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Author Topic: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.  (Read 4055 times)

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Offline vegaslocal39

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Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« on: April 17, 2008, 07:38:27 AM »
I don't post often, but I read daily.  I had to post on this one.

I've been poz for 14 years, and on meds for 4 years.  Since going on meds, I've always taken the same cocktail; what is now Atripla.  Since I went on meds, my viral load has been undetectable, but my CD4's have never broken out of the high 400's - except twice.

Twice in the last four years I have quit smoking - once about two years ago (evenutally I started again), and once about three months ago.  Both times, my CD4's have jumped into the upper 600's, a gain of 200 T-cells!  I pointed this out to my doctor and told him that I supposed it was completely coincidental, but he strongly disagreed.

So, if you smoke, try to stop.  You may just get a huge T-cell boost.

Offline BT65

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2008, 07:58:04 AM »
Ask your doctor to provide a study that directly links stopping smoking to a rise in CD4s.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline keyite

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2008, 07:59:52 AM »
Actually uninfected smokers - for some reason - have higher CD4 counts on average, by an average of 143 cells: http://www.aidsmap.com/cms1031918.asp

Apparently the same trend towards higher CD4 counts are found in those that are HIV+.

Still, smoking obviously causes an overall negative effect on health so stopping is always a good idea. So have you succeeded in quitting or are you planning another go? I have seen enough people try to know it's not easy..
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 08:02:56 AM by keyite »

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2008, 08:02:17 AM »
It's a funny thing how are bodies work. I've been on meds forever and quit smoking over three years ago. Only once in ten years have my CD4's ever climbed above three hundred before quickly returning to the mid two hundreds.

I recommend quitting smoking for everyone but don't get discouraged if you don't see a tenfold rise in your CD4's. Numbers or not you'll save a buttload of money and you won't smell bad.

Online Jeff G

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2008, 08:43:06 AM »
 I Just quit again , 4 days now cold turkey . This is nothing new I quit 2 - 3 times a year . I always start back . All it takes is to be around some one that smokes and I'm right back at it . I want to stay off the nicotine but I have little confidence in myself in this area . I used to be a drug addict , quitting meth and eventually methadone was a walk in the park compared to my battle with nicotine addiction . Keep your fingers crossed for me .

Offline vegaslocal39

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2008, 09:36:44 AM »
Well, I suppose your mileage may vary.  If you don't believe this will help you, then do whatever works for you.  I just wanted to report that my T-cells seem to jump when I don't smoke.

I don't know if I will be smoke free forever.  It's a difficult addiction to break.  As long as I stay away from places where people are smoking, I have an easier time with it.  For me, the patch works the best.  I've tried the lozenges, but the inherent hand-to-mouth way that you use them, keeps me using them forever.  The patch allows me to step down gradually without the strong overwhelming urges that I get with the lozenges.

As far as asking my doctor to provide studies that prove that quitting smoking helps, I don't see the point.  I don't see how giving my lungs a break can do anything but help me fight this virus.

I just wanted to share.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2008, 09:37:21 AM »
I smoke (although only 1/2 pack/day) and my cd4's have been +1,000 for a year and a half.   I have also quit several times during my 15 years of being on HIV meds, and frankly can't recall in correlation any my cd4 counts.

Anecdotal information like this means nothing.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline rondrond

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2008, 10:25:29 AM »
I Just quit again , 4 days now cold turkey . This is nothing new I quit 2 - 3 times a year . I always start back . All it takes is to be around some one that smokes and I'm right back at it . I want to stay off the nicotine but I have little confidence in myself in this area . I used to be a drug addict , quitting meth and eventually methadone was a walk in the park compared to my battle with nicotine addiction . Keep your fingers crossed for me .

My fingers are crossed,  and as Betty says...so are my legs.
ron
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
AZT
Norvir
1994-2001
Crixivan/Epivir/Zerit
No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Sept '09  6 blood clots in left arm
Coumadin 5mgs
                                     
Atenolol/50mg/2x
Hydrochlorth 25mg/1x
Gemfibrozil/300mgs/2X
Symbicort
Proventil Inhaler
Potassium
Rhinocort


*APR 08~Viramune/Truvada
March08  CD4 330 23% VL 452.000 
*Jan09 Med change~Epzicom/Viramune

Aug09   CD4 523 23%  VL<48
Diagnosed: COPD
Dec 2013: CD4 645 45% VL 49
Med Change: Viramune/Epivir/Ziagen/Isentress

Offline dixieman

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2008, 05:21:18 PM »

I think you doctor is full of it... in correlation to smoking and non-smoking in cd4 count... my cd4 count averages between 1400 to 1500 and I am an off and on again smoker... I find that people who drink alcohol  excessively have lower cd4 counts than people who drink occassionally and or not at all... I guess it would be with the bodies absorbtion of the meds... maybe interfered by alcohol... but, smoking is a health hazzard which leads to other factors in ill health but, not cd4 counts... who cares its better to QUIT!

