Any Way To Reverse Long-term Chantix Side Effects?

John Says:

My mother took Chantix several years ago in an effort to quit smoking. Well, she quit for a year. During that time, however, she became unbearably depressed. She has no history of depression.

She consulted a doctor several times and tried 3 different prescriptions, 1 of them being Zoloft. She stopped because she said they made her feel like she was just in a constant haze. She hasn't been to a doctor or a psychologist since then. In the mean time, she started smoking again because she thought that it would make the depression go away. It didn't.

Because of her experience with the 3 prescriptions, she is unwilling to go back to a doctor, and dismisses any notion of going to a psychologist. Our family has pleaded with her to keep trying, even if she has to tell whoever she sees that she won't try any drug for fear of the side effects; even if her only option is therapy, we want her to at least see someone. She is reluctant.

This side effect of major depression has persisted for years now, long after she stopped taking Chantix. Does anybody have any advice, or experience with the reversal of such severe side effects? My mother, and the rest of my family, is terrified that this is permanent, and she is terrified of the possibility that another prescription will result in even worse side effects.

294 Replies (15 Pages)

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Verwon Says:

It is highly possible, that she is just suffering from depression and it wasn't necessarily caused by the Chantix.


And all medications do carry the risk of side effects, but what she really needs is a doctor that will work with her and for her to be willing to work with them, to find a solution. It may require trying different medications and dosages, which can be quite a pain, but sometimes necessary.

Does she have a family doctor that she sees regularly and trusts? They might be the best person to call on for intervention.

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Fred Says:

Over one year ago, I took Chantix for 9 weeks. I have been very depressed since. Although I do have a history of anxiety, I have not had issues with it in years. Since taking Chantix, I just can't shake it. Until now I've t.hought the depression was simply coincidental. But I'm just not sure any longer. Has anyone had similar experiences?

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Randa Says:

Exercise helps a GREAT deal with any type of depression. Maybe get her a bike or go on family walks. See if that helps?

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Ann Says:

My father took Chantix for almost a year starting in 2008. He had no previous history of mental problems. Within a few weeks of starting the Chantix his moods completely changed. He became very angry, violent and paranoid. My mother actually feared for her life. The doctor kept prescibing the medicine to him and dismissed our concern for side effects. My father refused to admit he had changed, and would become so angry when we mentioned it, we were afraid to press the issue. All along he had still not stopped smoking. I convinced him to try acupuncture which did work. After the acupuncture, he stopped taking the Chantix. He slowly started to calm down. He is still not the person he was before. The violent behavior has stopped, but he is still constantly irrated and angry. There is NO WAY I would ever recommend Chantix to anyone. However, on a side note, the acupuncture worked wonderfully. It was $300 for 3 sessions, and he kicked a 35 year habit.

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Rico Says:

Cigarettes provide a healthy dose of MAO Inhibitors ( ) which slow the breakdown of key neurotransmitters and are often used as antidepressants( ). Nicotene itself directly modulates the level of many major neurotransmitters including dopamine, seratonin, etc ( Figure 1 at ). This combination of MAO Inhibitors (which slow the clearing of neurotransmitters) and nicotene (which increases neurotransmitter levels) is a powerful one-two punch in elevating mood.

From the above, it's clear long-time smokers have been living on antidepressants for a long time. Some theorize that many smokers are, in fact, self medicating a long term problem with depression.

It's not surprising at all that long-term smokers will feel depressed after they quit; withdrawl from antidepressants is *known* to create very strong side-effects. Further, many long-time smokers may need to replace the antidepressants they've been smoking with traditional antidepressants so they can address their mood problems without having to ingest several hundred known carcinogins.

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maria Says:

Bingo! The voice of reason. Chantix was the only thing that could help me quit. It made me feel stramge for a couple weeks but now, a year of not smoking. I feel so much better.

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maria Says:

Thanks Rico!

