called the pharmacist first, who strongly recommended taking the full 12 weeks. I had to ask over and over again why, and whether there was any issue with stopping taking it without tapering it off. This woman really wanted me to keep taking Champix. But she finally conceded that it can be quit without having to taper it off, and said if I was really sure I was done with smoking I could stop taking it straight away and there would be no ill effect.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve been feeling like a maniac these past few weeks. It didn’t really start to feel super weird until about the fourth week. Yesterday I went out and spent $300 on oil paints and a canvas and gear, hoping to start learning to paint. Where did that come from? Very manic and strange. The good news is I sat down last night in a craze and started sketching. I don’t know how to draw at all, but there I was drawing faces like I’d done it forever. I really do feel like a crazy lady right now.

    After my hysterical episode this morning I just Googled Champix to see what I could find, and I am stunned by what I have read here. I thought I was just hormonal or something or going through a phase, but now this makes perfect sense.

    I am irate with my doctor. I have no history of depression. Now I am terrified, am I going to get back to normal? As I mentioned, I have no other health problems. Am I going to now have to deal with episodes of sobbing? I only took the Champix for a little under 6 weeks. Am I going to return to normal? Or is my life now ruined? I am so scared. How could my doctor not know about the side affects? How can people be so casual about something so serious.

    I just feel sick about this. I’m so sorry for everyone having an experience like this. I hope we will all recover from this. I couldn’t handle being like this forever. I can see why there are suicides with this drug.

  94. Kath, first of all let me reassure you that most people seem to recover completely in due course, though it does take a while.

    However… I really hate to tell you this but your doctor lied to you deliberately. There is no doctor or pharmacist in the world that is not aware that this medication carries a warning about bad emotional reactions and suicide risk. It is currently under investigation by the FDA for severe side effects.

    There is no doctor or pharmacist in the world – or certainly not in Europe or the USA – who is not aware that even Pfizer recommend that if you suffer ill-effects you should cease taking the medication immediately. Your doctor and your pharmacist should both be reported to whatever authority is supposed to govern their behaviour, because their advice was reckless and, on the evidence already in the public domain, put your life at risk in a quite unnecessary and irresponsible way. In fact you have a very strong case for suing both of them for causing unnecessary suffering and endangering your life.

    Champix has never had a 100% success rate. Even in the trials – which were pretty misleading as all drug trials are these days – the highest figure ever reached was 44% at 12 weeks, which dropped to half that in the 28 week follow up. Realistic analysis suggests that in general use, its long-term outcomes are probably no higher than 20% success, or 1 in 5. And that is amongst a population that has been told it is a wonder drug. Quite what that figure will be once everyone knows the truth about Champix is another matter.

    Kath, please lodge an official complaint at the very least. You would never have taken this medication if you had not been told a lot of lies by your doctor, so he/she is directly responsible for your suffering and the dire risk to which you were wrongfully exposed. Pfizer are also to blame because they still deny that their nasty little tablets are destroying people’s lives. The officially reported cases are only the tip of the iceberg.

    Finally Kath you are certainly not alone. There are class actions already under way against Pfizer, and everyone who has suffered should get together on this, because drug companies have nothing but contempt for the people they damage and kill. All they care about is money – this has nothing to do with healthcare.

    Thank you for contacting us, your account may well save someone else’s life. May I wish you a speedy recovery Kath.

  95. Chris thank you for taking the time to respond to me. As I read your reply what really stuck out is that when I had a weird episode of behavior at 4 weeks, I would have known where it was coming from if I knew that Champix has side affects. If my doctor had warned me to watch for behavioral changes I would have been off this drug much sooner, before it made me into a blubbering mess. That is what bothers me the most.

    I was having a conversation with a friend today about how even the doctor makes money when he writes a scrip. That is really effed up. How can my doctor have a financial benefit to prescribing a drug? What the hell kind of world are we living in? How can we expect to get proper health care when the gp’s make money for giving us life-threatening drugs????

    I am in Canada. If there is a class action suit here, I am in.

  96. Hi-i’ve been on Champix for only four days and i have never felt sicker in my life!Last night i thought that my heart will jump out of my chest,had horrible thumping in my head and felt nausea was taking over my life!! After telling a friend she pointed out that it could be the side affects-so i jump on the net to check it out and wish i had done it before i started the pills!!!! I was shocked to read all that stuff-its really scary that it could have been me in less than a month!!!Just shocking to think that something “helps”you get sick!!I gave up smoking last year for 11months,but started again when me and my kids had car crash.Im seeing my doctor 2moro,bt i would like to know-did i do any damage to my body by taking that rubbish for only four days??? I hope not! And thank you for your campaign-i dont want to think what would have happened to me if i kept taking that poison! Thank you Chris.

  97. You’re welcome, Magdalena! I think you should be okay, because you weren’t taking it for long… please keep us posted.

    Also, please do make an official complaint about Champix. I suspect that few sufferers actually do that, because it may seem as though you’re criticizing your doctor, but actually it is essential to protect others. How can we expect doctors to stop prescribing a drug if they never hear about most of the bad reactions? In addition, not making official notifications of bad reactions assists the manufacturer, Pfizer, to keep pretending there is nothing wrong with their suicide pill.

    Hypnotherapy works best, and it’s the safest. Read more here.

  98. Just a little update – it’s been three weeks since I posted and I have almost completely recovered. Things got quite bad before they got better, but I went to the local clinic and got some ativan to help when I have been feeling really off the wall. In 21 days I’ve only had occasion to use 18 low dose (.5mg) tablets of the ativan and it has really helped me get through the depression I went into coming off the Champix.

    Good luck to everyone out there, and I agree very much with Chris, we need to ALL make sure our complaints about Champix are heard. I plan to go to my doctor and insist that he put in a report on what happened to me, to the drug company or wherever these complaints are put in. I will need him to prove to me that this has been done in order for me to drop it.

  99. This is another update. I did think I had recovered from this but I am feeling simply awful again. I have been having the most horrific anxiety almost constantly. This is not something I have suffered from in the past. I feel quite suicidal a lot of the time. I can hardly eat.

    I need to know, is this going to pass? Am I going to feel better? What can be done to feel better sooner? I am so incredibly depressed and I cry almost all the time. 🙁

  100. Hi Kath, sorry to hear you are feeling worse again…

    Anxiety and low mood are emotional reactions and these are governed by the Subconscious mind. As a hypnotherapist I know that such reactions can often be eliminated on request during a hypnotherapy session, provided your hypnotherapist knows how to do that.

    Over the years I have encountered numerous clients who have developed reactions like this after trauma or sudden illness, simply because the Subconscious doesn’t realise what the cause of it was and decides to attempt to protect you by generating extreme fear reactions. Trouble is, it is unsure what to attach the reactions to, so unlike phobias – in which case it is usually clear what the Subconscious is reacting against and trying to force you to avoid – these fear reactions are non-specific and just get labelled “anxiety”.

    Now, just glance back over your original post above (no.96). I’d say that was a pretty traumatic experience, one which the Subconscious mind (your Protector) certainly would not wish for you to experience again. Since discovering the Truth Will Out site, your CONSCIOUS mind has discovered that the real cause of all that was Champix. So it naturally concludes, quite logically, that you would never take that again. But has anyone explained it to your Subconscious mind? No.

    Hence the anxious reactions, panic attacks and all the other emotional fall-out. Kath, your Subconscious mind needs reassuring – urgently – that the cause is known and that you will never have to experience any of that again… so it doesn’t need to generate any fear reactions at all once that is fully understood. So far as I am aware, there is only one way to convey all of that information effectively to the Subconscious mind: hypnotherapy.

    Now, if you (or anyone reading this) thinks that what I have just said is bullshit and cannot possibly be true, ask yourself this: have you spent every day of your working life for the last ten years doing hypnotherapy with thousands of people, very successfully indeed? Curing problems exactly like this one, in fact, as well as many other useful applications that certainly cannot be done rapidly any other way?

    Well I have! And I know that I could cure that, for sure. It’s not directly caused by the medication, but indirectly – it is an understandable (once you know how these things actually work) emotional reaction to the truly horrible side effects of Champix in your case. Kath, you need to find a talented and experienced hypnotherapist who specialises in dealing with anxiety reactions, panic attacks and phobias and who recognises the truth of what I have stated in this reply. A hypnotherapist who expects to be able to eliminate those reactions in short order… and then goes ahead and does exactly that.

    If you need any advice about researching that option, let me know. I know we are on opposite sides of the world, but I can still help. Remember, this is an emotional reaction – the side effects are over, it’s just that no-one has explained that to your Subconscious mind yet, so it is still reacting. Please be aware that reactions like this do not usually peter out by themselves… in fact, severe reactions can get worse over time if they are not sorted out by the proper intervention. The good news is, with the right hypnotherapist these reactions can be eliminated very quickly – I would not expect that to take more than one session, or two at the outside. And please be assured, hypnotherapy involves no risk whatever, it is simply a communication process. Do feel free to ask if there is anything else you need to know Kath. Sorry it has taken so long to reply this time.

    more info about hypnotherapy

  101. hi i have not smoked for 14 days having taken champix for 12. only had mad dreams for the mostpart found it worked amazing, i have tried to give up before managed 2 days once, whoop! but not had one craving whilst taking champix. but on sunday woke up i was shaking like a leaf, never really understood depression but if thats what i was suffering with its HORRIBLE!! felt like if i died it would be a good thing!! also i cannot see out of the left side of my left eye think thats a new one my doc says it seems temp and should come back within a few days. so my summary is yea it really works to make us give up smoking but damm!!! it wrecks your head big time. by the way how much can i sue pfzer for if my vision doesnt come back?????

  102. Hi everyone. You may remember my horrific tale from June. Thought I’d let you know how my life has unfolded since then. As I said, never before had I suffered severe depression, anxiety or had thoughts of suicide until I was introduced to Champix. It’s now 16 months since the meltdown. I am still taking anti depressents, dosage was increased because I hurt myself, but I really can see the end of the tunnel now. The valium is down to maybe twice a month when I fall into a small pothole or run over a speed bump. I walk around some days with essential oils on coton wool stuffed down my bra. Very soothing! I still hate leaving the house alone and the fact that all those close to me seem to walk on eggshells around me hurts. So I’ve learned the hard way that Champix not only affects the victim, it gets everyone around the victim messed up too.

  103. Hi, I will begin day nine of champix tomorrow and have not smoked for two days even although my quit date was supposed to be three days from now. I cannot argue with the fact that Champix do seem to work but I am already experiencing side effects that are beginning to worry me….. I feel tired and sick constantly and have snapped at my five year old a few times today which is not like me at all, I was unaware of any of these symptoms. My GP did not inform me when he prescribed the pills and the few people I know who have taken them never mentioned any side effects other that nausea…. I googled champix side effects tonight as I am feeling pretty bad, soooo tired even although I’ve had way too much sleep and my other half is beginning to worry as I am usually an active upbeat person. I am going to phone my GP in the morning and make an appointment because after reading some of the posts on here I am starting to think I should never have been given these pills in the first place, I will keep you updated.

  104. Hiya all! i am on day 19 of champix and at first i thought it was amazing how i just didn’t want a cig but now i am having second thoughts about this “wonder” drug! i quit on day 8 of the course and felt great but for the last 3 days i have been feeling worse and worse. it seems as tho life is hopeless and has nothing to offer anymore. i really do agree with a lot of the posts on here that Champix takes away more than just the desire and pleasure of smoking. it really does seem to take away the pleasures normally found within life. so much so that i find myself crying for no reason and getting angry at the drop of a hat. this isn’t the usual me in the slightest. i am also under the impression the “authorities” on smoking have either no idea of the prevalance of these symptoms or they turn a blind eye.

    i got my champix from visiting a drop-in centre at the local health centre and they wrote me a letter for my doctor. the next day i gave the letter to the receptionist at my doctor and was told to come back in 2 days for the script. as instructed i returned to collect the script and then got my tablets. at NO point did i get any advice for either my own doctor or the pharmacist or smoking cessation people. this drug has serious side effects and not ONE of the trained personnel on my route to champix told me or informed me of any of these side effects.

    As i type this i am having a fag so the “chemical” isn’t working is it! the champix has actually swayed me into the choice for a cig! the depression and anger i have for no reason have led me here.

    i feel i have been lied to and cheated by those whose i should be able to trust, ie the medical profession, and hope that i return to normal as soon as possible. i have decided today to stop the tablets and return them to my doctors with a note explaining myself .

    To all others looking at champix as a way forward please dont. it is more likely to cause you to hit the fags more after the side effects take hold


  105. Oh and yes i feel tired, moody, depressed, angry and irritable all the bloody time! THANKS CHAMPIX!!!

  106. hello again
    well I’ve been to the doctor today and return the tablets and he says the effect should go away within two days and he didn’t even seem bothered that I had suffered side-effects from taking champix. He has now suggested that I try nicotine replacement treatment instead. I didn’t get a refund on the prescription though when I returned the tablets!

  107. So when we hear about the officially ‘reported’ bad reactions, obviously that is only the tip of the iceberg, because of all the bad reactions that never get any more official than this one did.

    Of course it is a very serious matter that Karl wasn’t warned beforehand that taking Champix involves serious risks, but what I find really chilling is that Karl’s doctor “didn’t even seem bothered” that it left him feeling:

    “as tho life is hopeless and has nothing to offer anymore…. Champix takes away more than just the desire and pleasure of smoking. it really does seem to take away the pleasures normally found within life. so much so that i find myself crying for no reason and getting angry at the drop of a hat. this isn’t the usual me in the slightest. i am also under the impression the “authorities” on smoking have either no idea of the prevalance of these symptoms or they turn a blind eye.”

    Karl took himself off this medication, so his recovery from those horrible side effects will owe nothing to his doctor or any other medical person or pharmacist. If he had not done so he could have ended up concluding that life really wasn’t worth living any more, and joined the growing list of Champix suicides. I ask you, what kind of family doctor wouldn’t seem particularly bothered about being responsible for something like that?

    Turning a blind eye to this is negligence. So is not being bothered when the drugs you are recommending, Doc, make normal people feel suicidal. This is far from being the first time we have heard about cluelessness and indifference – recklessness, really – from medics, smoking-cessation advisers and pharmacists regarding Champix. So I would suggest that those doctors who do care about the safety of patients AND the reputation of the medical profession as a whole HAD BETTER GET TOGETHER AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    I know you get paid extra for prescribing all this dangerous and useless smoking cessation garbage, but have you ever stopped to wonder why that is, Doc? Is it really to motivate you to encourage more smokers to try to quit? Or is it really because if they didn’t bribe you to do it, you probably wouldn’t waste any of your patients’ time with it or put their lives and mental health at risk in this way?

    And please, don’t anyone start spouting that crap about the Champix risks being ‘better than dying of lung cancer’ because we’ve heard that dumb marketing suggestion too often already. It comes courtesy of the Hype Department at Pfizer, and it doesn’t cut any ice because hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture have all been shown to work better in the long term than any of the meds, as is demonstrated in the Evidence section of this site. And all those methods are perfectly safe, so we have to ask the question: Why isn’t the medical profession recommending and providing those methods as first choices?

    Two reasons, Karl:

    1) Because of the way governments and medical authorities are corrupted by the vast amounts of money generated by the drug industry, and
    2) Because they’d rather let you die, Karl, than admit that they are wrong to recommend those methods and that you would be far more likely to succeed with hypnotherapy, or indeed any methodology that isn’t already controlled by them.

    In fact it is becoming increasingly apparent that bodies like the B.M.A., the Royal College of Physicians, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, Action on Smoking and Health and the bozos at the bloody Health Department are all content to let any number of people die… not just from Champix but from other medications that were also fraudulently hustled through dodgy drug trials by the manufacturers… rather than admit they are wrong and that people are dying unnecessarily as a result of their corruption, negligence, complacency and indifference which is – in point of fact – murderous.

    Please folks – if you have a bad reaction to Champix do insist that your doctor officially reports that, because if they brush it under the carpet it only makes the vile concoction seem less evil than it actually is. Public safety is absolutely dependent upon you doing this, because the doctors don’t seem to be bothered about killing smokers with this stuff, and the smokers who actually did commit suicide because Champix made them feel – just like Karl – as if life was:

    “hopeless and has nothing to offer anymore….”

    well, they can’t warn anyone.

  108. Hi,

    I’m on my 5th Week of Champix! I’m 25 and have smoked since i was 14. I have tried to quit millions of times and even stopped for 7 months when the smoking ban came in, in 2007. I never felt upset or lifeless when i was giving up back then, but in the last 5 days my mood just seems to be getting worse.

    I don’t or have never suffered from depression, my life was brilliant, i’ve got a fab boyfriend who i’m moving in with this year. Good job, great ffriends and family but i just feel empty still.