Offline BT65

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2008, 07:10:51 PM »
I Just quit again , 4 days now cold turkey . This is nothing new I quit 2 - 3 times a year . I always start back . All it takes is to be around some one that smokes and I'm right back at it . I want to stay off the nicotine but I have little confidence in myself in this area . I used to be a drug addict , quitting meth and eventually methadone was a walk in the park compared to my battle with nicotine addiction . Keep your fingers crossed for me .

Jg, mucho luck to you.  Last summer I quit for 3 months with the patch.  Then, when my mum started going downhill right before she died, I started up again.  In the last 3 months, I've quit numerous times.  I tried Chantix, but that sent my mood through the roof (anxiety attacks etc.).  I have about 2 months worth of patches.  I know I'm going to quit again; just not sure when.  I was in the throws of addiction myself before, and you're right; other drugs were easier than nicotine.  I think there are numerous reasons for that. 

I'm keeping my fingers and (yes) my legs crossed.  Let me know how it goes for ya.
   Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online Jeff G

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2008, 07:33:14 PM »
Thanks Betty and Ron .

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2008, 07:38:44 PM »
Numbers or not you'll save a buttload of money and you won't smell bad.


Plus one can avoid that wonderful film of black on their pink lungs.

Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline bear60

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 09:20:23 AM »
15 years ago, I would not have agreed but today I agree that quitting smoking may be beneficial to your overall health .
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2008, 06:45:28 PM »
15 years ago, I would not have agreed but today I agree that quitting smoking may be beneficial to your overall health .


Oh, I agree that it's probaby beneficial to overall health; but direct relation to rising CD4s, I'm not buying.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2008, 07:02:44 PM »
Definitely.  The point of most replies was that there are plenty of OTHER reasons to quit smoking, but not for the reason present in the opening post.  Basically his logic was "I've found that when I sit on a green pillow my cd4's go down, but when I sit on a red one they go up -- if you sit on a red pillow your cd4's will also go up SO DO IT!"   
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2008, 02:36:47 AM »
I filled an antique medicine bottle with green glitter, colored beads and colored pieces of paper, while sitting on a moon lit beach on the Sonoma Coast during a full moon.  I invoked the powers of the spirit elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water and Hygeia, Goddess of Health and Hecate, Queen Goddess of Life and Death
I then tied a green ribbon around my bottle (three times) saying...
"Thrice I bind thee, Herb for healing, Herb for hope, Herb for strength to, Help me cope!"

As my fire roared, I closed my circle of power, packed my gear and climbed up the cliff to my car.  My T-cells remained unchanged, my VL has remained undetectable as it had for 9 years prior to that night and another 13 months since.  ;D  I can go five days without a cigarette, without a patch but tobacco is a preferred Herb to the god Mars (I use a lower case 'g' to not appear pretentious)  ;D ;D

All seriousness aside, I can think of a few pretty good reasons to stop smoking but my doc will not give me Chantrix or a third run on the transdermal patch.  I believe that if there were a study correlating a significant boost in T-cells with stopping smoking, I may get another months worth of patch.  ;D Have the best day
Michael

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2008, 02:48:22 AM »
Michael---

Funny my doctor won't give me chantix either because I smoke weed. But I have a friend who used chantix, stopped smoking but still smokes weed. He has been on meds longer than I have and his cd4 is just a little bit better than mine and I started meds last September. He hasn't reached undetectable and I had within a month of meds. Wondering how you explain that one. Point being, since he stopped smoking cigs shouldn't his cd4 be higher and why isn't he undetectable? I think there is more to it than to just quit smoking, though I honestly would like to...the cigs, not the green.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2008, 03:11:41 AM »
Michael---

Funny my doctor won't give me chantix either because I smoke weed. But I have a friend who used chantix, stopped smoking but still smokes weed. He has been on meds longer than I have and his cd4 is just a little bit better than mine and I started meds last September. He hasn't reached undetectable and I had within a month of meds. Wondering how you explain that one. Point being, since he stopped smoking cigs shouldn't his cd4 be higher and why isn't he undetectable? I think there is more to it than to just quit smoking, though I honestly would like to...the cigs, not the green.

