The ‘Benefits’ of Champix (Champix Chantix 8)

*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.*

Patricia McLinden (Renfrewshire, Scotland): “Brian was a quiet guy who lived for his wife and daughter… he loved the wild life, he kept falcons, birds of prey and gun dogs… he was a free man who loved life… then that changed… this drug must be stopped, I will do everything in my power to stop it… I’ve told you my story as best I could through my tears, Chris can you edit my story and make it clearer? You can use my real name Patricia McLinden, I’ve nothing to lose. I’ve lost my diamond my luvvy Brian… 26 years we were together…I’m broken now.”

Pfizer continue to market Champix aggressively

In the post below this one, a Pfizer spokeswoman is quoted as suggesting that the benefits of Champix “outweigh the risks”.

I refute that, first on the basis that the “benefits” being suggested – up to 50% success – are sheer hype, the real long-term outcome being about 14% success, which is rubbish. Secondly because the damage being done by Champix (Chantix in the U.S.) goes largely unreported, as was very nearly the case with Patricia McLinden’s story.

UNTOLD Misery Caused By Champix

As far as Pfizer is concerned, if a case of Champix side effects causing harm or death isn’t actually reported through the official channels, then IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. They know perfectly well that a certain proportion of bereaved spouses or family members won’t even know that their loved one was taking medication, and even the ones that do may well not realise that it can cause that kind of harm. So that’s two batches of victims for which Pfizer will never have to answer, and when the drug is being monitored for risk, none of that will be taken into account.

In all processes of risk assessment, the only data that will ever be considered is the data which passes through the official channels of complaint against the medication. Yet the drug company know that many people who suffer side effects do not realise they are caused by Champix, or even that they ARE side effects. Brian’s case demonstrates just how tragic this can be, because it is the mind that is affected so he couldn’t assess himself, and Patricia had no idea that Champix – which is, after all, an ‘approved’ medication – could change someone’s personality so rapidly, especially since he had taken it before:

“My husband started taking Champix last year, then came off them because they made him feel sick, bad nightmares… sleep was so bad. March 2010 he started taking them again. I noticed a change in him, I said: “Brian, what’s wrong? You’re so moody and grumpy!” He said he was tired. I said: “It’s your job, with the heavy work”, but he still woke up in the middle of the night, going to the bathroom then downstairs for a cig. On April 8th I came home from work, Brian was not himself. I said: “What’s up luvvy?” He said “I’m tired”, then went to bed. April 9th he phoned his work, said he was not going in and was taking a week’s holiday. Friday was a lovely day so I said “Let’s go out”, but he would not…

“10th April Brian went out for a walk with the dogs. He was away for hours, so I went to look for him. I found him wandering the fields with his dog and his gun… Saturday night Brian took his Champix after dinner… [Editor: N.B. this clearly indicates that neither of them suspected the medication at all, even at this point in developments] …watched TV, he was very quiet. Then things went wrong: he was a bit on edge, so I said “What’s up luvvy, tell me please, Brian!” He said “It’s okay Trish, I’m fine.”

“11th April: 10.30 am Brian went out with the dogs. He phoned me every hour, saying he loved me, he’s sorry for ruining my life… I said “I’m driving to come and get you,” but he said “No”. He was not Brian on the phone, paranoid about stuff, talking rubbish… so I phoned the police. He texted me “I LOVE YOU”… then he shot himself at 2.45 pm 11th April 2010.”

Pfizer, your lousy medication has no benefits that outweigh these risks, you ruthless, heartless, money-grabbing bastards. If I were that spokesperson, and I read this account I would quit my post immediately, and do some sort of penance, for fear that I would never sleep peacefully again.

Two Further Chances for the Story to Remain Untold

Patricia first contacted me through the “Contact Us” email facility on the Truth Will Out site, but as I get quite a lot of marketing spam through that, my spam filter had chucked it into the Junk Mail file and I hadn’t noticed. Once I picked it up, I began an email exchange and at some point I asked Patricia at what point did she make the connection with Champix? Obviously she might never have done, just as I might never have noticed her email in the junk file. She said that after Brian’s death she received an email “from his friend in the USA asking me about him taking Champix, then it just hit me. I read the information about it, and found that that was the cause of his behaviour.”

In the USA, the Champix Experiment has been going on for a few years now, they’re a bit ahead of us. The first Champix-related death to hit the headlines in the USA was that of Carter Albrecht which happened in 2007. That tragedy, and all those that have followed have (mysteriously) done nothing to prevent country after country “approving” this largely useless and completely unpredictable drug.

