Chantix Ruined My Life

Chantix, also known as Varenicline, has a notable history as a prescription medication designed to aid people in quitting smoking. Developed by Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, Chantix received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 for its use in smoking cessation programs. Its mechanism of action involves both stimulating and blocking nicotine receptors in the brain, effectively reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with nicotine addiction.

Chantix has proven its effectiveness over the years, outperforming placebos in clinical trials and successfully assisting many individuals in their journey to quit smoking. As a result, it has become a valuable tool in smoking cessation programs worldwide. However, its history is not without controversies including being taken off the market safety due to concerns. Reports of psychiatric side effects, including mood changes, depression, and even suicidal thoughts, prompted the FDA to issue warnings about these potential risks. This led to the inclusion of a “black box warning” on the medication’s label to inform both users and healthcare professionals about these concerns.

In this article, we will be sharing the stories of many Chantix users who say the drug ruined their lives.

How Chantix Ruined My Life

Danielle wrote “During my Chantix experience, a pivotal moment occurred on the ninth day of usage when I unexpectedly lost my temper with my husband for laughing at the TV. In frustration, I informed him that I couldn’t tolerate his laughter and threatened that he should leave if he didn’t stop. Strangely, I had believed that I would handle such situations better given my increased awareness during my second attempt with Chantix.

My subsequent experience with Chantix diverged notably. On the eighth day, I found myself in tears as I longed for the comforting sensation of smoking a cigarette. Things took a dramatic turn on the ninth day, as I experienced an intense surge of energy. I was overjoyed at the thought of not smoking, relishing the gift of life with a zeal I hadn’t felt before. Sleep became elusive, and when I did eventually drift off, I eagerly anticipated waking up. However, when I did wake, I plummeted into one of the deepest bouts of depression I had ever encountered. The weight of despair was crushing, and I questioned my will to live. It wasn’t that I derived any pleasure from cigarettes, but I grappled with an overwhelming sense of losing touch with my core essence. Faced with this emotional maelstrom, I made the resolute decision to discontinue Chantix and retired to bed. As I awoke in the middle of the night, I sensed an improvement in my emotional state, and today, I feel like myself once more.

This experience prompted me to contemplate a critical choice: was it a matter of smoking versus losing one’s soul and spirit, or was it smoking versus a potential descent into madness? In my personal belief, while Chantix might have facilitated my journey to quit smoking, it also posed a significant threat to my mental well-being. It was a perplexing and challenging choice that underscored the intricate nature of the journey to quit smoking”.

Chandelle’s experience was not better she wrote “I initiated this medication with a profound desire to quit smoking. However, my decision was clouded by the unsettling reports I encountered online regarding its adverse effects. This led to a moment of hesitation. Seeking guidance, I consulted my nurse, who assured me of its safety. Trusting her judgment, I began the treatment.

The first day on the medication was a tumultuous one. I found myself inexplicably irritable, exasperated with seemingly everything and everyone. I had outbursts of anger that drove me to the brink of my own sanity. The following morning, I dutifully took my prescribed dose, and for a significant part of the day, I felt surprisingly composed and more like myself. It was a welcome respite from my earlier irritability.

However, as evening descended, I encountered a distressing ordeal. A sharp, unsettling pain manifested in my chest, and I felt an overwhelming sensation of suffocation. Panic washed over me as I struggled to draw a breath, and my heart raced with fear. It was a paralyzing moment that compelled me to dial 911 in desperation.

In the wake of this harrowing experience, I ceased the medication immediately. Since then, I have thankfully remained in good health. The trauma of that incident lingers, and I share this account with the hope that it may serve as a cautionary tale for others. Please exercise great caution when considering this medication, and consult with healthcare professionals to make informed decisions about your health and well-being”.

For Lucky, Chantix almost ruined his marriage, here is how he described his experience. “My experience with Chantix took a toll on my mental health. The medication triggered severe side effects that nearly led to the destruction of my 20-year-long marriage. I began to experience a deep sense of depression, along with an array of unsettling side effects. These side effects included vivid and often bizarre dreams, a growing sense of delusion, and irrational thoughts that consumed my mind. My past haunted me, bringing forth anger and distress.