    When i first started taking Champix, i thought it was brilliant, i was having vivid dreams but didn’t mind them, i found them more amusing than scary. Feeling sick but it only lasted for about 30 mins and was able to sleep well at night.

    In the last 5 days i have started arguing with my boyfriend, to the point were i think i don’t want to be with him. Being argumentive at work and last night i was just crying and i even thought to myself, everyone would be better of without me.
    Thinking this has scared me and this is why i’m on this site as i wanted to see if how i was feeling was due to Champix. Which i’m certain now it is. My best friend said to me last night ‘are you ok? I’m worried about you because you don’t seem happy at the moment’. For her to say that to me obviously means that people can see my “changed” attitude towards life.

    I really don’t know what to do, i can’t talk to my friends and family as i feel they would not understand because they have never tried Champix and they would just think i was being stupid or crazy.
    I really want to stop smoking but think that if i come of the tablets, i will start again and its the only thing that has taken the nicotine withdrawels away, after everything i’ve tried.

    Also i went out on the Saturday night thinking that would cheer me up ( I hadn’t been out since beginning of December). I had the same amount of alcoholic drinks i would normally but my memory of that night has been wiped out. Apparently i was saying horrible things to my boyfriend which is very unlike me. It’s really upset me thinking about the things i said to him.

    I just need to talk to someone, anyone about this as i feel like i’m going crazy and i’m feeling sorry for myself and everything is not bad but it still feels like it is.

  109. Michelle, I must apologise for the delay in moderating (approving) your post: I have been unable to access the site until today for reasons that would take too long to explain, but I’m back now.

    Michelle if you haven’t already, quit this stupid drug it is far too dangerous. There are much better and safer methods – please, read around the site for more info on that. Please stay in touch too, Others posting here know exactly what you’re going through, they can offer support, you’re not on your own.

  110. I have been taking Champix for a month – it’s utterly brilliant – im nicotine free and loving it all. Go for it! I’m know 5 people taking this with me…and noone has felt any side effects beyond a bit of nausea when pill is swallowed and some vivid (but not unpleasant) dreams!

    I reccomend it 100% – all 5 of us do! Free yourself!


  111. Ok, anyone who has been reading these Champix blogs for a while will recognise what this is.

    “Not just me but about twenty other people are all having a great time on this Wonder drugg – Whoopee! Theirs speling mistakes and bad inglish, but no bad side affects! Just a bit of nausea (which oddly enough, is always spelt right in these bogus posts) and some very exciting vivid dreams! Go for it! Ignore all these hoprror strories! Free yourself!! Maybe even kill yourself, at least you wont b smokking!!! It’s utterly brilliant!!!”

    No it isn’t, and that is pure bullshit hype from some dodgy internet ‘pharmacy’.

    Why do these posts never mention or acknowledge the suffering of others? It’s like they never heard of it, or as if such things are completely irrelevant because “all 5 of us” say it’s okay.

    “I’m know 5 people taking this with me…” says ‘Charlie’. Shouldn’t that be all 6 of you “recccomending” it then? Are you not sure how many of you there are? Let me help you out: there’s one of you, and you’re not taking it at all, you’re selling it. Get off my blog.

  112. Hi Chris,

    You’re totally mistaken. I’m a chef – I do not work for a pharmacy – and I certainly don’t sell Champix (I wish that I did!).

    The 5 other people I know that are taking it with me I met at the NHS stop smoking group which takes place at 5pm Thursday on Lillie Road SW6.

    There is nothing objective about this page – it’s all a bit anti-Champix – so I thought I would tell you my experience. If you want to rubbish it – then fine!

    It’s in your interest to rubbish my comment because you are selling an alternative – and Champix is a threat to you.

    Good on you for allowing my comment to be published on your blog in the first place though…be interesting to see what becomes of this one…

    Good luck to all people who want to stop smoking – whether you choose Champix, Nicotine replacement or the ‘Chris’ method. I am sure they can all work!

    Im 3 weeks smoke free and doing great.


  113. Sorry Charlie! It’s just that for a moment there you sounded exactly like the bogus posts we get from various people who market Champix by pretending to be real smokers and posting silly stories of amazing success involving loads of people, still happily popping Champix pills with no problems at all…

    I always approve anything that MIGHT be a real comment, and of course it was always possible you were for real, so thanks for getting back to me on that…

    You mentioned “this page” being negative, can I assure you that these are ALL the comments that have come in – I haven’t just posted the bad ones – and also this is not the only Champix page on this site, there are five of them now, collecting feedback over the last two years. You have been taking Champix for only three weeks. Please read all the comments on all five pages in the Champix/Chantix blog section, and ask yourself this question: Did the NHS warn me about all this?

    You will notice that some of the bad reactions being reported on this site did not happen in the first few weeks. I really hope these things don’t happen to you or any of those other people you met, but I am not doing this because I am in competition with Champix. If you read the first blogpost entitled “Champix/Chantix” you will see that I was quite open-minded about it back in 2008, just asking for feedback. I have been truly horrified by some of the really heartbreaking stories I’ve been told since then, and my point is simple: since around 80% of Champix users either don’t stop or start again later, this method isn’t successful enough to be worth running serious health risks. But perhaps you need to read all the stories, not just the ones on this page or indeed on this blog, but on other Champix blogs too. Most other blogs are not run by hypnotherapists, but do beware of the ones run by internet pharmacies or Pfizer.

    Can you please let us know Charlie, were you all warned by the NHS about the bad reactions and the suicides that have already happened? That drug might help some people quit, but it is ruining a lot of lives as well and I’ve come to the conclusion over the last couple of years that it should be withdrawn. I wouldn’t say that if it really was safe, I don’t mind competition! Don’t forget, I’m also technically ‘in competition’ with acupuncturists and the Allen Carr people, but you won’t hear me criticising them, in fact I recommend them here as safer alternatives, along with hypnotherapy of course.

  114. Thats okay Chris. I’d certainly like to tell my story then – because it’s a positive one – and I think that most people (certainly those that I have directly spoken to) have a positive story about Champix – but you wouldn’t think that by reading this page!

    I think that – if the vast majority of people taking Champix felt paranoid, psychotic or suicidal (or all 3 at once) – then there would be much more hype and negative press about it’s use than there is.

    Granted – I read the negative press and did my research before I started taking it. There was a great programme on Radio 4 (The Miracle Cure?) – which detailed some very negative and dangerous sounding experiences. But read the label of Nurofen and it’s enough to spook you! Most people are fine taking it though.

    The NHS did mention that there were some potential negative side effects – but the vast majority of people experienced nothing more that a bit of nausea. It also comes with a label that explains every potential side effect….in terrifying detail.

    The big issue with Champix is that it was TESTED on people that were 100% sane and healthy (how else can they be SURE that any side effects are down to the drugs trial?).

    Now the problem is that the general population is NOT 100% sane and healthy….and to make things worse…smokers are less sane and healthy than the general population. Smoking is twice as common among those with a mental illness that it is among those that do not have a mental illness.

    I have even heard a statistic that 40% of smokers have a mental illness! (this sounds a bit dodgy to me!)

    ANYWAY – like I said – I did my research…some people have had a nasty time (perhaps all due to Champix – perhaps existing problems exacerbated by it…who knows). This cannot be true for the vast majority of Champix users.

    Can it?

    I promise – I really am a Chef! I used to work in advertising – but the only pharmaceutical product I worked on in my entire career was a stool softener…


  115. Woah, too much information there, Charlie! Don’t forget that some people reading this are already taking Champix, may be a bit nauseous to begin with!

    I never said, nor have I ever suggested that the vast majority of Champix users suffer serious adverse effects. The point is that in some of the worst experiences reported the user started out just like you, all enthusiastic because the urge to smoke disappeared early on and side effects were minor or non-existent. Then things went rapidly from bad to worse, so I have to be honest and say that at only three weeks in, you are not yet in a position to say that Champix is a) safe or b) effective. You can only say “so far so good”. Those of us that have been listening to these stories for a couple of years now know that this is no reliable indicator of how this is going to turn out for you.

    Clearly you have picked up on Pfizer’s suggestion that 100% healthy and sane people should be alright on this drug – the feedback I’ve had certainly does not support that, and for Pfizer to blame the victims for the reactions stigmatises them without justification. Certainly a history of mental illness seems to increase that danger but there are lots of reports of severe reactions with no previous contraindications, so it clearly isn’t true, which makes taking Champix like playing Russian Roulette with your physical and mental health. This is an excerpt from the Wikipedia page on Champix:

    “The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) conducted an analysis of post-marketing adverse effects reports received by the FDA. According to this analysis, in the fourth quarter of 2007 varenicline accounted for more reports of serious side effects than any other drug. Suicidal acts and ideation, psychosis, and hostility or aggression, including homicidal ideation, were the most prominent psychiatric side effects. Multiple reports suggested that varenicline may be related to the loss of glycemic control and new onset of diabetes, heart rhythm disturbances, skin reactions, vision disturbances, seizures, abnormal muscle spasms and other movement disorders.”

    Not just me making all this up then.

    The real reason these dangers didn’t show up in the trials is because of the relatively small numbers of people used in medical trials – a deliberate ploy to make results seem more impressive when converted to percentages. But it also minimizes the occurrence of bad reactions that might stop the drug getting passed as if it were safe. Once it is passed, the drug companies already know that it would have to wreak absolute mayhem for it to actually be withdrawn.

    What you seem to be saying is: “I bet it won’t happen to me, I’ll take my chances.” If you get badly hurt, I bet you won’t be all philosophical about it though. So far no-one has, they come back on here saying to everyone: “For God’s sake don’t risk it, I wish I’d never taken this evil drug.”

    Good luck Charlie. Please keep us posted.

  116. Been taking Champix now for 15 days with only the nightmares as a side-effect. Sure, there are some horror stories above but what runs through the posts is that the bad effects seem gradual. I’m keeping a diary and if any of these “nasties” start I’ll stop taking Champix.

    I’m 39 with worsening asthma. I have to stop smoking and will continue risking it with a “lesser evil” attitude.

    BTW, there must have been 1000’s of prescriptions issued. If side-effects were so common wouldn’t there be more posts here? This site comes top of google searches for “Champix/horror/stories”. Surely the above are only a 0.0001% of people who’ve taken Champix. People who successfully stop smoking with Champix would have no need to search for sites like this?

    Chris. I agree with you about Big Pharma (check out Gwen Olsen on youtube) but don’t you think Big Tobacco is worse?

  117. Thanks, silly bandz! It’s nice to be appreciated especially after the crap I’ve had from the Bad Science Ernst/ Goldacre Groupies. All I did was call him a fake, Jesus. And ask where all the money was coming from. And suggest it was Big Pharma.

    If that doesn’t make any sense have a look for the “Edzard Ernst Is A Fake” blog post in the Drugs On Trial blog category. Enjoy!

    KV, the “lesser evil” suggestion is a marketing ploy. And quite reasonable, once you have already tried all the methods that are not evil at all, like hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture. Only if all these have not succeeded does the ‘balanced risk’ consideration make sense.

    Big Tobacco is not really my concern, although we don’t send each other Christmas cards for obvious reasons. Big Pharma I loathe and detest because they have corrupted the drug testing bodies and procedures, the medical authorities and the government too. Now they are using their malign influence to orchestrate media campaigns against CAM therapies and they are bleeding the NHS to death.

    As for Champix, of course there are plenty of people who have not been made ill, but don’t go thinking that all sufferers have posted comments on Champiux blogs – not all of them use the internet for a start. How many smokers who have got hurt have made sure that their doctor filed an official complaint about Champix? Also, have you read all the comments on the other Champix pages here? Champix/Chantix, Champix 4 and Champix 5 all have lots oif comments, and then there are all the other Champix blogs on the web – it all adds up.

    I sincerely hope nothing nasty happens to you KV, and thank you for your contribution. Do keep us posted!

  118. Hi i have been taking champix for 18 days, i successfully quit smoking on day five but advise anyone thinking of taking this drug to think again. Although I have stopped smoking I have been left with severe depression where I sat in states of emptiness staring at the wall, emotional In first couple of weeks I cried for hours over nothing, I was/am extremely paranoid to the point where I thought everyone was against me and even that they wanted to kill me. I have not slept a wink when I get odd sleep the dreams are so scary I wake up shouting. I am in a constant daze to point where I scaulded my arm by pouring burning hot water out the kettle onto my arm. Shall I go on, the list is endless. Although I have a history of depression my nurse says she has had people without history reporting this and she will be flagging this up. If you believe this or not is it worth the risk, its not just you it is your family I have been evil and am coming off these tablets NOW before I hurt myself or someone else I am determined enough to stay smoke free, I dont need to live in this hell to do that. Hope this helps may sound drastic but why would I lie? Just would not wish this on anyone would you?!

  119. My take on this…..I’m on Day 16 of Champix. I’m a 41 year old, 30 a day single Dad of a 3 year old boy, who has asked me to give up smoking so I can afford to take him to California! I haven’t ever tried NRT/Hypno/Cold Turkey/Zyban/Allen Carr/Jimmy Carr before, so, this is my first effort at giving up smoking in 25 years. And, so far so good. I cut right down almost immediately. I last had a cigarrette over 48 hours ago, and whilst Wrigley’s are benefitting where Philip Morris are losing out, the cravings are infrequent and very slight.

    Chris, you have to credit each individual with some intelligence. I can only speak from my own experience, but my consultation with my GP was in depth and frank. I also had a session with an Stop Smoking specialist nurse prior to starting the drugs. Like all drugs, Champix also comes with a rather long printed list of known side effects. This is the point where, as an intelligent human being, you weigh up the pros and cons, and come to an informed decision. All the empirical evidence I had received to that point, from friends etc. had been in the main positive, so I decided to crack on with the course.

    I’ve had the vivid dreams. They’ve been great, although waking up to discover that Sandra Bullock doesn;t actually live in my attic came as something of a disappointment. I don’t feel depressed. I haven’t felt nauseous, when I’ve taken the drug with food. I do feel a bit more tired than usual. I feel drunk on two glasses of wine (bonus). My concentration has suffered only int he respect that I used to break from my work (I’m a software designer) every hour or so for a fag, and this was my thinking/creative break. So I’m having to be disciplined in taking a glass of water break every hour or so. I feel fitter already, and I feel less conscious of the smell of cigarettes on me.

    But, most importantly, I feel I’m doing the right thing, for me and my little boy.

    I plan to carry on taking Champix for as long as it takes to turn me into an ex smoker. And, if it works for me, I shall extoll it’s virtues to all the smokers I know. They, as intelligent people, will then be able to weigh up the pros and cons themselves…..

  120. Okay Mark, so you have been taking this medication for sixteen days and because you feel fine so far, you are already preparing in your mind to “extoll its virtues” to all the smokers you know if you don’t become ill or start smoking again. Let me just quote from Kath’s post (No.96) which makes it very clear that she also felt pretty enthusiastic about Champix on day 16. Read on:

    “I started taking Champix just about 6 weeks ago. After about 10 days, I couldn’t even look at a cigarette. The day I quit I actually kept lighting a smoke and then staring at it, shocked that every time I took a drag it was like smoking a ’smoke stick’, with no pleasure in it at all, just a nasty smoke taste. Amazing! I was so happy. I continued to take the prescription as directed.

    At about the fourth week, I was getting set to go away for 8 days. Before I left, I had a big fight with my boyfriend, and I broke up with him by text message. My behavior was really off the map. I was rude, and hostile, and really unfair. I was stunned. We had never had a fight before, and I just lost it. I went away for my week feeling really confused. When I came back, things were made up, but I was still just feeling so weird about things. My mind wouldn’t stop racing, obsessing over issues in our relationship.

    I started having dreams that I would wake from crying. This past weekend I went to visit my boyfriend at his cabin with all his family and the whole time I had to control myself using all the strength I had, just to not act out. I was feeling crazy. Everything was a trigger. This feeling would pass, but then it was back on like gangbusters. Racing, obsessive thoughts. Panic, desperation, sadness.

    This morning I woke up hysterical for no reason. Bawling. Sobbing. I got out of bed and tried walking around to calm myself down. I almost vomitted, I couldn’t stop crying. I am a mess. I don’t know if this is a coincident or not, but I started tapering off the Champix two days ago as I feel like I am very done with smoking and decided I didn’t need to keep taking it. I called the pharmacist first, who strongly recommended taking the full 12 weeks. I had to ask over and over again why, and whether there was any issue with stopping taking it without tapering it off. This woman really wanted me to keep taking Champix. But she finally conceded that it can be quit without having to taper it off, and said if I was really sure I was done with smoking I could stop taking it straight away and there would be no ill effect.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve been feeling like a maniac these past few weeks. It didn’t really start to feel super weird until about the fourth week. Yesterday I went out and spent $300 on oil paints and a canvas and gear, hoping to start learning to paint. Where did that come from? Very manic and strange. The good news is I sat down last night in a craze and started sketching. I don’t know how to draw at all, but there I was drawing faces like I’d done it forever. I really do feel like a crazy lady right now.

