Discussions By Condition: Pain

Chantix & Severe Upper Abdominal Pain- HELP!

Posted In: Pain 37 Replies
  • Posted By: Soon2bEyeDr
  • May 29, 2007
  • 06:52 PM

Hello everyone! I'm new to this board, but have a pressing question.

I recently started taking Chantix to help stop smoking. I've smoked on and off for about 4 years. It is not the urge to smoke that keeps me lighting up, but the stress and hostility that I exhibit to others that has me reaching for the cool menthol and matches.

About six days ago I asked my doctor about Chantix because I heard that it helps control this anxiety and anger. He gave me a perscription and warned me that it was expensive and I could experience some mild nausea. I walked out of the doctor's office happy and with barley controlled excitment that my miracle pill may have been found.

Fast forward to day two on the medicine. Doing fine the .5mg and can already feel a decrease in my need to smoke. I'm still very happy.

Press fast forward again to day four. I took my last dose of .5mg for the day (you take it twice a day) and I'm feeling sick as dog. Muscle pain, sore throat, flu like symptoms, extreme upper adominal pain, and a distended stomach. I'm scared to death, but refuse to quit taking it at this point.

Day six. I'm now in agony, I can barely stand without my upper stomach feeling as though it will burst; it's as though someone is inflating a ballon and at any minute it will pop. My muscle pain is worse (although less bothersome than the abdominal pain), and a fever is spreading through my body. I did not experience naseau until this morning, but anytime I try to eat or take advil I feel though I could hug the porcaline goddess until noon tomorrow.

I'm too scared to call my doctor, I do not want my potential golden pill taken away, I believe that, perhaps, the symptoms will abate. However, at the same time, I'm afraid I'm inflicting permenate self damage onto myself.

:confused:My question is: has anyone else experienced this and what did you do? Does anyone have any advice? I've searched the internet for possible answers all morning. Even though I'm a science geek, my clouded mind refuses to think properly and I'm reduced to asking others for the answers because not a single thought will form properly. Please help.

Thanks so much for your time.
Any responses will be greatly appreciated.

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37 Replies:

