It was over two years ago when, to smokers wishing to quit smoking, I dedicated an article titled: Did you decide to quit smoking?
At that time, among the drugs that pretended to help the smoker to quit, the bank was held by the Buprupion (Zyban) and the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). The Varenicline (CHANTIX) was also in the market but it was not yet as popular. Then, all at once, Chantix, produced by Pfizer, became very popular. It was publicized as the first in a new class of drugs that would revolutionize the way to combat smoking. Chantix, they were saying, has the unique ability to partially activate nicotinic receptors in the brain, reducing nicotine craving in people who have quit smoking. In piloted publications and in the "information" provided to physicians, they were saying that clinical trials had proven that varenicline was generally well tolerated. That the most common side effects were nausea and headache. Practically nothing! Enough to excite physicians and patients.
Oh, I almost forgot it: There was also the possibility of having some insomnia and abnormal dreams, but those were common even in those who tried to stop smoking without pharmacological support. In other words, a trifle. Mercenary researchers were pouring out papers claiming its effectiveness and safety in clinical trial stages. In a year or so, Pfizer edged out all the other competitors as Chantix became the stop-smoking-drug by definition!
So, dear fellow smoker, if you want to stop smoking, now you know how to drug up yourself with. But, please, if the scaremongering propaganda has left some of your brain still able to think by itself, be advised that Chantix is one of the 19 drugs that the FDA is watching for safety risks. And if you still want to use a pill instead of a cigarette, please read whitch are the WARNINGS about Chantix:
Serious neuropsychiatric events, including, but not limited to depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and completed suicide have been reported in patients taking CHANTIX. Some reported cases may have been complicated by the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal in patients who stopped smoking. Depressed mood may be a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Depression, rarely including suicidal ideation, has been reported in smokers undergoing a smoking cessation attempt without medication. However, some of these symptoms have occurred in patients taking CHANTIX who continued to smoke.
All patients being treated with CHANTIX should be observed for neuropsychiatric symptoms including changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicide-related events, including ideation, behavior, and attempted suicide. These symptoms, as well as worsening of pre-existing psychiatric illness and completed suicide have been reported in some patients attempting to quit smoking while taking CHANTIX in the post-marketing experience. When symptoms were reported, most were during CHANTIX treatment, but some were following discontinuation of CHANTIX therapy.
These events have occurred in patients with and without pre-existing psychiatric disease. Patients with serious psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder did not participate in the pre-marketing studies of CHANTIX and the safety and efficacy of CHANTIX in such patients has not been established.
Advise patients and caregivers that the patient should stop taking CHANTIX and contact a healthcare provider immediately if agitation, hostility, depressed mood, or changes in behavior or thinking that are not typical for the patient are observed, or if the patient develops suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior. In many post-marketing cases, resolution of symptoms after discontinuation of CHANTIX was reported, although in some cases the symptoms persisted; therefore, ongoing monitoring and supportive care should be provided until symptoms resolve.
The risks of CHANTIX should be weighed against the benefits of its use. CHANTIX has been demonstrated to increase the likelihood of abstinence from smoking for as long as one year compared to treatment with placebo.The health benefits of quitting smoking are immediate and substantial.
After the dreary and scary side effects, the last paragraph is an evidently stubborn, shameless, propaganda.