    After my hysterical episode this morning I just Googled Champix to see what I could find, and I am stunned by what I have read here. I thought I was just hormonal or something or going through a phase, but now this makes perfect sense.

    I am irate with my doctor. I have no history of depression. Now I am terrified, am I going to get back to normal? As I mentioned, I have no other health problems. Am I going to now have to deal with episodes of sobbing? I only took the Champix for a little under 6 weeks. Am I going to return to normal? Or is my life now ruined? I am so scared. How could my doctor not know about the side affects? How can people be so casual about something so serious.

    I just feel sick about this. I’m so sorry for everyone having an experience like this. I hope we will all recover from this. I couldn’t handle being like this forever. I can see why there are suicides with this drug.”

    Mark, I’ve been receiving accounts like this for nearly two years now, so when you say to me:

    “Chris, you have to credit each individual with some intelligence. I can only speak from my own experience, but my consultation with my GP was in depth and frank. I also had a session with an Stop Smoking specialist nurse prior to starting the drugs. Like all drugs, Champix also comes with a rather long printed list of known side effects. This is the point where, as an intelligent human being, you weigh up the pros and cons, and come to an informed decision. All the empirical evidence I had received to that point, from friends etc. had been in the main positive, so I decided to crack on with the course.”

    LIKE ALL DRUGS? CHAMPIX IS NOT LIKE ALL DRUGS. You talked to the people who are paid to provide and prescribe Champix. You got the official version. Intelligence has sod all to do with it, the drug is highly unpredictable, seriously damaging in some cases and a killer. You’re just assuming you’ll probably be one of the lucky ones. If it turns out that you are not, you won’t be congratulating yourself on how intelligent it was to try the most dangerous option first.

    Just remember, the GP and the ‘specialist nurse’ – and Kath’s pharmacist, come to that – are NOT LIABLE if Champix seriously fucks you up. My message to everyone is simple: FIRST try all the methods that cannot possibly fuck you up.

    I think that is intelligent, and I think it is what doctors should be telling everyone. “First do no harm”, Doc.

    Good luck Mark, I seriously hope you are not affected. Will you keep us posted?

  121. I’m just trying to be objective. I fear a lot of the people who experience the worst of the side effects (i.e. the psychological effects) are suffering them more acutely because of what they read of others experiences. Psychosomatic? I don’t know, I’m not qualified to comment.

    I know you ‘own’ this forum, and you may or may not be accumulating material for a new book, and that’s fair enough. But this forum is very one sided Chris. If I was another way inclined, your last post might’ve scared the living Bejesus out of me, even though up to the point that I read it I felt fine. These posts are, in the main, from people desperately trying to give up a habit that would otherwise have a 50% chance of killing them. They need support and encouragement and reassurance. Some of your posts would have them reaching for the Marlboros!

    I must just add, that my GP has been our family’s GP for 30 years. Whilst I accept that he won’t have any responsibility should Champix ‘seriously fuck me up’. But he nursed my mother through terminal lung cancer recently, and has been begging me to quit ever since. He was very frank about the side effects, both from his experience and otherwise. He will take calls from any Champix user at any time, for help, encouragement and reassurance.

    I will keep you posted though Chris, whatever the outcome.

  122. Just a couple of comments Mark:

    “I fear a lot of the people who experience the worst of the side effects (i.e. the psychological effects) are suffering them more acutely because of what they read of others experiences. Psychosomatic? I don’t know, I’m not qualified to comment.”

    That doesn’t stop you suggesting it though, does it? As I said, I seriously hope you are not affected but that kind of suggestion will certainly make some of the sufferers posting here wish some of it on you. Since there are safer options than Champix which work better anyway, I think that stark warnings are better than false reassurances when it comes to preventing unnecessary harm.

    “I know you ‘own’ this forum, and you may or may not be accumulating material for a new book, and that’s fair enough. But this forum is very one sided Chris.”

    It is not ‘fair enough’ to suggest that my motive in running this blog is to collect material for a new book. I have no hidden agaenda: the website is a campaign website originally calling for Nicotine Replacement Products to be universally recognised as no better than willpower when looking at long-term outcomes. Since I first started saying this with the publication of Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was in December 2007, this has been confirmed by the Borland report as detailed on this site in the Dept of Stealth blogposts, and also more recently this.

    I will never write a book about Champix. The book featured on this site is certainly not about Champix. If you look back through the Chantix/Champix blog section you will see that I simply asked for feedback from anyone who had used it, and the Chantix/Champix blog posts evolved from the results. I now believe it is so dangerous and unpredictable that it should be withdrawn. It is already under investigation by the FDA and Pfizer have had to update the warnings on the packaging. There are lawsuits and class actions against Pfizer already under way – yet we keep hearing this suggestion that “it’s better than dying of lung cancer” AS IF CHAMPIX AND CANCER WERE YOUR ONLY TWO OPTIONS!

    No disrespect to your doctor, but if the information on this page would have scared the living bejesus out of you if you hadn’t already spoken to him, I’m wondering what kind of discrepancy there may be between what your doctor told you, and what smokers are telling me.

    I noticed that you completely ignored my main point: it is more intelligent to try the methods that cannot possibly harm you before you resort to any method that might. Is that not simply logical and objective? Why are doctors not advising that then, since it would obviously result in less harm, fewer deaths and fewer lawsuits.

    Re “help and encouragement” – I AM helping people! I’m telling them that there are safer options that also work better, and in recommending hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture I am also providing evidence (see the Evidence section of the site) that they have all been proven to work better than any of the meds including Champix, which has a long-term outcome of only 20% at best. Since I have no connection whatever with acupuncturists or the Allen Carr people, I cannot be accused of self-interest in doing that. Quite lengthy sections of the book can also be read for free right here on this site, so it is not necessary to buy anything from me to find out what I’m saying. Even if people reading this decided to try hypnotherapy, since they may be located anywhere in the world it is fair to say that the vast majority of them would be too far away from me to use my services anyway, so to suggest I am writing all this out of self-interest is laughable.

    Do you know how many hours I have spent reading and writing about Champix here on this site? Time I should really have been spending on my practice! Not only have I never earned a penny from that, since time is money it has cost me a good deal over the last couple of years. Well worth it though, because when I asked Sheanin if I could reproduce her private message about her Champix experience here on the site (see Chantix Champix 6), this is what she replied on March 8th this year:


    Please feel free to use my message. If it convinces anyone out there to avoid Champix at all costs, I’ll be more than happy – it’d mean one less person needlessly ill both mentally and physically.

    Kind regards,


    You see Mark, there are lots of ways to quit smoking – and therefore avoid cancer – which do not put the patient at risk. That’s not an extremist position, that’s plain old common sense.

  123. Chris, I applaud you on your efforts to get your message through. Too bad I didn’t read all this 6 months ago or my son would still be alive. He and his wife had been taking Champix for 3 to 4 weeks when he took his own life. They very rarely argued in their 14 years of marraige, but had an arguement that day over something very trivual.
    He was happily married with 3 beautiful, healthy children. He had no financial problems, was an excellent sportsman and skillfull tradesman with a good job. He had a normal upbringing, and never had depression or mood swings. For some reason, something snapped that day. If he had a dedicated carer as is now required in the US(when taking Champix) he probably would be still with us. We all knew they were taking the drugs and had given up the cigarettes, but noone was aware of the danger in taking the drug. He had given up smoking on at least 2 previous occasions, once for about 6 months. He had not had mood swings or suicidal thoughts on these occasions.
    So my advice to all who read this column, DON’T TAKE CHAMPIX-UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE! Find an alternative.
    Regards, John.

  124. Hi,
    Unusual reaction to Champix???

    Over the last few years I have tried all the smoking cessation aids available. Aftre a few days I became violenty allergic to the patches – yes the doc gave me every make there is; I was covered in red, swollen sores in both square and circular shapes – attractive!! The gum & losenges made me sick, the inhalator had no effect at all. Zyban gave me the most horrific nightmares I have ever had, so they were short lived too.
    11 days ago I started taking Champix, today is day 4 without cigarettes, things on the smoking front have gone really well. HOWEVER… since day 3 of the champix I began developing increasingly worse flu symptoms, chronic sinusitus & chest infection symptoms. Today I went to the doctor as the symptoms have continually worsened. I have developed a constant odd “internal tremour”, sore eyes, stiff neck, joint and muscle pains… the list goes on. My doctor had to take a second opinion as the symptoms just didn’t add up, particularly as I had not had any temperatures! Both doctors were baffled, so I asked if it could be the Champix, but both felt it was extremely unlikely. My doctor having explored many possibilities & carried out thourough examinations, eventually conceeded and said he could find no explanation other than the symptoms being a reaction to the Champix. He also explained that a reaction like this was extremely rare and I have to say I haven’t yet seen anyone on here mention this sort of reaction. The doctor has taken me off the Champix and given me some anti biotics for the sinusitus & chest infection. Many of the other symptoms (ie the internal tremours) he has no explanation or treatment for. I havent had this evenings Champix tablet and I have to say that my sinus pain is a little easier – although the cigarette craving isn’t! I’m really disappointed as I thought I had finally found something that was going to help me quit.
    Having read some of the posts on here and other forums, I’m amazed I was prescribed Champix at all as I have a 12 year history of depression and there has been occasions in the past where I have experienced suicidal ideation. At the time of prescribing the tablets, my doctor seemed to think it was unlikely to affect my depression as it was such a rare side effect. Other than being irritable, I have not really seen a change in my current moods, but I am now worried in case this is something that could still occur even though I have stopped taking them – is this likely?
    I don’t belive my doctor would prescribe this to me or anyone if he had been fully informed of the level of risks associated – surely it’s time there was more publicity about the tragic effects Champix has had on so many lives. Whilst still being very weak and ill, I consider myself to have been one of the very lucky ones.

  125. Hi Joanne, thanks for joining us. First of all, please be reassured that most people seem to recover steadily once they are off the drug, especially if they weren’t on it very long anyway. But what really concerns me about your post is this part:

    “My doctor had to take a second opinion as the symptoms just didn’t add up, particularly as I had not had any temperatures! Both doctors were baffled, so I asked if it could be the Champix, but both felt it was extremely unlikely. My doctor having explored many possibilities & carried out thourough examinations, eventually conceeded and said he could find no explanation other than the symptoms being a reaction to the Champix. He also explained that a reaction like this was extremely rare and I have to say I haven’t yet seen anyone on here mention this sort of reaction…”
    Have you read all the pages on Champix here and on other warning blogs? The smokers’ comments here are mainly on this page and also following the original Champix/Chantix blog post. In truth the range of reactions being reported is very wide, but what frightens me is that the doctors were prepared to consider ANY possibility BEFORE the possibility that they themselves were to blame. Also, Champix is now expressly contra-indicated in all cases where there is a history of depression, so any doctor prescribing in such cases is being negligent to the point of endangering life. So yes, Joanne – you are one of the lucky ones, but no thanks to your doctor that’s for sure.

    Now, I have read a lot of skeptical comments around the champix blogs from people who are looking at the officially reported figures for bad reactions, and they’re saying: “But there are millions of people taking it, worldwide! Why aren’t there more official complaints?”

    Because most people don’t like to go back to their doctor and insist that he/she files an official report that they were made seriously ill by something that their doctor advised them to take. Many people have respect for their doctor, and may even feel uncomfortable that their bad reaction could have made the doctor feel pretty bad already about having given them the drug, they don’t want to rub salt into that wound by insisting that he/she tell the authorities all about it. In the U.K. particularly people usually ‘don’t want to make a fuss’, so it all gets swept under the carpet and as far as Pfizer’s legal team is concerned, that NEVER HAPPENED.

    The fact is, this drug has been linked to many nasty reactions, including lung problems, skin blistering and kidney problems, as well as the violent/suicidal reactions we keep hearing about. Already there are calls for the warnings on the labelling of Champix to be upgraded to the Black Box category – the highest level of warning before a medication is actually withdrawn.

    The main reason Truth Will Out is calling for this drug to be withdrawn is because we are certain that if every single person who had had a nasty reaction had actually put in an official complaint, Pfizer would have been forced to withdraw it already and no-one else would then be hurt or killed, and as John said, his son might still be alive. I know it’s not the easiest thing to insist that your doctor puts in an official report, but it may help you to think of this not as a complaint about the doctor – they won’t get in any trouble, even if they did mis-prescribe. It is a complaint about Champix, and the drug company that is still trying to claim that such experiences are ‘nicotine withdrawal’.

    The U.S. Surgeon-General has already dismissed that idea on the grounds that most ex-smokers quit without help, but we didn’t see this sort of horror ensuing.

    So thank you, Joanne – and our heartfelt sympathies to John and the rest of his family for their tragic and completely unnecessary loss. Because of these messages the truth will out, but not quickly enough thanks to those bastards at Pfizer and the bloody department of health, and even when it is withdrawn I won’t feel any sense of triumph. I eliminate smoking habits just about every working day of my life, without any risk AT ALL, and all this just makes me want to cry.

  126. My daughter killed herself while taking this drug and she was only 22. It’s being handed out like candy by doctors who have no way of knowing how each person will react to it on an individual basis. Anybody who takes this dangerous drug is playing Russian Roulette with their lives.

  127. Remember this, readers?

    “I’m just trying to be objective. I fear a lot of the people who experience the worst of the side effects (i.e. the psychological effects) are suffering them more acutely because of what they read of others experiences. Psychosomatic? I don’t know, I’m not qualified to comment.”

    “I know you ‘own’ this forum, and you may or may not be accumulating material for a new book, and that’s fair enough. But this forum is very one sided Chris. If I was another way inclined, your last post might’ve scared the living Bejesus out of me, even though up to the point that I read it I felt fine. These posts are, in the main, from people desperately trying to give up a habit that would otherwise have a 50% chance of killing them. They need support and encouragement and reassurance. Some of your posts would have them reaching for the Marlboros!”

    That was from Mark (Post no. 125)

    No Mark, I’m hoping these true accounts will have them reaching for the suicide pills SO THEY CAN THROW THEM IN THE BIN, then find a much safer way to quit that also happens to be more successful anyway in terms of long-term outcomes, such as hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr approach or accupuncture.

    “Psychosomatic”? What do you think, readers? Is this a one-sided blog or are we witnessing one of the worse preventable tragedies in pharmaceutical history unfolding before our very eyes?

    Patricia, I am deeply sorry for your tragic loss. I have said right from the beginning that this site is all about evidence, but these are the moments when I wish to God it wasn’t.

  128. I took two scripts of Chantix from 10/06 – 10/07. Two hospital stays in ’08.

    Jan. ’08 – – taken by ambulance…middle of nite…w/chest pains, inability to breath, fever, headache and stomach spasms that felt like contractions. Kept a week…put on oxygen, morphine, and antibiotics via IV’s…while undergoing massive testing. End result – – possible virus.

    May ’08 – – had great day at work…as always…daughter called when I got home…said, “mom, you’ve changed…people want to know what’s wrong??…” smiled..picked up keys…took drive to rural area…picked up 3 bottles of sleeping pills and mini-diabetic razors. Never even SAW razors like that before. Woke up six days later in ICU in rural hospital surrounded by family as I was being removed from ventilator.

    Spent time in psyche unit, several follow-up months in group, individual and family counseling. Ostracized by those closest to me. Married 35 years, two daughters and six beautiful grandchildren, have held awesome job for past 23 years and have lots of siblings and friends to giggle with and go out to dinner, movies, etc……all the good things/people, credibility, in my life, wiped out….I was lost. Totally lost. For months prior to my attempt, I had strong, clear, hallucinations of deceased loved ones coming to my room at nite, trying to convince me to come with them. They LOVED heaven…said, “it’s a blast!!” Reminded me my job is done here. I was ready to go!!

    For anybody reading this and considering taking Chantix, save yourself the heartache. This is one, powerful, mind-boggling drug. I’m not kidding. If you let it get into your system, it will own you.

  129. I just want to stress that this does not happen to everybody who takes Champix. Some people report no bad reactions and anything up to 20% of those people seem to stay stopped.

    But no-one knows whether this drug will do to them what it did to Terri and neither does their doctor or anyone else. So, with an 80% failure rate, I ask you – is it worth the risk? Surely this drug should be absolutely the last thing you try if all else fails, not the thing the GP immediately suggests? I mean these reactions are absolutely horrifying, aren’t they?

    Spread the word, warn smokers, don’t take the suicide pills – use safer alternatives.