  • The same exact thing has happened with me.....severe abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea big time, it sux I know but I am praying it goes away bcuz I definitely need to get off the cigarettes because they are killing me. If you read the side effects that came with your rx you will see stomach problems was the biggest reason people quit taking it. Hope this helps.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I forgot to tell you yesterday.......Try ginger ale because it helped me somewhat yesterday. Today is the first day it hasn't been as bad so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Keep me posted so we can compare notes. Thanks!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have pain in the upper right abdomen (under the ribs) and goes around to my back. It hurts to take a deep breath. I also have severe hip/joint/leg muscle cramping all day/night. Go to the doctor and have blood work done (thyroid, kidney, liver, etc.) to see if those organs are properly functioning. Contact Pfizer and let them know what you're experiencing. Pfizer told me they have reports of these symptoms from their clinical trial and that Chantix takes, on average, about a week to leave the body. I'm going on week 2 and with no relief. I had blood drawn today and will know the results in a week or less. Pfizer will check with my physician to monitor my progress so they (Pfizer) will have more definitive answers as to why I am experiencing these horrible side effects and its duration.
    wester 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • After research I have found someone else having problems with Chantix. I am Having sever CHEST PAINS. I am not taking this any more per I doctor I have only been on it for 3weeks. I now pray I dont die.In Fear in NC
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had the same and got Nexium from my doctor and also had severe stomach pains. Please don't give up yet...All the pains have gone away and this drug is simply a miracle. I have never had a drug that worked so effectively in taking my cravings away and eliminating them entirely!!! It is just a MIRACLE!! Hang in there, don't give up yet........You will get better, I promise!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Please speak with your doctor. I had bad side effects and stopped taking it after only 2.5 weeks. I am happy to say that I'm still not smoking for 4-6 weeks now however I am still having side effects. Namely tingling in my arms, hypertension and my kidney function tests are off. Need to get bloodwork every 2 weeks to see if there is any change. I was in the ER twice. You should not just accept this. It is a side effect that could possibly do permanent damage. Please call your doctor.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Am in week two of taking Chantix but only third full day of not smoking. Severe diarrhea and some cramping. No nausea. Am also traveling. Trying to figure out of the diarrhea is from traveling, the absence of nicotine (withdrawal symptom) or the Chantix. I pray it's not the Chantix, am shocked at the ease with which I was able to just stop. Knew I was leaving for vacation, smoked my last one on the way to the airport (had been tapering off for a few days) and haven't had one since. (That was Friday morning, it's now Monday. Was pack a day smoker.) Honestly - not one REAL craving at all. I miss the activity of it - my little break for myself, etc. but nothing I can't think about for two minutes and forget about. Just wondering about this diarrhea. I can't take much more of it....ruining my weeklong vacation!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Chantix can cause ulcers -- if you are having severe abdominal pain, if you have any other signs of internal bleeding (black feces) you should stop taking it. Even without other symptoms you should consider stopping. And just to make sure -- everyone is taking the chantix on a full stomach right? Taking it on an empty stomach is BAD!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was having the same symptoms and worse. I had a lot of tests run and they were blaming all the pain and bloating on my gall bladder. After everything was said and done, they took me off the Chantix and most of the pain and bloating went away. I was on my 4th week of Chantix and getting ready to go to the pharmacy to get the next script filled. It took about a week for the pain to subside, but each day was a little better than the previous one. I still have some acheness left. I am not smoking either. I don't have health insurance so this got to be a lot more expensive than just the medicine alone. Hope you feel better soon.Hpayy holidays to all!Cindy in Toledo OH
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 13, 2007
    • 06:08 PM
    • 0
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  • I went on Chantix on November 4th, Since that time, my pulse dropped into the 40's all the time, and a Pacemaker was put in. (I am now really concerned that this may have not been needed and was a side effect of the Chantix)I have a pain right below and behind my sternum that is unbearable. I am so out of Breath it is hard to even get dressed. It has continued to get worse. My pulse for the past week has now been 80 to 100 at rest. My doctor has sent me for an Upper GI after all tests relating to further heart problems have been negative. The upper GI was inconclusive but I was put on Prilosec and Librax. (The doc first wrote the prescription for Nexium, but since I do not have insurance, the $300 was just too much) I have pain that started in my right knee that I had just emailed my doc to get a cortisone shot for pain.I also have a pain in my hip (siatica) that the pain has become relentless. My Doc has now put me on Pain Meds which is barely controlling all of this pain.Last night my husband and I happen to get out the Chantix Literature and was flabergasted. Then went on line and have found that all of this may be side effects. I have stopped the Chantix immediately and just pray all this pain goes away.How can a Drug Manufacterer be allowed to sell such a product.I have been admitted twice to the hospital and have had to go to the emergency room once, but have thought about going many times as the pain is so severe.I do not know if all of the above is from Chantix, didn't even think of it until last night and then discovered I am not alone with all this pain and problems.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 23, 2008