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free again Says:

Might also consider the possibility of decreased thyroid function. I took Chantix for 9 months and successfully quit smoking after 35 years!. Chantix was the only thing that allowed me to learn new habits without going bonkers. Previous to Chantix, I was diagnosed with Graves disease and struggled for 3 years. Once I quit smoking, the Graves disease went into remission. However, in the 9th month of Chantix I was diagnosed with hypothyroid. This condition left me feeling depressed. I quit Chantix and took a low dose of Synthroid for a couple weeks and kick-started my thyroid. I do not know if the Chantix brought about the hypothyroid or the act of quitting smoking, or the anti-thyroid medication I took with the Graves disease. At any rate, it may be worthwhile to have some bloodwork done to determine thyroid, adrenal, and hormone levels.

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William Says:

I as well am suffering from long term depression after taking Chantix. it has been 6 years of hell for me. I've lost my job, my home, motivation, creativity and the ability to enjoy anything but very stong stimulation, as soon as the stimulation is removed I fall into a dark emotionless hole. the only things that spear me pain are sleeping and smoking pot, i am not a pot head and do not receive pleasure from smoking it it just numbs me to the depression I feel. I do not offer this infomation as a solution as smoking pot does have negative side effects. so if you try this option only smoke a little, i.e. a puff or two every 6 to 8 eight hours. if you get high you've used to much and your disabilities from the depression will remain. The only thing the pot does is easy the crushing feeling of depression and allows you to start enjoying the little things again. aside from that I regret to say if you've lost the person you used to be before taking Chantix That person is at best a shadow only seen in the bright light unfortunatly we live in a very dark world so good luck on recovering. I'm approaching 7 years after Chantix and the only thing the medical professions have to offer is another pill or therapy of some sort. I refuse to take another pill because a pill caused this and therapy has yet to make any difference.

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CH Says:

I'm at a loss. Two years ago my once mellow, sweet husband started Chantix, two weeks in he became violent and irrational, started having blackouts, hallucinations, paranoia and seemed to be completely disassociated from reality. His personality and behavior did a 180. Within two more weeks he was in physical pain, his back and legs were cramping so badly that he was bedridden for days at a time.
He is no longer violent or having blackouts but he is always anxious, angry and irritable, doesn't find any pleasure in anything, his memory is shot and he has a hard time making simple decisions. The cramping in his legs and back isn't as bad but it's still there, his hormones are imbalanced and he now has digestive problems.
The dr that prescribed the Chantix refused to listen to me when I told him about the side effects, saying that my husband had reported to him that everything was going fine, screw the police report proving that he had a 6 hour blackout and got lost walking 100 feet home from the neighbors house. Soon after that, when my husband told him that life felt like a bad horror movie (the hallucinations combined with the disassociation) he signed off on another refill and then dismissed my husband from the practice, refusing to continue seeing him.
It's been two years, an army of dr's making guesses and handing him prescriptions and there is still no change. I would love to hear from anyone that was able to successfully recover from similar Chantix side effects.

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Little hope Says:

I honestly do not believe there is a cure for the mental an physical pain we all feel from Chantix. I started Chantix Sept 23, 2011 and quit taking it in early Dec 2011. I quit talking it because I started to become seriously angry and violent. Now a year later I am still angry, violent and have been diagnosed with MDD. I've never been depressed a day in my life until Chantix. I've been on a number of meds and nothing has worked. I don't know where my hope comes from but at least I have some to get me through each day. I'm miserable and just want to be free from this depression, anxity and fog. I want to sue the maker of chantix and take them for every penny they have. This is not fair to live like this. It's a very sad way to live. It's amazing though that no one knows how to get rid of the after math effects. It completely changed the chemistry in my brain. I am a sober alcoholic an have been for the past 5 years and I do and try anything. I do wish everyone the best of luck. God bless you all.

