Chantix aka Champix is it worth the risk?
February 26, 2010 3:25am CST
I want people to know before taking Chantix they need to do serious research so that they can make a well informed decision. It is very important that you do search google with phrases like "Chantix death" "Chantix edema" Chantix mental" "Chantix kidney" and any other key words you might think of. Take time to read as many of the websites you can find and comments from the users. I am pasting here a letter I wrote in December of 2009 that I had intended to post on the internet in search of help for my mother, but due to being in the hospital with my mother, lack of sleep, and concentrating on research to try and find an answer to the problem I was unable to do so. Some people have had no issues with Chantix, however others have had deadly side effects, and many that didn't die are mentally altered for the rest of their lives. The FDA and Pfizer knows all about these problems yet they continue to push Chantix like it's some miracle drug, well it's not! If you have had any experience with Chantix be it good or bad please tell me about it I want to know and it can help others have information they may need before deciding to use this pill in the hopes to quit smoking. The letter, December 22nd, 2009 To whom it may concern, I am in desperate need of help. This is regarding the a current situation with my mother as a combined result of her past medical history, her doctors ignorance, and most importantly the role I believe Chantix played in getting her to the point she is now. The first time she took Chantix I believe was about March or April, of 2009, however she didn't take them daily as she was supposed to during the first attempt to quit smoking, and only took just a few of the pills. She didn't seem to have any serious side effects during the first time, however in may of 2009 she did have some sort of problem with her kidneys. November 5th, 2009 she started taking Chantix for the second time in hopes to quit smoking. Around the 12th of November she started having problems staying awake, and losing her balance at times as well as became dizzy. She did quit smoking on November 17th and then stopped taking Chantix on or about November 25th. During the last week that she was on the Chantix she started to retain water in her belly area and became extremely constipated. At first it wasn't much but then all of the sudden over a period of a few days her belly became huge and was sticking out badly. She went to her doctor and she had gone from 330 pounds to 395 pounds in a matter of just a few weeks and it was all fluid retention. So her doctor upped the dose of her water pill (Lasix). It wasn't working and she was getting worse so on December 3rd her doctor admitted her to the hospital for a 2 day observation. They couldn't find out what the reason was she was retaining the fluids, and she was still gaining weight but they sent her home anyway on December 5th. By the following Monday she was getting worse, her cough was getting worse, and she was having trouble breathing as well as some mild chest discomfort. She called to try and see her doctor but apparently the doctor couldn't see her until Thursday. She then went to the doctors on Thursday the 11th, at that time she weighed 404 pounds so again the doctor increased her dose of Lasix and did some blood tests, and sent her home. All of the water she was retaining by this point was mostly in her belly. Some in her legs but not any more than normal really. Saturday morning I peeked in to check on her at about 7 a.m. she was sleeping so I let her be. I went to the farm with my husband to let the horses out at 8:30, when we came back at about 10 she was still sleeping. 11 o'clock came and I decided to try and wake her because it was unusual for her to not have woke up by then and I went in to wake her up and noticed the whole left side of her face was swollen and above her upper eye lids under the brow was also puffy. She woke up but it was difficult to wake her, she was extremely lethargic and not breathing well. I called the medics they came and evaluated her and then took her to the Emergency Room thinking she might have had a stroke and other complications.. After running multiple tests, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure,acute respiratory failure, as well as diastolic failure. She also has pneumonia, kidney failure, anemia, and cirrhosis of the liver. The original doctor she was assigned when she went in on Saturday was excellent. He took the time to explain things very thoroughly to us and gave us hope of her having a good recovery over a long period of time. He explained the reason the Lasix was not working in pill form was because her body was so swollen and over loaded with fluids, that her intestines were also swollen and could not absorb the pills for them to take effect. That doctors shift ends on Tuesdays. So the following Tuesday she was assigned a new doctor at the hospital. Wednesday evening while discussing this with my husband, we tried to figure out when the symptoms started and just when exactly it was that her health started to decline. Between the two of us we figured out that it started shortly after she began taking the Chantix this second time. Thursday the 17th this new doctor, even though she had gained more weight since being hospitalized, he wanted to send her to what they call a "skilled nursing facility" even though they had not yet found out what caused all this to happen, and the problem obviously was not anywhere close to being corrected. I cried, and tried desperately to make him understand he could not send her out in the condition she was in. I asked him how could he possibly send her out of the hospital while she is still gaining fluid weight even though they are only giving her 1 liter of fluid per day, and monitoring everything. He then explained to me and mom that they can up the dose of Lasix she is on, but her kidneys might get worse and then they would need to consider dialysis, but if she were to go