    • 10:11 PM
    • 0
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  • I have the same symptoms..I have been smoke free for 29 days now first time in 35 years!!!! I have tried everything!!! This absolutely works but, the side effects are just as bad as smoking.....!!! My stomach is distended, I have nausea, I had joint pain, now constipated. I'm so glad I found this site cause I wasn't sure what was happening. I'm healthy otherwise, I have had a lot of these symptoms that others have had. I wonder how long they linger I have not taken chantix now for 2 wks and still have a lot of symptoms...How long will it take to go away?????
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 29, 2008
    • 02:49 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • I started taking Chanitx in October of last year. After 3 weeks on it, I had quit smoking, but was developing acute heartburn/acid reflux and abdominal pain. I quit taking the medicine, but after 3 more weeks, the pain had not subsided. I went to the doctor that prescribed Chanitx, and he prescribed Prevacid and a anti-spasmodic, as well as a blood test to check for an ulcer (H. Pilori) and a CBC. While the Prevacid helped the acid reflux, the blood test came back negative, the blood tests were normal, and the abdominal pain persisted. I went to a different doctor, who switched me to Nexium and a different anti-spasmodic, and scheduled me for an abdominal CT scan. The scan showed possible divirticulitis, at which point I was referred to a gastroenterologist. I then had a colonoscopy and endoscope, both coming back clean. This last Monday I had an ultrasound performed, and am still waiting for the results on it. 3 months and the abdominal pain has not subsided. I'm not sure this all stems back to the Chantix, but after reading these boards I'm not convinced it wasn't the cause, either.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2008
    • 04:43 PM
    • 0
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  • Seek immediate medical attention NOW. I just got out of the hospital here in Chicago. I now have a severe ulcer in my upper intestine right outside of my stomach. I had to rush to the emergency room on Sunday because I nearly passed out from the abdominal pain and distended stomach (not to mention horrific constipation). The GI (Gastro-Intenstinal) doctor who treated me -- including X-Rays, CT scan and endscopy with color photos of the "crater sized" ulcer) told me twice that the ulcer was probably due to Chantix (they ruled out the bacteria theory -- which accounts for 90% of most ulcers in people). I began taking Chantix in late December and went through several weeks of increasing discomfort -- nausea, vomitting, stomach/abdominal pain, fainting spells -- until my trip to the hospital this past Sunday. When I had called my doctor to complain, he said I was probably suffering from "gas" and "bloating" associated with Chantix and that it should eventually pass (no pun intended). WRONG!! The GI doctor I saw said the Chantix contributed to the ulcer and that he is seeing an increasing number of patients (via the emergency room and his regular roster patients) with ulcers or near ulcer like conditions who share one common trait: they all are (or were) taking Chantix.I am now in slow recovery. But the pain I experienced was horrific.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 31, 2008
    • 03:44 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I feel like my life is over. It happend yesterday morning... One week after starting chantix. Watch out this drug is a wonder with smoking but I got a 102.4 fever and everything else that goes with the flu. Minus one thing.. The feeling you know you have a cold or whatever. The sad thing.. I took the pill about an hour before finding this sight. I have school and work this sucks. Please don't take this pill. Its horrible I am reporting it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow - I'm glad I found this site. I'm in my 4th week of being a Chantix-taking non-smoker (after 30 years of smoking), and have had all the upper abdominal symptoms I've seen here. I gave up trying to take it twice a day because the pain was too unbearable at night. I only take one Chantix in the morning after a good breakfast and I have very few cigarette cravings, but still have the abdominal pain for a few hours after I take it. A carbonated beverage really seems to help and maybe a ant-acid like Tums. Even with the nausea, try and get down a couple of crackers when it starts, as that seems to help too. Chantix is truly amazing and can be worth the discomfort if nothing is really wrong. Always consult with your doctor.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I Am So Mad At Myself For Not Looking In To This Medication More Before Taking It. Let Me First Begin By Saying I'd Rather Go Back To Smoking Before I Continue To Feel Like This. I Started Chantix 2 Weeks Ago And It Does Make Me Sick To My Stomach Even When I Do Eat With It So I Figured I'd Only Take It Once A Day And Not Twice. Wellll About 3 Days Ago I Couldn't Even Run On The Treadmill For 30 Minutes Since I Was Experiencing Terrible Lower Abdominal Pain. I Thought Maybe It Was Gas (since I Read Through The Side Effects) And Realized It Was Too Severe For That. Then Last Night I Was Getting Up From Laying On The Floor And Had Severe Chest Pains To Where I Almost Had My Boyfriend Take Me To The Er Cause I Thought I Was Having A Heart Attack Or That My Lung Was Collapsing. I Thought I Got Up Too Quick And Maybe Pulled Something And Was Pretty Much Using Any Excuse Possible That It Couldn't Be The Chantix And Continued To Take My Regular Morning Dose This Morning. Great. After Reading All Of These, I Am Now Scared To Death And Throwing The Chantix In The Garbage As Soon As I Get Home From Work. As I Sit Here In Pain. Some Girl Had A Pacemaker Put In?? No Thanks. I'd Rather Smoke And Die Of Cancer Than Feel Like This. This Is Unbelievable To Me. I Try And Quit Smoking To Make Myself Healthy And Taking This Pill Has Only Caused Probably Permanent Damage To My Body. Wonderful. This Pain Better Go Away.