  130. I found this feed when i went looking to find any information on extreme fatigue issues.
    I have been on champix for 2 weeks now with worsening fatigue by the day. I do already suffer from CFS but the last few days have been ridiculous. Been back to bed up to ten times per day. I take medication for chronic depression and have for well over ten years. I am constantly feeling jittery, thirsty and ready to throw up pretty much from the first tablet. Today is my first day where the smell and taste of cigarettes has been totally repulsive. Up until today i have been smoking still at a regular pace. Should i just stop taking it or try to stick out at least the first 4 weeks which i am half way through so i give the cigs at least the beginning flick?

  131. Stopped taking Champix after 13 days because of severe mood swings, depression and unpleasant thoughts. Sure, it took away the craving for smoking, but my irritability and constant, crippling depression have shown me that this drug is no “wonder”…it’s potentially very dangerous and I honestly don’t know what would happen to me if I stayed on it longer than I did. I at least recognized what it was doing to me and stopped.

  132. I only stopped taking Champix 2 days ago after being on it for 15 days….I was aware of the side effects and wanted to try this tablet as a last resort…I have never suffered from depression but the feelings I had whilst on this tablet were frightening….I tried to rationalise with myself telling myself to persevere and that the stopping smoking was making me have all these feelings…I tried to believe it is the giving up smoking which is making me feel this way…I realise that after stopping it for only 2 days my mood has returned to normal and giving up smoking cold turkey is easier than trying to do it with Champix…I have never felt so low in my life and never want to experience it again….Also I am a very calm person and things agitated me so much whilst on the tablets I could have swung for people …I have never been violent in my life at the age of 45 I don`t want to start now….I think more tests are needed for this tablet …I for 1 will never take it again …I know it has worked well for others …I would only say tread carefully and be aware of how it can affect your mood….

  133. Hi Chris,
    I reside in Sydney, and I have smoked for thirty odd years. Yes I have tried the gum, patches and so called will power on so many occasions to no avail. Right now I can give you ten reasons why I do not want to smoke and one why I do. Eight hours without, I can give you ten reasons why I should and one reason why I should not, and totally with all sincerity believe it.
    Now I have had enough ad want to quit smoking for good.

    Yesterday I went to the Doctor and got a script for Champix, I asked him about side effects. His response was possible nausea and headaches, but these being trivial, outweigh the risk of smoking.

    I then went to the Chemist to fill the script and was told verbatim, as by the Doctor, “read this before taking this prescription.” I was given a print out to read when I go home on Champix, by the Chemist. It for what ever reason led me to find out more. I searched Google for info on Champix and stumbled on to your site.

    I, as my wife was, dismayed to say the least after reading your blog and to the letters. We read
    the posted
    letters and responses and, for lack of a better word, were disturbed about the consistency of health-related issues swept into the corner as “mere side effects.”
    I am shocked that my doctor would risk my wellbeing with a substance so maligned.
    I , for one, will not be using this product and I do thank you for having the conviction to remind people that they have choices to make beyond the doctors surgery.
    My wife said “pretend you put the money on a horse that ran last.”

  134. Hi, i need advice, which i’m pretty sure what the answer will be after reading a dozen or so posts and chris’ replys. but i want you to answer my question with honesty.

    I am on day 16 of Champix and i gave up tobacco on day 8.

    I do and don’t want to give up smoking as you see i promised my partner if we ever had a baby i would and she is now 5 months prego. and i have seen half a dozen reletives (proud people) suffer and die slowly with no dignity pissing into a bag because of it. BUT even with all this i love the habbit i love rolling and i am very proud of my rolling i love that little niccy rush when i go outside in the morning for my first cig mixed with the fresh air. And heres probably the number one reason i don’t want to stop…….. i love smoking ganja and i have done every day since i was 11 (i am 21 now). and smoking ganja without the baccy in a joint aint the same smoke twice as much and get tottally vegged out to the point i won’t get up if i’m bursting for a piss, so now the enjoyment has gone.

    Two nights ago i was walking home after picking up a 1/8 of skunk and as i got onto my estate (a very quiet area) i saw a police video van down the road directly on the way to my house. i’m not like other drug users i know that’ll run a mile at the sight of the police usually i carry on as normal and if it looks like their eyeing me up i’ll usually go ask if theres something wrong or something i can help with as i have always done this and i feel this puts most police suspision at ease, and this has worked everytime since i entered the world of law breaking. but this incident was different when i saw them i froze i felt like i was having a panic attack and started sweating after a second i ran in an opposite direction to my house and went the long way scoping for any sight of them and i felt it nessasery to walk past my front door to go in the back so no one would see me enter the house. BTW i hadn’t smoked any ganja for over 24hours at this point.

    I have all the usual other side effects vivid dreams, horrible nausia , depresion. i also have lost my appitite, i’m always tired mentally and physically, it hurts behind my eyes constantly (which i know this’ll sound weird but i’ve desided it irritability), lonelyness but a desire not to socialise, and randomly bursting out into tears, anxiety that i can’t get a job and no one will take me on as an apprentice. and that i won’t be able to support my child and that my partner will leave me if i can’t get myself out of my unemployed rut surving on £50 a week! yes £50 that doesn’t even cover my car insurance!! let alone bills, food or taking my g-f out nice places.

    i’d like to note also my partner is out of the country and is for another week with no internet access so i havent even got her for support or advice.

    i feel guilty being depressed because i’m so lucky to have such a good girlfrind (been together 3years) and for us to be blessed with the gift of life when i was convinced that i couldn’t and she got told she probally couldn’t either. i want to feel happy and giving up tobbaco will definetly help.

    do you think i will make a full recovery from these pills if i decide to stick with them a few more weeks?

    sorry if my post seems all over the place but i just tyed as i thought it i’m a mess at the mo.

    Also i haven’t smoked any weed since the police incident.

    also i have tryed everything else but hypnotheraphy but i can’t afford such treatment anyway even if you did fully convince me it is the only way to go so please i’m not here to become a convert i just need another voice, another person to talk to me to try make sence of all this. please help

  135. i’d just like to note at first i was inclined to ignor this and other sites doing similar campaigning as i roughly knew the risks and was prepared to soldier through to give up.

    but now i have read through a lot of this page i have realised (or at least i think) that it is infact champix doing all of this to me, i feel like i could maybe keep it all in prospective and i can get my family, friends and girlfriend to read this page to understand that i may act out of character so they’ll know whats going on (to help avoid situations like kates with her b-f in post 96). as said in another post (can’t find it now) knowing what is causing the problems is half the battle kinda thing.

    so if i can keep all of that in mind and knowing what i know am i crazy to want to still take it for a while to try prevent a relapse to cigs? i do not have any intention to complete the 12week course i’m thinking of going up to week 6.

    chris if you do have time to reply i will be so greatful and will be willing to help you in any way shape or form on your campaign. i know this drug is bad, but aren’t all drugs? legal or not (in fact i’m convinced that most legal drugs will do you more harm than any illegal substance), but IT IS helping me i don’t want to smoke because of it.

    i feel in this world there are two types of people smokers and non-smokers and i feel when you reach adult life it is truely imposible to make the transition from one to the other. you always will be what you were at heart. but this drug is making me feel like a true non-smoker and i am thankful for that

  136. Hi Craig, thanks for your contribution.

    On that last point, someone once said “There are two types of people in this world: those who divide people into types, and those that do not!”

    I used to be a smoker. I’ve smoked tobacco, weed and heroin too. I don’t smoke anything now, and I don’t use drugs because what you discover in the end is that they just make you ill. So when you say:

    “i know this drug is bad, but aren’t all drugs? legal or not (in fact i’m convinced that most legal drugs will do you more harm than any illegal substance),”

    …actually I pretty much agree with that, the only problem being that the illegal ones seem more appealing precisely because they’re illegal.

    The problem with Champix is that it is very unpredictable and although quite a lot of people don’t seem badly affected, the ones that do have a nasty reaction can lose everything: health, partner, kids, freedom… even their life. And then they’ve got to try to prove that it wasn’t them, it was the drug – except the ones that are now dead, in which case it will be their families trying to prove that. Meanwhile the drug company’s very well-paid lawyers will be trying to blame the victim somehow. Like they say in the Mafia: it’s not personal, it’s just business. And the other slight problem with Champix is that despite the hype and the short-term effects, in the long run it fails anyway for 80-85% of smokers. I say that’s too much risk for not enough success, but it’s a judgement call isn’t it.

    Craig, my first bit of advice is don’t smoke weed if you are staying on Champix. My second bit of advice is don’t smoke weed anyway, it sent my best friend crazy and he’s been on Lithium since he was 17. He’s 48 now. And that was BEFORE skunk came along, so…

    3rd piece of advice: don’t tell yourself “Once a smoker always a smoker”, because it’s bullshit. There are millions of ex-smokers. If you give yourself a suggestion like that and accept it, you’re stuck with the idea and you feel like quitting is impossible! I help people quit smoking virtually every working day of my life, and all they do is laze about in a comfy chair for a couple of hours – job done! Why do you think I’m so mad about this Champix shit and NRT?

    Don’t accept the marketing suggestion that it’s either Champix or doom! BOLLOCKS!

  137. hi thanks for the quick responce, it certanly has given me a bit to think about. i was in a real mess that night i left that message. i just don’t know what to think i’m mentally and physically exhausted within 3/4 hours of getting up and it doesn’t matter how much sleep i get. it feels real hard to get a grip on anything right now. i haven’t touched weed in 3 days my longest dry period in a decade (almost half my life) and i can’t tell if withdrawals from that are making this experiance for me that much worse.

    just out of interest why do you advise against weed while on champix?

  138. Cannabis is semi-hallucinogenic: changes your mental perceptions to some degree. So does Champix, for some people. I’ve been collecting comments on Champix for two years now and there is some evidence that other chemicals/drugs can mix badly with Champix and magnify the side effects. You may be pretty comfy with weed normally but Champix chucks the dice in the air so alcohol, weed and other drugs that affect your feelings and your thinking are definitely best avoided whilst you’re taking this unpredictable shit.

  139. i have just emptied my packet of champix into the bin i’m fed up of all this. and i’ve just cut my mum out of my familys life and i can’t tell if this is due to not thinking straight due to champix or whether i’ve just finally had enough of her. but either way i need to get this drug out of my system to see straight. this last week has felt like an eternity and i’ve had enough after 17/18 days on the stuff. i will keep you posted on my progress

  140. I think that’s the safest thing to do, especially if you need to assess the situation clearly. Yes, please keep us posted.

  141. I was on Champix for about 2 months last year and gave up smoking on 1st December 2009. At the time it worked really well with no side effects and I’m still not smoking.
    However, I can’t seem to shake off a low level depression
    which has been with me since stopping taking the pills.
    It’s not a major depression, I just don’t seem to get pleasure out of anything. My attention span is also bad now. I haven’t been able to read a book for ages.
    Has anyone else felt like this? It’s about 7 months since I’ve stopped taking Champix

  142. Hi Ketty!

    There is a possibility that’s an emotional complication over quitting. Smokers have feelings, and the way different smokers will feel about quitting or being a non-smoker will vary quite considerably. It could be related to the medication, but equally it might be nothing to do with it.

    One of the problems with pharmaceutical approaches to the smoking habit is that they can never address the emotional angle, whereas hypnotherapy does. In fact it is the only therapy that can do that quickly and effectively. Conventional notions of “support” are puny by comparison because the Subconscious mind is unaffected by that and the Subconscious controls emotions and emotional reactions.

    Emotional factors can peter out by themselves over time, and anyone who quits with willpower or with something like Champix or Zyban may find themselves going through a period of ‘mourning’ over tobacco, especially if there was some reluctance about quitting, or they felt that they ‘had to’ quit for some medical reason, felt pressured by others or if they just regarded tobacco as ‘one of life’s pleasures’ so they now feel a bit bereft. Any of that ring true for you Ketty?

    Some smokers or ex-smokers reading this might think: “Well we ALL felt like that!” because it is quite common, but it isn’t universal. It might account for Champix 50% relapse rate though, which leaves the medication with about an 85% failure rate overall.

    Having said all that, for the 15% who succeed – especially if thay haven’t been harmed by Champix – that is still success. Ketty, I hope you’re one of them!

  143. Ive been on champix for 3 months now. At first they was great. kept me calm and didnt want a smoke. Now I have finished them and my troubles have started. My head has started to feel so light headed, have nearly fell over a few times. Headaches, earaches. so very tired, no energy. Also being to feel so very angry over stupid little things. I also really could smoke a cigerette now ive stopped taking champix as im feeling so stressed out I dont know why. Also ive developed a very bad cough and my breathing is terrible, Im getting so out of breath. Looked on google about side effects after stopping champix and found this site. WOW scary stuff here. This could be only the start for me suffering from side effects. .

  144. i took champix for 11 weeks….yes, dreams ,nausea, felt abit weird at times but continued as i quit smoking on day 9,,,,,,,towards the end of my course i would say about week 8 i begun feeling abit down, (i have never had depression before) and i would say just felt different! Im normally a smiley happy bubbly person, but over the next 3 weeks then i just felt like i didnt enjoy anything, would get very tearful, and even felt like i didnt love my husband anymore ( and wasnt even married 1 yr!!!…i normally liked my job but started to hate it…stopped going on my treadmill which i loved and that was it!……still four months down the line i gave up and had a breakdown….didnt want to go to work ,get out of bed, answer phones or doors and didnt want to see anyone, go out or bother to wash or dress…and here i am week 6 off work and on anti depressants…i have even had panic attacks and terrible anxiety and even started to get like i was too scared to go out of the house! im still a non smoker nearly 6 months now…..but was it really worth it??????

  145. Hi guys, I am on my second run of Champix. I tried it 18 months ago and was still smoking after 6 weeks so the doctor told me to give it away and stop taking it. I did and kept smoking.
    Earlier this year i had the pleasure of seeing my mother being placed into a coma due to severe lung problems coupled with a bad lung infection (54yrs old). She was in for a week and thankfully brought out successfully. Her choice after that was quite simple- QUIT or DIE. She gave up without Champix having gone through much of the withdrawal whilst in the coma.

    I gave up once before for 2 years (6years ago) using a nicotine inhaler for 6 months. I was a pretty obnoxious person to be around for about 12 months. 4 years ago i started again.

    I have now been back on the Champix for 20 days and gave up smoking on day 8. I have seen several people including relatives die from smoking related illnesses. Whilst i am having very mild side efffects (relative to ones i have read about here) i am wondering if those side effects are worse than a torturous death.
    Michael- Smoker 17 of the last 19 years

  146. Maggie: what Maggie is describing here cannot possibly be “withdrawal” after three months. These are physical effects caused by the drug Champix. The panic attacks and anxiety are emotional reactions caused by the shock of the side-effects. A good hypnotherapist could get rid of those, they sometimes happen after any bout of ill-health or injury, the cause of which the Subconscious mind does not understand. Let me know if you need more info about that side of it.

    Debbie: This account also shows that the worst of the Champix side-effects kicked in a week 8, which obviously disproves Pfizer’s self-serving suggestion that the suffering is caused by “withdrawal from nicotine”. If that was what it was, it would be at it’s most severe at the beginning and then peter out. This sort of case is also the reason I question all those premature, over-enthusiastic posts all over the Champix blogs from smokers who are only days, or a couple of weeks into the course. The evidence is clear from so many of these heartbreaking personal accounts: that’s TOO EARLY to be singing the praises of this freaky gamble of a medication and recommending it to everyone else. Hang on in there, Debbie – most people seem to gradually return to normal – please keep us posted.

    Michael: Ah yes – welcome back, the old black & white argument that your only choices are Champix or a long slow tortorous death! What on earth did smokers do before Champix? How did all those millions of ex-smokers quit, down these past few centuries, without NRT, without Zyban, without this latest bogus wonderdrug?

    Re “withdrawal”, Michael: are you seriously suggesting that the real reason you were “a pretty obnoxious person to be around for about twelve months” was due to ‘nicotine withdrawal’? How come your mum went through “much of the withdrawal whilst in the coma”, i.e. one week? Also, how come my hypnotherapy clients walk out of a single two-hour session with NO WITHDRAWAL AT ALL?

    Because it’s not a drug addiction, never was. It’s a compulsive habit, and compulsive habits are notoriously hard to break with willpower alone. Especially if you don’t really want to stop smoking, you just don’t want to be ill. I’m not suggesting that’s describing you Michael, it’s just one of a number of possible conflicts we routinely deal with in hypnotherapy, but drugs like Champix do not address at all. Hence all the relapses. It obviously isn’t nicotine causing that, months or years after you last breathed it in.

    These conflicts can be resolved in hypnotherapy quite easily and quickly provided the therapist knows what they’re doing with this issue and the client would genuinely prefer, on balance, to be a non-smoker at the end of it.

