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    Varenicline (Champix) - Does it work? 
    #1
    Bluelighter marley's Avatar
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    Question
    Has anyone tried Varenicline (aka Champix - anti smoking medication)...?

    Its time to give up smoking, but so far nicotine replacement therapy hasn't really cut it.
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    #2
    my father was using champix as an aid to help him quite smoking not long ago, though with no success so far. knowing my father as well as i do he really doesnt have the desire to quit yet.

    he's asleep at the moment so i can't ask him too much but from what i do know is he felt sick when trying to smoke after he had dosed the champix. and from what he told me his cravings did dwindle. i'll ask him tomorrow what his thoughts on it was.

    a mate of mine is also trying to quit smoking using nicabate patches, i cant remember what strength though. he had already cut down to b&h fines, which are a very light cigarette, and noticed he was getting sick from the patches.

    sorry i can't add a little more at the moment.

    good luck with the quitting!
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    #3
    Bluelighter permastoned's Avatar
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    I would strongly suggest you avoid it. Firstly, it's made by Pfizer, IMO the most evil drug company of them all.

    Secondly, from wiki:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Controversy
    On Thursday, May 22, 2008, The New York Times reported that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) had announced the day before a ban on the use of Chantix (varenicline tartrate) for both pilots and air traffic controllers, due to concerns with possible adverse neuropsychiatric effects which could be detrimental to public safety.[10]
    On Sunday, May 25, 2008, The Los Angeles Times reported that over 2 dozen traffic accidents had been linked to Chantix and reported to the FDA. Warnings had previously been issued by Pfizer regarding the risks of Chantix while driving. However, these warnings have largely been ignored by doctors and patients.[11]
    On Tuesday, June 17, 2008, The Washington Times reported on its Front Page that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs was testing Chantix on war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder without properly warning them of the side effects, and that in one case a veteran was almost killed when he had a psychotic episode and threatened police officers.[12]
    On October 23, 2008, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices issued an analysis of prescription drug-related injuries reported to the FDA during the first quarter of 2008. According to the report, varenicline had more reported incidents than any other drug, with 1001 new cases of adverse effects and 50 more deaths reported (Heparin, the drug with the second highest number of injury reports, had 779 new cases, most of which were connected to a contaminate inadvertently introduced into the drug in early 200. In comparison, the ISMP reported that in the first quarter of 2008 there were 17 serious injury reports for nicotine-replacement products, and 44 reports for bupropion (sold as Zyban as a smoking cessation medication). Varenicline did not rank in the ten drugs with the most related deaths, but did rank first in reports of suicide or self-injury, with 228 reports citing these effects. The ISMP noted that the high number of varenicline-related injury reports may be related to the publicity surrounding the medication's potential side effects. [13]
    On February 4, 2009, Health Canada announced that it had received more than 800 complaints from Canadian users, many of them reporting mood swings, depression or suicidal thoughts.[14]
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    #4
    ^why do you find pfizer an evil drug company?

    i've used pfizer drugs before (lyrica, xanax and codeine forte, i think it was pfizer codeine) and had no ill effects. i'm actually looking into feldene(anti-inflammatory) and dantrium(muscle relaxant) to help with my back condition.
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    #5
    Bluelighter Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    ^ Yeah I don't normally buy into the 'evil pharmaceutical companies' thing but Pfizer has done some not-so-great things; e.g. their experimenting with trovafloxacin in Nigeria and their off-label promoting practices.

    A look at the wiki page seems to show though that a few of the other things they are tied up in, in regards to legal action, seems to come from their having acquired other companies that caused the trouble.

    Back on topic: I know quite a few people who have tried this. Of the four I can think of right now, two have quit and two had no luck.
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    #6
    Bluelighter marley's Avatar
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    Thanks leftwing, a few random pub conversations led me to believe that Varenicline was some new wonder drug that stopped smoking in its tracks....guess that was a fairly unrealistic expectation.

    I think the best option for me is cold turkey...I've made it to the 2 week mark a few times in the past going cold turkey, but then I fall into the false (ah I guess I'm not addicted after all) sense of security and have another smoke.

    I guess my biggest hinderence at the moment is my girlfriend and mates, the majority of whom smoke. Hopefully I can set an example and convince them quitting is possible.

    One day down (...and given the approximate male life expectancy in Australia of 75 years), 18250 days to go *YIKES*
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    #7
    Bluelight Crew hoptis's Avatar
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    I did a course of Champix a few months ago. I'll say this; the shit is effective. It's fascinating on an academic level when you start on the course and for the first week while you're still meant to be smoking; every time you have a cigarette you "feel" something is missing but you can't quite put your finger on it. You get all the physical effects of smoking but mentally your nicotine receptors just aren't being hit, and you're not getting the dopamine release that every cigarette delivers.

    You also might have heard the drug being mentioned as the cause of a number of suicides in the US and you don't have to Google far to read about some of the side effects; especially depression or increased aggression. If you recreationally or habitually use any dopaminergic drugs I would suggest staying away from Varenicline.