To Any Skeptics

If you have stumbled upon this and are inclined to think that this is just one case, and therefore inconclusive, please read all the comments that have followed all the posts that touch on the subject of Champix published on this site, then look at all the other Champix horror stories on the ‘net. I believe you will see a pattern forming.

Patricia emailed me today : “I will never settle in my life until this drug is stopped… Chris thank you so much for all your help. Please put my real name, and my late husband. Let me know if there is anything more I can do to get this evil drug stopped.”

Now stop it from happening in New Zealand too

To all the smokers in New Zealand: After first deciding not to fund this drug with public money in your country, on the grounds that it was not safe and there was no real evidence it worked any better (in terms of long-term outcomes, the only ones that count) than nicotine gum, Pharmac have mysteriously done an about face and “cautiously” approved it. Pharmac: That is the most inappropriate use of the word “cautiously” I have ever encountered. To approve this drug at this point in the horror story looks more like corruption than caution, so before this actually gets rolled out as a sickening reality in November, you’d better think again before this tragedy is replayed in your own land in loving, happy family homes.

Doctors: don’t prescribe it. It’s bloody dangerous, and not just to people who have had depression before, it’ll fry anyone’s brains, apparently at random. Do you want to do that to a family on your books?

Drug Approval Bodies in every country in the world: we’re watching. We’re waiting. We’re counting. Please tells us: How many victims like Brian and Patricia do you require, exactly, before you rescind the Champix Licence-To-Print-Money-And-Kill-Innocent-People?

Smokers, non-smokers – all NORMAL people: please use the internet to pass this story on. It will SAVE LIVES… and it is the only possible comfort we can offer Patricia.

In loving memory of Brian McLinden.

safer alternative


21 thoughts on “The ‘Benefits’ of Champix (Champix Chantix 8)”

  1. No.1: Good idea. In my earlier blog post “Champix Chantix 7 – Unite The Blogs” I suggested that this was the next stage, let’s all get together and speak as one.

    No.2: Thanks Bel. Quite apart from Truth Will Out (which is really about NRT) and f2c, this Champix madness has got to be stopped. Yesterday morning as I was reading through Patricia’s emails telling the whole story, I was just sobbing. I’ve been a therapist for ten years, I’ve heard a lot of sad stories but the thing that really ripped me up about this one is that Champix should never have been approved in the UK anyway – or Canada, or Australia. They already knew there had been suicides in the U.S. It should have been delayed pending further investigations and if it had, Brian would still be alive and well.

    Now they want to go ahead and do the same thing to New Zealanders? For a lousy 14% success rate?

    This has to be stopped. Please help. Anybody. Blog this, tweet it, Facebook it Digg it …. ANYTHING. Please help.

  2. I was given champic back in may, I was warned it could give me suicidal thoughts so my question then was ‘will I know that I am having them so as not to commit suicide’ ‘Yes’ was the reply from my doctor. Three weeks later I woke up in intensive care after three nights. I had taken what should have been a lethal overdose, only I had sent a text to someone who had called my daughter with concerns. When I was found I was already unconscious. I did not have a clue when I awoke in hospital what I was there for? After I was discharged, my daughter hated me for taking an overdose and many friends are looking at me with a different outlook. I nearly lost my life and I have definatly lost family and friends over this. In the long and short of it, I nearly killed myself trying to save myself from dying of smoke related illnesses.

  3. Fiona…I know. Believe me, I KNOW how you feel/felt. I, too, ended up in a coma and woke up 6 days later in ICU when being taken off the vent. My married daughters, husband, and grandchildren, hated me, too. Shoot, I hated me!! I had no idea I was going to take over 240 sleeping pills and cut myself up w/razors…write short note…and be found on a Used Car Dealer parking lot 12 hours later.

    Black box, purple box…doesn’t matter. This drug has GOT to be pulled off the market. It’s so sneaky. It distorts your mind completely, slowly & thoroughly. This drug w/own you once it’s in your system. Only God knows how/where you’ll land. Please…believe me. I’ve nothing to gain by lying. I’m trying to save ANYone from trodding thru …the same depths of Hell I did. Inhibitions, second thoughts, lucidity, common sense, emotions up/down…GONE…absolutely GONE. Save yourself…before it’s too late.

  4. just read your letter about brian.Im just at the end of my fith week of taking Champax three more weeks to go on the cource three more minuets to finish this letter then there goin down the toilet where they belong.

  5. Hello,
    I am shocked! never knew of this drug before today.
    Attended NHS Stop Smoking Programme and was given a prescription to leave with my doctor.
    I suffer with ME and mild depression….This is not for me!…..Thankyou.

  6. You’re very welcome, Claire.

    The NHS Stop Smoking Services should be scrapped entirely, but not just because they are handing out suicide pills without proper warnings. They should be scrapped because their true performance is no different from willpower alone and they cost the taxpayer a fortune.

