Chantix side effects and adverse event reports outlined by non-profit group

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted May 26, 2008


A report released last week by a nonprofit watch dog group renewed attention on Chantix side effects, and raises further questions about the adequacy of the current warnings. According to the report, the FDA has received information about hundreds of serious problems associated with the anti-smoking drug, including suicides, homicidal thoughts, paranoia, hallucinations, falls and potentially fatal heart problems.

Researchers from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices reviewed reports of Chantix side effects received by the FDA between May 2006 and December 2007. Over the 20 month period, the regulatory agency received reports of:

  • 227 Suicides or Suicide Attempts
  • 297 Cases of Possible Psychosis
  • 525 Reports of Hostility or Aggression
  • 173 Accidental Injuries, including road accidents and falls

Some of the other problems noted include reports of heart rhythm disturbances, heart attacks, seizures and diabetes. The numbers presented in the report likely represent only a small fraction of the true number of Chantix problems, as it is generally held that adverse events reported to the FDA only represent about 1% to 10% of all occurrences.

The independent report provides strong evidence that the risks associated with Chantix treatment have been underestimated. When Pfizer introduced Chantix they were not providing any warning to users or the medical community about the potential psychiatric side effects, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. In November 2007, vague information was first added to the label about potential psychiatric side effects. However, the warnings were deminished by conflicting and confusing language.

In January 2008, the label was updated again to include more detailed information about Chantix side effects, such as suicidal thoughts, severe changes in mood and aggressive behavior. The FDA also required Pfizer to develop a medication guide for individuals filling the prescription to include information highlighting the warnings about psychiatric symptoms and the possible risk of suicide on Chantix.

In response to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ report, Pfizer issued a statement last week indicating that they believe the current warnings accurately reflect Chantix’s safety profile. However, many experts disagree and feel that stronger warnings should be placed in a “black box” prominently displayed on the label.

The health concerns outlined by the Institute’s report also prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue a Chantix ban for all pilots and air traffic controllers. Approximately 150 pilots and 30 air traffic controllers who are currently taking the drug will no longer be able to use it because of concerns surrounding the erratic, suicidal and homicidal behavior outlined in the report.


The Chantix lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of clients who have suffered severe physical injury or death from a suicide or suicide attempt. If you, a friend or family member have experienced Chantix side effects, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

61 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Kyle says:

    I think this drug should be banned because after 2 weeks on the medication I went crazy and i do mean crazy did over 8 grand worth of damage to my house! I also was told that i got in my car and started it in the garage with the door closed and woke up the next day not knowing about any of this! I thought I was just crazy but now I see there must be somthing very wrong I also did not talk to anyone for about 2 weeks after I got off of the drug and still get a little crazy at the drop of a hat and I want to be normal again!

    Posted on May 27, 2008 at 10:15 pm

  • Jackie says:

    I can identify with Kyle. I had a similar experience. I would be extremely hostile one day and then extremely depressed the next. I attempted suicide but my husband took the gun out of my hand before I could get the safety released. I am taking Prozac now because I was suffering from severe depression after coming off of the Chantix. I feel permanently emotionally disabled.

    Posted on August 6, 2008 at 9:01 am

  • Charles says:

    I think these people already had issues before they started taking Chantix. I believe that they used Chantix as an excuse for there actions. I have been taking Chantix for 3 weeks and had zero problems,and yes I quit smoking with no problems. These people need to get a grip and seek professional help.

    Posted on August 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm

  • jessica says:

    my husband was on chantix and he became violent,and before this medicine he knew how to control his temperwhen ever he was upset which was very rare.I left he he start back smoking and is like his old self again.A lot of the time the next day he would swear he had know idea of what happened. And if the ? is was he driking the answer is know,but since he stop taking chantix he is normal.I didnt take him back,but the doctor never told us of any side effects,until today I didnt even know there wher any.Should I give him another chance.

    Posted on September 17, 2008 at 11:21 pm

  • Amy says:

    For the people who do not have the serious side effects, just thank whoever you call your creator and live a great non-smoking life. To all the others out there, I know that my mother went from being my mom to a very hate-filled, no, consumed person. She was fine for a couple of weeks, then her life steadily got worse and worse. It has ended now, after about a year. She was in a single car accident. I am 35 years old and my mother (except the last year of her life) was always there for me. I think I failed her when she needed me the most. It turns out the medicine info didn’t say anything about suicide, so I told her to see a shrink. Now I feel HORRIBLE. Is it my fault that I called her crazy? Or the medical field, FDA, or her doctor who kept telling her it was safe.

    Posted on September 18, 2008 at 4:16 am

  • Jude says:

    I took Chantix for 3 months. Toward the end I just craweled into my bed and stayed there. I called my doctor and told her I thought I was dying. I could not stand up long enugh to even take a shower. I had to sit in the tub to bathe. I was falling down all the time.
    My doctor ran a bunch of tests and discovered that my thyroid had stopped working and that I had new onset diabetes. I am 55 years old, what is normally considered “late in life” to have adult onset diabetes.
    I agree that people who take this drug with no side effects should consider themselves lucky.
    However, just because you don’t have side effects that you can se and feel doesn’t mean that you haven’t had them. Most people don’t just gt diabetes out of nowhere and there is no way to tell if you are getting it. One you have it, it is there forever. You can’t just get rid of it.
    I find that more disturbing than side effects like anger, hostility and behavorial changes. Those you can see and hopefully eliminate by stopping the drug.

