Chantix & side effects - blech!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    So, it's going great as far as not smoking...been 3 weeks and I feel good about that. Strangely, my asthma has gotten worse since I stopped smoking, so I am not really understanding that so much. :frown:

    But the side effects of taking the chantix are really stinking! I get this internal BUZZ going that makes me feel like I'm shaking out of my own body :blizzard:. When I take it I immediately become nauseated :ill:. I meam, nauseated to the point of almost puking. So, I decided that since it was working well, I would only take it at night so that when I became nauseated, I would be sleeping and not notice. And that's when the sleeping issues started. I am exhausted :bloodshot: and pass out when I lie down, but then I'm up at 2, 3, 4, and then when my alarm goes off at 6:30 I just want to smash it against the wall, so I hit snooze and drag my rear end out of bed by 7:15, which only leaves me about 45 minutes to get ready for work, slug down a cup of joe :coffee:, and have my protein shake. I am lucky if I make it work on time most mornings. And my kids are grown - I should be able to get to work well before or at least on time!! :geek:

    And the other side effect that has really been stinking is that, ahem, I hate saying this, but I can't GO <insert embarrassed face here>. I mean, you know, I can't GO Numero Dos without taking something. It's like everything came to a screeching halt and my stomach becomes bloated and uncomfortable. I have been taking Cal-Mag nightly to help and it does, but instead of taking the usual amount, I am taking double! You would think the Magnesium aspect would help with the sleep, huh? No.

    So, since I was never a real smoker to begin with (maybe a pack a week), I am thinking that since its been 3 weeks, maybe I am over the hump and can stop taking the chantix? Anyone?? Ideas welcome. I am so afraid that I will give into "just one" and then I will be back at square one again. Aargh, this bites. :grrr:
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    DF started Chantix about two 1/2 weeks ago -

    He is getting some very horrible side effects - like the asthma you described and to HIM I said :

    You have pumped and sucked nicotine and crud into your lungs for how many years and when you stop or lessen smoking the little vili in your lungs will start to heal but will HAVE to rid themselves of the horrid mucous lining that has been your lungs for years. So short of coughing up a lung - be happy - it's lung revenge.

    And then as far as the "cant go"
    Another side effect. To which I said "You have made your body breath that nasty stuff for years and years, and now it's going "OH nice- just stop smoking on me" then the body says "I'll show YOU who's boss, I want a cigarette and life will go back to "normal".
    This is your body's way of saying I miss the nicotine. And truly you find out which organ is the boss. You need more fiber.

    The puking? I would say it's your body getting used to the chemicals in Chantix that get rid of the nicotine. He's barfed every time there was an increase in dosage - down for the day. With flu like symptoms.

    Today is his last day of cigarettes. We had a "brownie" celebration of the purchase of the last pack of cigs. He's smoked for 40 years. Since he was 11 or so. (I know I nearly died too)

    I told HIM that the chemicals he has put into his body all these years were worse coming OUT than going in - but it would be shorter to get rid of these chemicals (time wise) than it was to muck up his body (40 years) so tough it out, :censored2: it up and deal with it - no one ever said getting healthy after you've abused yourself was easy.

    If you feel like backsliding - call your local Red Cross agency and ask them for pictures of lungs that have smoked 20, 15, 40 years - THAT will make you puke for sure. I'll see if I can find the ones I sent my sister (the radiologist) DUH!

    Hope you feel better - stick with it - it will be worth it!!!

    Former smoker, clean and smokeless 7 years in March

  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Jo, I don't know if this helps but when I quit smoking I had many of the same side effects you are describing, and I didn't use medications at all (at the time, neither Chantix nor Zyban was available, and the patch was not covered under my health insurance so I couldn't afford it).

    I was nauseated, had the shakes, and developed a very nasty cough that I never had when I was smoking. And I was terribly...umm...bound up.

    The good news is, after about 3 or 4 weeks, all of the nasty physical symptoms cleared up. I started to feel much better, could breathe freely, no longer felt dizzy all the time...

    The two strangest changes...
    1) My voice, speaking and singing, went up an entire register. I didn't realize just how badly the smoking affected my vocal chords
    2) My skin completely changed colour. I used to have a yellow undertone. Then one day, about 2 weeks after quitting, I looked in the mirror and had a rosy glow in my cheeks for the first time since I was a child. Amazing.

    Best of luck with your quitting and keep up the good work. This will pass, and it's all worth it.
  5. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I had some interesting body changes when I quit a couple years ago. I quit :blizzard: :thanksgiving2:.

    So it takes awhile for the body to get used to the changes. In fact as the weather changes I still have breathing wierdness (not sick just wird things) every once in a while now. It takes time.

  6. Star*

    Star* call 911


  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I have read about people having very strange dreams while taking Chantix. It does affect sleep for some people.

    As far as the other problem, Calcium can have that effect on people, too. Maybe try taking just extra Magnesium until you stop taking the Chantix.

    Stick with it! You'll be glad in the long run.

  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Beth - I loved the :blizzard: :thanksgiving2: reference - pee my pants funny! :rofl:

    Thanks everyone. I am sticking with it, just wanted to hear from others and their experiences. The side effects listed for Chantix are all that I am experiencing, but it's kind of good to hear that it may also be from nothing other than withdrawal.

    Wonderful. :slap: How excellent to know that only 2-4 cigarettes a day can cause such grief! :smirk:
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Some of this may be nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

    My cousin insists her withdrawal symptoms included hallucinations when she quit smoking. Sounded extreme to me, but knowing how drugs impact individuals differently, I have no reason to not believe her.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Chantix also has a side effect of vivid dreams and nightmares - scary, creepy, strange. I have had those as well.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow Jo!