Regrettably, I made a grievous mistake during this tumultuous period. I found myself in a situation where I was unfaithful to my wife, a decision that caused her immense pain when she discovered the truth. It was a distressing and chaotic time in my life.

Recognizing the detrimental impact that Chantix was having on my mental state, I made the choice to discontinue the medication. This decision also led me back to smoking, despite my ongoing desire to quit.

I am immensely fortunate that my wife found the strength and compassion to work through this challenging phase in our relationship, choosing to forgive and heal together. I remain determined to quit smoking, but I am now exploring alternative methods and approaches to achieve this goal, ones that do not carry the adverse effects and consequences that came with my experience with Chantix.

Regrettably, my anticipation for a positive experience with this medication was met with a distressing ordeal said Emma. On the very first day, I took a modest 0.5 mg pill, and within just ten minutes, I was overwhelmed by an intense wave of dizziness. Concerned by this unexpected and severe reaction, I promptly contacted my doctor for guidance, who advised me to discontinue the medication. While I had been aware that dizziness was listed as a potential side effect, I had not anticipated its severity.

In the days that followed, my situation took a disconcerting turn. Three days after that initial dose, I was struck by another sudden and severe dizzy spell while driving. The intensity of the dizziness was such that I felt compelled to pull over and seek assistance, fearing that I might faint while at the wheel. This alarming experience left me shaken and deeply concerned about my ability to continue using the medication.

Another three days later, yet another episode of dizziness emerged without warning. This marked a total of three dizzy spells within just six days, all of which occurred after ingesting a single, seemingly harmless 0.5 mg pill. It has become evident that my body reacts exceptionally sensitively to this drug.

My experience with these dizzy spells was not only disconcerting but also downright frightening. Each episode would persist for two to three hours, leaving me in a state of discomfort and apprehension. I share my experience in the hope that it may resonate with others who have encountered similar reactions, as it is crucial to recognize that our bodies can react unpredictably to medications, and sharing such experiences can be valuable for others in a similar situation”

Despite these safety concerns, Chantix remains an important medication for smoking cessation. Ongoing research continues to explore its safety and effectiveness, and healthcare providers carefully evaluate its use for individual patients. They consider the potential benefits of quitting smoking and weigh them against any associated risks, making informed decisions to support patients in their journey to a smoke-free life.

Chantix Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bloody stools
  • blurred vision
  • burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chills
  • cold hands and feet
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin cough
  • deep or fast breathing with dizziness
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • headache
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • indigestion
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • noisy breathing
  • nosebleed
  • numbness of the feet, hands and around the mouth
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • pale skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • slow heartbeat
  • slurred speech
  • stomach pain or upset
  • sweating
  • swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • tenderness in the stomach area
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • tremor
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds


  • Agitation
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • decrease in height
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • eye pain
  • feeling of fullness
  • fever
  • frequent urination
  • general feeling of illness
  • heartburn
  • hostility
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • increased volume of pale, dilute urine
  • irritability
  • itching, skin rash
  • loss of appetite
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain, cramps, or twitching
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pain or burning in the throat
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • red, scaling, or crusted skin
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • severe sleepiness
  • severe stomach pain
  • severe sunburn
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or inside the mouth
  • tenderness, pain, swelling, warmth, skin discoloration, and prominent superficial veins over the affected area
  • uncontrolled eye movements
  • yellow eyes or skin

Incidence not known

  • Anger
  • anxiety
  • behavior changes
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • feelings of panic
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • mood swings
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • sleepwalking
  • thoughts of killing oneself

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your healthcare professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Abnormal dreams
  • absence of menstruation
  • change in taste
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement
  • difficulty in moving
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or bowels
  • joint pain or swelling
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of taste
  • muscle stiffness
  • painful menstruation
  • passing gas
  • toothache
  • trouble sleeping

Less common

  • Belching
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • discharge, excessive tearing
  • ear congestion
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling of warmth
  • hearing loss
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased appetite
  • increased urge to urinate during the night
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • loss of voice
  • nightmares
  • redness in the joints
  • redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
  • redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • sensation of spinning
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stomach discomfort
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • transient, mild, pleasant aromatic odor
  • trouble concentrating
  • waking to urinate at night


  • Change in color vision
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
  • night blindness
  • seeing floating dark spots or material before the eyes

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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