    The Borland Report, commissioned by the Department of Health in the U.K. looked at smokers’ outcomes after 1 year specifically to compare the results GPs got as opposed to those achieved through the NHS Stop Smoking Services. They found that the Services produced a “success” rate of 6.5%, whereas the GPs only managed 2.6%.

    Both pretty pathetic, I thin k you’ll agree. But when you add in the fact that the largest ever meta-analysis of various quit methods, which was carried out by the University of Iowa in 1992, found that the figure for willpower alone was 6% anyway, it becomes obvious that huge amounts of taxpayers’ money is being gifted to drug companies despite the fact that they are known to be FAILING to improve on the willpower figure in actual, long-term outcomes.

    The NHS is desperately short of cash. This charade has been inexcusable ever since the Borland Report was published, but it must be bordering on criminal now, as that cash could be used for kidney dialysis machines, more cancer screening or whatever is being skimped to swell the coffers of global drug giants.

    Now consider this question: If all those millions were currently being spent, not on Champix and NRT but on some form of alternative or complementary approach to smoking, and a review discovered it had a 94% failure rate – how quickly would the government pull the plug on that? I’d just like the Department of Health to explain why that sort of blindingly obvious decision-making apparently doesn’t apply in the case of pharmaceutical companies? And then perhaps explain how long we are expected to tolerate this kind of blatant corruption?

  7. I stumbled upon this website after googling champix and suicide thoughts. I knew the risks but I thought it wont happen to me. It hasn’t yet and I’m ending my 3rd week of the 12 week course. I feel really low. This morning has been the worst so far. I’m normally a happy married man, who’s better half always asks me to be serious ‘cos I’m always havin’ a laugh. But I got a cloud hanging over me and it wont go away. I want to stop smoking as an example to my 19 year old son who has started. His younger 12 year old brother doesnt like me smoking so I’m doing it for them both. Please help me. I dont want to waken up in hospital or worse…….

  8. Steve, the medical advice is to stop taking the drug immediately if there are mood or personality changes that are out of character. The long-term success rate of Champix is nothing like the hype anyway, it’s only about 14%.

    There are much safer and more successful ways of quitting: hypnotherapy, the original Allen Carr book and acupuncture to name but three. But first, get yourself back to normal, don’t take risks with your mental health, that certainly won’t benefit your family or yourself.

    Already I have a backlog of reports about Champix that I haven’t had time to put up on the site yet. I believe that this is only the beginning, and once it becomes common knowledge how unpredictable this drug really is, all the cases that have so far gone unreported because the people affected didn’t realise the Champix connection will all come to the fore and I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns into the biggest legal and public backlash against a pharmaceutical company – and the medical profession – that has ever happened.

    They knew. Way back in 2007, they knew there were serious adverse reactions. It should never have been approved in the U.K., in Canada, in Australia, and certainly not (as it just has been, last month) in New Zealand. Pfizer’s callous remark that “the benefits outweigh the risks” will come back to haunt them.

  9. gonna make this brief because i no longer want to communicate with anyone that i dont have 2. I took champix 4 close to 5wks before almost losing my family. i promised i’d get professional help from a shrink, and that i’d stop taking the pills. i’ve been off it now for 10days and things have gotten much worse. my favorite is the suddenly crying 4 no reason a couple times a day. my 2ndfavorite is not feeling the need to go 2 work ever again. or maybe driving at 2am down the highway in a blizzard, in my pajamas to rescue my sister from the evil doctors 450kms away. the list keeps growing. thanks 2 this site i know now that im not alone in my fight 4 sanity. Fuck Champix.

  10. Anyone undecided? Click on the blog category “Champix Chantix” in the column on the right of the page, and scroll through to see how many posts there have been on this subject so far, and note the number of comments following each.

    Some of those comments are mine, so feel free to ignore all that if you only want to know about the experiences Champix users have had.

    Then check out the post “Champix Chantix Reviews, Reactions, Depression and Side Effects” for a list of links to other blogs where you can find the same kind of evidence: long lists of comments that generally tell of nightmare experiences.

    So what are we to make of this? Well, whatever you do, don’t fall for the hype. Firstly, Champix does NOT have a 44% success rate, it’s about 14% when we see the results at one year. Frankly, that’s rubbish. And secondly, it is NOT a simple choice between Champix or lung cancer, that is a moronic suggestion but we keep on hearing it. Think how many millions of people – including myself – successfully quit smoking before Champix was released on an unsuspecting world. There are numerous ways to quit that do not involve risking your sanity or your life.