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • After sitting here thinking about this, amazed, I thought I would start from THE DAY AFTER I TOOK MY FIRST DOSE. (this is my 3rd post by the way) The very next morning (after taking ONE pill) I woke up to my glands the size of tennis balls. I could barely swallow and you could SEE them coming through my neck. I was very sick for...well let's see...I still don't feel 100% and NEVER in a million years thought it would be from Chantix as I continue to take it. My ears are terribly plugged (STILL) and my throat infection is finally gone but it still aches EVERY MORNING. HMMM ABNORMAL. I went to my dr (thanking God that I had somebody to prescribe me antibiotics cause I felt like I was going to die) I finally get my antibiotic...2 days into my antibiotic I wake up with an ear infection. I could not believe it. That is not normal. I have been a smoker for about 15 years and NEVER in my life have I been so sick for this long even WITHOUT an antibiotic. However after reading all of these posts since I got to work this morning I am disgusted. After being sick for almost 3 weeks, having terrible abdominal pain (3 days ago and still) and severe chest pains starting last night (and still) I thought to myself "How could this be happening? I'm 30 and complaining about how old I'm getting." I literally feel terrible. I am throwing the prescribtion away as soon as I get home. There is no way I will continue this smoking or not. I must've been crazy to even start. I felt better when I smoked a pack a day. Oh AND I'm on ANOTHER antibiotic. This will be my THIRD one in 3 weeks. This is so not normal. I can't believe I didn't listen to my body and put 2 and 2 together. Well starting tomorrow, I will not be taking another Chantix ever again.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I first took Chantix in July 0f 2007. I didn't quit successfully because of the horrible night mares and JOINT PAIN! Very strange joint pain that sometimes was also muscle pain. I thought I had rhuemetoid arthritus. I knew then, that is was worth it to get off the meds to see if the pain would go away. As soon as I quit the Chantix, the pain went away. I did this two different times to make sure it was really the meds. Anyway, I was disappointed because I knew the medicine was working...I was even losing weight because the Chantix was subsiding my urge to eat too! Fast forward to now, I wanted to try the medicine again. Both my parents have been smoke free from Chantix for over 12 months....both smoked for about 40 years! I have only taken the three .5 mg pills and as of yesterday I had mild flank pain. Behind my ribs high in my back I have pain. Today, I didn't go to work because it kept me up all night and I now have the pain on both sides. After researching this morning I understand that it is my kidneys that are hurting AFTER 3 DAYS ON THIS MEDICINE! This is very scarey and I am hoping I don't have kidney problems that were caused or escalated from this. The bottom line is this, giving up feels like defeat because all of us wanted so much to believe that we could beat this nicotine addiction with this miracle drug. The fact is, this is a very dangerous medicine and it is not working for us!!! The lesson here is to discontinue ANY medicine that gives you dangerous or painful side effects (unless your life depends on it) if you experience immediate onset of drastic symptoms after taking them. We all are our own best advocate. I pay great attention to how I feel before and after I start taking a medication ever since my first experience with this med...the pains you all are describing are too severe and coincidental to be from anything else. Thank you for all of your sharing and I will now give up my dream of this miracle drug and revert to the patch. I wish all of you well and hope you get back to yourselves!! Peace
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 11, 2008
    • 03:56 PM
    • 0
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  • I just started the 2month of Chantix and now having some abdominal pain and nausea. It's is immediately after I swallow the pill that this happens. It doesn't last long. this didn't occur the first month of taking chantix. I haven't smoked since the first week. I am thinking of going down to one pill a day because I had gastic by pass 4yrs ago and really don't want to take the chance of getting an ulcer. I've also had mild joint pain and I am very aggitated (i'm trying to keep my temper in check) lol I would say there may be some slight depression since all I want to do is sleep...which is what I do if things are bothering me....sleep/shut down. If the side effects continue to get worse I will stop taking. Good luck everyone! Quiting smoking is tough....years after you stop there are times you still want one. this just proves its not all chemical addiction it's also physical. Lisa
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I started chantex like 2 months ago.. was on it 3 days then quit for 3 weeks.. i had to stop taking it because of the pain i was getting.. even after i ate it still hurt.. i guess ill try the gingerale therory hopeing it will work. the pain is like nothing ive ever felt b4... just like all of you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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