More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Chantix quit smoking aid not tied to mood problems
CBC News
Oct 25, 2011

Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix did not increase psychiatric problems like depression and suicidal thoughts in two studies, though the findings are not definitive, U.S. health officials say.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been investigating reports of mood disorders and erratic behavior among people taking Chantix, sold in Canada as Champix, since 2007.

The agency said in a statement that two federally-funded studies involving more than 26,000 patients did not show an increased rate of psychiatric hospitalizations among Chantix patients, compared with those using nicotine patches and smoking cessation treatments.

FDA regulators stressed that the studies only recorded psychiatric problems that resulted in hospitalization, meaning many issues likely went unreported. Additionally, the studies by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense were not large enough to pick up very rare side-effects.

Groups like the Federal Aviation Administration have already banned the drug for pilots and air traffic controllers due to side- effects that could interfere with their work.

The agency said it is continuing to study the problems and recommends patients consult their doctors if they experience side- effects with the drug. Pfizer is conducting its own large-scalestudy of Chantix behavioral effects, but the results won't be available until 2017.

"Healthcare professionals should advise patients and caregivers that the patient should immediately stop taking Chantix and contact a healthcare professional if agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in behavior or thinking that are not typical for the patient are observed," the FDA said in an online statement.

More than 8.9 million people in the U.S. have filled prescriptions for Chantix, the brand name for varenicline, since it was approved in May 2006.

Chantix works by binding to the same spots in the brain that nicotine does when people smoke, blocking nicotine from those spots but causing release of a "feel-good" chemical, dopamine. The drug's label already carries a boxed warning, the most serious type, listing possible side-effects including hostility, agitation, depression and suicidal thoughts and behavior.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. said in a statement: "We are reviewing this important information for smokers provided by the FDA."
I took Chantix for a few weeks to help me quit smoking. I was having some f'ed up dreams but other than that I was fine....until I decided to have a couple glasses of wine. I'm not sure what kind of chemical reaction it caused but it was horrible. I thought I was gonna completely lose my mind. I slept most of it off but there were still some small lingering affects the next day. I never touched it again after that and I always advise people to never ever drink with it.
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