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Chantix

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Stop Smoking
Hi everyone. I started taking Chantix almost two weeks ago and yesterday I broke out in a rash and am about to itch to death. I was just wondering if the Chantix could be causing it and if any of you have had a reaction like this? I don't want to stop taking it unless I just have to. I want to give it a good shot anyway. This itching is making me crazy though. Any ideas???? ~X(

Debbie
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Comments

  • Serious Reactions
    suicidality depression agitation behavioral disturbances psychiatric disorder exacerbation angioedema hypersensitivity rxn Stevens-Johnson syndrome erythema multiforme photosensitivity arrhythmias syncope seizures visual changes anemia thrombocytopenia hypokalemia hyperkalemia nephrolithiasis renal failure, acute GI bleed pancreatitis hallucinations

    Common Reactions
    nausea/vomiting insomnia headache abnormal dreams constipation/diarrhea/flatulence dysgeusia fatigue/malaise respiratory disorders abdominal pain dyspepsia dry mouth sleep disorders appetite changes somnolence rash dyspnea emotional disturbances accidental injury

    I would strongly suggest checking with your Dr about it.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks. I'm afraid that's what it is. I just hate to stop taking it because I'd love for it to help me stop smoking. I keep hoping the rash will go away...I just can't wait much longer or I'll go crazy. Funny how itching can really get on your nerves isn't it?? Makes me crazy...crazier that is.

    Debbie
  • The unfortunate thing about a lot of these things is the side-effects which can and do raise a problem. It is a shame when you cannot give a med a chance to see if it would help! On the other hand, there may be something else that can help. Each of our body chemistry is different and that is both good and bad.

    Hope the itching slows or stops so you feel better!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I just got out of the shower...again...and I'm still itching. I have been having the abdominal pain pretty bad since taking this but I keep hoping it'll go away. I always try to give a drug at least two weeks because usually the side effects will improve. This rash didn't start until yesterday but last week my skin was sore to the touch especially on my back.
    Thanks for your help and info. I guess I'll give it a couple of hours and if it isn't better I'll call the doctor. I don't think he's in today though so maybe I'll go to the walk in clinic. Thanks again.

    Debbie
  • You could ask the prescribing doctor is you could take some benadryl to help with the itching.

    I applaud you (and everyone) for trying to quit. Hope your side effects subside soon!

    Hang in there!

  • I never had any side effects from Chantix (when I had tried to quit), but my roommate said that it caused her to have bad dreams. But, no itching or tenderness of the skin. If you can't take Chantix, Wellbutrin is another Rx that is given to help quit smoking. Of course, it doesn't work the same way that Chantix does (blocking pleasure receptors), but still it's prescribed for smoking cessation (and depression).

    Rusty
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I don't have any problem with the dreams or other side effects except the abdomen pain and rash. I've been on Wellbutrin XL for about five years. It did help me to cut back on my smoking and helped with anxiety so I've continued to take it. I hope this rash goes away so I can continue with the chantix and see what happens. I've heard so many success stories with it. Did you quit? I'd like to be able to say that I'm a recovering smokeaholic. lol.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I hope you're having a great day. Take care,
    Debbie
  • I'm ashamed to say that I haven't quit yet. I took the Chantix for about 2 weeks, and I did notice a decrease in cravings, but I started worrying that it might be dangerous to continue the Chantix and not quit. I haven't given up yet, but I'm 2 months out of ALIF at L5/S1, and I still have to sit around all day. When the time comes that I can start gardening and training my dogs, I'll have something to occupy my time and keep my hands busy. I just don't see being able to quit while I'm just sitting around bored. I wrote on another thread that we should all keep in touch. There are 6 of 7 of us that are trying to quit (using Chantix). We could be a little club (maybe on Chat) or at least be Buddies. We need all the support we can get! Good luck, and please stay in touch.

    Rusty
  • Debbie,

    I'm with Jeaux on this. Take some Benadryl. Sometimes that is all you need. If that doesn't work you could try some of the allergy meds that are now OTC, like Claritin.

    The cramps. Yeah. I got the GI cramps when I took it. Both times. Try 1x/day instead of 2x/day. It will tone it down. If you need 2x/day to fight off the cravings. Then cycle it so the 2nd one is right before bedtime.

    Did your Primary give you Chantix and Wellbutrin? I thought mixing anti-depressants with Chantix was a no-no. I'm no doc but I remember reading about it.

    Graham
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks. Don't applaud me to soon. lol. I was just thinking that this itching is going to kill me before smoking does!! I've been taking benadryl and it does help but it doesn't make it go away. If it doesn't get better today I'm going to have to quit the chantix. I hope I don't have to but I can't keep this up!
    I hope you have a great day and that you're feeling good.

    Debbie
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Yes my PCP gave me both. I wondered about that too but I guess its not a problem. I've looked up all my meds and most have major or at least moderate interactions with each other. Maybe he wants to get rid of me so I won't bug him anymore? :? Could be.
    The cramps aren't quite as bad now but I'm only going to take one today and see if this itch goes away. I was up half the night last night itching. I thought I was gonna have to go to the ER. If it didn't cost so much I probably would have. I've been taking benadryl and it helps some but not a lot. Thanks for the advice. Hopefully it'll get better today. Have a great day!

