Beware of Chantix Problems if Considering Drug as Part of a New Year’s Resolution

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted January 7, 2009


It is that time of year where people resolve to kick bad habits, and deciding to quit smoking often tops the list for those addicted to nicotine. While Pfizer probably hopes that people will look to their prescription medication Chantix to help them quit, smokers should beware of the many serious, and potentially life-threatening, Chantix problems.

>>INFORMATION: Chantix Side Effects

Chantix (varenicline tartrate) is an effective smoking-cessation aid, but it has been found to come at a cost that many consider unacceptable.

Side effects of Chantix have been associated with reports of suicides, suicide attempts, unusual behavior, new on-set diabetes, accidents caused by seizures or black-outs and a possible risk of a severe skin reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Health Canada, which is the drug regulatory agency in Canada, recently issued a press release for those considering taking the Canadian version of Chantix, marketed as Champix. The government reminded potential users that there are a number of options available to help people quit smoking, both with and without prescriptions.

For those that do decide to use Chantix, Health Canada has made the following recommendations which would also apply to users in the United States:

  • Patients, families and friends should be aware of any unusual thoughts, feelings or behaviors, especially those related to depression, agression or self-harm, and the drug should be immediately stopped if there are such concerns.
  • Patients should notify their doctor if they have experienced depression or other mental health problems before taking Chantix, as these symptoms may worsen while taking the drug.
  • Patients should not drive a car or operate hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain that Chantix side effects do not adversely affect them


The Chantix attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who committed suicide, attempted suicide, were diagnosed with diabetes for the first time after taking the drug, suffered severe and debilitating injury from an accident or fall caused by a sudden blackout or seizure, and those who have developed a rare skin reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

To review a potential case about Chantix problems experienced by yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

15 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Stan says:

    I have used Chantix and had NEVER had any side effects. I have been smoke free for 2 years and the only side effect is i’m no longer addicted to the effects of Smoking!

    Posted on January 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm

  • tessa says:

    I used chantix and the only side affect I had was weird dreams not nightmares. I am also diagnosed bi polar and had NO problems added with taking this medication. I am smoke free for over a year and would recommend to EVERYONE if you can get past the first week of taking the meds you will stop smoking!!!!!! I was a smokeer for 21 years and feel better now than ever! I agree that the one side affect I still have is I am no longer addicted to the effects of smoking.

    Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:04 pm

  • Pam says:

    I took chantix two years ago. After smoking since age 15 (am now 51), I finally foundsomethng that helped me quit.
    I became very tired after quitting smoking but thought it was due to lack of stimulant of nicotine. It continued and worsened as time went on. I just had a sleep study done. My brain is forgetting to send the signal to breath like it should. Has anyone had this side effect from takng chantix?

    Posted on February 8, 2009 at 9:32 am

  • BARB says:

    My husband just started using chantix 2 weeks ago. He never did any research on this junk and trusts the doctors would never give him anything that would harm him. The last two weeks have been hell on me. He stops breathing at night for long periods of time. Talks in his sleep and makes weird noises. I am not sure if he is having seizures while sleeping or what is going on. The whole bed shakes for hours every other night. He was very euphoric when he started this drug but is now getting very touchy and ugly. I get about 3 hours of sleep a night and its starting to take its toll. I can’t tell him to stop taking it because he thinks I am against him on this and that I am crazy to think that its so bad. After all other people take it and nothing could happen to him if it didn’t happen to them. I don’t know what to do with him and this crap the doctors push on their patients. What kind of doctor would prescribe this?

    Posted on February 20, 2009 at 1:32 am

  • Denise says:

    I have been on Chantix for 5 weeks and once I started the continuing pack I began to notice some stronger side effects.
    Let me first state that I was maybe a 10 a day smoker and my blood pressure has always been 98/60 (around that range). I have been considered by my doctor’s standards as an in shape woman of the age of 36. Never considered to have have heart problems.
    This past week I went to my doctor and he stated that I presenting symptoms typical to a heart attack; however, upon doing an EKG, it came back normal. I am scheduled to have a stress test 4/6/09.
    I feel that my doctor is incorrect in stating that my sypmtoms are not related to Chantix. The only thing that I have done differently is that I started taking Chantix.
    By the way my doctor stated that the only known side effects are nausea and weird dreams. I really must be sensative because my eyes go blurry, concentration sometimes becoming lacking, mood swings, swelling in hands and face, weight gain, joint pain, and chest pain, jaw pain, left arm pain and sometimes chest heaviness. I asked my doctor if I should stop yaking Chantix and/or go on a lower dose since I am on 1mg, he said no it’s not contributed to Chantix.
    I am a mother of 6 children and am married to a man that I never want to leave, I am just scared because I swear I just keep feeling like something is not right. My body is telling me something and neither my doctor or Pfizer want to tell me that it could possibly be this drug.
    By the way I have been an on again-off again smoker since the age of 18. I have quite smoking but at what cost to my body.

