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Old 05-29-2007, 08:18 AM   #1
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DH is having trouble

Me again

DH & I started Chantix on 5/7 and quit smoking last Monday/Tuesday, 5/21/5/22.

DH was half-a-pack-a-day smoker for about 20 years.

He did fine the first week or two on Chantix, but starting last Thursday, three days into his quit, he became severely depressed. His libido is gone, has no energy at all, and is sleeping between 16 and 18 hours a day. It's not a "needy" depressive state, either. Any kind of physical contact at all -- even a hug -- is making him cringe. He's also not waking up with his morning erections, a first in the 19 years I've known him and been waking up next to him

He says it's the pill and he wants to stop it immediately. I can't help but wonder if it's nicotine withdrawals, but even there, the week before he quit, he was only smoking a couple cigarettes a day. Do some of the side effects of Chantix come out weeks after it's started?

He truly feels the Chantix did its job, but now he wants to be done with it. He doesn't want a cigarette at all. He's said over and over that he doesn't believe a cigarette would make him feel any better at all.

What do y'all think? Has anyone experienced anything like this from the medicine, withdrawals, or both? I can completely and totally understand -- from firsthand experience -- knowing a medication is doing something "off" to me, and I respect his wanting to go off. Not to mention it will save us $144 this month! When do the lethargy, depression and decreased libido subside? I'd be interested in hearing responses from folks who used other aids to quit, too, if any of these "effects" are similar.

Today's the man's birthday. He hasn't smoked in over a week! What an accomplishment on such a fine, memorable day. I just really wish the depression would subside so he could enjoy it.

 
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: DH is having trouble

I can attest to the tiredness. About two weeks after I began taking Chantix, I was suddenly feeling falling-down tired -- for the next two weeks, before it finally subsided. If I had a morning meeting at work, I waited to take the pill until after the meeting was finished, because I was honestly afraid of falling asleep. So I understand your husband's sleeping 16-18 hours a day.

About the other problems he's having, I'm single so I don't hug anyone on a regular basis, anyway, and I've never had morning erections.

Are you experiencing any "unusual" symptoms? It would be so much easier if everyone reacted the same way to medication!

Happy birthday to the hubby!

 
Old 05-30-2007, 05:40 AM   #3
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Re: DH is having trouble

Update: DH has reduced his dosage, and it seems to be helping. There was a post here a few months ago about how some nice, quiet guy ended up in a bar fight and went from bouts of depression to complete rage and violence. I told DH about that when I read it, and he said last night he understands where that man was in his head. DH is a shy, quiet artist -- he won't even step on an ant if he can help it. He's been a really different person on this medication, especially since he's quit smoking on it. We've been going back and forth wondering if it's nicotine withdrawals or the med itself.

Anyway, he reduced his dosage on Monday to 1/2 pill in the a.m. and 1/2 pill in the p.m. (these are the non-starter pills), continued with that yesterday, and by last night, he said he felt at least 50 percent better. The only bad news here is that he said his cravings for a cigarette were stronger yesterday

I guess it's not for everyone. We're both very thankful it helped get him past the hardest hurdle.

 
Old 05-30-2007, 08:29 AM   #4
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Skimmer HB User
Re: DH is having trouble

Stenolady - that's fine that he's reduced his dosage - me and my hubby quit taking it altogether after 2 weeks. Didn't like the side effects - lack of sleep - constipation - was more than we could handle. We felt confident we could quit the drugs, and not go back to smoking - and we both did fine.....you have to want to quit THAT badly, and make up your mind, this is it, NO MORE SMOKING!!!

SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION

 
Old 05-30-2007, 08:54 AM   #5
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Re: DH is having trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMeInID View Post
I can attest to the tiredness. About two weeks after I began taking Chantix, I was suddenly feeling falling-down tired -- for the next two weeks, before it finally subsided. If I had a morning meeting at work, I waited to take the pill until after the meeting was finished, because I was honestly afraid of falling asleep. So I understand your husband's sleeping 16-18 hours a day.

About the other problems he's having, I'm single so I don't hug anyone on a regular basis, anyway, and I've never had morning erections.

Are you experiencing any "unusual" symptoms? It would be so much easier if everyone reacted the same way to medication!

Happy birthday to the hubby!
Hi, Justme

I'd posted a bit of an update down below, but I just wanted to thank you for your post!

Yeah, I'm dealing with some side effects, but not like DH. I'm having trouble with severe nausea if I don't split the pills in half; very, very vivid dreams (this I like ); postnasal drip; a dull headache that's been there since I started the first pill; lack of energy/tiredness first two, three weeks; and moderate joint pain, namely behind my left knee and my right elbow. I understand that these things go away after stopping the pill, and aside from the nausea -- which I was able to correct on my own with dosage -- everything has been tolerable.

 
Old 05-30-2007, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: DH is having trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimmer View Post
Stenolady - that's fine that he's reduced his dosage - me and my hubby quit taking it altogether after 2 weeks. Didn't like the side effects - lack of sleep - constipation - was more than we could handle. We felt confident we could quit the drugs, and not go back to smoking - and we both did fine.....you have to want to quit THAT badly, and make up your mind, this is it, NO MORE SMOKING!!!

SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION
Fantastic, Skimmer! How long did it take for the med to get out of your system?

 
Old 06-13-2007, 07:34 AM   #7
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Re: DH is having trouble

Hi

My husband and I were on Chantix for a month, he started a week after me. I must say it did cure my cravings for a cigarette and I have been smoking for thirty years. The side effects my doctor presented me along with the website of Chantix were basically NOTHING compared to what my husband and I experienced. The nausea was worse than I expected but since it only lasted about 1 hour, I figured I could deal with that. The day I started taking Chantix I developed a sleep disorder, not just insomia. I would waken and stay awake for hours OR sleep on a cusp between being awake and asleep. I did that for a month with a full time family and job.

My husband also experienced the same thing but the worse thing ever was the RAGE that started to build in our lives as we progressed in taking the pills. I thought I was stressed out and since I was a week ahead in taking the medicine, my husband thought I was losing my mind. The rage was very real and I had rage reactions to everyday situations that would just normally annoy me. It was very scary to think I was losing my mind and was becoming a danger to my family. Gee, I work with mentally disabled people who physically attack me and I am a trained professional in dealing with defusing crisis situations and here I am becoming a problem myself.

My prescription ran out and my doctor didn't renew it in time so I went three days without Chantix and immediately my rage abated and I started to sleep. I still did not think it was related to the pill but thought it was related to the lack of sleep. Then my husband hit rage mode. We sat down and talked and put two and two together. It was the pills.

I rechecked the Pzifer web site for this type of side effect but none was listed. I started cruising the web and I found more accurate and honest portrayals of side effects for some people taking this drug and sleep disorders and rage are among them.

I wish that these side effects would be listed, even if 'studies' think it is only remotely possible. To me, one person acting on rage against another person because of a drug reaction is ONE person too many.

I am not posting this to put Chantix down. I am glad it is the miracle drug for quitting for many many many people. What needs to be said is that miracle drugs don't work for everyone and if you find yourself with rage building within you, get off the drug and call your doctor immediately. To me that is the responsible way of reporting and handling any drug, specifically this one.

 
Old 06-13-2007, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: DH is having trouble

I think you have to remember that chantix is still an experimental drug. They say you should take it for several months. I know quite a few people who quit smoking with it but they all quit smoking and the chantix within the first month. I had to quit the chantix after 3 weeks. First I felt like I didn't need it anymore, cravings were gone. of course I still had to deal with the thoughts of cigarettes. That is mostly going away now. Also, I was having severe muscle aches and stiffness. Was only tired the first week of taking it. So if I were you guys I would quit taking it ASAP. Good luck

 
Old 06-13-2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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Re: DH is having trouble

DH has been off for a couple weeks now and is still not smoking. His rage/violence/depression "dark place" is improving, but it definitely did not disappear once he stopped the Chantix.

I'd love to report this to our doctor, but our family physician dropped us after 12 years of being in his care. He won't tell us why. He just wrote us each three refills of Chantix and said he won't treat us anymore, as well as all of his affiliated physicians.

So DH is off Chantix completely, and if I have anything strange enough to report, I'm going to report it to my gyno who was aware I was starting the medicine and supportive of me trying to quit.

I'm weaning myself off at this point. I've been smoke free 22 days, and I plan on my wean taking about another week and a half. I'm down to one milligram per day, split in half for once in the morning and once at night. I, too, am having joint pain -- but so is DH now! And he's been off Chantix for weeks. While he was on Chantix, he did not have any joint and muscle pain. At this point, we'd both just like to be able to say any "effect" we're going through is from quitting smoking, not a side effect from a medication.

And I thought Chantix was experimental, too. Not so much, actually. Eastern Europe's been using cytisine, which is what Chantix, or ***********, is based on, for years -- even as far back as WWII for soldiers to keep them from going through nicotine withdrawals. It's called Tabex.

Unfortunately, any time any of us uses a medication, new or old, we need to be aware of our bodies and any reactions we might have. I don't we can simply rely on any pharmaceutical company to be looking out for our best interests. And health care has just become a giant business to those in it <sigh>.

Anyway, we're listening to our bodies on this med. We're thrilled it's helped us quit, but DH absolutely can't tolerate it, and I'm starting my wean. I see no need to continue on this for six months.

Last edited by StenoLady1; 06-13-2007 at 08:49 AM.

 
Old 06-13-2007, 10:04 AM   #10
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Re: DH is having trouble

Wow, I did not know that chantix has been around that long. I just knew I wanted off of it. My joint pain improved after I quit the chantix. It kind of scared me.
It really is strange that your doctor of so many years would drop you! I think I would have to stand in his reception room and talk real loud until he would tell me something. Of course that probably wouldn't work. But it would make me feel better.
I'm glad your hubby is coming out of the dark place.thats kinda scary too. I agree about the taking care with any meds. all of our bodies are different and react differntly.
congrats on being smokefree for 22 days! wooohoooo

 
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