Chantix side effects can vary depending on the individual but it is important to understand the implications of the drug. Find out the side effects of Chantix before you start taking this medication.
Chantix Side effects - Introduction
Chantix or varenicline is a potent drug that is prescribed to addicted smokers for the cessation of smoking. It is a powerful smoking cessation drug and should be obtained on physician's advice.
This prescription drug should not be discontinued abruptly without taking a prior medical advice. Sudden withdrawal of Chantix causes serious withdrawal symptoms that are intolerable.
The severe withdrawal effect of Chantix can be avoided by gradually tapering its dosage. This article provides an insight about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms that are associated with an anti-smoking drug, Chantix.
It is known that all medications cause side effects and the side effects of Chantix are not necessarily experienced by all its users. However, many Chantix users tolerate its mild side effects well. In majority of the cases, Chantix is not associated with major complications and its severe side effects are treatable by a physician.
Common side effects of Chantix
The Common Side effects caused by Chantix include: nausea (affected by 30 percent of people), abdominal gas formation (9 percent are affected), constipation (8 percent are affected), abnormal dreams (13 percent are affected), altered taste sensation (8 percent are affected), irritability (affected by 3 percent) Headache (19 percent are affected), sleeping problems (3 percent are affected), and insomnia (19 percent are affected).
Some of these side effects affect 1 to 7 percent of people such as indigestion, heart burn, stomach or abdominal pain, dry mouth or xerostomia, runny nose, Increased or decreased appetite, Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD or acid reflux), Fatigue or weakness, Drowsiness, Lethargy, unpleasant dreams or Nightmares, and weight gain.
Serious Side Effects of Chantix
The Chantix use should be immediately discontinued on developing major side effects including allergy to any of its components. The signs of allergy include itching, unexplained swelling, hives, and unexplained rashes. Some of the serious side effects that are experienced by using Chantix need immediate medical attention and it should be reported to the physician.
The serious side effects of Chantix include: breathing Difficulty, severe nausea or vomiting, Psychotic, abnormal or aggressive temperament and Suicidal ideations.
Some of these side effects should be noted to be warning signs of stroke which include severe headache, numbness of the arm or leg, weakness of limbs, abnormal vision or speech pattern, and high blood pressure. Heaviness of the arm or chest pain is an indication of heart attack.
Rare side effects of Chantix
These side effects with Chantix are encountered rarely in lesser than 1 percent of its consumers. These side effects are severely dangerous and the cause may be difficult to determine. These rare side effects include: Migraine, Anemia, Thyroid abnormalities, ringing sound in the ears or tinnitus, Dry eyes, Vision problems, Cataract, night blindness, spinning sensation or vertigo, Diarrhea, Stomach ulcers, High cholesterol, Sexual diseases, Gingivitis or gum diseases, abnormally increased sweating, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Psoriasis and Dry skin.
Serious Chantix Side effects
The following are the serious adverse reactions that were encountered with Chantix use: Accidental injury, abnormal skin reactions, Angioedema and hypersensitivity reactions, neuro-psychiatric symptoms and suicidal tendency. Some of the adverse effects of Chantix that are encountered both infrequently and rarely are mentioned below:
Disorders of the blood and lymphatic system: Patients infrequent experience anemia and lymphadenopathy. Rarely, the patients present with splenomegaly (enlargement of spleen), leukocytosis (increased blood leukocytes), and thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count).
Chantix Side effects- More Precautions
Cardiac diseases: Not so often, the patients develop bradycardia (decreased heart rate), arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), palpitations, ventricular extrasystoles, angina pectoris, tachycardia, and myocardial infarction. Rarely the patients encounter cardiac flutter, atrial fibrillation, acute coronary syndrome, coronary artery disease, and cor pulmonale.
Disorders of the ear labyrinth: sometimes patients develop vertigo and tinnitus. Rarely patients may experience deafness and Meniere's disease.