My Queen,

I also smoke the green and my doc knows this because I have a prescription since Marinol did not cut it for me and the side effects.  Having grown up in what they call "The Emerald Triangle" I have always smoked the green but now, I am licensed by the State, filed with the County and carry a picture ID saying so.  ;D ;D ;D

I smoke a lot of cigarettes 1 to 2 packs per day, have for a long time and have been undetectable since 1998.  My T-cells seen to maintain themselves at around 350 and have gone up to 465 recently.  I believe this is because of strict adherance to my med schedule.  My doc is not concerned about my T-cell counts as they remain fairly stable and more recently, he has said I can expect to live to see 85 and will probably die of a heart attack instead of HIV.

I was on Lipitor for a few years because my Cholesterol was too high, then removed and now on Simvastatin (40 mg) as Lipitor is no longer on the formulary of my Med Provider.   I have also recently started on Lisinopril (10 mg) for blood pressure.  He also suggests, I let someone else speak to the public of Sonoma County on HIV funding issues because I have done more than my share and it is time for me to have fun  ;D  I do everything my doctor advises so I have stopped speaking and AM having fun  ;D  Have the best day
Michael

Offline vegaslocal39

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2008, 07:05:39 AM »
Wow.  I thought this was the right place to share my experiences.  I guess not.  I suppose I should have been more clear in my original post.

I merely wanted to share that the only thing I could see that would have caused these two spikes in my CD4's was the fact that I had not been smoking.  I was not trying to say that if you quit, that you will have a CD4 boost.  I was trying to say that if you quit, you MAY have a CD4 boost.  Big difference between "will" and "may".  Try reading more carefully next time.

As I pointed out to my doctor, I thought the spikes were merely coincidental.  The doctor is the one who assured me they are not.  He is a top ID doctor in the central Florida area.  I have to believe that he knows what he is talking about.

But the main feeling I get from your responses, is that my experiences are ridiculous, have no merit, and are not worth sharing.  That's exactly the reason that I don't post here.  It's like a little clique of bitchy queens who can't wait to jump all over you if you don't back up every experience you have with a published medical study, a dated photograph, and a freaking notarized set of test results.

If you don't feel that my post was worth a hill of beans, why don't you just keep your opinions to yourself and move on?  I have just as much right to share my experiences with this disease as ll of you. 

Surely, nobody will be harmed by my suggestion and the relating of my personal experience.




Offline BT65

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2008, 08:30:55 AM »
When something is presented as a medical 'fact,' then yes, I for one would like a link to a factual medical study.  I don't take anyone at their 'word,' doctor or no doctor. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2008, 08:42:19 AM »
... and Betty isn't a "bitchy queen" either
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline thunter34

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2008, 08:48:09 AM »
  I was not trying to say that if you quit, that you will have a CD4 boost.  I was trying to say that if you quit, you MAY have a CD4 boost.  Big difference between "will" and "may".  Try reading more carefully next time.

Oh.  Well.  Pardon us for interpreting "Want CD4 boost?  Quit smoking" that way.  There's no call for this huffy little rant of yours.  Most all of these responses endorse your call to quit smoking.  They simply call into question the correlation (made in the title of this thread and by your doctor) that smoking automatically leads to higher CD4 counts.

But the main feeling I get from your responses, is that my experiences are ridiculous, have no merit, and are not worth sharing.  That's exactly the reason that I don't post here.  It's like a little clique of bitchy queens who can't wait to jump all over you if you don't back up every experience you have with a published medical study, a dated photograph, and a freaking notarized set of test results.

Who is the bitchy little queen now?  Come again?  Yes, we most often ask for published medical studies, photographs and "freaking notarized test results".  We tend to be picky like that when it comes to claims made in relation to HIV.  And I'm personally darn proud of that little habit.  It's what sets this place apart from most all of the trolling grounds from HIV information on the web.  It's because of that pickiness that I feel confident in relying on this site in support of my own continued health concerns.

If you don't feel that my post was worth a hill of beans, why don't you just keep your opinions to yourself and move on?  I have just as much right to share my experiences with this disease as ll of you. 

