"I'm a person who is very much in control," says Judy. "I don't get upset about much. But a week after taking Chantix I couldn't handle anything. I was mad, sad, depressed, frustrated, aggressive, the whole gamut."
Fortunately, Judy asked herself what had changed in her life over the last few weeks. (Others haven't been so aware and suffered Chantix suicide thoughts.) She realized Chantix had caused her mood swings but it took about 10 days after quitting the drug to leave her system. And Judy took Chantix a few years back, when it first came on the market, so there were no Chantix warnings.
"I run a daycare and the kids could tell something was wrong," says Judy. "My parents and my own kids could tell—any little thing was getting to me. If one of my babies [at daycare] was having a bad day, I would just let him cry. Luckily my daughter was here to back me up; if it wasn't for her, I would have had to quit tending kids while on the Chantix.
My son took Chantix a few years ago. He was getting very angry and sad all at the same time. He is a single dad and I know things are tough so I tried to help, but I couldn't help his mood swings. One day I asked him what had changed in his life; I asked if he was taking anything to help stop smoking. Soon as he told me he was on Chantix, I said 'Get the hell off that stuff.'
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I talked to my doctor about Chantix and he said I was right to quit taking it. He had just heard about the Chantix warnings but at that time it wasn't a big issue like it is now.
I think the Chantix makers are idiots. If they know people are having suicidal tendencies they should take it off the market. I guess they think money is more important than a human life. Just because it works for a handful of people, doesn't mean it can't kill others. I definitely won't take another drug to quit smoking."