    Posted on October 9, 2008 at 9:06 am

  • Judi says:

    I was taking chantix for about three weeks during this time of taking the medication I was diagnosed with diabeates and placed on medication for it, never in my life had I ever suffered any serious medical problems like that. I started suffering from mental problems. Then out of the blue without warning my colon ruptured. I was placed on a clostomy bag for over 4 months. After my hospital stay I did not take any more of the medication, but after a full recovery my doctor told me it would be safe to start it back up. I too started having severe mental problems and wanting to kill myself. With the grace of God and throwing the medication in the trash I am in full recovery. I hope this helps anyone who is trying to stop smoking and can save a life. Thank you and God Bless you all.

    Posted on October 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm

  • tim says:

    I don’t know if this is relevant to chantix or not. Took chantix in 2/07 and soon after started to have severe burning and aching in the inside of my upper legs.Pain is extremely worse the longer i to the point that it was all i could do to stay standing.doctors have me on neurotin and has cut the pain to about 40 percent,but not is very painfull on the back of my legs if sitting down.not much relief with lying down now with pain management but no help.

    Posted on October 21, 2008 at 10:00 pm

  • RENA says:


    Posted on November 1, 2008 at 11:57 am

  • Stacy says:

    I started taking Chantix in November 2007, and was successful with it until August 2008, at which time I stopped taking the drug and started smoking again. In April 2008, I had a severe case of vertigo, it lasted 10 days. In June, I started having severe joint pain in my knees, wrists, shoulders. Which started a whole series of bloodwork, and specialists. My bloodwork, on a bi-weekly basis to this day 11/13/08, result in high liver enzymes, and high white blood count. I have experienced weight gain (50 lb) and found myself always tired. I require at least 10-12 hours sleep to feel rested. Thats not normal for me. I just went on Tuesday to have a CT scan resulting in the discovery of an infalmed colon. In August 2008, I stopped taking the chantix, its now November 2008, and I’m still experiencing health issues.

    Posted on November 13, 2008 at 10:13 am

  • Angie says:

    I started taking Chantix at the beginning of 2008. Within two months I had developed atrial fibrilation. It is very scary because it feels like your heart is going to jump out of your chest and you get tired and dizzy during an episode. Now I have to take a pill to lower my heart rate every day for who knows how long.

    Posted on November 14, 2008 at 10:53 am

  • Lisa says:

    I started taking Chantix in June of 08. I had quit smoking within a week. But I had went to the Dr. for some unusual bruising. I had to go to the Emergency room and then transferred to another hospital to see a hometologist specialist. Come to find out that my blood platelets had dropped to a level that if I would have cut myself or banged my head I could have bled to death. And at the time I was not on any other meds until I was admitted to the hospital to get my platelets built backup. Also had a bone marrow biopsy done along with some other blood test and everything came back negative. The doctor told to discontinue taking Chantix. Was diagnosed with the blood disorder thrombocytopenia.

    Posted on November 25, 2008 at 7:35 am

  • Sharon says:

    I took Chantix in June 2007, I had terrible side effects, it has caused many problems in my life. I would not encourage anyone to take this drug.

    Posted on November 27, 2008 at 9:46 pm

  • char says:

    I took Chantix for about 2 1/2 months in 2007 and one day I felt like I was sick like the flu. I went to work and the feeling of being sick got worse. I ended up having a seizure and then another one about afew hours later. I had all kinds of tests run and none of them had any answers to why it happened. The doctor put me on a anti-seizure medication and I’m still on it. The doctor said it probably wasn’t from the Chantix, but I truely do think so. I was notified by my pharmicist that seizures are a side effect of it. She tried to report this but has never heard anymore. I haven’t had that sick feeling again.

    Posted on January 10, 2009 at 12:24 am

  • Alberta says:

    I took Chantix in late Octobr, early November 2008. I have never had a mental illness, or a history of depression or psychosis or anything of that nature until I had been on chantix for the second/third week on the drug. I started noticing that I was sleeping a lot more, and even had constant episodes of blacking out for at least several seconds at a time (this was severly dangerous since I am a truck driver and it often happened behind the wheel, it NEVER happened before chantix) I also had severe bouts of fear and anxiety, like something bad was going to happen to me or something was going to “get” me. I also had a very bad case of depression that affected my work in my college classes. I failed one class because I couldn’t get past the depression to get my work done, and before chantix I was making A’s and B’s. The side effects lingered for the week or two after I stopped taking chantix, and I started taking it again when I felt I ws going to start smoking again. The side effects worsened when I restarted the drug, so after a couple more weeks I stopped taking it again, and started smoking again. I still have some of the side effects that started when I was on chantix.
    As for physical issues, I was diagnosed with pleurisy while on chantix, and I feel it was a bad diagnosis because I didn’t have any of the symptoms that is supposed to cause it. I also got a horrible rash and pain in my legs while on chantix, and it was labeled cellulitis, even though my symptoms didn’t quite match it. I would not have taken this drug had I known that it caused the sleepiness/blackouts, because I almost killed myself a few times while driving. It is a very scary drug that should have better warnings. People should be informed specifically of the side effects it can cause, and then decide if its a good medicine for them.