Disorders of the eye include eye irritation, conjunctivitis, eye pain, dry eye, visual disturbance and blurred vision. Rare eye complications include transient blindness, acquired night blindness, ocular vascular disorder, cataract subcapsular, vitreous floaters, and photophobia.
More Dangerous Chantix Side effects
Gastrointestinal Disorders like diarrhea, eructation, dysphagia, mouth ulceration, esophagitis, enterocolitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gastritis, acute pancreatitis, obstruction to the intestine and gastric ulcers.
Metabolic and Nutritional disorders include hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia and hypokalemia.
Disorders of the musculoskeletal and connective tissue include back pain, arthralgia, arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, muscle cramp, myositis and myalgia.
Disorders of the nervous System include dizziness, disturbance in attention, migraine, amnesia, sensory disturbance, parosmia, syncope, tremors, restless legs syndrome, and psychomotor hyperactivity. Rare side effects include facial palsy, visual field defect cerebrovascular accident, balance disorder, mental impairment, convulsion, nystagmus, transient ischemic attack, impaired psychomotor skills, dysarthria, and multiple sclerosis.
Disorders of the renal and Urinary tract include polyuria, nocturia, nephrolithiasis, urine abnormality, urinary retention urethral syndrome, and acute renal failure.
Disorders affecting mammary gland and reproductive System include erectile dysfunction or sexual dysfunction and menstrual disorders.
Chantix Side effects - Withdrawal
Chantix is prescribed for addicted smokers to kick back their smoking habit. Although, it is free from nicotine, it works analogous to nicotine to mask the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal to inhibit smoking. However in an attempt to reverse the nicotine withdrawal symptoms, the drug itself causes severe withdrawal symptoms on discontinuing it.
Hence, the consumer is advised to consult their consultant doctor when planning to quit the drug. The physician gradually reduces its dosage and safely stops the Chantix treatment. This could probably minimize the symptoms caused by the withdrawal of Chantix.
What Can You Expect From These Chantix Side effects?
Abrupt discontinuation of Chantix results in severe withdrawal side effects like Sleeping disturbances, irritability, nausea, vomiting, confusion, mood disorders, psychological preoccupation, heart palpitations, dysphoria, anxiety attacks, depression, unexplained anger, mental and emotional instability. Some patients also experienced relapse of smoking that worsened the habit.
On stopping the medication successfully, patients experienced cigarette cravings at a rate of twice more than before.
According to clinical studies, patients on abrupt withdrawal of Chantix presented with sleeping problems and irritability. Hence, it is advised to seek the help of a health care provider to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms of Chantix. The physician slowly weans off the drug to avoid the withdrawal side effects.
On encountering the withdrawal symptoms despite tapering the dosage, then the physician can continue with the previous dosage and weans off the drug very slowly.
Chantix Side effects - What Can Be Expected?
Other dangerous side effects that were experienced by the patients on using Chantix include exacerbation of cardio vascular condition in patients with pre-existing heart diseases. It also increased the risk of developing serious health complications like heart attack and stroke in patients without a history of heart disease.
The potential side effects that were encountered by the patients during Chantix withdrawal period include irregular heartbeat, seizure, blackouts, emotional distress, abnormal anger, panic attacks, and suicidal predisposition.
Mechanism of Chantix Side effects and withdrawal symptoms
Chantix directly works inside the brain and interferes with the natural production of neurotransmitters. It affects the neurotransmitter, dopamine (happy hormone) thus leading to mood abnormalities, depression, anxiety and suicide.
These side effects can be experienced also in patients without psychiatric disorders on withdrawing the drug during the end of treatment course.
Limit the withdrawal Side Effects of Chantix
You can minimize the withdrawal symptoms by slowly tapering the drug at the end of the treatment course.
In addition, the Chantix drug is popular for its withdrawal side effects and legal assistance is available for Chantix consumers. They can discuss the issue with a Chantix attorney and seek financial compensation on incurring medical expenses for pain, injury, or suffering from its use.