    I found it completely removed the cravings to smoke, but we all know that cigarette smoking is much more than a physical addiction. Also there are many reports that once you finish the course, your nicotine urges can still come back, months later. For Australians, you can get the course subsidised on the PBS, which makes the entire course (2 x 12 weeks if I remember) about the cost of two weeks worth of nicotine patches.

    Good luck
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    #8
    I seriously considered trying Champix. A friend of mine has been off smoking for a while now from using it. She does get a bit queasy, but apart from that, has had great success.

    However, after reading up about the serious side effects, it has actually put me off. I'm going to try one of those E-Cigarettes from china, see how that goes.


    Good luck Marley!
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    #9
    Bluelighter marley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement guys
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    #10
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    A good mate of mine has been on it, and it has done the job - he's been a smoker since he was about 12 (country boy) and this has knocked it for six.
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by hoptis View Post
    . If you recreationally or habitually use any dopaminergic drugs I would suggest staying away from Varenicline.
    Sorry to be so uninformed but would E fall under dopaminergic drugs? Meth?

    I had the same experience as yourself with champix. It is truly amazing how it works.
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    #12
    Bluelighter Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    ^ Meth yes, MDMA not so much. Still be careful though.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by hoptis View Post
    I did a course of Champix a few months ago. I'll say this; the shit is effective. It's fascinating on an academic level when you start on the course and for the first week while you're still meant to be smoking; every time you have a cigarette you "feel" something is missing but you can't quite put your finger on it. You get all the physical effects of smoking but mentally your nicotine receptors just aren't being hit, and you're not getting the dopamine release that every cigarette delivers.

    You also might have heard the drug being mentioned as the cause of a number of suicides in the US and you don't have to Google far to read about some of the side effects; especially depression or increased aggression. If you recreationally or habitually use any dopaminergic drugs I would suggest staying away from Varenicline.

    I found it completely removed the cravings to smoke, but we all know that cigarette smoking is much more than a physical addiction. Also there are many reports that once you finish the course, your nicotine urges can still come back, months later. For Australians, you can get the course subsidised on the PBS, which makes the entire course (2 x 12 weeks if I remember) about the cost of two weeks worth of nicotine patches.

    Good luck
    How did you find the side effects? Ie. depression etc? And are you still not smoking? did you notice your cravings return after finishing your course 9and did you complete the second twelve week course, or just the first)?

    I really need to quit, but am susceptible to depression type symptoms (never diagnosed and never been on meds - except for the time I stupidly ate a packet of Arapax when I was sixteen)
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    #14
    Weed tends to make me depressed, has anyone any first/second hand experience with weed and champix in relation to depression?
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    #15
    Give bupropion if you dont want to use Champix.

    Smoking cessation

    Bupropion reduces the severity of nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. After a seven-week treatment, 27% of subjects who received bupropion reported that an urge to smoke was a problem, versus 56% of those who received placebo. In the same study, 21% of the bupropion group reported mood swings, versus 32% of the placebo group.[23] The bupropion treatment course lasts for seven to twelve weeks, with the patient halting the use of tobacco about ten days into the course. The efficacy of bupropion is similar to that of nicotine replacement therapy. Bupropion approximately doubles the chance of quitting smoking successfully after three months. One year after the treatment, the odds of sustaining smoking cessation are still 1.5 times higher in the bupropion group than in the placebo group.[24] The combination of bupropion and nicotine appears not to further increase the cessation rate. In a direct comparison, varenicline (Chantix) showed superior efficacy: after one year, the rate of continuous abstinence was 10% for placebo, 15% for bupropion, and 23% for varenicline.[25] Bupropion slows the weight gain that often occurs in the first weeks after quitting smoking (after seven weeks, the placebo group had an average 2.7 kg increase in weight, versus 1.5 kg for the bupropion group). With time, however, this effect becomes negligible (after 26 weeks, both groups recorded an average 4.8 kg weight gain).[23] from wiki.

    This is also on the PBS specifically for smoking cessation.

    With an added side effect:

    Depression


    Placebo-controlled double-blind clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of bupropion for clinical depression.[9] Comparative clinical studies demonstrated the equivalency of bupropion and sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil)[10] and escitalopram (Lexapro)[11] as antidepressants. A significantly higher remission rate with bupropion treatment than for venlafaxine (Effexor) was observed in a recent study.[12] Unlike all other antidepressants, except mirtazapine (Remeron), maprotiline (Ludiomil) and tianeptine (Stablon), bupropion does not cause sexual dysfunction and the occurrence of sexual side effects is not different from placebo.[13][14] Bupropion treatment is not associated with weight gain; on the contrary, at the end of every study comparing bupropion with placebo or other antidepressants the bupropion group had a lower average weight.[15] Bupropion is more effective than SSRIs at improving symptoms of hypersomnia and fatigue in depressed patients.[16] In a comparative meta-analysis, there appeared to be a modest advantage for the SSRIs compared to bupropion in the treatment of depression with high anxiety, while these medications were equivalent for the depression with moderate or low anxiety.[17]