    Shaun, you are NOT alone, far from it. Please hang on in there and thank you for your valuable contribution. It could save lives. If you feel like getting back in touch anytime later, please do. We wish you a full recovery and in the meantime, the battle to get Champix withdrawn goes on.

    If anyone reading this wants to help, please spread the word – Facebook it, tweet it, anything. It all helps.

  11. its now bee 18 days since i stopped taking that garbage called Champix, and i’m feeling much more “myself” provided i dont leave my house. work put me on short term dissability, and my family is still afraid of me. temper flare-ups are too common, rarely warranted, and potentielly dangerous. When i leave the house i get the shakes and can hardly put a sentance together. my shrink thinks i should have “weened” myself off Champix instead of just stopping. Should i take a pill from time to time?

  12. Hi Shaun, thanks for getting back to us. Since you are improving already I would just carry on as you are. The shrink is speculating, and is suggesting that the only reason your reaction was that bad was because of what you decided to do! RUBBISH! This drug has done even worse to others before they stopped taking it, it is NOT because you stopped suddenly.

    This is absolutely typical, blame the patient. The medical profession generally have an instict to close ranks and try to blame anyone but themselves. I know he/she wasn’t the prescriber in this case, but still the professional instinct is to defend professional ‘expertise’ by blaming the patient in some way. This is exactly what Pfizer keep trying to do, by suggesting that if anyone freaks out and kills themselves, they must have been unstable in the first place. Liars.

    The only way to fight back that will ever count for anything is to: a). make sure it gets officially reported, then b). research your legal position because there are going to be class actions over this killer drug, and you won’t be on your own if you decide to sue.

  13. hi
    i decided to stop smoking two weeks ago after a long period of thinking it was the best thing to do, i have known of several people who have given up on champix, didnt really have a bad experiance and are still smoke free so i thought it was my best option. im quiet a strong person, pretty relaxed and dont really let things get to me… untill two weeks ago!!

    i went to smoke stop and told them i wanted to go on champix and they sent a letter to the doctor, two days later i had these wonder pills to help me on a smoke free path.. and i wish i hadnt bothered!! in the first few days i felt like i was so high and energised it was fantastic. Then came the lows, i also had a psychotic moment that lasted four hours and if anyone would have been near me i may have done something i would have severlly regretted. also the amount of people that have said i have changed and not for the better is growing by the day, my lows have been so much that at points ending things would have been far better than to feel the way i did again. tomorrow i am supposed to be picking up my second pack and have decided not too before the damage is unrepairable…..just a note for you people who think they might want to try this, think very carefully as i certainly wouldnt reccomend it to anyone,you take this mind bending drug and your life is in god knows whose hands but your mind will not be your own whilst taking it. i thought id be ok how wrong was i!!!!!

  14. I’ve been on Champix for 9 days now and have not had any of these side effects nor was I warned about suicidal tendencies. I’ve almost stopped smoking altogether now and have at least 4 friends who have taken Champix and only reported feeling nauseaus and weird dreams. I too have had slight nausea but have been sleeping well. My friends continue not to smoke and only have praise for Champix.

  15. Thank you so much, I do believe you have saved my life… I read your story about Brian and I could just cry for your loss. I am feeling the same symptoms as most of you and I’ve only been on them for 5 days! This is awful and I can’t believe this crap is still on the market!

  16. Up until three months ago my 64 year old brother-in-law was a fit man who NEVER had cause to see a doctor/hospital although he happily smoked ever since he was a teenager.

    In November 2011 – regrettably at MY suggestion – he started taking Champix in order to kick the habit. He did.

    Six months later he became unusually quiet, his whole body went limb, his speech becase slurred and could not breathe. He was immediately rushed to hospital and was wired up to all sorts of equipment. He had to have a tracheotomy, he caught MRSA and was diagnoned with a small lump at the back of his neck (cancer) which apparently interfered with his neurological system thus making it difficult to move his arms and legs. He was booked to have 15 sessions of radiotherapy. At the 9th session he had a cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for 25 minutes. He was brought round only to die a few days later.

  17. Phaedra, much as I hate Champix, I am pretty sure that his death was not caused by it. I’ve been collecting feedback on the side effects of this drug for four years, and I’ve heard of A LOT of different adverse reactions, but I have never heard of a single case of it triggering cancer. That is not to say it is impossible, but just about every other side effect has been confirmed by the same thing happening to other people, so unless we start hearing of more cases, I think you can rest easy that your suggestion – which was well-meant, anyway – did not lead to that outcome, cancer did. We don’t even know if that was caused by smoking, we just know it is far, far more likely than the tiny possibility that it was caused by Champix. The fact is, you helped him to stop smoking. Neither you or Champix was responsible for what happened after that, I’m sure.

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