    Posted on February 12, 2009 at 7:10 am

  • BSN, CPA, CPHQ says:

    I took the Chantrix for 2 weeks only and had the weird dreams and now have elevated liver enzymes….and have never had elevated enzymes before..and lousy sleep, waking up every two hours. so of course I cut back and then stopped taking it at all.

    Now I am taking my usual regime of 4000 vitamin C and 2400 Calcium and ALA…I have heard that ALA and Vitamin C are detoxifying agents and am wondering if this will resolve this drug side effect…I definitely am sleeping better and have not had any more strange dreams…But I want my enzymes back to normal… Any other ideas? like mild thistle?

    Posted on February 13, 2009 at 12:12 am

  • finewithme says:

    I have not had any major problems with it at all. Yeah the odd scary dream, the odd thought of suicide, the odd irritability and thought of flipping out on someone…but just thoughts and they are nothing like trying to quit “cold turkey”. The side effects have been manageable for me and I’m so happy I quit smoking. I recommend Chantix.

    Posted on February 18, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  • Michelle says:

    In early 2008, I started taking chantix for smoking cessation. Within one month of starting chantix I had a mild heart attack (I was 46 years old,at the time), and had a triple bypass surgery. I have started smoking again, but need to know if my heart attack could be connected to my Chantix use.

    Posted on March 10, 2009 at 7:28 am

  • Judy says:

    I agree the meds work but at what cost. I was on my 3rd week and had to stop due to really bad pantic attacks. I found myself talking to myself but not out loud (if that makes any since) My husband said I was not myself. I do not want to get up in the mornings, my heart beats fast. I would drift off in la-la land . It is hard to explain how I am feeling. I am just not myself! I am and have been on depression meds for years now. Maybe with the depression meds and the Chantix it is too much on my brain at once? But my doctor was not worried at all ??

    Posted on April 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm

  • s says:

    I started to develop prolactin discharge during my time on chantix.
    I now have to be tested for a pituitary tumor and thyroid problems. I’m very upset and freaked out over this.I am positive it was caused by the chantix. Can’t wait to see what my permanant deffects are because of this drug!!

    Posted on May 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  • steph says:

    With no history of any psychiatric problem, Chantix literally made me insane. I was in psychiatric hospitals a minimum of five times with severe paranoia and psychosis. I had seizures, proven by EEG. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. This dangerous drug needs a black box warning. I’m glad it’s worked for some people, but it is a huge risk. For the person who said “you guys have Psych problems and it isn’t Chantix fault,” I’m glad you are okay, but that is complete ignorance. This stuff is extremely dangerous. Please consider carefully before taking and tell someone you love it could cause severe psychosis, because if it happens to you, you may end your life, like I almost did, or go crazy, and no one will klnow why. I had to drop out of my final semster in nursing school, so I know pharmacology. Be careful!!

    Posted on June 17, 2009 at 4:07 am

  • beverly says:

    I’m glad this medication has worked for some, as it has made my life extremely difficult. Did fine the first couple of weeks, then the
    dreams started and they were, not crazy or strange but really violent so I would only sleep for a couple of hrs a night , I only have the dreams now about 4 nights a week now. I have had nausea, lost my sense of taste, I have turned mean, hateful, can’t stand to me around anyone (even myself) severe headaches every day. And this is not me, I have always enjoyed being around others, always having a smile on my face and really enjoying life and going off just rambling with my husband on the weekends, now I keep all my blinds close, never want to go any where or do anything. My life has gotten so bad that I’m surprised my husband and kids have not left and believe me I couldn’t blame them, cause if I could leave myself I would. I finished the 12 weeks and still not smoking for 3 months, I have been off Chantix for 2 months and the side effects are NOT going away, at times I feel like they are getting worse. I have even talked to my doctor about all the side effects and was told to give it a couple more weeks (I had been of Chantix for 2 weeks) for it all to go away, I still have very strong urges to smoke and not sure how much longer I can handle the severe headaches and other systems like confusion, unable to concentrate at work, wanting to be isolated away from others and crying spells over basically nothing..I wish I had never started taking Chantix especially since it has severely altered my personality, moods, attitude towards life and my losing my sense of taste. It’s
    not worth all of this, as the system are not going away, I’m really struggling to not start back smoking.

    Posted on June 24, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  • Cathy says:

    I was on Chantix for the whole 3 months and loved it. No problems at all…..until I quit taking the pills. It has been 2 weeks off the medication and I have had suicidal thoughts, homocidal thoughts…extreme agitation and hostility one day and extreme depression the next…just wondering now how long will this last and pray to God it is not forever.

