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Author Topic: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)  (Read 3750 times)

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Offline Peter Staley

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For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« on: June 04, 2008, 11:52:59 AM »
Our latest Special Report:

Ready to Quit? The Risks and Rewards of a Potent Smoking-Cessation Drug
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/aids_chantix_smoking_2042_14674.shtml



P.S.  This posting is not meant to make light of Ann's scary reaction to Chantix.  I hope she'll chime in here on how her story relates to our reporting on the drug.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 11:58:34 AM by Peter Staley »

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 01:56:12 PM »
I've been ready to quit and even asked my primary doctor about starting Chantix. He will not give it to me. His reasoning has been from I will lose more of my hearing to he can't give it to me because I smoke the good green which I don't see how that even matters, thc and nicotine is two different things. And I tried getting it from my lung specialist when I saw him but he didn't want to do it either and said that my primary should give it to me. But after all that fussing to get it, doesn't matter cause my insurance won't cover it. Sucks when you want to quit and can't.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
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Offline BT65

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 02:01:31 PM »
I read the report that you posted, Peter, earlier today.  I did Chantix for quite awhile and it made me have anxiety attacks (quite severe).  It did, however, kill the desire to quit smoking after about a week.  It didn't really cause the depression thing.  The method I used before that I had the most success with is the patch.  My Medicare Part D doesn't cover the patch anymore since Chantix came out.  But, the cost of the patch is comparable with cigarettes.  Dunno.  I'm trying Welbutrin now, we'll see how it goes.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline shadowfluid

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 02:52:27 PM »
I just started the patch at 7mg ($25) the other day and I usually can go three days on it and come off of it.  It's rough the first few days and I get depressed but on Day 3 and can actually smell things!  I'm sure it'll work fine for me this time around as I was smoking 10/day.  What's get me every time is the bars on Saturday nights....that's the biggest trigger for me.   I figure starting at 14 mg if you're a heavy smoker even though the package says otherwise and then go to 7mg for three days.  I think there are 6 in each pack so if you screw up you can always get another round.  i'm not addictive in nature but have been smoking for 13 years on and off. I
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2008, 05:43:35 PM »
I did Chantix without side effects but two months later I started smoking again. Hearing loss. I'm deaf in one ear and my doctor prescribed it.

Offline Ann

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2008, 05:46:23 PM »
Gee Peter, thought I was in trouble for something! (like being sound asleep on the couch when you were IMing me earlier?)

Well, ok, here goes - Champix and me.

I first tried it in late October of last year. My quit date was my birthday and as some of you know, the day before my birthday my long term relationship bit the dust. I only had three ciggies left and didn't think I'd smoke them all - the Champix was working really well. The only side-effect I experienced up to that point was vivid dreams and I liked them.

By the time my (ex)partner left the house that day, I'd smoked all three remaining ciggies and headed over the road to the shop for more. The next day (my bd) I decided I wasn't going to quit quitting and carried on taking the drug and cut back on the smokes again. A few days later I started having quite dramatic panic attacks - not like me at all. At first I put it down to the break-up. Then I missed a couple doses and ~hey presto~ no panic attacks. When I realised I missed some doses and started taking it again, the panic attacks returned.

I decided to stop taking it as I figured by this time it was a combination of the break-up and the drug. I put it on the back burner until I was back on a more even emotional keel.

Well, I started seeing my old flame Foxtrot and going to the pubs with him. I was happy, etc etc etc. The Manx government was bringing in a total smoking ban in public places - including pubs - so I got a new script for Champix and set my new quit date for the end of March, to coincide with the start of the smoking ban.

I started getting anxiety attacks again, but not as bad as the first time so I decided to stick with it. Then ten/eleven days into it, I woke up one sunny morning and found myself thinking things like "I wish I could just wake up dead and get it over with". What? I couldn't stop these intrusive thoughts coming into my head. It was like somebody I didn't know - who didn't value my life very much - took up residence inside my head and wouldn't shut up.

By afternoon, I realised it was the drug talking and quit taking it. I'd rather keep smoking (for now) than find myself swinging from the banister. I'm pretty sure that's what would have happened if I hadn't realised what was going on and quit taking the drug. It took a few days before I started feeling more myself again.

