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Champix -A cautionary tale

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Hi all,

I was tipped off about Champix by my mum late last year who, having smoked 40-60 for 40+ years had been prescribed this new wonder drug and hadnt smoked for 2 months, so a couple of weeks before xmas i got a recomendation later from my local Stop smoking group for my GP.

I had already Googled Champix and found that in a minority of cases there had been feelings of depression and in extreme cases attempted/ actual suicide among other effects.

My GP seemed reluctant to prescribe and insisted that if I felt any side effects whatsover I was to stop taking the course immediately - which I took as him being a bit over-cautious as it seemed to me that these effects would only affect people who had either prone to or had a previous history of depression.

This couldn't possibly happen to me as I've always been a very positive, outgoing and level headed type. Not to mention that I also started a new job last november which is going really well, have no massive money worries, a beautiful 2yr old daughter and another baby due later this year.

I started the course of Champix a week before xmas - Day 8 was xmas day - so i picked the 27th Dec as my stop day although I started feeling that smoking was a waste of time and throwing away 1/2 smokied cigarettes from about the 23rd. I had also cut down from c.35 to 25/20/15 etc

Apart from a very occasional craving, which was fairly easily resisted, I have no interest in smoking whatsoever and have been recomending Champix to others.

Side effect wise, I noticed a very minor feeling of nausea just after taking the tablet and i wasn't sleeping quite as well as normal - sometimes waking up a couple of times in the night but these seemed a fairly small price to pay for a smoke free existance and could equally be put down to giving up nicotine as Champix.

So far so good, then on Monday it went very very wrong. I'd had a minor row indoors and sulked off to the pub on Sunday evening - not exactly a regular occurrance but something that will occasionally happen in any relationship. When i got back, we made up and all was ok. Seemingly.

When I woke up Monday it was as if a blck cloud had had descended. I called work with an excuse (odd in itself as i wouldnt normally go sick unless i was really ill, especially so soon after joining a new firm). Then deciding that i'd had enough, emptied all the tablets in our medicine cupboard into a plastic and stormed out of the house mid morning.

From here it gets a bit blurry, apparently i found a pub open and hit the double whiskies (i only ever drink lager with a lemonade top) for a couple of hours then found a quiet corner and swallowed all the tablets.

I must of "come to" because again apparently i called my partner, told her weher i was and what i'd done. So she called an ambulance.

By the time it arrived, i'd left the pub eventually to be found collapsed in my front garden around 2pm.

My partner has some medical experience and says it was almost like there 2 of me - one wanting to commit suicide and the "real" me trying to fight it and get help.

I'm now back at home, having had my stomach pumped and a psychiatric assessment (which could find no find reason at all for me to do this other possibly Champix).

Obviously i'm not taking Champix any more, and have only had 2-3 cigarettes in the last few days (it has been just bit stressful) but i'm now going to give by willpower alone.


All I can say is that Champix definately works in terms of giving up but be careful as the warnings are there for a very real reason.


I've also done a bit more research into Champix (Chantix in the US) and it seems this is more common that Pfizer are letting on - googling "Champix+suicidal" or "chantix+legal" will give a you a better idea.



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  • 1 year later...

Hi there, I too have had a really bad couple of weeks. I started taking Champix about 6 weeks ago, started off brilliantly, as you say i felt sick just after taking the tablet and had very vivid dreams and didnt sleep aswell, again i thought small price to pay in order to give up smoking. the last couple of weeks , week 5 and 6 have been awful, ive been feeling like i am on the brink of having a nervous breakdown, i got extremely drunk last friday night, cannot remember a thing about the night, scared myself to death, i have been drunk before, but never as bad as i was last friday. i havnt been able to cope with the pressure at work and called in sick the other day as i fell over on the way to work and just couldnt handle it, i've been crying continuously and have had very depressed thoughts, have not been able to concentrate at work either,, not quite suicidal, but getting there. I also stopped taking champix immediately and i am feeling better.I would not recommened this drug, it completely messes with your mind.

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  • 1 month later...

I also had to stop taking Champix after a few weeks. I've never suffered with depression before (only alcoholic induced depression; but I've recovered from that a long time ago), but I did with Champix.


I found myself sitting on the sofa for two days, not wanting to get off it, not wanting to mix or talk to anyone; I was very out of character and my Missis strongly suggested I stop taking the tablets.


I did.

Data Protection Act sent to Barclays Bank 15 May 06.


Bank statements received 9 May 06. Owed £610 in charges and £31.96 in interest.


Prelim letter sent 15 Jun 06.


Letter Before Action sent 26 Jun 06.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 11 months later...

I had a very bad experience on champix, my Dr proscribed the drug without looking into my medical history i had previously been diagnosed with depression but after reading the notes acompanying the drug i decided i felt ok and was desperate to give up smoking after 30+ years however i i had very bad sleep patterns and was always tired usualy only getting around 2 to 3 hours sleep a night i became moody and the mood swings became more and more heated halfway through week 12 i found out my long term partner was cheating on me and i withdrew into a quiet moody shell very depressed and lethargic, at work id snap and shout totally out of charicter for me, on the 7th day i was on the verge of suicide but instead turned my anger towards my partner who didnt know i knew about her affairs she was shocked and angry shouting at me and im ashamed to admit i slapped her accross the face, i am now in the proccess of being prossicuted for assault and ive lost a woman i love my house my friends and family i'm still very depressed and having suicidal thoughts, my ex wife from before has made a statement to the affect that even though she cheated on me too after 12 years of marriage it was totaly out of charictor for me as i never ever raised a finger to her in all the 12 years and im not a violent person, i whole heartedly believe i would never have lost my temper to that affect had it not been for the side affects of the champix, My Dr has supplied my solicitor with my medical records with verification to my depression the paperwork supplied with the drug clearly states that it should not be proscribed to anybody with a history of depression, i know i will have to plead guilty to the assault and as a result i will also loose my job as well as loosing my partner and family, but does anyone think i have sufficiant evidence to sue the NHS for proscribing them in the first place and if so how do i go about it on a low budget?

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