    You certainly are getting your fair share of the side effects! :frown:

    I had the nausea, and discovered eating just a little something when I took it helped some. I had trouble concentrating, but heck that could've been from quitting and had nothing to do with the medication itself. lol

    For me, that was it. Which is good cuz with other stuff that way I've had allergic reactions.

    Decreasing the dose hasn't helped?

    If that's all you smoked before starting the chantix, heck, I'd try doing without and seeing how you do. If it doesn't work you can always start taking it again.

  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The vivid dreams and sleep issues are also listed with the patch, so I think that's normal. When I used the patch, I didn't wear it at night because of the nightmares. It's an odd side effect, eh? But risperdal lists nightmares as a side effect and I had them with risperdal, too, and I was only taking .5mg once a day so I figure I'm just susceptible to that particular side effect. Kind of odd because I normally don't have nightmares.

    As far as the lungs, I coughed more after I quit than when I smoked and so has everyone I've known. I think it's the lungs healing themselves and getting rid of all that gunk.

    For the intestinal disturbance, try that Senna laxative thing. I've always been very sensitive and couldn't take it, but when I had that hematoma in my abdomen this spring I used it and it did not cause cramping or any other problems. And it worked fast compared to the others....4 hours.

    For the nausea, can your doctor call in a nausea medication that you can take at the same time? They're pretty benign (or that's my understanding). I had to take an antibiotic earlier this year that was not supposed to cause nausea but of course did with me and so I took it and a nausea medication at the same time. Problem solved.

    Just try to remember how much good you're doing for your body...even though it doesn't feel like that at all now.
  13. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I didn't have any of those side effects with Chantix but I did have really weird, scary, vivid dreams.
    The asthma may be from your lungs cleaning themselves out... would be my guess anyway.

    It may not even be the Chantix causing the tummy and nausea issues. It may just be your body adjusting to not having nicotine.

    I take that back, I did get nauseous if I took it without food or milk. Make sure you eat before taking it. There's no way I could take it at night. I was too wired on it.

    Might even try not taking it anymore. You weren't a very heavy smoker.

    Good luck being smoke free! :flower:

  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    :blizzard: :thanksgiving2:
    ROFLMAO! Me, too! I went cold turkey on Nov 25th last year. Almost one year!

    The only thing that happened to me (I think it is from not smoking) is some anxiety that I noticed about 6 months after quitting. It may have started right after quitting, but I did not notice it until then. It is getting better now.

    I have a friend that cleared her throat for about 3 years after quitting. It annoyed the heck out of her!

    I say go for it without the medication! If you REALLY want to quit - you will.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Remember y'all, nicotine addiction is supposed to be as hard to break as cocaine addiction, or harder.

    Your body has had this chemical as part of its natural workings for a long time. It will react to not having something it thinks it needs.

    I am sorry it is so rough. If your doctor can call in phenergan or another antinausea medication, go for it. It can't be as bad for you as nicotine.

    I am rooting for all of you!!!

    Busy, WAY TO GO!!! Almost a YEAR!!! That is wonderful!!!!

  16. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    too quit smoking using Chantix, my year will be up in Feb. I only took it for one month and had no problem with it at all. This is my third and last quit, I know this for sure.

    Early on, I made sure that I was not around cigarettes at all. I usually wasn't anyway, but didn't want any temptations. I seemed to notice all the people smoking in their cars, never really paid attention to that until I quit. And, I really noticed the cigarettes at the grocery store while checking out AND especially if I happened to see the kind I used to smoke. This past Oct. my husband and I went to a casino. I didn't give it much thought until we entered the place. WOW WEEEEEE! I do believe that every single person except my husband and I were smoking. I wondered how I would feel and if I would feel tempted. I sat right next to people smoking away and was fine. I allowed myself to wonder one time what it would be like to smoke "JUST ONE" when I saw "MY" cigarettes in a vending machine for just a nano second. I decided I never wanted to go thru the quit process again and dismissed the idea. I had lunch last week with an old friend that I hadn't seen for a couple of years. Guess what? She still smoked and we drove in her car. I wasn't tempted, nor horribly bothered. I know I'll never smoke again and I don't have do be a nasty ex-smoker either! YEA ME! I am really proud of myself for finally getting to this point. :smile: Chantix was very helpful to me.

    A couple of months ago, I faced a couple of fears that I had. I went to a cardiologist and had my heart thoroughly checked out and then had all kinds of lung tests. So far, so good. I have been lucky.

    Keep up the good work everyone!
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Congrats to all of you who have made it! I'm so happy for you!

    I only smoked this way for about 2 years, since difficult child's assault, and was smoke free for almost 18 years prior! And before that I only smoked part time, when out with friends at a I know I can do it. The only reason I chose to take the chantix is because unlike the other times I quit, this time I found it more difficult because I actually enjoyed the break that smoking affords. I am replacing that cigarette break with other types of breaks such as taking the pups for a walk or just lying on the couch for a few moments when I get home from work before delving into the dinner hour. It's different but nice. It's difficult to be around difficult child after she and her friends share a cigarette on the patio, but I remind myself that those are her choices and this is mine and I seem to be okay. I notice I'm chewing less gum and I can freely kiss H when I want to without worrying if I have cigarette breath, which is very nice. When I get the urge to have one I just think of that and how disappointing it would be for H and easy child if I started again (difficult child couldn't care less) and I'm also hoping that my quitting will help give difficult child the incentive to quit as well!

    momof3 - thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Have a good one, everyone.