    According to several surveys, the augmentation of a prescribed SSRI with bupropion is the preferred strategy among clinicians when the patient does not respond to the SSRI.[18] For example, the combination of bupropion and citalopram (Celexa) was observed to be more effective than switching to another antidepressant. The addition of bupropion to an SSRI (primarily fluoxetine or sertraline) resulted in a significant improvement in 70–80% of patients who had an incomplete response to the first-line antidepressant.[19][20] Bupropion improved ratings of "energy", which had decreased under the influence of the SSRI; also noted were improvements of mood and motivation, and some improvement of cognitive and sexual functions. Sleep quality and anxiety ratings in most cases were unchanged.[20] In the STAR*D study, the patients who did not respond to citalopram (Celexa) were randomly assigned to augmentation by bupropion or buspirone (Buspar). Approximately 30% of subjects in both groups achieved a remission. However, bupropion augmentation gave better results based on the patients' self-ratings and was much better tolerated. The authors observed that "these findings reveal a consistently more favorable outcome with sustained-release bupropion than with buspirone augmentation of citalopram."[21] The same study indicated a possibility of higher remission rate when the non-responders to citalopram received bupropion augmentation rather than were switched to bupropion (30% vs. 20.[22] also from wiki.

    Anecdotal reports suggest that it is also great for sexual dysfunction.
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    #16
    my mum was on champix for 2 months or so
    30 pack a day for 30 yrs , since 6 months go she has had maybe 5 ciggis since?
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    #17
    Bluelight Crew hoptis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBigWorld View Post
    Sorry to be so uninformed but would E fall under dopaminergic drugs? Meth?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by bit_pattern View Post
    How did you find the side effects? Ie. depression etc? And are you still not smoking? did you notice your cravings return after finishing your course 9and did you complete the second twelve week course, or just the first)?

    I really need to quit, but am susceptible to depression type symptoms (never diagnosed and never been on meds - except for the time I stupidly ate a packet of Arapax when I was sixteen)
    I would still give it a go, with the government subsidy, you won't be paying much for a course of Champix, if you find it doesn't agree with your emotional state though you should probably stop... perhaps see if things like 5HTP or L-Tyrosine work as supplements to balance things out. I found the latter to help a bit.

    Recently had another friend who used to take meth and pills quite often start a course of Varenicline and report significant mood problems on it, but she still finished the course. It depends on what you're willing to put up with but as the information sheet states; the moment you have any thoughts approaching "suicide ideation" you should stop immediately.
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    #18
    My partner is on champix at the moment, she started a week ago and hasn't had any cravings at all, even going out on the weekend and drinking she didn't feel like smoking.

    The only difference I've noticed is a small change in her mood and for the first 3-4 days she was very energetic like she had taken stimulants.

    She also said she felt sick the first day but wasn't sure if it was from the actual champix or because she heard from so many people that it might make you sick and it was in her head.
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    #19
    I have about 2 weeks left of the 3 month course and i have to say Champix to me is a wonder drug. No cravings at all. No side effects for me at all apart from really vivid dreams.. which i have to say i enjoy and look at as a bonus. 20+ years of smoking over. Yay
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by hoptis View Post
    Yes



    I would still give it a go, with the government subsidy, you won't be paying much for a course of Champix, if you find it doesn't agree with your emotional state though you should probably stop... perhaps see if things like 5HTP or L-Tyrosine work as supplements to balance things out. I found the latter to help a bit.

    Recently had another friend who used to take meth and pills quite often start a course of Varenicline and report significant mood problems on it, but she still finished the course. It depends on what you're willing to put up with but as the information sheet states; the moment you have any thoughts approaching "suicide ideation" you should stop immediately.
    Cool, thanks. I certainly haven't been using dopaminergic drugs regularly for a few years now (except for coke but that was in South America, so is hardly going to be a problem over here considering my finances )

    I am starting a new job next week so am a bit concerned that it might not be the best time to be experimenting with potentially mood-altering drugs, but if something goes wrong I guess at the end of the day it is better to lose/quit a job than to keep destroying my poor, aching lungs.
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by nabollocks View Post
    Give bupropion if you dont want to use Champix..

    Sound worse imho
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    #22
    and, hoptis, still off the smokes?
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    #23
    Bluelighter mrephedrine69's Avatar
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    Best stuff ever. I smoked a pack a day for 12 years and with Champix I have now been smoke free for 18 months.
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    #24
    That's it. I'm in.
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    #25
    Bluelighter mrephedrine69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bit_pattern View Post
    That's it. I'm in.
    Well worth it. I have 3 other mates that quit with it as well

    For the sake of $60 (not even a weeks worth of smokes) whilst its subsidised by the government, you'd be crazy not to give it a go.

    Without the current government subsidy the cost of Champix is in the hundreds.
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