The suicidal ideation started on a Saturday and I had an appointment with my GP on the Monday, which was meant for renewing my script. I told him what happened and that I quit taking it. He yellow carded it - which is a system of adverse side-effect reporting they have here in the UK and the Rock. I'm really glad he did this, some GPs don't bother with the paperwork. He also noted on the yellow card that the patient (that's me) is hiv positive - as the article Peter links to says, there have been no studies on the effects on people with hiv, so this was an important bit of info.

I would recommend that anyone who wants to try this drug keep in mind the possibility of these types of side-effects. If I didn't know of the possibility, I might have thought the thoughts of suicide going through my head were legitimate and who knows, I could quite possibly have acted on them. The thoughts were VERY invasive and difficult to turn off. No, not difficult, impossible. They only stopped - more like slowly abated - after I'd been off the drug for over 24 hours. It was a scary weekend!

Oh and in hindsight, I think the drug also affected how I reacted to alcohol. The first weekend I was on the drug (second time around) I ended up in a police cell overnight, with a huge gash over my right temple. I'd only had a few drinks that night... ~sigh~ At least I only got a caution! ;D

Queen, to be honest, with your recent history of depression, I don't blame your doc for not wanting to give it to you. He's only looking out after your best interests!

I'm going to try to quit again, but this time I think I'll try the patches or something. I won't chance Champix again. No thanks!

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline dgr20002

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2008, 06:05:48 PM »
I used the patch in 1998. It was a three step proccess with each round of the patches getting smaller and delivering less nicotene. I did it cold turkey with a 3 pack a day habbit and having smoked for about 20 years.  I did try to quit many times previously with no success but also with no help.  There are a lot of things out there to work with these days and  hope if you want to quit and have the desire that you are successful.

David

PS  Shadow your dancing would look so much better if you were doing it on a pole  ;D

Offline aztecan

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2008, 06:20:57 PM »
I took Chantix for 24 weeks, which is double the length of time normally prescribed. I had some vivid dreams, that was about it.

Of course, the second go round was because I started Sustiva and it made me crave cigarettes. Perhaps my bad reaction to the Sustiva was due in part to the Chantix I also was taking, I don't know.

At any rate, I don't miss Sustiva and I haven't taken Chantix in going on a year now.

I am still smoke free, so it helped.

Like most meds, not everyone can take it. But if you can, it really can help you quit the habit.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Ann

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2008, 06:24:22 PM »
Just an FYI - The patches and the drug in the article Peter links to are two totally different kettles of fish. Patches replace nicotine, but Champix/Chantix (veranicline) is a nicotine agonist, which means it blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain.

When you're talking drugs that have an actual effect on the brain, you get the possibility of psychological side-effects. That's what the article and this thread are about, not patches.

Just sayin...

;)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2008, 06:37:09 PM »
Champix was only recently approved for use in Australia and is subsidised on our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. An Australian resident is entitled to one PBS subsidised course of treatment per year.

Given that I've smoked for 22 years and the ravages of the durris are starting to become apparent I've been considering this treatment option for a while. Zyban is not an option for me as I'm an epileptic. I knew about the potential for mental health issues, but not about hearing loss. As a hearing person in a family of deaf people, it's not something that holds a great attraction.

But carcinoma of the lung holds even less attraction so I'm going to ask my GP about it next week.

Cheers for the link Peter.

MtD

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2008, 06:44:45 PM »
A closer reading of the thread and the link shows that hearing loss is not a known side effect of Champix.

MtD

Offline Jody

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 08:32:36 PM »
My mommie doesn't let me smoke.

Jody  :P
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 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

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Offline WillyWump

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2008, 09:10:37 PM »

I went through one round of Chantix with no side effects. The success was so/so as I only stopped smoking for 5 days, however I attribute the "falling off the wagon" more to the death of my Gma (smoking was the only thing that comforted me from the stress of her death) than to the inneffectiveness of the drug. I actually regard it as a quite effective stop smoking aid and I have a new scrip in my wallet as I speak which I need to get filled and try it all again. BTW, I'm Bipolar and on 4 meds for that  and didn't really experience any psychological issues from the Chantix (or at least none that I wasnt already experiencing ). I know everyone is different but it seemed great for me, other than the price for the prescription which I think works out to $3-$5 a pill.