    Posted on July 7, 2009 at 9:48 am

  • marco says:

    .I’m 50 y.o.I took chantix for 3 months. It really worked, after the first pill I just didn’t look for cigarretes anymore.But now I have diabetes and had a heart attack, in my family nobody has heart problems or heart linked deseases, after read those comments above I think that there chantix has terrible side effects.
    .Other noticeable side effects, headache, suicidal thoughts, vivid dreams, depression. Good luck to all

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 2:26 am

  • Richard says:

    I started taking Chantix in March 2008 and after two months I had quit smoking. I was glad that the medicine had worked. Seven months later though I started back and called my Dr. for a new prescription. I figured that because I quit the program early maybe I should give it another try. For some reason it didn”t work like the first time. My experience with the drug the first time is it really made me forget about smoking. I never thought about cigarettes after the first week. The second time round it wasn’t that way, I couldn’t tell that I was taking anything. The craving was strong. Then in Feb 2009 I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. Along side of the diabetes my legs are starting to have the sensation of a tooth ake. I never knew that a medicine could do so bad. I feel really bad because I talked my mom into taking the medicine and after she had took it for a short time she started having burning sensations in her arms. She said it felt like fire was flowing through her veins. She quit taking it but she still complains about her arms aching. She did successfully quit smoking for almost a year.

    Posted on July 12, 2009 at 11:17 pm

  • Dean says:

    I have been taking Chantx for 6 weeks now. I went from 2.5 packs a day to none. Thank You Chantix! I have had some wild dreams but I actually like them. I’m wondering- If I take two pills, do I get to watch a double feature?

    Since this is a lawyer based web site, I would imagine there is a lot of drama involved with some of the comments.

    Posted on July 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm

  • Shannon says:

    I took Chantix in May or June 2008 and then on January 18th, 2008 I had a massive stroke, stroke is not listed as a possible side effect but at the age of 31 I never did any kinds of drugs or drank and none of the doctors or sprcialists could figure out what caused my stroke:( I beg people to not take it! If you cant quit smoking naturally then keep smoking!!!!

    Posted on July 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

  • Gayle says:

    I took Chantix for 3 weeks starting mid February 2009. I experienced nausea immediately and therefore kept myself on a lower dose until the 3rd week. I was quitting through a group experience. Starting in the second week I became very upset, agitated and crying at the 2 meetings I attended each week. The nurse, who was leading us, finally told me that I needed to call my Dr and get off the medication. I have been smoke free for almost 5 months however I would go back to smoking, in an instant, if I could get rid of the crying and anger. I feel like a chemical change happened in my brain. I am a school teacher and I must control my feelings when I am with students however with colleagues, my administrator and my husband I consistently fall apart crying. I am 60 years old and have always been a light hearted, fun, hard working, and organized person. I am none of those things now. I cry uncontrollably for hours at the drop of a hat. I frequently think that I and my husband would be better off if I were dead. I have tried to get medical help, but feel that my Dr. and the Psychologist I have seen have abandoned me and made light of my circumstance by telling me that when people reach 60 years they frequently have trouble dealing with life’s changes and are prone to depression. After 2 visits I think I must have done something really bad in the Psychologists office because he told me that he didn’t see a need for any more visits. I can’t figure that one out as I was crying inconsolably for at least 20 minutes and then he is pushing me out the door. I have told all the Drs. I have seen that this change occurred while on Chantix and was like a switch in my brain. For lack of a better way to describe what has happened to me I would call it a nervous breakdown. I have been hoping that when school got out this spring that with reduced pressure my symptoms would start to go away. I haven’t been crying as much but still probably at least 2 times a week uncontrollably and most mornings when I wake a small amount. I am just not myself anymore and I am scared that I will never be the same person again. It has been 5 months of very deep depression. I realize that no one will probably read this before taking the drug, but if so I would tell you that you do not want to risk the side effects of this drug. Find another way.

    Posted on July 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm

  • steve says:

    Well…. All these testimonials confirms what I suspected already…
    I am a smoker for over 20 years… Someone told me about chantix. I simply said no.

    Posted on July 27, 2009 at 10:09 am

  • Melodie says:

    I had several people at work tell him that they took chantix and stopped smoking so I asked my doctor about it and she prescribed it for me. I did good for the first 3 weeks and then one night I just got the feeling that I couldn’t breath and I went to the hospital. After several test they said I was having a panic attack. Which I have NEVER had any problems before with anything like this. I was told that most likely taking Chantix and my thyroid medicine did not mix (BUT could not be for certain) and my doctor was not even aware that the two would not mix. I had even asked the pharmacist if they were okay together and was told yes. I was put on a relaxation medication for when I feel them coming on which I do not care for because I had never needed this before. I believe they should test chantix with other medications a lot closer so that doctors will know they cannot be combined. I am still not back to my normal self and believe I will not be. Please check and double check with your doctor and pharmacist about medications.

    Posted on August 10, 2009 at 9:44 pm

  • Carrie says:

    I took Chantix and after only a month I had Type 2 Diabetes. It’s been a year now.

    Posted on October 6, 2009 at 6:36 pm

  • Carol says:

    I started taking Chantix on Sept. 24th, 2009. the first week was good, I gradually stop smoking. The wierd and crazy dreams started, thoughts of something happening to my kids. I got depressed and on my days off, all I wanted to do is stay in bed all day and I did. My knees hurt an I gained weight, around my stomach. I have become cold and unemotional toward people. No suicidal thoughts, but thoughts of harming others, if they have made me mad. I stopped taking Chantix the of Oct. 5th because of these side effects, my gravings are getting stronger to smoke. I was so happy that I stopped. My house smelled good, the car, my clothes, an I felt good.