    No pills, no potions, no risk whatsoever. There’s no need for anyone to be ill or die. And no need to take highly unpredictable drugs like Champix. But good luck anyway Michael – will you keep us posted?

  147. Hi all

    I just wanted to say nearing the end of week 8 of the 3 month cycle i just flushed the tablets down the sink.

    Never before have i been taken on a daily rollercoaster of feelings and emotions.

    it MUST be the pills – as i have in the past given up cold turkey and didnt feel like this.

    Good luck to anyone trying to give up – I can NOT recommend this drug to anyone!

    Over to my will power


  148. I have tried taking Champix twice. The first time I vomited every day for two weeks and stopped taking it. The second time I only lasted 3 days. I didn’t leave the house for those 3 days and almost quit university. The depression came extremely quickly for me and I couldn’t understand why the previous week I had been coping with university just fine. My friends and family were so worried they practically forced me to stop taking it (one friend was so worried she was crying). I didn’t realise the link at first but I was back to normal after I stopped taking it and luckily could take back my withdrawal from university. I have had problems with depression in the past and think I may have been very susceptible to the effects of this drug. I didn’t take the warnings that came with it seriously which was foolish. It does work but it’s worrying that it has this reaction in some people. I just wish I could quit smoking.

  149. Actually it doesn’t work for 86% in the long run – look. Short-term reports are very misleading with this drug. Just because someone stops smoking during the time they are taking Champix Chantix (and not everyone does) that does NOT mean the drug “has worked”. Yet the myth of this being a “wonderdrug” has always been based upon it’s short-term effects.

    Paul, you don’t need willpower and Katrina you CAN stop smoking: hypnotherapy, Allen Carr’s original book and acupuncture ALL have a higher long-term success rate than Champix or any other pharmaceutical product (see the Evidence section of this site).

    My own book is not a self-help book so you should only buy that if you are interested in the human mind generally, hypnotherapy and the use of it to eliminate compulsive habits. Oh, and a full explanation of why smoking is NOT a drug addiction – that’s why all the nicotine-based products FAIL the vasy majority of smokers. Barking up the wrong tree, aren’t they? More about that here.

  150. I was on Champix six days now and decided to stop immediately beacuse of the severe side effects and also after reading posts of other people on the internet.
    After 0.5mg per day for 3 days and 1mg for 4 days i was supposed to double the dose again from tomorrow to 2mg per day! Tomorrow would have been my quit-day so I still smoked during the entire week although down to only 4 cigarettes today due to the drug (down from 20).
    I rarely slept in the last week and if then only for a few hours after which i woke up. Nightmares and weird dreams every night although i normally rarely remember dreams. Rollercoaster of emotions that can change very quickly: Depression and anxiety. Agitation and aggression (Aggressive thoughts or aggressive language). Suicidal thoughts.
    Constant “fogginess” of the mind; hard to concentrate at work.
    This drug is pure evil in my eyes and i rather die of lung cancer but with a clear and healthy mind.
    I could never envisage being on it for the next three months – I would go absolutely (and literally!) mad…
    I think I will try hypnotherapy next.

  151. Good choice Dieter! And you have the security of knowing that hypnotherapy involves NO RISK because it is entirely a communication process. It has the best success rate too.

    I’m going to put up a new post in the next day or two which advises people how to get the best out of hypnotherapy and maximise the likelihood of success. Also more about how to select a good hypnotherapist.

    In the meantime give yourself some time to recover from the Champix experience. Responses to hypnotherapy are better if you are feeling pretty good generally at the time.

  152. i have tried taking champix twice now, the first time i think i mananged a couple of weeks before i felt really depressed and angry the second time i told my doctor that as im aware of how it makes me feel i’ll be more prepared for it and able to deal with it
    as soon as i took the first one the anger came this is how i know it has nothing to do with cutting down or cravings as i hadn’t cut down on smoking one bit
    i have 5 children who want nothing more than to see me stop smoking as 3 years ago we had to watch my mum die of lung cancer, i dont agree with anyone who says they would rather die of that with a clear mind than take champix, i have always thought i would rather feel a little bit low and angry than put my kids through what i went through with my Mum
    so i told them that i was going to try and give up smoking and that i may be a little touchy and apologized before hand
    the anger i felt was ridiculous from the second i took the first tablet there was no way i could carry on i was reacting to everything and my kids took the brunt of it it felt like i was constantly shouting at them for nothing, then would come the tears of guilt for me smoking for years then for me screaming at them, i had to stop and i would advise anyone with children to think very carefully about taking them, the depression i could deal with a bit more but the anger was overwhelming i think if i had carried on i would have hurt somebody as it was a vicious type of anger where i think if it was any worse it wouldn’t have gone until you’d hurt somebody
    it is a very scary drug with potentially very dangerous consequences

  153. I’m sure Dieter didn’t really mean that about prefering to die of cancer – but in any case those are not the only choices!

    First of all, Tania, Champix usually doesn’t work in the long run. Secondly, the best methods in terms of long-term succcess don’t involve any suffering. I have just spent a very pleasant couple of hours helping a young mum to quit smoking. There was no shouting, no anger, no cravings, no willpower required and no threats of serious illness involved.

    It’s almost as if Pfizer have everyone hypnotised into believing that smokers deserve to suffer, or that the more the drug makes you suffer, the more chance there is of it working! Totally untrue.

    Tania, thank you especially for this very valuable observation about Champix:

    “…as soon as i took the first one the anger came this is how i know it has nothing to do with cutting down or cravings as i hadn’t cut down on smoking one bit…”

    The side effects of Champix are NOT NICOTINE WITHDRAWAL. They are the side effects of Champix, and I entirely agree with Tania when she concludes: “it is a very scary drug with potentially very dangerous consequences”.

  154. i am very concerened after reading all the side affects i am only on day 4 of champix and thinking of stoppoing them as i have suffered from very bad deppression for a couple of years was on 150mg of tablets but tgook my self off them alone a couple of months ago and do not want 2 go back 2 the way i was. can any1 give me advice on what i should do please

  155. Katie, ditch the tablets – you should never have been given them in the first place if you have a medical history of depression. I keep hearing the same dopey marketing suggestion: “The dangers of smoking outweigh the dangers of the Champix”.

    Not for the suicide, they don’t. Not for the person who is arrested for violent assault but cannot even remember the incident. Not for the children of those Champix victims.

    The hype would have you accept the moronic suggestion that Champix is your only alternative to a smoking-related death! What rubbish!

    The so-called “success rate” of Champix is NOT the real success rate, which is only about 14% in the long run. That beats NRT, but only because NRT is as useless as willpower. Acupuncture scored 25% in the Iowa study (see the Evidence section on this site), the Allen Carr method beats that and hypnotherapy is the best of the lot. ALL those three methods are HARMLESS. Risk free.

    It is blindingly obvious to any rational human being that if the government is going to put public money into smoking cessation help then it should be wisely invested in the safest, most effective methods but it is not.

    Allen Carr was screaming that this was a scandal to the end of his days, and I couldn’t agree more. Katie, my advice is to try all the methods that cannot possibly harm you before even considering any that might, and most of all DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

  156. hi ive was on chimpix 4 nearly 4 weeks and in that time iam so low i cant stop crying and argry 4 no reason did not want 2 know my 6 y old i have now stoped taking these tablets 3 days and am still very low crying all the time /snd ive had bleeding nipples sinces started tablets

  157. Hi, I have been on champix for 8 weeks and it has now effectively ended my marriage. I started suffering severe paranoia on week 6 and began suspecting my wife of seeing someone else. I can’t explain this as I have never felt this kind of paranoia ever. I started snooping through my wifes stuff and checking her phone etc. I even quizzed my daughter who is only 5 asking if men had been over when daddy was not there.

    You have to realise that in the 8 years I have been with my wife I have always trusted her and this is so out of character and weird for me. I am 100% positive that champix made me this way and I have now paid a huge price in stopping smoking as I have lost my marriage through it.

    It’s been 3 days since I stopped taking champix and already my head is feeling clearer and I cannot believe looking back that I was acting the way I was.

    I’ve never tried hypnosis but I recommend anyone reading this try it. Do not play the game of russian roulette with champix as it could be you typing a warning message here the next time!

  158. Hi Chris.

    I have to say, having read a number of your blog posts and then many of the comments on this page you presented me with an extremely convincing argument. I was initially considering the use of Champix and you did a good job of convincing me otherwise.

    Until you mentioned acupuncture.

    Are you serious? Acupuncture? How anyone with even a modicum of common sense can promote such rubbish is beyond me. Maybe next we should try giving up smoking by spinning around a broom ten times, saying 12 “Hail Marys” and waggling our appendages in the rough direction of Mecca.

    That particular post made your agenda very clear – your agenda to get our taxes wasted on “alternative medicine”. You know there’s a name for “alternative medicine” that works don’t you? It’s medicine.

  159. Oh, stop pretending to be open-minded! Your own agenda is shining through very brightly there Paul!

    Acupuncture isn’t the best method, but it is one of the three I recommend trying BEFORE you consider frying your brains with the Suicide Pill. This is based on the 25% success rate reported by the largest ever meta-anaysis of the various methods of stopping smoking carried out at the University of Iowa in 1992.

    The researchers statistically combined the results of over 600 studies involving more than 72,000 smokers, and hypnotherapy was found to be the most effective method. This study was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and New Scientist Magazine in that year. Nicotine Replacement Therapy scored lower than either hypnotherapy or acupuncture, yet it was mysteriously adopted anyway nine years later as the standard way to GET OUR TAXES WASTED, and has been ever since.

    Call that medicine? I call it corruption. Unscientific. Not “evidence-based” at all.

    Now, you may not have a clue how acupuncture works when it comes to smoking – and neither do I – but then I’m sure you have no idea how hypnotherapy works. I know, and I can explain it to anyone. It’s not a mystery. But I wouldn’t recommend it to you.

    You would be poor at responding to hypnotherapy because that requires a POSITIVE OUTLOOK. So just run along to the GP and pop the pills. Keep your fingers crossed, eh? And even if Champix does seriously fuck you up, at least your “modicum of common sense” can console itself with this thought (assuming you haven’t actually killed yourself, of course): the unnecessary suffering that you then experience proves, at least, that it was MEDICINE you took, it couldn’t possibly have been alternative medicine because it doesn’t do that to people. That’s just pharmaceuticals. Here’s one headline you are NEVER going to see:


    Yes, I’m serious about recommending acupuncture, as well as hypnotherapy and the original Allen Carr book. based on a) their proven success rates and b) they DO NO HARM.

    Remember that one, Doc? FIRST, DO NO HARM.

  160. Hi – I just want to give an update. I have now been off Champix for 5 days but last night was terrible. I could not get a proper sleep and was having anxiety attacks and shortness of breath. I also felt like I was overtired in the legs etc. It was terrible. This has to be withdrawl from Champix and I pray this eases with time!

    Although I am still off the cigs I wish I’d never took this drug.

  161. hi,ive been taking champix for 6 weeks,apart from very short spells of nausea straight after taking the pill i dont seem to have experienced any other problems,my partner opted for patches and inhilators to quit and he is extremley irritable and nasty,and still smoking the odd cigarette,i feel for me it has and is working great but curriously i did look up champix and its affects as i wasnt aware of all of them,now im really scared that im goin to become severly depressed and suicidal,im worried to keep taking the tablets but jut a worried to stop and i really dont want to smoke again,i feel confused and kinda wish i hadnt looked into this now

  162. Ignorance is bliss, eh Julie?

    Imagine a surgeon commenting that if only we hadn’t found out about germs, we wouldn’t have to bother with all this sterilising equipment! Not knowing can be dangerous.

    Julie, do bear in mind that the majority of Champix users are not harmed by the drug. It doesn’t work for most of them either, in the long run, but it does for about 14%. You might be one of the fortunate ones, who can say?

    Your partner is struggling because nicotine replacement products are actually a global con. Read more about the true nature of cravings here.

    This site is simply making up for the negligence of the medical profession which is failing to make smokers fully aware of the facts. That is a generalisation of course, there are individuals who certainly are trying with the best will in the world to get the balance right, but the question you have to ask yourself, Julie, is this:

    Why did you have to “look up” Champix and its effects?

    That, to me, is the scary bit. Because if the medical profession told smokers the truth about nicotine, Nicotine Replacement Poisoning, Champix and hypnotherapy, this site wouldn’t even exist and most would-be quitters would be successful without any risk to themselves at all.

    Maybe that’s exactly what the Department of Health hopes to prevent. This is not a time for Governments to adopt policies that would succeed in reducing their tobacco tax revenues, is it?

    No: when Hell freezes over would be a better time for that.

  163. Yeah, I’ve heard that from a few people, actually. Thanks for that KD.

    If you want to ditch a cannabis habit, do consider hypnotherapy as a priority. I have shut down many dope smoking habits, usually in a single session. You only need to find a therapist who is cool working with drug habits, not all hypnotherapists will be. There are, of course, quite a few therapists out there who will have previously had habits like this themselves, and aren’t going to make a big deal out of it. More about that here.

  164. Hi all,

    6 weeks now on champix and going in the main pretty good. Have stopped smoking. Have put up with nausea, vivide dreams (good & bad), insomina on occasions but may be attributable to a fussy newborn.

    I know the warning reads do not drink alcohol and may increase violence and aggression – so why did I go out and mix drinks and binge drink (beer/spirits/shots) to celebrate the birth of my son 🙁

    I displayed what I would self-diagnose as almost a full blown psychotic episode – jumped in a river to wrestle a non-existent gigantic eel, wrestled one of my co-workers and then tried to choke him, started muttering non-coherent phrases in a voice my wife and parents could not identify…..

    I am a happy, motivated 32 year old. There is good reason obviously DO NOT drink alcohol to excess, or at all when taking champix.

    I like the facts I’ve stopped smoking / reduced cravings but just wanted to warn anyone who may be considering having no common sence like me for a ‘one night won’t hurt’ drinking session with their mates.

  165. Thanks for the warning, Jimbo!

    I think we can be clear that OTHER SUBSTANCES don’t go too well with Champix. But it’s interesting the way that the other substances are getting the blame, here, when actually Champix can cause full-blown psychotic episodes all by itself.

    You see, people will have smoked pot before, but without the kind of results that prompted KD’s stern advice. Most of us have had many a night on the tiles without leaping into a river to wrestle a non-existent gigantic eel before half-throttling a co-worker.

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s the booze or the pot. I think it’s the Champix. And with or without the alcohol, as long as you’re taking it there’s always a chance that ‘Eel be back’.

  166. never comment on these things but thought i would.
    I took the full course of champix yes felt a bit sick at times and a bit down or angry and my sleep was disrupted, but i quit smoking and havent had a cigerette for over 3 months. Personally i think champix is a wonderful drug to help you quit and the mood swings i had etc were worth it. Yes if it isnt working for you stop but i believe it is worth a try (i smoked for over 10yrs).

    Also i smoked cannibus everyday while i took champix and it had no side effect as im aware, i also have been binge drinking on the weekends the whole time, again no side effects.

  167. I was so reassured by Richard’s post that I’ve now taken to snorting Champix in between bong hits and shots of JD, and sure enough I feel absolutely normal. The bong’s not mine by the way, it belongs to my buddy Eric the Gigantic Wrestling Eel here.

    I have killed a neighbour, but that’s nothing to do with side effects. I’ve never liked him anyway, and he was very rude to Eric.

    I suppose you COULD say that the cannabis use means I don’t really qualify as a “non-smoker”… but maybe if I snort enough Champix I can beat that too, if not the murder rap.

    *Xmas suggestion: If you appreciate this kind of gentle humour, there’s plenty of it in the book. Might make a nice gift for anyone with bad habits but a good sense of humour.

    (Just in case anyone is wondering, for many years I have not taken any drugs or medications and I haven’t smoked anything for 12 years. I still joke about it though. My sense of humour was a very important part of getting rid of these things, and I use humour a lot in my hypnotherapy practice. I find it helps enormously.)

  168. I was just stating my experience, is this not the point of a forum. I believe there is room for a drug such as champix but of course it is not going to work for everyone. The side effects are also clearly label on the product and explained by your Physician.

    Only reason i added the drug an alcohol reference is that people on this forum were questioning it.

    Smoking cannibus does not make my opinions void,
    i am highly educated and have a successful career with a market leading organisation. Many of my associates and peers also have smoked or smoke cannibus and take other recreational drugs, does this make there opinions less valid.
    Perhapes you should do some research on cannibus you seem very uninformed.

    If this forum was setup just to sell your book perhapes i shouldn’t have commented

  169. Richard stated: “The side effects are also clearly label on the product and explained by your Physician.”

    That might be your experience, but some smokers have reported being advised by the smoking cessation adviser NOT to read the warnings about side effects, and many smokers over the last few years have reported here (and on blogs elsewhere) that their doctor didn’t warn them about anything, or dismissed the idea that the drug is risky.

