*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.*
This is a serious warning: because of the comments that have come in so far over Champix, and because of the growing incidence of suicides linked to Champix (Don’t take my word – Google it: Champix suicides) I believe that anyone who wants help to stop smoking should look into this very carefully before agreeing to try this medication. Don’t just assume that if your doctor seems unconcerned then it must be all right, or you may be taking more of a risk than you realise.
It appears that there are still a lot of doctors who just assume that if a medication has been given an official stamp of approval, then it should be okay. Certainly their own backside is covered as long as they are prescribing within the guidelines, so when they prescribe this stuff they are not taking any kind of a risk, but you could be. The drug companies certainly don’t seem to be worried if medications harm or kill people, because it has previously been very difficult in practice for victims or their families to sue drug companies anyway. Nevertheless, Pfizer are now facing legal actions over Champix, which they will no doubt hope to confound by creating confusion over exactly what causes the suicides.
Clearly there are big differences in the way people react to Champix which strongly suggest that although it might turn out to be safe enough for some, the side effects for others are obviously alarming and potentially dangerous, as the warning not to drive whilst taking it shows for a start. The effects of this medication are unpredictable, and it doesn’t seem to be scoring a very high long-term success-rate anyway, so it probably isn’t worth the risk.
Don’t just swallow the lame argument that smoking is riskier, those aren’t the only options. There are good quit methods widely available that involve no risk: hypnotherapy and acupuncture, the Allen Carr method and other non-drug approaches all have good track records, and hypnotherapy is the best when it is done properly. You don’t need to just take my word for that, read the evidence here on this site, read the book, check out all the references, see if I’m not right. If you have doubts or fears about hypnotherapy, those will be groundless in reality: go to www.centralhypnotherapy.com and find out what it’s really all about.
Finally, I’m not saying “Don’t take Champix”, I’m just saying it is safer to read around first, and consider all the options. I don’t believe the medical profession are being careful enough about this, I think many doctors are just thinking about the smoking issue and assuming any side effects are “worth the risk”. But are patients being properly informed about the nastier and more dangerous side-effects now coming to light? Are doctors being properly informed? How many doctors are aware that hypnotherapy is more successful anyway, and without risk or side-effects? How many of them have bought the official line that it’s “unproven”?
Check your medical history: hypnotherapy was officially approved by both the British and American Medical Associations as a valid therapeutic method over half a century ago. That was when they still had real integrity, before those authorities became like the ventriloquist dolls of the pharmaceutical industry. Now those authorities routinely suggest that hypnotherapy is “unproven” as a method of smoking cessation. Liars. Hypnotherapy is more proven now than it has ever been, and we don’t poison anyone.
*If you are involved in the prescribing of Champix/Chantix, and you think I am wrong to be concerned about that medication, post a reply. Have your say.
**To see the earlier posts on Champix and read the comments posted so far, click the Blog Category Champix/Chantix on the right of the page.