Because that isn't how it works on a forum board, dearest.  If you post, you invite responses from everyone else...even the ones you don't like to read.  Yes, you have just as much right to share your experiences as anyone else...but we have just as much right to issue our opinions about those posts.  Even if it causes your panties to bunch when we do.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 08:50:12 AM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline vegaslocal39

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2008, 09:36:03 AM »
LOL!  Okay, all unbunched now.  Sorry, but it just seems that whenever I have tried to share something, it's just been rebutted, rebuked, and dismissed.  And I'm not one of those conspiracy crackpot do-gooders who says crap like, "Take some extra zinc and you'll be all better."  It's not just this post, but whenever I've tried to share.  Yet at the same time, there is such an outpouring of love and support for other folks who contribute to the discussion.  I just don't understand it.

I'll start all over.  Here is what I meant to say in my original post:

Title:  "I got a CD4 boost!  Possibly due to not smoking?"

Post: "Over the last four years, I have had two significant jumps in CD4's.  Each time, it correlated to a period of time when I was able to stop smoking for a good long while.  I expressed to the doc that I thought it was coincidental, but he disagreed.  I have absolutely no studies to back this up and I didn't press the doctor for references.  We were way too busy discussing other more pressing issues from my test results.  If you smoke, you may want to try to quit and see if you get a boost.  If it works for you, great, if not, well it was worth a shot.  No harm, no foul....smoke 'em if you got 'em."

I apologize for taking offense and I'm good now, but I'm extra moody without my cigarrettes.  I'll go back to lurking and will refrain from posting any further experiences.  As they say, if you can't take the heat....I guess that's me. 



Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2008, 09:40:43 AM »
Look honey, if it's working for you great.  Like I said, there are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, so as long as you are not smoking we're all happy for you.  Seriously.  We folks who smoke and/or have once smoked all know that it's one of the most difficult tasks in life to accomplish, so if this line of thinking is self-reinforcing go for it.

Now buck up and don't let these diseased Negative Nancies bother you.  Keep on posting and pay them no mind.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline thunter34

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2008, 09:44:36 AM »
I apologize for taking offense and I'm good now, but I'm extra moody without my cigarrettes. 

Aha.  Now we're getting somewhere.   :P

Yes, this is a tough crowd.  I won't deny that.  But, like you said...look at all the crackpots and snake oil salesmen that roll up around here. 

We had a lively discussion about the life saving benefits of potatos just last night.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2008, 09:46:54 AM »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Online Jeff G

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2008, 09:51:01 AM »
 I guess I wouldn't be so bitchy if I could just smoke again .... or put a tater in my butt  :-*

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2008, 09:52:53 AM »
I apologize for taking offense and I'm good now, but I'm extra moody without my cigarrettes.  I'll go back to lurking and will refrain from posting any further experiences.  As they say, if you can't take the heat....I guess that's me.  

Vegas darling, never, ever, pay attention to Timmy or Philly. They will drive you to drink. I know for a fact that my CD4's decrease every time I read their posts. ;D

Offline thunter34

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2008, 09:53:24 AM »
Yes vegas, make sure you click here for a good laugh :)

Oooh, yes.  I was lovin' the potato thread.  Alas, it got locked...and I had a new set of potato jokes all ready to roll, too.

Phooey.

I guess it was getting under some people's skins.

-Pow!  Zing!  Badda Boom, Badda Bing!
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline BT65

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2008, 11:01:17 AM »
Vegas, I believe not smoking is good for anyone, including me.  I have a whole month's worth of patches just waiting for me to use, someday. 

I also think that when some people quit smoking, other things in their lives seem to improve (exercising, generally  taking better care of themselves).  All those factors can possibly lead to higher CD4s. 

Good luck with the quitting.  I hope to be there someday myself.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Ann

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Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2008, 08:36:01 PM »
I'd rather smoke myself into oblivion than swing from the rafters.

Anyone considering trying Champix/Chantix needs to be aware of the possible psychological side effects. That shit is potentially fatal.

Just sayin...

Ann
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Offline DanielMark

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  • Posts: 1,475
Re: Want CD4 boost? Quit smoking.
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2008, 08:47:45 AM »
That was certainly my experience Ann and Iím glad you mention it. At first it seemed like a miracle drug the way it seemed to wipe out the cravings. Then about the third week - BAM! I began to have some very dark thinking and even contemplated suicide.

The thing is, everyone is different and so no two people will respond to any drug in exactly the same way.

I might also mention that I quit smoking for twelve years previously by going cold turkey. This time around however, itís ten times harder to quit. CD4 counts rise and fall, for all sorts of reasons, Vegas. Glad youíre having good success.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

 


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