    Richard, I didn’t mean to offend you, that was one of my more light-hearted posts. If you read post 170 again, it is obvious that I don’t think cannabis use is – by itself – the cause of any of the dramatic reactions or physical harm that surface in the Champix debate. I think it is the Champix. And I did not suggest that smoking cannabis invalidates your opinion, but it does rather invalidate your claim to be a non-smoker now, implicit in the statement:

    “(i smoked for over 10yrs).”

    You might not have smoked a cigarette for 3 months, but if you are still smoking cannabis you are a smoker, not a non-smoker. Non-smokers don’t smoke anything. Obviously there is still an advantage in that change, because cannabis does something and tobacco doesn’t, so smoking tobacco isn’t drug taking, it is a pointless old habit with no high or anything. Utterly useless, which is why no-one recommends tobacco for anything, either medicinally or recreationally.

    I also wonder if you really thought through the possible dangers of reassuring people about mixing Champix with binge drinking and regular cannabis use when other users are emphatically warning against it. The number of mad things I’ve somehow got away with over the decades, but certainly wouldn’t recommend, would fill this blog twice over but it might make other people feel that it’s probably okay to do that when actually it could kill them. It did kill some of my friends… or perhaps I should say acquaintances.

    Having said that, I welcome all comments as long as they’re genuine, and I don’t censor anyone. Including myself.

    No-one has to buy anything here. Sections of the book are available to read on this site for free, just click on Read The Book. The only people who will buy the book are people who have a personal desire to read the rest of it. If you check the Homepage, you will see that this is a Campaign Website, it has a very specific purpose and it is meant to be hard hitting. Smoking kills 5 million people annually. Doesn’t really matter WHAT they smoke, but it would be better if they weren’t encouraged to waste their time with quit products that only have short-term effects (if any), and routinely told a load of lies about that. So if I come across a bit sharp sometimes, that’s probably because I’ve been involved in these matters for over a decade as a professional smoking cessation specialist, and openly attacking government tobacco policy for three years now.

    By the way, I’m not suggesting that governments should stop wasting money on NRT, Zyban and Champix and then spend it on hypnotherapy. I’m suggesting that governments and their Health Authorities should get out of smoking cessation entirely because their performance is abysmal, worthless and a vast waste of precious resources. No smoker feels inclined to do what their GOVERNMENT says they should do! No, that money should be spent on things the medical profession are actually GOOD AT. Cancer screening, dialysis machines, vital new lifesaving equipment. Stop giving it all away to the bloody poison pill factories. Nicotine is nothing but a very dangerous toxin. There is no such thing as “therapeutic nicotine”. That is a suggestion every bit as moronic as “therapeutic carbon monoxide”. The impulse to pick up a cigarette has nothing to do with nicotine anyway, as the book explains in full, and as I have also explained elsewhere on this site. It is only a matter of time before everybody understands the thing properly.

    As for Champix, well – that is just extremely unpredictable and has a lousy long-term success rate anyway. It’s current popularity – as everyone will come to realise – is mainly down to it’s short-term effects… and hype.

  170. Hi i need to know if anyone has developed epilepsy, from taking champix. I have a solicitor looking into a claim against the drug company. I took champix in january 2008, it takes two months to get into your system. I had my first seizure in march 2008, now there is people in canada, who have had seizures on the tablet and there siezures have stopped when they have stopped taking the tablet. There have been people in canada who have continued to have seizures like myself, but i need to know if anybody has had the same problem in the uk. I only looked into this because my friend who has had head injuries in the past was told he could not have it as it was a black triangle drug and has coursed seizures in 1 in 1000 people who have had head injury or a history of seizures. I contacted my doctor just to find out when i had the drug and they told me what i have already said above. I have no history of head injury or epilepsy in the family. My nuroligist said that they can not say that it has coursed the epilepsy, but they cant say it has,ert either, she agrees it is a bit of a coincidense sorry about spelling, i have to take six tablets a day. I have looked into this tablet more and had to report it to the yellow card goverment site, i was told to do this by my doctor. I have done this and all of a sudden people who go for the drug now are warned that it is a black triangle drug. For those of you who dont know what this means, it is there way of telling you that you are being used as a tester for this drug, as they dont now what side effects it courses, as it has only been tested on 4800 people so put like that 1 in 1000 having seizures of it is very high. If they tell you it is a black triangle drug they are not liable if it courses you ill health. I was not told that it was a black triangle drug so i have got a case, this drug has ruined my life and i will not stop untill everybody knows about this, please get in touch with me and let me know if you have had similar experiance from this tablet. Iam going to the papers and the tv next, you see companies as big as this have already made other drugs to counter act the bad effects of drugs that they make it is all about making money and lots of it a few people making claims against them wont even touch the sides of there bank balance and the goverments know all about it they are all in it together. Please do not take this tablet you are putting your life at risk.

  171. Hey guys, I took champix for about 5 weeks last october. dropped the habit at about week 2. My first week was difficult but then it got worse. I started to feel very very aggressive with my girlfriend’ parents and sister. I could only sleep 2 hours a day max, for the first 2 weeks. Symptoms began to fade but the irritability sadness, melancholy etc got stronger. I could and still snap at the silliest things! I think I’m going crazy, I’m completely moody and that feeling that I’m so so so unhappy with my life comes and goes with the hour, I’ve not had suicidal thoughts but I have pictured the scene in my head what it will be like, and how sad could people be if I was to kill myself…

    [Those ARE suicidal thoughts – Ed.]

    It’s been 2 months since I stopped taking Champix I really would like to know if there is someone out there feeling like me after all that time since I took the last pill??? I actually got here looking for depression symptoms on google. It was a complete coincidence!! I will never recommend this stuff to anybody.
    Keep up the good work Chris

  172. Hi Julian,

    Yes, there are others who have lasting side effects, my advice is hang on in there and don’t let the medical people prescribe other brain-meddling tablets for ‘depression’ because those tablets were never designed to treat CHAMPIX SIDE-EFFECTS, which is what you are experiencing.

    It seems that a gradual return to normal is what happens for most sufferers, but I have to say we don’t have enough feedback really to have a clear idea about that one.

    Please keep us posted on that because I would like to be able to reassure people like yourself with more certainty than I can at the moment. And to help protect others, please, please make sure that your reaction to the medication is reported – not just verbally, but through the proper feedback channels, which is the responsibility of the prescriber. If you’re a UK resident, you can also do this yourself via the link at the top of this page.

    I wish you a full and speedy recovery Julian. Best of luck, and yes – I will keep up the good work!

  173. I have been on champix for around 7 weeks now. I have a history of depression but have been over that for around 10 years now. Did ask the nurse at the Doctors if I should be OK with Champix, even though Ziban sent me back to hellsville. She advised all should be OK.
    I only feel sick when I take a tab on an empty stomach, no other side effects of the physical variety though. I did find that I needed to drink a lot more liquid with the tabs, felt de-hydrated all the time in the beginning.

    My hubby quit same day as my Champix quit day – he’s gone cold turkey.
    He is, therefore, my control case – if he isn’t sleeping in the same way that I’m not sleeping then its to do with giving up and not the Champix. If he is irrational or behaves oddly its to do with the not smoking and not the Champix.

    We have both been waking early in the morning, yes I know a sign of depression, and not getting back to sleep for an hour or so. We have both put on some weight, around 10 pounds, again due to the slowing of our metabolic rates due to not smoking.
    We both find that smoking was a time filler, and its not the nicotine addiction you need to overcome but the time filler addiction. All of which can be causes of depression and losing a best friend, as an earlier poster commented.

    I agree with Chris that NRT is rubbish, once you complete the course, you still have to get over your Nicotine addiction. How is that gonna work, you’ve stopped smoking but are still addicited to the drug contained in the cigarettes – shall I have some NRT or a fag?

    I have already started to forget tablets by the way, am only taking 2 every other day now and 1 on the days in between. just seems to pan out that way. From reading all the above, I hope I’m off the tablets soon and still not smoking.

    I haven’t had a cigarette this year, so would be a big thing to start again now.

    Good luck to all who are still trying to quit and those who have and don’t want to re start.

  174. I have only taken these tablets for four days and I feel that I’m already in such a lower, depressed mood all the time. I struggle to concentrate at work and have even imagined what suicide would be like. I don’t know whether to believe it is the tablets or not as I was feeling down before taking them but now I feel ten times worse.
    The main reason I stopped smoking is because the financial burden it has on me, but I do enjoy smoking. I just don’t want to let the people around me down because I was so sure this would work after what I’d heard from others.

    What should I do?

  175. Suzy said:

    “I have a history of depression but have been over that for around 10 years now. Did ask the nurse at the Doctors if I should be OK with Champix, even though Ziban sent me back to hellsville. She advised all should be OK.”

    That was stupid advice that goes against the official prescribing guidelines. Champix is contraindicated for anyone with a medical history of depression, and especially if Zyban triggered it again.

    Suzy also said:

    “I agree with Chris that NRT is rubbish, once you complete the course, you still have to get over your Nicotine addiction.”

    That’s not the reason it is rubbish, but it is the reason most smokers are confused about NRT. It is rubbish because smoking is not nicotine addiction in the first place.

    Suzy, I wish you both well in your quitting attempt. Just curious though: sounds like you’re both having the same symptoms/difficulties, but he’s not on Champix. If Champix works, shouldn’t you be having a much easier time than him?

    Danielle, the medical advice is that if you experience anything like depression or suicidal thoughts, stop taking the medication. I don’t know what you heard from others about Champix, but the truth is Champix doesn’t produce long-term success for 86% of smokers anyway, and anything that only works temporarily is just a waste of time. If you continue taking it and suffer serious damage, the manufacturers are NOT liable, because you didn’t follow the official guidelines which specifically mention the side-effects you are experiencing.

    Don’t risk it, you could end up dead. And if you did, the cause of your death would NOT be listed as Champix, it would be listed as suicide.

    “I don’t know whether to believe it is the tablets or not as I was feeling down before taking them but now I feel ten times worse.”

    It’s the tablets. And you’re not the only one. Get off them quick. There are much more successful quit methods that are risk free.

  176. I doubled checked the history of depression again with the Doctor and the Nurse who also checked Champix manufacturers and if you are completely over depression and have been for some time, Champix should be safe. They do advise that if you have any recurring symptons within the first 3-4 weeks of taking the tablets to seek medical assistance immediately.
    As for me having an easier time than hubby, I think you’re response is classic. When anyone stops smoking a feeling of loss comes over them, Champix is not designed to combat a bereavement, it is designed to stop the craving for a cigarette. Champix is also not designed to help an ex smoker get over the gaps in time they experience when they would usually have a cigarette either. It sounds to me that you have never taken the drug or even given up smoking.

  177. “if you are completely over depression and have been for some time, Champix should be safe.”

    “Some time”? “Should be”? Sounds a bit vague – almost like they’re guessing. Which they are. Where are the results of the scientific trials of the drug involving people with a history of depression? There are none, those people are always excluded from the trials so that no alarm will be raised before the drug gets the big rubber stamp of approval. After that, it can be offered to anyone by a doctor or smoking cessation nurse or ‘adviser’, and it doesn’t matter to Pfizer if people then kill themselves on the drug. That is already evident from the facts. They simply repeat the mantra that there “is no evidence” it is the drug that is causing it.

    I have never taken Champix, that is true. Since I stopped smoking for the last time in 1997, it would be insane to do so. But when you said:

    “When anyone stops smoking a feeling of loss comes over them,”

    …you are generalising. I gave up smoking many times before I stopped permanently, and I never felt like that. But then, I hated tobacco and I never thought I was addicted to a drug more powerful than heroin, or any of that dramatic nonsense. I just saw it as a nuisance habit I was trying to shake off. I had the same difficulty as I had trying to stop biting my fingernails, a habit that also kept starting up again in an irritating and persistent way. No sense of loss there either.

    When I gave up heroin in the Spring of 1983 though, there was a profound sense of bereavement. Probably because I didn’t really want to give it up at all, at the time. Perhaps that’s the real problem in some smokers too?

    Allen Carr said in his book “The Easy Way to Control Alcohol” that the thing that makes quitting any of these things seem difficult is the conflict in the mind of the user between the part of them that dearly wants to stop, and the part of them that doesn’t.

    And you’re right, Champix doesn’t address any of that. Which is why it’s not a Wonder Drug and only has a 14% success rate when you look at the results at one year, instead of the results at twelve weeks which once got as high as 44%. Misleading, you see.

    Hypnotherapy DOES address those conflicts. That’s why it works more often, but if you prefer to believe the Doctor and the Nurse, Suzy, good luck to you.

  178. I’ve had taking champix for 2 months give or take.
    it was all good even along with the crazy dreams and other light side effects , until i’ve got this awful shaky feeling from inside.

    it was horrible every second all day , feeling shaky in my body , in my hands .. then i had to stop talking pills. i was off cigs for about 2 weeks
    but man i’ve started again.i feel so bad that i’ve stopped taking pills so
    i couldn’t finish the entire treatment.

    champix works great , it just not for all the people.

  179. I am on Day 11 of my Champix course, this the first time in twenty five years that I have gone four days without smoking but after reading this website I am going to stop taking Champix TODAY. I feel a little bit sick all the time, I am full of wind and I am not sleeping. I didnt mind this if it helped me stay of smokes but today I looked at the internet to see was being light headed and angry a sympthom of Champix and I see it is. I feel very angry and very sad. I will let you know how cold turkey goes with a little kickstart by Champix.

  180. You can definitely lose friends taking this drug. The side effects are hell, but as long as you are able to remind yourself they are champix I recommend you harden up, lung cancer is worse. Stick it out and wean off fairly soon after smoking is gone from your thoughts. . If however, you lose sight of the fact that champix is doing it, stop. You really do need a friend with PATIENCE to say positive things to you and remind you that this isn’t your true personality

    Chris, we get your point of view, but the fact you make these lengthy replies to posts you don’t like makes you look a little defensive and even less impartial to slangin your wares. If you want to mask your vested interests so badly sell your product on its own merits on a separate site. You have a point…just don’t need to ram it down peoples throats. I know you believe in what your selling, that’s great, if other people don’t that doesn’t make them wrong.

    Don’t speak for Allen Carr either now that he’s dead. He makes it clear in his book that while he quit AFTER hypnotherapy, this was not the reason he quit. To say it is and NOT be Allen Carr is reaching…

  181. Alex, you clearly haven’t read much of this site! Over and over again I recommend acupuncture – with which I have no connection – the Allen Carr method, particularly the original book – again, no connection with myself – and hypnotherapy. See post no. 160 above for one example, there are dozens more all over the site. These recommendations are based on the fact that these methods have proven to be safe and effective.

    Now why would I do that if this site were all about my “vested interests”?

    Allen Carr wrote lots of books. I’ve read nearly all of them. What he says about how he quit is different in different books, and all I did in my book was quote his different tales of how he quit and compare them, pointing out that they cannot all be true, which is a fact. None of that detracts from the fact that his original book (the best one on smoking, in my view) has helped many people to quit, which is why I recommend it nevertheless.

    Your suggestion that people should risk the horrible side effects of Champix “because lung cancer is worse” is just simplistic. All along I have simply advised smokers to try all the methods that cannot harm them BEFORE trying any that involve risks. Champix and lung cancer are not your only options, thanks Christ! I’m not ramming any of this down anyone’s throat, no-one has to read it, do they? And it’s only advice, they don’t have to take it!

  182. When i started taking champax i thought ‘wow this is great’ no cravings, reduced appetite, not smoking… I was raving about them!!.

    To begin with I had sleepless nights, mad dreams, nauseau, feeling of uncontrol and generally just being ditzy! I reduced the dose (this helped) and was seeing the nurse every two weeks.

    I’d taken champix for 7 weeks, stopped smoking as advised and now have had over one week without them (purely accidental). I was debating taking the remaining dose as a result of my symptoms, hence finding this blog. Now I’ve decided not to take them further and wanted to add my own comments…

    For one… I think there is a pretty thinish line between sane and insane, depressed and non depressed… these tablets help you swing from one side of the line to the other!

    Two… you can use fabreeze every day but eventually you will have to clean whatever smell your masking, smoking and taking champix is the exact same!!

    Finally… these things can change who you are. Okay, you think they may be only a temporary measure and yes, if you’re strong enough and optimistic in character you can just keep reminding yourself that ‘it’s the pills’. But what about the long term?? What happens if taking these tabs force you into decisions you may regret later in life, what then? Please judge, it was champix? Or darling please take me back, it wasn’t me it was the NRT?? yeah, rite!!!

    I’ve never experienced any symptoms like these apart from when I smoked cannibis flat to the mat and made the ultimate life changing decision of giving up before loosing my marbles. (Disagree completely with earlier comments re: cannibis doesn’t have side affects and would say the only people who claim that are those who are smoking it, addicted, and still in denial… funny enuf, this is similar to that of champix users – me being one of them!)