    Debbie

  • Have you tried a cortizone topical cream? I'd be looking for an OTC cream with hydrocortizone, like Cortaid, or something like that to rub on.

    Rusty
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've tried several different kinds of cream. I've even tried caladryl..for poison ivy. Last night I put ice on both of my arms. It's funny, the rash goes away, then I'll start itching and start breaking out again. I haven't smoked but two cigs so far today though....

    Hope you're having a great day! Take care,
    Debbie
  • If you are getting a reaction and it acts like you have hives. That is the kind I get and end up on allergy meds for. Not so much in my sinuses. It is a royal pita because it's so annoying. I used to take a Zyrtec and stick it under my tongue and let it dissolve. Allergic reaction would be gone in 15 minutes and the itching would stop. Just that fast. Freaked me out.

    You could try a cool bath with a bunch of baking soda or oatmeal powder in it. Just to cool your skin down and cut down the surface itch. Avea makes the oatmeal powder stuff and it comes in packets.

    If you can get past the 1st week I think your body gets over the shock. My 1st week on Lyrica wasn't fun at all. Lipitor sucked too. 1st week on Chantix was just major cramps.

    Good luck with it.
  • Z06 had good advice. I'd try the cool bath with baking soda or oatmeal. Epsom salts helps, too, but I'd try the others first. Bless your hear. It almost doesn't feel worth it, does it. I hope that these symptoms go away. If not by Monday, I'd call the doctor that prescribed it and see if they'll send something for the itch.

    Rusty
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Graham, How long did you take chantix? Did you quit? Forgive me if I should already know that.
    I'm not broken out or itching as bad right now. I've taken benadryl all day. It usually gets worse after the second pill. Today I'm only taking one. I need some sleep tonight if possible. Hopefully I won't have to stop taking it until I give it a chance to work.

    Debbie
  • Hey Debbie,

    Yeah I took Chantix in Sep/Oct of 07. I took it as prescribed in the starter pack. The white pill 1x/day for a week. Then the blue pill 1x/day for a week. Then the blue pill 2x/day after. I made it about a week on 2x/day. It made me very irritable and the cramps. Backed it off to 1x/day. Then weened off it with 1/2x/day for a week and 1/4x day for a week. I stopped actually smoking on week 3. I didn't smoke again for a year.

    After a year i decided to have a smoke. That was an absolutely stupid idea. You just can't do it. I ended up buying a pack then smoking 5-10 cigarettes a day. Did that for 4-5 months. Took Chantix for about 3 weeks this time. 1x/day for 2 weeks then 1/2x day for 1 week. I had 1 refill left from the 1st time so I just filled it. That was all I needed. Now I am smoke free for about 4 months.

    For me Chantix is a painful pill to take. It messes with my head and stomach. You have to psych yourself up. Pay close attention to the mood swings and tell yourself it is the drug, not you!!! You are also having nicotine withdrawal. It's the drug, not you!!!

    I'll deal with the negatives of Chantix for the positive I get from not smoking. It was a fair trade off.

    Graham
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad you quit. How long had you smoked? I've heard so many talk about how easy it is to quit taking Chantix. I've never tried to quit before. I've been taking it for two weeks but haven't tried to quit yet. Hey, if I'm moody I'll tell my husband and son that it's all the Chantix fault. They'd say I'm no worse than normal. lol. So far it hasn't messed with my mind yet.
    The itching isn't nearly as bad since I started taking the benadryl regularly. I did take a second pill last night at bedtime and woke up itching a few times and I was sick at my stomach all through the night. May not be related since I've been having a temp also.
    I hope I can be as successful quitting as you. I'm going to have to get my mind set on it though. You know how you start making excuses to smoke? I'm sure you do since you've been there.
    Take care and I hope you're having a wonderful day.

    Debbie
  • I smoked about 30 years. Too damned long... I also enjoyed it for a long time. Another big mistake. You are right. I can make several really good excuses for it. Thing is, really good excuses, is some BS you justify in your mind. There are no real good excuses.

    What I found is that Chantix helps take away your desire. It becomes uninteresting to smoke. No real enjoyment from it. When you think you really need a smoke. Do something else for 5 minutes. The urge should be gone.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've smoked for about thirty years too. I can't remember when I didn't. I've noticed that smoking doesn't do a lot for me already. I still smoke but it's more out of habit than craving. I'm just so used to going outside to smoke that I find myself out there before I know it. I'm sure you can relate to that! I hope I can do it. See, I still don't say "I know I can". I've got to work on that. lol.
    The itching is much, much better. Still taking benadryl though. I still break out a little but nothing I can't live with. I'm glad I didn't stop taking it yet.
    Hope you're having a great day. Oh yeah, have you gained a lot of weight since quitting? I worry about that.
    Debbie
  • Hi Sunny,

    Just wondering if you were able to stick with it? I'm just finishing up with the Chantix. I stayed on it for almost 6 months because I wanted to get through the summer. I cheated for 3 days when I went to a girls weekend away in early August ( I knew I would ), but other than that it hasn't been too bad. I quit in April. I still feel a bit vulnerable unfortunately so I have to be careful. I've read that you need to be careful for the rest of your life, but I hope not. I'm gonna miss The Dreams. I really, really loved The Dreams.

