Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chantix and Suicide

Here's an article with first-hand information about the dangers of Chantix and how it can affect you psychologically. This, along with the lawsuits currently being brought against the drug in both the US and the UK (marketed there are "Champix," perhaps because it's supposed to turn you into a "Champ"), paints a pretty scary picture of what could happen if you begin taking it.

This is a drug so dangerous that it has been banned by the FAA, as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, mainly because it has been linked to seizures that cause a driver (or potentially a pilot) to lose control of his vehicle.

My recommendation, as always, is to find a way to quit smoking that doesn't involve putting more drugs into your system. I know, I know... that seems like a crazy idea in today's world... but there it is.

Taking a dangerous drug to cure an addiction to a dangerous drug simply doesn't make sense.

Here's a portion of the article. The link to the full article follows below.

Chantix Suicide a Real Possibility
November 22, 2008. By Heidi Turner

Mound, MN: Amy M. can tell you that the possibility of a Chantix suicide is very real, especially for people who already experience depression. She was on Chantix for just over a week when she began suffering serious side effects. Amy has since stopped taking Chantix, but says she is worried about other people who may be severely affected by the drug.

"Before I started taking Chantix, I called the doctor. I have borderline personality and anxiety disorder and depression. I am being treated for all of them and I'm doing fine. I see a counselor and the only medication I was on was 50 mg of Zoloft. I read all the side effects of Chantix and told the doctor that it sounded a little risky, but she wanted me to try taking it anyway.

"So, I started on August 21, 2008. On August 29, 2008, I called the Chantix hotline because I had that support system in place. I was a frantic mess. They [the Chantix hotline alerted the health department to Amy's situation and passed along their notes] wrote down that I had irritability, I was screaming and crying, I was out of control and depressed, I felt like killing myself and I was yelling at everyone around me. I was afraid to eat and I could not sleep. There was probably much more than that, but I do know that I wanted to kill myself and I was out of control. I don't remember everything I said because I was so out of it, but I know I was frantic.

"Then, on September 2 [after moving up to 2 Chantix pills a day] I really went out of control. I called my mom and she told me to get to the ER because I told her I wanted to kill myself and I was screaming and crying. I went to the ER and they asked me if I would kill myself. I said that I would not, which was why I had gone to the ER, so they gave me Ativan. The doctor felt it was safe to let me go because I was not psychotic. I was to take one Ativan every 8 hours until the Chantix was out of my system. Two days after the Chantix was out of my system, I was 100 percent back to myself.

"I would not recommend this drug to anybody. I have heard good and bad about and I am very afraid that it will take someone's life. If this can happen to me, it can happen to multiple people. I can't believe how bad it is. It's not good."

Click here for the full article.

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