    These tablets are lethal, they play with your mind…. if I ever do go back on cigs, i’ll cut down before giving up completely or try other methods… I won’t be taking those tabs again… frig that shit!

  183. I’ve been on champix 11 days! I quit smoking after day 4. I have had nothing but hell would you beleve since the day I startted taking them. I’d advise no one to take them! I’ve had insomnia and when I can slepp nightmares,hot sweats, stomach cramps, headaches r unreal, and apart from all that my temper is unmanagable! Yeahh to be honest champix does work but at a cost I was not expecting! I would never of taken them if I knew the side effcts before hand! I threw them in the bin now, I still haven’t had a cig! I’m only writing this because I dnt want anyone to suffer like I did! And nooo chris I dnt want to buy your book! Thanks anyway for the good site !

  184. I think you’re very wise, Sarah! After all, my book causes insomnia, nightmares, hot sweats, stomach cramps, headaches… oh and it makes you lose your temper all the time too.

    I’ve collected up all the copies and thrown them in the bin!

    Of course, you can always click on the ‘Read The Book’ button on this site – if merely curious – and read whole sections of it for free, so I guess no-one needs to actually buy a copy unless they find it so interesting they genuinely want to read more. Even then, they don’t need to pay £16.95 for the paperback – the ebook is only £5… click on ‘Buy The Book’ then look to the right of the page that comes up.

    Thanks for your appreciation of the site, anyway Sarah! Hope you soon recover from the nightmare effects of the latest Wonder Drug!

  185. Would anyone recommend someone to play around with crystal meth? I highly doubt it. This damn champix is just as dicey, I have worked this out after hrs of reading….

    Just go google crystal meth and dopamine – coming down from meth you have depleted dopamine levels, its funny because champix messes and blocks your dopamine too – result pretty damn similar. Having never taken champix but taken meth only maybe 3 times over 6 years (the come down was so unbearable just wasnt a drug I wanted to get into – scary), I have decided to not go to the chemist tomorrow to pick up my champix tabs with my script from the doctor. Would love to go print out all I found and go back to him and ask WTF did you prescribe this for me?!?!

  186. Further to my post (number 87, posted in June 2009) I’m still suffering the same symptoms 2.5 years down the line, I’ve been through over 2 years of tests, have lost my job, almost lost wife and children and now, the doctors finally say that they feel that it was Champix that has caused all this.

    In the very next breath they also said that proving it will be almost impossible and that getting any legal recourse will be even harder, so there we are, 38 years old and basically on the scrap heap until they can hopefully figure out a way to deal with my symptoms.

    So where do I go from here, I dont know, the doctors dont know either, I’ve used all my savings just to live the last couple of years and I cant function day to day, legal action would be futile and I cant fund it, so all I can do is sit and stare out the window and watch the world go by, happy days 🙁

  187. Hi

    This is my second course of champix…first course was taken 2 years ago and although i made it to week two personal circumstances caused the depression i was feeling 10 times worse so had to stop.

    Been back on them 1 week now and of course the side effects are there with a vengence and the dreams…yes those magical mythical dreams have been opening thoughts i never thought existed but i have found a counter measure to its horrendous effects.

    EXERCISE and DIET….everyday do something that makes you sweat….serotonin levels from hard exercise is higher than some hardcore artificial drugs.and get yourself to a dietician so he/she can place you on a suitable diet plan for your circumstances….it will cost you but its a lot cheaper than the cigs.

    Im not preaching because i have already failed on one batch but am twice as determined to succeed this time around,,champix is not for everyone just like hypnotherapy wasnt for me…..give it a go but be wary of its side effects as they will happen and happen hard they shall.

    Also my doctor wouldnt prescribe me anti depressive drugs to coincide with champix as he said that would be madness and gave me the number of a priviate dietician and told me to try that route instead.

    This time around i do not have any physical issues and the depression is a lot easier to deal with but the dreams are fu$ked up…

    Good luck to everyone who is on champix and good luck to everyone who has come off it for whatever reason……smoking will kill you eventually but champix will hurt you only for a while.

  188. Hate to be pedantic, but 50% of all smokers are not killed by tobacco anyway, and Champix has killed quite a number of people now, some of whom weren’t even taking it – they were killed by someone who was. Others have been attacked by someone who was, and seriously hurt.

    Hypnotherapy, acupuncture and the Allen Carr method have NEVER HURT ANYONE. And they work better than any of the meds. in the long run.

  189. champix is amazing in my eyes, it stops you from wanting a smoke, what can be better. yes side effects a-plenty but for me this was witdhin the first 3 week of taking the pills. now week 5, no fags, no side effects – well farting and constipation – a strange combo but what the hell. ALSO feel so happy on these pills, which is weird as i aint depressed or anxious I guess this is a side effect too :o) been cycling up hills too, heart is still ticking feeling fitter than ever. i think people who are paranoid about every new drug should avoid champix – you might believe the crazy dreams! hypopherapy/acupuncture give me a break!! this is nicotine addiction we are dealing with! viva la champix!!

  190. Don’t bother trying to wind me up, I’ve heard it all before.

    I think people with your attitude SHOULD take Champix. But on the evidence, no-one else should.

    To any serious readers, this person is trying to suggest that all concerns about Champix are “paranoia”. Gary, you are obviously completely ignorant of the facts – or if you aren’t, you’re trying to pretend that Champix isn’t an horrific killer drug which has already hospitalised and killed a lot of people, and we’d then be wondering why you would wish to misrepresent it in that way.

    I’m tempted to say I hope it screws you up as well – not for my sake but just to teach you a lesson you’ll never forget about casually dismissing the suffering of countless innocent people. But actually, after reading so many of these horrendous accounts from unlucky Champix users – some of whom where still fine at week 5, by the way – I really wouldn’t wish any of that even on the people I despise the most – such as internet ‘pharmacy’ pirates and Pfizer’s Head of Marketing.

    It’s not “nicotine addiction” at all, it’s a compulsive habit. But you go on taking your tablets and riding your bike up hills if it makes you happy. Let’s hope you don’t fall off or anything – break your neck or get hit by a huge falling rock. Lie injured for days, wondering if help will ever come. Get mauled by wild animals in the night, suffering from exposure – but if you ever do, console yourself with this thought: “I may be dumb enough to get myself into this mess, but at least I’m not dumb enough to believe in well-proven and globally-recognised treatment methods like hypnotherapy and acupuncture!”

  191. In my opinion i would advise people NOT to take Champix,. I used champix over 18 months ago, and i did give up smoking and i still do not smoke… I didnt suffer any other illness or mental problems until the last 6 months, where i now suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, and i now wish that i still smoked and didnt try the champix, because all i want now is my life back to the way it was and not be feeling like this.

  192. 2nd Time on Champix – Whole Different Story.

    I first quit on Champix about 2 years ago – and stayed off cigarettes for 6 months (ended Champix after first 3). Minimal side effects.(tried most other methods to quit historically). Smoker for 30 years.

    I went back to being a regular smoker – understand why I started again and now have things in place to address.

    I’m now on it again – and as of Champix Day 21 (and 11 of those not smoking), my side effects are severe (according to other sources I’ve read). This began on Day 19 of Champix. Before Champix Day 19 I’ve needed to take a sleeping pill to get more than 2 hours sleep at a time, my plumbing stopped working, and I had shortness of breath – these I can deal with, and not what I’m concerned about. I’ve increased exercise and water intake, taking laxatives, etc.

    It is the mood issues – paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and, embarrasingly so, multiple thoughts of suicide – that concern me. I know that this is from the drug, having tried quitting in many ways, many times – and not being in this state before. Other states, yes – but not this.

    I tried earlier, (around Champix Day 13), to goto half dosage (to try to sleep without pills), but the cravings were too intense. I will try to go to half dosage starting tomorrow, in the hopes that the cravings will now be minimized. If that doesn’t work, I will have to stop the drug cold turkey, as I’m finding it is beginning to be very hard to function normally. I’d like to just throw it away, but am not confident enough that I won’t go right back (again) – so am will try to cut down on the drug first.

    I’ve heard of another who, using Champix the 2nd time experienced severe psychological side effects (and didn’t the first).

    I’m wondering about any physiological changes in the brain that the drug creates – which may explain why, at least for a sample of 2 (not significant, I know), the 2nd time around has been very different. This may also relate to the ongoing side effects others on this site have reported even after cessation of Champix (and cigarettes).

    If others have tried Champix more than once, I’d like to hear more about their experiences too, in addition to any advice you have.
    Thank you.

  193. who would have guessed its all that bad?
    I’ve been on them for a week and one day started off on them depressed not reading any thing about what i was about to partake in and not much other then a “you can expect some side effects” from the doc, today tried to see a doc about my derpession as it’s now affeting the family, couldnt see the first doctor but sent to mental health to talk to someone, an hour there and i was refered back to the doctors to get something to deal with my stress, now not sure if the drugs prescribed to deal with my stress are any better,(lexapro) to take this I’m to stop taking the champix for a couple of weeks then start back up again. to say I’m not happys an under statement.

  194. I have read some of the comments here , not all of them and really have to say Chris , you slag anyone who has an opinion different to yours and are quite vicious about it . What works for one person may not work for someoone else – one man’s meat is another’s one poison . For me , Champix works , without a doubt and I have not had any negative effects . I am so glad that it has been invented – for me , it’s a life saver . I understand that other people may have a different reaction and that’s that . You cannot go through life bagging everyone who does not agree with you ! I would recommend taking Champix with some food (maybe yoghurt) and not on an empty stomach as that may cause nausea. If it’s not for you , don’t take it. We are all entitled to our opinions and it’s about sharing and community , not shouting down and belittling someone else for having a different opinion/experience to you !

  195. Danica, you haven’t read enough of the comments. There are HUNDREDS of comments following about twenty posts on Champix Chantix on this website alone, and there are many other websites trying to warn people too. You’re just going off your own experience. This comment also came in today along with yours, but following the Champix 9 post:

    “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”

    Ask yourself, Danica: if this had happened to you, or the person you love most, would you be having a go at me for trying to warn smokers about it? It’s a bit late when you’ve already taken it it, and some people have died, many have been hospitalised, some have attacked and even killed other people, including children. This is a very, very serious matter, and the sad fact is, until you’ve spent three and a half years receiving messages like this one above, you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Were you warned that this drug could put you in a mental hospital, ruin your marriage, cost you your job, your driving licence, get you locked up with no memory of committing some horrific crime? I’m NOT exaggerating.

    “One man’s meat is another one’s poison” is complacent, and the reason you’re being complacent is because it hasn’t happened to YOU (so far), or anyone you care about, and you clearly don’t know the criminal extent to which the public have been deceived over the extent of the damage AND the cover-up over the early suicides and horrific reactions. Obviously it doesn’t happen to everyone, but that doesn’t make it okay, does it? And neither will yoghurt, we’re not talking about nausea here. This drug is ruining people’s lives all over the world, and those facts are being hushed up by the manufacturer AND all the medical approval bodies involved. That’s not a “conspiracy theory” it is a chilling fact.

    I’m determined to get this evil medication banned. “I’m so glad it has been invented”, you say? Tell that to the families of the suicides. Tell that to the people who’ve had the seizures, and will never be the same again. Tell it to the people with the life-threatening skin reactions, the heart problems, the severe personality changes… the list goes on and on.

    And all to quit smoking – something any decent hypnotherapist can do for you in two hours without the slightest risk. It sickens me to hear about all this totally avoidable horror being inflicted on innocent smokers and their families all over the world, for a truly lousy long-term success rate, and just to make millions of dollars for all the people with a finger in the pie.

  196. Neil, in case you’re wondering where our previous exchange has gone, your latest comment was so personal and offensive you will not be allowed back on this blog.

    I don’t mind criticism, and I’ll answer it (like the exchange above) but if you think you can come on here and just hurl abuse – well any idiot can do that, can’t they, but that’s not debate. Also we have to allow for the fact that you are currently medicated with a drug that is known to cause severe personality changes, aggression and violence, so perhaps the “real you” is not like that at all, and it’s wiser to protect you by not publishing your possibly-drug-induced ranting.

    Maybe when you’re not on Champix any more – perhaps when you’ve been off it for several months, and you know for sure whether you’re one of the smokers that simply starts again, or one of the ones that does not, and your temperament is (hopefully) more like the rest of the contributors to this debate, we can talk about outcomes and you will have a clearer perspective on whether Champix affected your behaviour adversely. It’s too early to tell. As several contributors have already noted that a second course of Champix triggered bad reactions they did not experience with the first course, you’re not in a position to declare it safe, especially with the abusive language you were using.

  197. I,ve used champix on 3 occassions, 1st 2 times i finished the 12 week course. Both times on about week4-5, i became abnormally jealous of my wifes past relationships, something i have never thought about before. I also became very insecure and pretty short tempered with my pets and kids and i was filled with hate about most things in the world. I found i needed to go walking and drink lots and lots of diet red bull and eat copious amounts of fruit, dunno why, but i totally craved these, particularly bananas. Strange that this happened on 2 occassions. I kept going with the course and both times went back on the cigarettes about 8- 10 months after finishing. The 3rd course, i took double, 24 week course, cutting down to one tablet a day for the last 4 weeks in order to stretch it to 28 weeks. Funny thing is, after 5 weeks i had the exact same problems, mentally. I was waiting but still could not shake them off for about 9 days. But that was 2 years ago, i’m now smoke free, best thing i ever did, i ws on 60 a day for 25 years, so 9 days of near breakdown was, when you analise it, worth it.

  198. Jesus Christ, Dave! What an ordeal! I’m glad you got your freedom in the end, you certainly deserve it.

    My smoking clients ring me up, make an appointment, pop down on the day, spend two hours relaxing in a comfy chair, then walk out absolutely normal but no longer a smoker. Hypnotherapy doesn’t work for everybody but it works for most.

    2 hours. Zero mental disturbance. Wife, kids and pets unaffected. I think they should be prescribing hypnotherapy instead of giving people that dangerous shit. But I’m glad you got through it all Dave. Best wishes to you and your family.

  199. Thanks Chris, it took a while but i’m finally happy, must have attempted to quit over 30 times before i got there, a last course of champix really was the last resort and luckily my wife constantly monitored me, looking for signs that i was losing it. Hypnotherapy worked but stupidly i gave in after a few weeks, usual trigger, alcohol, learned a lesson that time. Alcohol seems to be the only trigger that i would give into, stress, etc was not an issue. Patches, gum, lozenges would all last, until the 3 months course ended, usually back on the cigarettes within 3 months of that. Acupuncture and laser treatment had no effect whatsoever. So champix is not for everyone and i think it could be VERY dangerous but it’s a risk some people may feel inclined to take, cheers.

  200. “Hypnotherapy worked…” ….and if it is done thoroughly, folks, the link with alcohol can be broken in advance, but not every hypnotherapist will realise the importance of that, or know how to do that effectively. That relapse could have been prevented!

    Also, relapse can be fixed with another hypnotherapy session anyway and we can use the relapse experience to prevent it happening again.

  201. For the love of God… People die everyday… Not everybody kills themselves on Champix/Chantix just like not everybody Kills themselves after reading a book on Quitting smoking(But I’m sure some have) maybe even Chris’ book for that matter… Some people can’t handle driugs or their own mind plain and simple, people have died and have killed each other while quitting cold turkey as well, get over it man, people should know “themselves” before doing any drug regiment. If you don’t think you can handle it don’t do, keep smoking and die anyway! Champix worked for me… with NO SIDE EFFECTS!

  202. You’re SURE people have killed themselves “after reading a book on quitting smoking”? Maybe even my book?

    “No side effects” in your case? You sure about that Keith? “People have died and killed each other while quitting cold turkey as well…”?

    The U.S. Surgeon-General refuted that very point, as do I, and just about every other normal sensible person. Seems your thinking is somewhat hysterical there, but let’s not be unscientific – we can’t be sure that has anything to do with taking the most dangerously psycho-active drug on the market.

    Research it, Keith. You were one of the fortunate ones, that’s all. Google Champix Reviews, and read up. Congratulations on your success anyway.

    Folks, it is understandable when someone HAS been successful with a drug personally and HASN’T heard the rest of the story, they don’t want to hear a word against it. I’ve met this reaction before on this and other blogs, but these guys just don’t realise the extent of the horror. Yet. Neither do a lot of the medical people handing it out.

    They will.