    Posted on October 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm

  • Carol says:

    CORRECTON: I started taking Channtix on Sept. 4th, 2009

    Posted on October 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm

  • Karen says:

    I am 55 and have tried other methods of quiting. Each and every time I went through a period of suicide, depression, heart palpations, anxiety, rage, just to name afew. I am giving up my best friend, after all, and it is an awful drug this nicotine. Chantix good or bad, if you continue to smoke you will end up with heart disease, dibetes, and all of the above diseases so in my opinion as a smoker of 25 yrs, we are all just in a no-win situation and cannot put the blame on Chantix, but rather on ourselves for smoking, and the blame and suits should be aimed directly at the tobacco industry for putting the nicotine drug in our systems to begin with, with NO WARNINGS AT ALL about the dependency in nicotine for life. I hope all of your attorneys have you up against the tobacco industry as well. I plan on starting Chantex in 2 weeks, and nothing could be worse than how I feel now as a smoker. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Posted on October 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

  • Ben says:

    I’ve been taking Chantix for 1 an a half weeks now. I really don’t feel a change–I still smoke like a freight train. I do have some pretty cool dreams. The dreams I kinda like, but I wish I could just not want to smoke. It has been a part of my life since I was 13, now I am 38. If Chantix Doesn’t work I feel I am going to die a early death—- so it has to work.

    Posted on October 24, 2009 at 2:29 am

  • kim says:

    I took Chantix for about 1.5 months before I quit smoking, then 2 weeks later I stopped taking Chantix, I didnt have any negitive reaction to the drug, but I was wondering if there are any long term effects. I havent had a cigarette in 4 months, or taking the Chantix in 3.5 months.

    Posted on October 29, 2009 at 9:23 pm

  • terri says:

    ‘m a 55 yr. old wife of 35 yrs., mother, proud na na of 6!! LOVE my job of 22 years and ALWAYS the eternal optimist!! Filled two Chantix scripts between 10/06 and 10/07. Took both as directed along with a low dosage of Zoloft, which I had been on for ten years for mild depression.

    Two hospital stays in ’08

    JAN. ’08 – – taken by ambulance in middle of nite with heart attack symptoms, severe headache, shortness of breath and low stomach pains. Put on morphine and oxygen, while SEVERAL tests were done. Released after a week…diagnosed as possible “virus…”

    MAY ’08 – – had great day at work, daughter called when I got home, said, “mom, I’ve been elected to tell you…you’ve changed…you are NOT yourself…” Thought, hmmm…tonite’s a good nite to die…I don’t have to put up w/this…my job is done here.

    Took ride to rural area several miles out. Purchased 3 bottles of sleeping pills and little, diabetic razors…why? “ve NO idea. I didn’t even know those existed until that nite! Parked on an angle on used car parking lot, wrote short note, downed over 240 pills, cut self w/razors, which were found all over the car and outside on the lot…obviously, I got out during the nite as my keys were found in front of my car. Found by owner next morning, woke up six days later in ICU, surrounded by family and was on a vent/respirator. Spent time in psyche unit.

    NO ONE COULD BELIEVE WHAT I DID!!!! Nor, could I. THAT was not me!!! Babysitting my precious grandbabies was the worst privilege taken away. For a year and a half, I have walked around CRUSHED.

    I am just NOW being returned to my former life/privileges. I feel as if I’m FINALLY crawling out of the depths of Hell. To learn that this MAY HAVE NOT BEEN MY FAULT…was a Godsend!!! I pray for my day of vindication.

    Posted on November 12, 2009 at 11:47 am

  • Denise says:

    I took Chantix in early 2008. I did not quit smoking, so I stopped taking the Chantix. I thought the problems that developed were because I had not quit smoking, but now I have read that some people are attributing the side effects to that of quitting nicotine. That could not be true in my case. I became so exhausted that for a couple of months I slept all day and all night. I would drop my son off at school and collapse back into bed. I had to set the alarm to make sure I got up in time to pick up my son from school. Shortly after he went to bed for the night, I would sleep again. Since then, I have had to nap every day. I consulted a nutritionist who ran a number of tests showing that I had imbalances in my neurotransmitters, minerals, and hormones. Also, there was evidence of extreme adrenal exhaustion and thyroid problems. The nutritionist recommended supplements, but I was talking to my son so meanly that he cried and said he wanted his mom back, so I told the nutritionist I had to stop taking those supplements. I also gained 60 pounds. Prior to this, I was getting straight A’s at the community college, studying for an IT certificate. I had just completed my last class before starting the Chantix. I have been too exhausted physically and mentally to even go and pick up the certificate. Last summer I ended up in the emergency room with chest pains. They could not find a cause. My doctor put me on antibiotics for pneumonia. A CAT scan of my lungs showed liver problems. I have had strange eruptions in the genital area, and none of the tests done can explain them. I have chronic foot pain and have had to stop walking. I have gotten many books and tapes on motivation, attitude, hypnosis, etc., trying to get my strength back. I never did quit smoking, but the long-term effects of Chantix have taken a very long and negative toll on my quality of life. I need to go back to work, but cannot, and am looking at total financial devastation. Drug manufacturers should not experiment with drugs that alter brain chemistry on people who mistakenly believe that these have been tested for long-term safety.