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laura Says:

Hi. Your mom has one hell of a lawsuit. I don't know how this site works so I don't know how for u to contact me please write back. She has an excess of dynorphins. She has to block her Kappa receptor NOW. You can't imagine the absolute hell she and anyone else on this site. She needs buperenorphine

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laura Says:

If they let me post my email it is {edited for privacy} I study Neurobiology. Please get in touch with me.

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Blueeyes Says:

My husband started taking Chantix two months ago. Within a few weeks he started becoming angry. Four weeks later out of no where he decided he no longer wanted to be married and couldn't stand to be around the kids and I. He's angry, moody, crys all the time and very very depressed. It's almost like he's biopolar. He stopped taking the Chantix after the 4th week. However, he can't shake the side effects. He's gone to the doctor and was put him on Xanax. Which it seems this has not helped. Within the last 7 days he's only had maybe 8 hours of sleep. He started taking Ambien, however even with taking 3 or 4 of these, hours apart nothing helps him sleep or with his depression.
He's got this dead look in his eyes and it appears nothing seems to make him happy. Chantix completely changed him!

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Dee Says:

My husband took chantix four years ago and he says he hasn't felt right since. He is moody-mood swings, depressed almost severly. He is not the man I married 8 yrs ago. He is confused, he is loosing weight and he is a ticking time bomb. I am to the point where I think we all should get together and do something about this. This is a mind altering drug that they don't know what it is doing to people.

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DontRiskChantix Says:

You missed the point that her father had not stopped smoking.

I am having similar trouble. I took Chantix for a few weeks, which caused severe depression and anxiety. The severity lessened when I stopped Chantix, but still returns to this day on levels from minor to pretty bad.

I stopped Chantix several months ago, but the effects it had on me are persisting, and I still smoke. So it has nothing to do with NOT smoking anymore.

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Dee Says:

That almost sounds like where my husband is headed only we are the only two in the house. He is up and down. Just the other day he grossed me out then called and apologized and has been happy since. But he snaps for no reason at any moment. It is frustrated because he never was depressed, he too cries alot. He loved life now he hates it and thinks god is punishing him. He thinks its Karma I think it is Chantix. We have to stop this from happening to other families. It is better if they smoke...hate to say that..I might just contact the guy that is a neurobioligist

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Dee Says:

That almost sounds like where my husband is headed only we are the only two in the house. He is up and down. Just the other day he grossed me out then called and apologized and has been happy since. But he snaps for no reason at any moment. It is frustrated because he never was depressed, he too cries alot. He loved life now he hates it and thinks god is punishing him. He thinks its Karma I think it is Chantix. We have to stop this from happening to other families. It is better if they smoke...hate to say that..I might just contact the guy that is a neurobioligist. I can't believe they gave him zanax and ambien. What are they thinking. That is just compounding his symptoms.. look at the side effects of that medicine. it causes depresssion too. Doctors are just out to get a kick back on prescription drugs they are not out to find out what is wrong with you. This is ridiculous!

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renee Says:

I would like to hear more about what type of acupuncture he used. I asked my acupuncturist about it and he denied it would be helpful for smoking cessation but I would rather pursue it if I had more info. A safer way to go, etc.

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Little hope Says:

To everyone out there who's ever tried Chantix… I recently went to the Amen Clinic to get a brain scan and the findings were absolutely incredible. I know it differs for everyone but I highly suggest if you have the money to go to the Amen Clinic and they will help you. In the last month I have had incredible improvements in my life. The doctors told me that Chantix depleted my serotonin. Which is the cause for my depression, anxiety, anger and much more. The reason antidepressants didn't work is because they were trying to rebuild my serotonin but I didn't have any serotonin to rebuild because the Chantix depleted all of it. This is only my story and I share it because I want everyone to know that there's hope. The doctor said it might take a year or two. It's just nice to know that there's light at the end of the tunnel. I've been miserable for over a year and now I can begin to live my life again, slowly, one day at a time. I wish you all the best of luck!!

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