  203. I am now 8 weeks smoke free for only the 2nd time in over 25 years this time thanks to champix. I quit about 7 years ago after reding Alan Carr. I was very solw to use Champix because I had become very depressed after quitting and had heard about its links to depression, however i took the plunge but only after buying a share in every other quack method of the “quitting smoking industry”. I wont say it was entirely painless, i did have one or two days in the beginning that were less than perfect however it is today the best decision I have made in a long time I have and I do recommend it to anyone who wants to quit smoking

  204. That’s not surprising, John. If it didn’t fry YOUR brains, and it seems to have worked, I suppose you could recommend it based on those facts alone – as long as you assume all these other people are lying – or just unlucky, and the person you recommend it to has exactly the same experience as you did, which neither of you could know in advance.

    Can ANYONE safely recommend a medication like Champix, regardless of what their own personal experience of it was like? It’s so wildly unpredictable!

  205. It worked for me I stopped for 6 months , irritability was the worst of it , I went stupidly back on the habit after a night of drinking , now im smoking half pack a day and been thinking to get on the champx again .. id rather be irritable for some days than a lung cancer

  206. Do you REALLY believe that’s the worst thing Champix can do to you? And we’ve had quite a few reports now from people who were relatively OK on Champix first time around, but then got a bad reaction to the second course. It’s pretty clear now that the less time people spend on this medication, the better.

    In my hypnotherapy session for stopping smoking, I break the association between drinking and smoking that causes relapses like yours, aj. Champix can never do that. No medications can ever do that. And since that association is forged in the Subconscious mind, ONLY hypnotherapy can change that. Not your doctor, not your “quit counsellor”, not any kind of counsellor, psychologist or analyst.

    Hypnotherapists – through helping smokers quit very quickly and easily – prevent lung cancer too. And with no risk.

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

    A very weird 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 “problems 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. I didn’t get 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!

  208. My guess is that you Konrad had a short wave of mano-dep. That seems to be more common, and you mentioned also an “up-time”.

    It also seems that you were lucky. No injuries, no trials awaiting, no irreparable relations? No blackouts or anything? If no, I’m happy for you.

    But still. Do you really consider continue this for three months??? I would say it is a nightmare even without alcohol. Please just don’t “wait and see”. You have already seen.


  209. The long-term outcome of this drug when it comes to smoking cessation is about 15% at best. If it were perfectly safe I’d say go for it, even though it has an 85% failure rate. Short-term changes to smoking patterns are irrellevant.

    Konrad’s warning about mixing it with alcohol is important, because there are lots of reports of serious incidents resulting from that, including violent attacks and suicide attempts. But Elijah is right – the drug also does these things to people who are sober, people with no history of mental instability… ANYONE. It is completely unpredictable. And it usually doesn’t work anyway.

    Not worth the risk. There are much safer ways to quit.

  210. Now I am confused, Champax or not
    I am about to have surgery and have to stop smoking 3 weeks before hand.
    Have tried champix in the past, stopped smoking for 2 months then started again.
    Oh what to do, yes, no

  211. Have been smoke free for over a year with champix. No side effects other than slight nausea when changing dose (lasted around 20 mins). Risks relating to mood were explained and GP checked prior mental health history. I was monitored fortnightly by the nurse. No problems with mood etc – if anything am less irritable than when craving nicotine! No complaints here!

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

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

  213. I started a 12 week champix course 10 months ago and I haven’t smoked since day 10 of taking the tablets.

    I found the champix to be a fairly strong drug that at times could make my teeth tingle. I experienced fleeting nausea shortly after taking the pills but this would pass me by quite soon. I never noticed any vivid dreams.

    The problem for me was that I felt better on the champix than my normal self. I felt more mindful of things and could enjoy things like cleaning my teeth for the full 2 minutes, carefully washing my car and diligently making my sandwiches for work. In short the champix gave me a sense of euphoria.

    The major side effects for me where an ever increasing itchy scalp and my lower back and upper buttocks were both dry and itchy but also seemed to lack sensation when touched. It felt like touching somebody else.

    I’m happy to say that this skin problems have gone away.
    The day after I took my last champix I sunk into a depression very quickly and my wife booked an appointment at the doctor. He said he’d never heard of depression for coming off champix but then he looked up in a book and said ok there are instances of it happening.

    I took champix for 3 more days after seeing the doc, and during those days I realised that even without the protective shield offered to me by the champix I could stay off the smokes without the pills.

    So here I am now still not smoking and determined not to start again, which is good. I’m also back to the miserable sod I now recognise that I was before taking the champix.

    Be careful with these, your mileage may vary!

  214. I just wanted to add a few more comments if that’s ok having read a few more experiences in this blog.

    The 15% quit at 12 months figure is about right and as poor as nicotine replacement therapy. The only reason I’m still off the smokes is that I have given up in my life many times and once for 2 years. I really do intend to stop.

    So these pills can probably make over 50% stop smoking whilst taking them but by 12 months it is only 15%.

    Secondly I drank upto 2 litres of 5% lager regularly while on the champix without noticing anything strange happening to me.

    I wouldn’t recommend champix and would advise anybody having any kind of mental problems to stop immediately.

    Good luck!

  215. I LOVE Champix! I’ve quit smoking cold turkey before and refer to that as complete HELL!!! I was desperate to quit and have failed with the patches and gum. I started taking champix and didn’t really have much faith in it, but before I knew it I didn’t even want to smoke anymore! It was harder to break the habit than the addiction. But even when I wanted one because of the habit I didnt because I didn’t even want to have one!
    I’ve had an amazing experience with this “miracle” pill 🙂

  216. Rachel said:

    “even when I wanted one because of the habit I didnt because I didn’t even want to have one!”

    That doesn’t make sense, but then neither does murdering your wife and children and then killing yourself, which is what Andrew Case did after taking this “miracle” pill.

    Some people DO stop smoking with Champix, and a few stay stopped. Like Andrew Case. The number of people who have been hospitalised, lost their jobs, attacked someone, lost their marriages/relationships, their confidence, lost their freedom, their lives or their loved ones is so high now around the world that whatever your PERSONAL experience, Rachel, to call this a “miracle pill” or to say “I LOVE Champix!” – as if all these other tragedies didn’t matter at all just because it didn’t happen to YOU is so utterly self-centred as to be frankly offensive.

    Or maybe you know nothing about all that. Hard to believe, though, when it is all right here in front of you. You have just sung the praises of Champix as if none of these unfortunate people here had said a word. By doing that, you are encouraging people to risk their lives when you have NO IDEA whether they will have a similar experience to you, or if it will completely destroy their world. Given what most of these other comments have been about, don’t you think that’s a bit irresponsible? Especially when the phrase: “…even when I wanted one…” kind of proves that the urge to smoke hadn’t completely gone away anyway?

    I’m also a little bit suspicious about this habit v addiction suggestion, because that echoes the later nicotine replacement adverts: “This takes care of my addiction, now all I have to contend with is the habit!” – an attempt to account for the fact that NRT doesn’t work, mainly because smokers’ cravings are not withdrawal symptoms anyway.

    My main point is that smokers should be offered all the safe methods first. Champix is the most unpredictable and dangerous stop smoking method yet devised by the chemical industry. With a lousy long term success rate. The fact that it works for a few people doesn’t help anyone who has suffered a major trauma through this mad mass experiment with varenicline, or lost a loved one.

    Pfizer in court over Champix/Chantix

  217. Im on day 30 of champix and stopped smoking on day 10. My worst side effect so far is constipation & its really really uncomfortable. I did have weird dreams at first but these stopped when I quit the cigs. I think Im more emotional and impatient but I remember being the same when I quit in the past using patches. Thinking about wanting to smoke is reducing daily, and Im not replacing cigs with food so not gaining any weight which for me is great. I also get lots of support from colleagues and friends which is also a bonus. I just hope that when i finish the course I don’t suffer any of the withdrawal symptoms people talk of on this site!!

  218. Chris: I took Chantix (In the US) for roughly 5 weeks. I successfully quit smoking, but to what avail. After week 1, I was moody and it got worse from there. I am normally a shorter tempered person that does react to things maybe a little quicker than most, but this medicine made me have NO fuse whatsoever. My husband started Chantix shortly after I did. He took himself off after about 10 days, seeing how ‘crazy’ I was. We have both been successful in our quit, neither one of us are smoking, but even after quitting the Chantix 3 weeks ago, I am still crazy! How long does this last??

  219. Angel, it varies. Most people recover gradually, some have persistent symptoms. Can I just stress: smoking again will NOT speed up a return to normality. I’ve heard from quite a few people who started again because they didn’t feel normal, but then they still didn’t feel normal and now it was all for nothing. You’ve been successful: make sure you hang on to that.

    It takes a while to get this drug out of the system. Hang on in there!

  220. Hello, I started taking champix, a little longer then a week now. The first days it was my stomach, a few days later it was anger, a day later depression. Then the dreams hit.. Until finally my mind seemed to daze off, and i could not focus at all. Then i started to start shaking this morning. I am quitting champix before anything els starts to happen.

  221. I just want to add my own bad experience of taking champix. I was a 20 a day smoker and started taking the tablets for 2 weeks then stopped completely. I stopped for 6 weeks on the tablets. I have never had depression in my life and have always been a happy person even well when life can be s*it sometimes I have always been fine and kept on top of things.
    When i first started taking the pills things were good. No side effects, infact i actually started getting excited about stopping as the cigarettes were tasting disgusting and I thought that’s it I’m stopping and I did quite happily.
    As the weeks went on things did start to change. I wasn’t quite so happy but this was a gradual thing I never really noticed it creep up. Around week 5 I started getting really bad and feeling really low. I was sure it was the pills and I decided to quite them. Things progressively got worse. I started feeling very paranoid as if even my friends, work colleagues were out to get me! I don’t think I have actually had a laugh since.
    Its now been 3 weeks since i stopped taking the pills. I have been unable to sleep at nights with my mind racing with bad thoughts. Then opposite in the morning I just want to sleep through the day, what is the point in getting up! I’m still actually at this stage just now feel I have totally lost the will to live! I even went out and took out a life insurance policy!!! Yes, i have had suicidal thoughts, but i am stronger than that and will fight through it certainly not going to kill myself. But the small thoughts are there. I need to go to the doctor and just hope there is a cure for this as I have never been so depressed in my entire life! I have days at night i just burst into tears and want this all to end. I’m trying to fight it by going to the gym and even tried doing some meditation but i don’t feel any better. I just hope the doctor can help, i would hate to be given something only to make things worse! Anything that messes with the brain should be banned! The risks are too great. I would never recommend this drug to anyone. Yes, i do believe it will stop you smoking and some people might not get any side effects. However, I think the risks are too great. There is not enough known about this drug.

  222. i have had the same side effects as you paul.ihonestly dont know how much longer i can carry on.i have been off champix for 5 months now but my head feels so confused. living to me seems so pointless,im of very low mood.i try so hard to fight it by swimming and keeping fit in the hope it will go away but my low mood returns. i feel so bitter towards my family for leaving me like this,i would end it all but for my two lovely children. no one around me understands everyone just thinks ive gone mad.ithink we all need to report it to te addrss at the end of this page

  223. Carole just want to say stick with it and be strong keep fighting it and keeping fit. Lets not give in to this drug! I’m still pretty much the same but what has helped me a lot was speaking with friends about my paranoid thoughts and them pointing out that its all in my head. I even had to speak to my own boss at work to ask for re-assurance my work was OK. I honestly thought everyone was against me. Its so wrong and horrible to be like this but its good to see there are other people out there that can understand. We should not ever have to feel paranoid/sad/low and I was certainly not told this may be a side effect of taking/stopping the drug! I will keep on fighting this surely what ever the pills have done we can reverse it mentally. I’m sticking with the gym and getting fit. Keep thinking of your two lovely children and be the best Mum to them, keep strong! We will get there!

  224. paul that was such a lovely reply,made me cry so nice that someone undersands. i still feel crazy at times the doc has put me on antideppresants,helps a bit but when i get a low mood its so very bad.i have told all my friends but they just dont understand some days i just need someone to take over and put me to bed no one comes. ive always been strong and been able to cope im so sad that im just left perhaps i feel sorry for children keep me going im so very proud of them they are amazing .i just feel so guilty that they have seen me like this so that adds to the pressure.have you reported it to anyone in the medical profession?

  225. Hi Carol, sorry but I lost my favourites and this site!. Dont ever feel crazy just think that’s the champix talking your not crazy in any way! I know what you mean about people thinking you are crazy but its only because they don’t fully understand and possibly in our minds. Im sure some people i told didn’t understand and think same of me but thats their loss. Yes I told my doctor and after all my attempts ended up giving me a very mild anti depressant too! I never seen the day I would ever take an anti depressive pill in my life but its all most certainly due to the champix without a doubt. I have to say though since I actually am feeling a lot better now than what I was say last month. Yes not all days are good but some are starting to be ok again. I even found a good tune on the radio, listening to music helps! Fair enough I’m on some mild pills now dread to think what happens when I stop these!! I should never be on pills in the first place and its all due to champix! I now look at it as life in general which does go up and down. Yes we did not want to be here but we are now so we got to fight it and be strong! We have just got to see for all the down and sadness we will be rewarded later with days of joy and happiness. Life balances itself out. Don’t worry about what your children will think of you I bet they will be none of the wiser. Your their mother they have unconditional love for you as you do for them. You will have and are due so much happiness so lets fight this out and trust me it will come. You take care!

  226. your so good with words .want to say thankyou for your encouragment it really does help. ive been a lot more posotive of late .im still doing my fitness which helps, infact i came first in running assasment in the runnning group ive joined,yip ee! im still very bitter towards my husband who stood by and watched me go int big black hole, my trust has gone.i know now that all i needed was someone to lean on,to take charge but i was just left.I feel a much stronger person now and if i can get through the champix ordel then i think i can cope with almost living my life for me and my children . ive started a course at work to become a fitness instructor and have got back into my swimming teaching so im all go at the moment. still on tablets have to go back to doc to get them changed next week,fingers crossed i dot slip back im on 30mg think doc wants to put me on lower dose.I IM STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE FIGHT. what tablets are you on ? have you got support from family? one thing i will thank champix for is my eyes have been opened to realise who in this world is there for me when the chips are down.think i may have become a bit selfish put myself first now,well after the children of course. you take care.

  227. hi paul you havent left a reply i often wounder how you are. would be so nice to hear from you

  228. Let me first say I’m not a smoker, never been addicted to anything in my life so don’t know how it feels going through the process. My husband and partner for the past 25 years recently started taking this drug to quit smoking. First 2 weeks there was no change, he stopped smoking soon after that and I though things were going well for him although he had mentioned some nausea, restless sleep and vivid dreams. The past 6 weeks though I have witnessed his personality completely change. He became anxious, frustrated, could not sit still, was aggressive to both myself and our children. He became very self conscious and did not trust anyone. His outbursts were unbearable, we got to the point where we would leave the room when he got home. I have to point out that you should not consume ANY alcohol while taking this as it definitely amplifies the negative feelings. I did begin to feel unsafe around him at times which is hard to acknowledge because he has always been a gentle, loving, caring partner and father. I decided I had to speak to him about the changes I had witnessed. Thankfully he also recognised and confessed he had been feeling depressed and worthless but wasn’t sure why or what to do about it. He stopped taking the tablets a week ago and I would say he seems to have calmed down but is not back to normal. My message would firstly be to those people who completely discount things that are mentioned on here just because it was not your experience doesn’t mean it isn’t real. i understand your skepticism but just be careful as your words may encourage someone else to ignore their issues. Secondly, to anyone who is trying to support a partner, sibling or friend etc going through quitting smoking with this drug, keep an eye on them, if you notice any changes pick the right time to speak to them about it. In our case it took me to point it out to him before something was done. I struggle to contemplate how bad things could have gotten if I hadn’t spoken up.

  229. Hi. I am on day 8 of taking Chantix. When I woke up this
    Morning I had a general feeling of something being
    “Off”. This afternoon I blew up at my husband, which
    Is something I’ve never done before. This evening
    I had the worst bout of depression I’ve felt in a very
    Long time. The only way to describe it is like this: it’s like
    There’s a huge vacuume on my head and it’s sucking
    All the happiness out of me. I’ve had bouts of nausea
    And major headaches if I slipped up and smoked.
    Tonight I took an Ativan so I can sleep and it seems
    To be somewhat counteracting the side effects from the Chantix.
    However I am a bit frightened. I am bi polar and I have
    Suffered from major depression for most of my life
    And was hospitalized once for suicidal ideation.
    If I keep taking this medication is that going to happen again?
    I mean… I’m finally to where I don’t want to smoke at all
    Tonight and so I’m worried if I stop the mean little pill
    Then I’ll keep smoking but on the other hand what’s going to
    Happen if I don’t stop taking it?? Just a side note I’m going in
    For knee surgery next week and so I can’t be 100% sure it’s the
    Chantix causing all these things as I am worried about
    The surgery. I see my doctor tomorrow and hopefully she will
    Have some answers for me

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