    Posted on January 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

  • scott says:

    within two weeks of starting chantix my blood platelets fell to zero. i have ITP. I was in 8 year remission after removed splien chantix disolved that quickly.

    Posted on January 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

  • sunny says:

    My husband took Chantix for 2 weeks has had severe headaches, swelling on 1 side of head and face, blistering of skin on face and inside of ear and mouth. today he is worse with alot of pain in jaw and oozing of liquid from sore on face The dr is treating him with steroids and zorvex cream it is not getting better, I would nor recommend this med for anyone to take . Yesterday his dr said he was on verge of Bells Palsy!

    Posted on January 29, 2010 at 11:40 am

  • Teresa says:

    My husband drives an 18 wheeler and has to have a physical every two years to make sure he is physically able to drive a truck. In November of 2008 he went for his DOT physical and checked out fine. And of course the Doctor talked to him about quitting smoking, which this time he took to heart and decided to do it. So on April 3, 2009 he started Chantix, with much to our surprise he stopped smoking after a week and 2 days. But continued taking the chantix for the entire month of April. He was told by the Doctor that he may have to take it for 6 months since he had smoked for over 35 years. Luckily he didn’t have to do that. However, after a clean bill of health in November of 2008, then taking the Chantix in April 2009. he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in June of 2009. I can’t relate to the craziness that everyone is talking about, because my husband was happy, but the type 2 diabetes is a definite possibility. I have his Diabetes under control now, but it is still something that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. And now he has to go to the Doctor every three months, the eye doctor once a year, and his DOT physicals have to be performed every year (which is not covered under insurance), All of these are added expenses that we didn’t ever have to worry about. He was in good health. Now his life is a nightmare, because with all of these Doctors appt. he has to take time off from work, and being a truck driver, when you tell the company that you need to be off 1 day for a Drs. appt. they have to work hard to get you home, then your 1 day off to go to the appt. becomes 2 or 3 days off because the company has to find you another load. He has lost a lot of work days because of this and in these economic times no one can afford that, especially when you now have all of these added expenses. And lets not talk about all of the hospital bills that we have when this actually happened. The reason we found out he had diabetes is because he passed out in the kitchen floor. I THANK GOD everyday that he was at home that day and not in his truck. He could have passed out and killed himself or someone. And I know that’s not something we could have ever lived with. For the people that want to quit smoking, this stuff does work, but the long life of side effects are something that I would consider deeply before using this stuff.

    Posted on February 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

  • Emily says:

    I used chantix to quit smoking. One pill into my 4th week and I was crying for no reason AT ALL all the time. And I was VERY mean to my children (I yelled and screamed at them.
    To top it all off, my husband came back from a deployment that week and I was so wacked out on the stuff I was terrible to him. I was so mean and irritable that we are now seperated heading for divorce. And this is a marriage of 12 years and 4 small kids.
    I also was seeing things that weren’t there ie demonic figures and other scarey things that weren’t really there. And I know they weren’t because my friend was around one time when I saw it.
    I feel like I lost everything in my life that was good because of Chantix.

    Posted on February 16, 2010 at 10:11 pm

  • Tonya says:

    I itch all the time, my body has changed, I have gained a lot of weight, so much so that my skin is tight and feels like it will burst, my head aches constantly and my vision is blurred most days. I took Chantix for 6 weeks to assist me in quitting smoking after 26 years of smoking. I wanted to improve my life and be around to see my child graduate from college and to take better care of my son at home. Well, as it turns out, they are taking care of me a lot of times. I am constantly sore in my joints, my breath is short with minimal exertion and my stomach looks like I have eight babies in it. I am struggling;I work out at least 5 times a week, but it seems like I gain half a pound per day. The crazy, vivid dreams have almost ceased but I still only manage a few hours of sleep per night. I am tired, exhausted and frustrated. My physician has not a clue or doesn’t care one. But I care and will fight to overcome this, to stay alive and functioning for my children. With God’s mercy, I will overcome this battle within from this drug, Chantix.

    Posted on February 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm

  • Will says:

    I took Chantix on two separate occasions. The first time, it was prescribed by my Family Practitioner in 2007 and I stopped taking it after about a month because I had fallen off a ladder and shattered a disc in my neck between c5 & c6 vertabrae. I was told by my neuro surgeon to stop taking it even though I had to quit smoking to get the surgery to repair the injury. Prior to falling off the ladder, a couple of co-workers told me my behavior had changed and not for the better. I was being short tempered and aggressive toward my inbound phone customers and my co-workers. I received a warning from my boss about my “moody” behavior. I went back to smoking alomst immediately following my recovery from the spinal fusion.