    Summer

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad you're sticking with it. I'm still taking the Chantix but haven't stopped smoking yet...smoke about three a day so that's improvement but I know it's not good enough. I wish I could convince my mind that I want to quit! Did the chantix make you nauseous? I don't know which will kill me first, the smoking or the chantix. I do like it though other than the side effects. It really takes away a lot of cravings. I hope I can find the willpower to quit. How long had you smoked? I hope that you never start again. It's so crazy. Take care and thanks for checking on me.

    Debbie
  • I have been itching like crazy. Been taking Chantix for a couple of months now. I took it before and did not have this problem. But after reading this, I think it's from the Chantix. It's affecting my legs. Bumps and constant itching. I've tried everything to get rid of it, and nothing is working. I have bumps and scabs all over my legs, from scratching to death!! At first I thought it was some kind of bug, but my husband was not getting bit and I started getting bumps and itching everywhere in and out of the house. I go to see the doctor tomorrow. Think I am going to stop taking it NOW.
  • I have been itching like crazy. Been taking Chantix for a couple of months now. I took it before and did not have this problem. But after reading this, I think it's from the Chantix. It's affecting my legs. Bumps and constant itching. I've tried everything to get rid of it, and nothing is working. I have bumps and scabs all over my legs, from scratching to death!! At first I thought it was some kind of bug, but my husband was not getting bit and I started getting bumps and itching everywhere in and out of the house. I go to see the doctor tomorrow. Think I am going to stop taking it NOW.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I hope you don't have to stop the Chantix. Maybe your doctor will know what's causing the itching. Thankfully I got over that side effect. It nearly drove me crazy too. Have you tried taking benadryl for the itching? It really helped me. Now I fight nausea at some time everyday it'll hit me out of the blue. I've taken it for about six weeks now so you'd think these problems would be gone. Please let me know what you find out. Good luck.

    Debbie
  • Yes I have taking Benadryl for about a week now, and no change yet. I get the nausea as well, but it's not that bad. It's only for about 15 minutes twice a day. I'll let you know what the Doctor says tomorrow about the itching. I can't even wear shorts or a dress. It looks so bad. I will probably have scars for the rest of my life. It's pretty weird though. This is the third time in the last three years that I've taken Chantix and this is the first time the itching problem came about.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I hope you don't have scars from this. In the list of side effects there is a serious skin disease or disorder listed connected with Chantix. It's called Stevens Johnson Syndrome. I'm not saying this is what you have it's just one of the skin reactions related to Chantix use that I found when I had the rash. It would be strange to have these reactions after having taken it twice before. Have you taken or used anything different that you can think of? How about poison ivy, oak, sumac or something like that? You could try taking a bath with baking soda. It sometimes will help rashes. I hope you find out something soon. I know how the itching gets on your nerves. It'll drive you crazy. Good luck.
    Debbie
  • I only smoked for about 3 weeks after I started Chantix and by that 3rd week I was so nauseous I was only smoking 2 cigs a day. That feeling sick really helped, but I still had to make a determined effort to set a date and be done.

    I didn't want to quit either. In fact, I had been looking forward to a fun summer that definately involved smokes ( I live in Michigan and only smoke outside, so I like smoking in the summer ). I was going to quit this winter. But, when spring came and I started taking the dog out for longer walks, I noticed I was awfully short of breath and panicked! I went to the doctor and begged her to run a ton of tests on my lungs ( all fine ) and immediately started the Chanix.

    I also have been smoking as long as I can remember. In just these few months I have already noticed I can walk farther and faster with NO breathing issues.

    It's hard and I feel for anyone struggling to quit. I'm totally off the Chantix now and out of a 24 hour day I maybe think about smoking all of 10 seconds. If that. That's the problem with cutting down but not totally quitting. You never give yourself the chance to get to the place where you never think about them because you still have them with you all the time. But you do what you have to do to get there. You've cut down now you just have to set the date and mean it. Good luck to you and let us know!

    Summer
  • you and i are both in the same pain club...i have another club for you to join up with...the i wont smoke club...welcome aboard...pete
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad you're having so much success with quitting. I've smoked about four today. I'm to nauseated to smoke much. I agree that being sick helps me cut back. I used to drink a pot of coffee a day and after I started taking the Chantix I cut back and only make 1/2 pot. Now I only drink about half of that. So I guess it's helped with that habit. I know it's not good to keep putting off the quit date but I believe if I can continue to take this and maybe get another bottle...I think I may just do it. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

    Debbie
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