Great article with great info. Peter!

-Will
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Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008, 09:12:02 PM »
A closer reading of the thread and the link shows that hearing loss is not a known side effect of Champix.

MtD

I didn't think it was either. Ann, he used the loss of hearing excuse before the depression came on.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
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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
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01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008, 09:24:10 PM »
I didn't think it was either. Ann, he used the loss of hearing excuse before the depression came on.

Your Majesty,

I meant that I misread what you wrote, not that you suggested that there was a connexion between champix and hearing loss. :)

MtD

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2008, 09:48:17 PM »
I didn't think it was either. Ann, he used the loss of hearing excuse before the depression came on.

Your Majesty,

I meant that I misread what you wrote, not that you suggested that there was a connexion between champix and hearing loss. :)

MtD

Beloved, you only confirmed what I already knew, that is not connected.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
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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

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Offline chm02

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2008, 09:54:34 PM »
I bought an injection machine and have  started making my own filter cigarettes.
I can buy tobacco of a higher quality than is used in the packaged type of smokes, and have enjoyed learning about and and experiencing the different tobacco varieties.
I enjoy smoking much more now, and for a fraction of what I used to spend on it. This newfound appreciation has resulted in me smoking less, as each ciggie is more completely satisfying.
Smoke better, smoke less.  :)

Offline Ann

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2008, 04:36:49 AM »
I bought an injection machine and ...

hehehe... I thought you were going to go on to say that you've started injecting nicotine directly into your bloodstream. ;D

I smoke both rollies and tailor-mades. The only reason I smolke fewer rollies is because I'm lazy. ;)

Oh, and I use liquorice rolling papers - you know, the brown ones. Sometimes I get comments like "ladies shouldn't use those, they look funny" to which I usually reply "hell, I'm no lady!"
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline RapidRod

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2008, 06:40:16 AM »
hehehe... I thought you were going to go on to say that you've started injecting nicotine directly into your bloodstream. ;D

I smoke both rollies and tailor-mades. The only reason I smolke fewer rollies is because I'm lazy. ;)

Oh, and I use liquorice rolling papers - you know, the brown ones. Sometimes I get comments like "ladies shouldn't use those, they look funny" to which I usually reply "hell, I'm no lady!"

Cough, Cough ;)

Offline Ann

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2008, 07:23:43 AM »
Cough, Cough ;)

You should get that cough looked at, Rodney. ;D
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Ann

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2008, 07:30:29 AM »
I didn't think it was either. Ann, he used the loss of hearing excuse before the depression came on.

If I were you, I'd corner him on this and demand to know exactly why he didn't want to prescribe it for you. Tell him you've looked into it and found no reference to a hearing loss side-effect. Tell him you expect honesty from your doc - I know I do and all my docs sure know it! ;)

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline appleboy

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2008, 10:48:51 PM »
I took Chantix and it actually worked till I stopped taking it into the middle of the second box.  The biggest issue I had was vivid dreams.  I will tell you the most vivid:  I woke up and I needed to pee so I decided that I did not want to get up and rolled over and went back to sleep.  I then started dreaming I was peeing and hell I woke up peeing myself!  Gosh I am 30 years old and my age usually does not wet the bed!  It was the strangest feeling and to find out not only was I dreaming I was doing what I was dreaming.  I have been thinking about going back on Chantix but it is not real cheap as my insurance only covers a small part of it.  I think if I finished it out I would have stopped for good.  Ann, I am glad you are ok.  I cannot imagine having panic attacks often that are brought on by medications.  I have had panic attacks before and they suck big ones!
AppleBoy
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Offline chm02

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Re: For Matty, Ann, and others (cough, cough)
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2008, 02:04:26 AM »
Why can't they just give us Valium?

I'm sure I could stop smoking if I had enough Valium...

 


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