    Again in 2009 I was prescribed Chantix to quit smoking. I immediate noticed the aggressive behavior come to the surface once again. Having acknowledged it was half the battle I thought. “I can keep my temper under control since its just a side-effect of the drug”, I told myself.
    Well wouldn’t you know, withing about 3 weeks of resuming Chantix the co worker who sat to my right had to move to a new seat because he said I was behaving “hostile” toward him. His inquiries for assistance were replied to with venomous indifference. I ended up in my bosses office for now the second or third time in over 3 years of dealing with sub-human end users for inappropriate behavior toward a customer. I asked for “light or restricted” duty that would keep me off the phones so I would not make this mstake again. I was told “We should be able to figure something out”. Just 2 weeks ago I had another incident with a customer and was fired.

    Posted on March 5, 2010 at 4:06 pm

  • Janet says:

    I have been on Chantix for 9 weeks now. It was easy to quit smoking after being on it for 2 weeks. No bad mental side effects, just very vivid dreams. I am a diabetic and am having a hard time controlling my blood sugar. This is a new experience for me as I was diagnosed 2 years ago and never had this problem. It was interesting to read that someone else has had itching. I was told that I was allergic to Chantix and that was causing the itching. the desire to quit smoking has won out over the itching – hope it will go away when I stop the Chantix.

    Posted on August 2, 2010 at 12:20 pm

  • C.Morris says:

    made it through 19 days of Chantix…yes I stopped smoking but vivid dreams, nightmares, loss of sleep, confusion and last loss of concious lead to me being taken away from my home in an ambulance in front of my family. I ended up being admitted into ICU..I was not responsive for 4 hours and had many test done to rule out other causes. Chantix is not a safe drug. It needs to be removed from the market.

    Posted on September 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  • Mike says:


    Posted on October 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

  • michael says:

    took Chantix three years ago, never had a problem….but thank god i kicked the three pack a day habit. Didn’t do any crazy stuff, but i am a well adjusted person.

    Posted on December 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

  • Anon says:

    THANK YOU to all the people who have left posts here. After reading all this, and doing more internet research, I DEFINITELY will not use this drug. THANK YOU AGAIN.

    Posted on May 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  • Paula says:

    Starting on December 24, 2009, I took Chantix for the required (by my doctor) 4 months. It actually performed just as I had wanted a medication to do for smoking cessation. I have been smoke free for 2 years now and am happy that I did it.
    Over the course of 2010 (within 5 months, I’d say) I had steady, sudden, rapid weight gain (I’ve NEVER had any issues with my weight in my entire life, I’d been the same weight for 20+ years) accompanied by explosive, continuous gas. Also, it was as if my “I’m hungry” feeling never turned off and my “I’m full” feeling never turned on. I completely felt like Violet from the Willie Wonka movie blowing up from the inside and watching the scale climb. It was (and still is) extremely uncomfortable. That’s the best way I can describe it. The gain is all in my gut on the inside where my organs are and a small amount is on the outside. I’ve been excercising and no weight has come off to date.

    Posted on March 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  • Dee says:

    It has been one year now since taking Chantix and one year SMOKE FREE. However… I have spent THOUSANDS in Doctor after Doctor visit. Thyroid quit working, adrenal gland burnout, mineral toxic overload, all hormones out of balance, terrible joint and muscle pains. Wake up every night with muscle cramps and spasms. These problems started after 3 months taking CHANTIX. One year later,,, none of these side affects are better even with thyroid meds, adrenal gland rebuilders, and hormone replacement. Do I feel better after quitting smoking?? HA – hardly.. I recommend just quit cold turkey and suffer through.. you will still have your health

    Posted on June 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

  • A T says:

    In 2007 I took Chantix for about 7 months. After 2 months I began isolating myself, prefering to stay home rather than do anything with friends. Next the symptoms of depression crept in- feelings of despair and hopelessness, inability to enjoy anything. After about 4 months I suffered from complete anhedonia- the inability to enjoy anything or to even think positive thoughts. Suicidal thoughts began to creep into my thinking. I tried to imagine what would it take to make me happy for even one moment? I fantasized about being on a high-rise balcony with a lover overlooking the beaches of Waikiki. Nothing worked. I could no longer even imagine being happy.
    Suicidal thoughts became the norm. That progressed into hallucinations of demons harboring inside of me. Every object I looked at I felt a compulsion to slash my wrists with it. I was tormented and wanted to die. Planning suicide began to overtake my every thought.
    Finally, I came to the realization that it could be the medication. So I stopped taking it. Only sight improvement. Being an RN i knew that it could take weeks for the side effects to wear off. I felt a sense of relief knowing that it had to be the medication and I just needed to be patient.
    After 2 months the symptoms had only lessened about 20%. I became concerned that the damage may be permanent. I gathered a small group of RN friends, explained the situation and listened as we brainstormed hypotheses. I was suffering from anhedonia. That is a result of a dopamine depletion. The neural pathways for dopamine and the nicotine receptors in the brain are close together. Chantix reduces the pleasure from smoking prompting one to quit. But could it also reduce dopamine causing anhedonia? That seemed like a logical conclusion. What medications can increase Dopamine? Wellbutrin and Adderal. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist the next day.
    During my session I mentioned all of the above. She prescribed Lamictil- a mood stabilizer. I was hugely disappointed, but started it anyway. I was angry that I diagnosed myself, told her the cure and she dismissed the conclusion I had reached to quickly. Out of desparation I ordered Wellbutrin online. Express shipping.
    After it arrived I started taking 150mg every day. Within 1 week my symptoms were 50% gone. Within 2 weeks 70%. I made another appointment with another psychiatrist, explained my situation and results and she immediately prescribed Wellbutrin 300 mg per day. I was almost immediately 95% after upping the dose. I remain on Wellbutrin to this day and consider it a life saver.
    About a year after my recovery I and 2 friends went to California for a 10 day vacation. I forgot my Wellbutrin. I thought I might be lucky enough to maintain a blood level adequate to enough to get me through, or perhaps I no longer needed it. Within 4 days I was suicidal and wanted to step in front of every moving car or bus I saw. I almost completely reverted back to my previous state.
    Luckily, one of my friends tood Adderal. He did not hesitate to share with me. The adderal brought about 4 hours of moderate relief from the symptoms, but it was a struggle to get through the vacation. Once I returned home, I resumed the Wellbutrin and was back to my new normal in 1 week. I don’t know how I can live without it. That is terrifying. BTW- Generic Wellbutrin can run over $500/month. I am thankful for insurance.
    I am not a physician and I cannot give medical advice. This was my experience, my non-scientific experiment. My psychiatrist recently told me that she is hearing more and more about the use of Wellbutrin to moderate the extreme symptoms brought about by the use of Chantix in some people. Personally, everyone I know who took it for even one week and felt permanent negative side-effects.
    If reading this helps just one person, causes just one person to pause before taking this drug my goal for writing this will have been accomplished.
    In my defense I started taking this medication before the black box warning. I will never take a new drug again. The evidence is mounting. This drug will eventually be removed from the market and hopefully the manufacturer, which continues to deny all charges, will be held fully accountable.
    Thanks for reading. Good luck to you