into the "skilled nursing facility" all of her medication will be given to her in pill form instead of the IV. I then said "So she's not losing any of the water weight, we already know that the pills didn't work because she was so swollen to begin with, she has actually gained more fluid weight since being hospitalized,and you want to send her out of here and put her back on the pills that didn't work in the first place?" He then went on to tell me that unfortunately this will be a struggle for the rest of her life and she will be in and out of the hospital etc.. I then explained to him that that is not at all what the first doctor had told us, and that I know in my heart if he sends her to a nursing home before she starts losing the fluid weight, and starts getting better that she will for sure die because at this point nothing that had been done so far is working. The only thing that has gotten better is her breathing, and that was because she was on oxygen and a cpap machine at night.. Well after a long argument and me balling my eyes out basically having a breakdown I asked mom what she wanted to do and she said "Well let's try the nursing home and see if it will work" I then said " OK, I'm not doing you any good being here like this call me when you guys make up your mind," told her I loved her and left. About 10 minutes later the doctor called our house and told my husband that he was calling in a kidney specialist and they would probably be keeping her for a couple more days at the hospital. Then a couple of hours later the kidney specialist agreed they should up the Lasix she is getting in the IV, and monitor her kidneys, and they were starting her on iron pills for the anemia. The next day we found out about her Liver, and they switched the iron from pill to IV form. I went to visit her I noticed that the fluid she had in the left side of her chest, and her in her face above her eyes was almost gone it is almost back to normal. Before it was 3 times the normal size and that Friday it looked like it was back to normal. So she was improving in some areas, but we are finding more, and more problems along the way. The past few weeks I have been doing some research and found out that other people that have also taken Chantix had the exact same problems as mom does, and have been since 2006. I mentioned this to the doctor she had at the hospital and tried to show him the paper work I printed out, but he wouldn't look at it, and his response was "well it's possible but I can't be certain." Now this past Tuesday the 22nd of December, the good doctor came back on duty. I did not get a chance to speak with him until Thursday the 24th. I listened to everything he had to say including the fact that they found a very bad infection in her urine apparently one of the worst kinds that a person can get. When he was done talking I asked him if I could show him some papers that had information about Chantix and what other people were saying they had experienced since using/discontinuing their use of the drug. He had no problem looking at the information, after looking at it he said "Is this about your mom?" I said "No these are stories from other people on the internet." He was even extremely surprised at what I showed him. He asked me if he could keep the paperwork to do some research himself and I said of course. December 26th he showed me moms lab results and explained to me about her kidney function and other tests results. Her kidneys are not getting better, but at the same time they are not getting worse. She is now slowly starting to lose weight, but constipation is still an issue. They are giving her frequent doses of a laxative and many other things to try and get her system back to some sort of regularity but now she's having blood in her stools. The doctor would like to do a colonoscopy but can not because her health is too fragile right now. He told
3 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 10
I see the rest got cut off here at He told.... I know that many doctors refuse to hear anything could cause something,especially medicines because lots of hospitals get money aka grants from pharmaceuticals. I do hope you contact a lawyer about all this,that would be the best way to go. Search online about lawyers who have cases or are specializing in this medicine,and keep the faith hun.
28 Feb 10
I truly am sorry for the failing health of your Mother..and the lack of help you are getting from the Medical system. I don't know what your answer is; as I really feel, the giant will win..Chantix & Pfhizer! I only know that in 1982, I was defeated by the CMA (Canadian Medical Association)...only because I did NOT have the 100's of thousands of dollars to fight my case. I, too, have set a date to quit smoking...and discussed it with my Dr., and have opted to do it without any intervention..as I have heard so many horror stories for aids. I will pray for your Mother, and for the strength you need to get thru this all!
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 10
Thanks perga. It's hard.. so very hard. Some days I'm ok but then I have days like yesterday and today where I feel so robbed. I feel she was cheated out of at least 10 years of her life. My children robbed of another 10 years with their grandmother. I feel so sad, and hurt, I feel like my heart is just broken and I don't know how to fix it. I need to quit smoking too, but never will I take any aid to do it. Right now is obviously not my time to quit, but someday I will. Good luck to you perga I pray for you to have strength to handle the withdrawals and mental withdrawals as well. Ya know they say money isn't everything, but isn't it amazing how money can fix "almost everything"? If you had had the money you could have one against the CMA. If I had the money I could take on Pfizer and win. But alas,.. there's an old saying I learned from my Mexican friends.. "Con dinero baila el perro, pero sin dinero ni si quiera camina." Which translates to- A dog will dance with money, but without it he can barely walk.