I smoked for 39 years. The last 2 years I was up to 2 packs a day. I tried quitting with nicotine gum. That did not work – as soon as I stopped chewing I wanted a smoke, my blood pressure sky rocketed, I was meaner than a junk yard dog, and I gained 35 pounds in the 7 months that I was off cigarettes.
My doctor recommended Chantix. I used it and the on-line support system Pfizer has (pathetic) for 6 months. It is 9 months later and I am still smoke free. I don’t crave cigarettes. I am very happy to be a NON-SMOKER – something I never thought I would be.
However, the side effects are nasty and persistent. Some of them, had I known in advance, would have definitely made me turn down Chantix. I understand doctors want people to quit smoking (I don’t buy the attitude that the side effects of smoking out weigh all other risk factors) but I feel warnings are appropriate so consumers can make a more informed choice.
The nausea, gas, and headaches were tolerable. The dreams were/are vivid and at times frightening. BUT I have other serious side effects that I could have avoided. My doctor always stated that his goal was to put all tobacco/cigarette manufacturers out of business. He was aware of my pre-existing conditions: panic disorder, anxiety, and osteoporosis. I wasn’t told about any side effects that could exacerbate these conditions and I am having serious difficulties. I have developed fibromyalgia, severe dry mouth, serious depression with suicidal ideation, skin rashes, extreme fatigue, and sleep disorders.
Yes, I am a non-smoker and I have no desire to light up. However, the quality of my life has not improved.
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