    Posted on August 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  • Angela says:

    Someone needs to investigate the connection between Chantix and hypothyroidism. I had it diagnosed months after I had quit smoking with Chantix. There is no family history of thyroid disease. After I quit smoking with Chantix I gained an extreme amount of weight for no reason. After begging my doctor to see what was happening. It was apparent I had no thyroid function. I have see many others have had the same happen to them. This needs to be looked at. Thanks

    Posted on March 9, 2016 at 9:59 am

  • Ann says:

    After the first month of taking chantix I developed lymphocytes in my right arm along with swollen lymph nodes pressing on my jugular making it difficult to swallow and and sometimes hard to breath. I developed unexplained swelling in my right leg with pockets of fluid in my thigh. My leg caused me so much pain I couldn’t sit, stand or even stand my own hand touching my leg. There was nothing I could do to relieved the pain. I have had complete numbness on my right side and have had problems with balance while walking. When I went to my doctor he immediately told me to stop taking Chantix. I had to under go numerous ultrasounds, CT exams, and MRI along with countless blood draws.

    Posted on August 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm

  • Shawna says:

    After less than a month on Chantix I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…..They really should take this off the market. no warnings about this medication causing diabetes.

    Posted on December 21, 2018 at 6:36 pm

  • Arthur says:

    I have never recovered from this drug. I have been suffering from depression since I have took this crap

    Posted on August 18, 2019 at 9:26 pm

  • Amy says:

    I quit smoking using Chantix in January 2007. A week after taking Chantix I got a bad stomach flu. Now every time I think about lighting up I become sick. So yeah it worked for me…. BUT I went from 135 lbs to 190 lbs in 3 to 4 months. Nothing else changed medication wise and my diet was the same as it was before I took this medication. I did not gain or lose any wight for 5 year no matter what diet or exercise plan I tried. They checked my thyroid 4 times in 6 months but said that it was normal and they had no idea what was causing my weight issues. I did not put on any more weight until I developed food allergies 3 years ago. I am morbidly obese and I am no longer able to eat most things and still cannot loose any weight. I don’t know if this medication is the problem or not but I know that I didn’t have any of these issues before starting Chantix.

    Posted on March 30, 2020 at 8:32 am

  • helen says:

    The best thing that ever happened for me to stop smoking I had copd was in trouble breathing after 60yrs of smoking I tried for years to quit without success and NOW have been 4yrs smoke free thanks to Chantx lungs have cleared breathing normal and I feel 15yrs younger I think millions of people stopped smoking because of Chantx everything you take even a asprin has side effects I know many people who have used Chantx with GREAT results

    Posted on September 7, 2020 at 3:47 pm

  • Jason says:

    I took the starter pack of chantix, into the second week I was having some confusion, and losing track of time, I thought I could get through it because I had already cut down to half what I normally smoked. I stopped taking it mid fourth week, severe depression set in, suicidal thoughts are overwhelming, and tonight I broke down and told my wife that I’m struggling with it many times a day now. I plan on getting psychiatric help once I get home, but I’m actually afraid I may not be as ble to keep up the fight that long. I’m lost, confused, and angry all the time. Hours go by in the day and I have no idea what I’ve done. I dont drink, or do any drugs, I don’t even like taking ibuprofen. I wish I never touched that medicine.

    Posted on October 28, 2020 at 9:59 pm

Add Your Comments

  • Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

    Provide contact information below and additional private comments if you want an attorney to contact you to review a potential case.

    The information below will not be published to this page.

  • NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.