    Posted on April 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  • Maureen says:

    I took Chantix for maybe 6 wks early in 2008 – had success with quitting smoking BUT the health problems started not long after and have continued making me wonder if I have caused mroe harm to myself than good.

    I have had my gall bladder removed due to extreme pain – now three months later they believe there are other gastro issues causing more pain on my right side – almost a burning that radiates to my back. I have muscle pain and an ungodly weight gain that doesn’t make sense. My thought processes are definately muddled and I do get unexpected spells of light headed-ness to the point of nasea or fear of passing out. I even had a cardio cath done as a result of what they thought they saw via my stress test – again false – but personally I believe all of the above is due to Chantix. It’s amazing I never have an urge to smoke even when surrounded by people or in circumstances that having a cigarette might previously relax me – no cravings at all – seems like a miracle – but at what cost is what scares me ! Based on the number of similiar blogs I wonder if a class action suit isn’t warranted …I certainly would participate !

    Posted on May 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm

  • Jessica says:

    I, like many others, did not do my research on Chantix before begining my prescription. The first week was easy. By day 10 I had a series of major health concerns. I am dx bi-polar and was not notified of the increase side effects of anyone with a mental illness. I experienced rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, fainting, black outs, nasaua, dizziness, shaking, major anxiety attacks, loss of sleep, etc (I could go on!!) As my symptoms occured I made an emergency dr. appointment. I was told by the practice pharmisist that when drug studies were being conducted, all people with underlying mental illness, were excluded because of the major side effects. I blame myself for not researching the drug better, my dr for knowing about my bi-polar and still prescribing the drug, and the drug company for doing more research. Worst experience of my life!! BTW…still a smoker!

    Posted on August 22, 2009 at 11:56 pm

  • paulla says:

    I obtained blood clots in my wrist after taking chantix for about three months or so. I came within 2 hours of loosing my hand if I had not gone to the emergercy room because my hand was blue. I now am on blood thinners for the rest of my life along with high blood presure medicine(i have never had high blood pressure in my life).

    Posted on August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm

  • Andrea says:

    I took Chantix for about 4 weeks in 2007 and have had serious medical issues since then. I suspect these are due to using Chantix. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia having symptoms including severe fatigue, flu-like sxs, muscle pain, constipation and severe stomach bloating (which has been diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome), swelling and burning in my hands and feet, insomnia, tiring easily, stomach ulcers and more. I had none of these prior to Chantix use and have suffered with them begining shortly after stopping. Has anyone else had any of these problems? If so, I would appreciate any input.

    Posted on June 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm

  • Adam says:

    I’ve taken Chantix off and on for over 3 years now. I took my original 3 months and then the remainder of my wife’s pills. As of this weekend, my wife has been smoke-free 3 years!!! She had no side effects at all. I have quit a few times, usually a month at a time. I wind up starting again, not because of cravings, more of something to do?!?!? The only side effects I have had are the vivid dreams and some constipation. The best side effect is it has allowed me the ability to eat anything..I used to get sick from MANY foods, egg, onions, or anything with those in with Chantix I can eat anything and not suffer…Was actually on here looking for long-term effects…trying to get Dr. to perscribe for everyday use.

    Posted on September 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm

  • alex t. says:

    I was on it for 3 days… i had a spell were i had stomach pains 10 out of 10 which led to explosive diarrhea ..followed by dizziness and passing out. After the spell was over i had a headache… didnt even make it to the full dose… not the drug for me. I ll have to quit the old fasion way… that was prettyy scary…..

    Posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

  • Dima says:

    Way to go. I am 29 years old and had been smoking since I was 15. It has been 1 month and 2 weeks and I still don’t want to smoke. I also have asmtha and don’t want to die young.

    Posted on September 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

  • Kristi says:

    I took Chantix for 6 weeks only because I couldn’t tolerate the night terrors anymore. Now, almost a year later of being smoke free, I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m angry to the point of enraged at any given time. I’ve gained an enormous amount of weight. I’ve spoke to my doctor who feels it has nothing to do with Chantix. I feel it would be better to just start smoking again. I would never recommend this medication to anyone.

    Posted on February 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm

  • Susan says:

    I would be very careful about taking Chantix on a regular basis. I started on Chantix the first of March and took it every day until October 16th when I ended up in the hospital with acute pulmonary embolisms. The saddle type that they tell me is very serious. Taking Chantix was the only thing that I did differently. I don’t do a lot of sitting. I had just finished stacking 6 cord of wood and when I got in the house, I couldn’t breathe. I also had a slight heart attack at the same time. It seems that the medical community knows very little about Chantix. The doctor kept prescribing it, the pharmacy kept filling the prescriptions and the insurance company kept paying for it. If you take the Chantix, you are taking your life in your own hands.

    Posted on January 11, 2018 at 10:54 pm

  • Marsha says:

    My 39 year old son recently spent 8 days in the hospital with acute pulmonary embolism after taking Chantix. Dangerous drug.

    Posted on February 8, 2020 at 9:53 pm

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