I'm new to this site, but have been lurking for a while I've found it brilliant and I wanted to give you a run down on how I am doing with Champix. The reason being is that I have been on Champix since Monday September 21st and have noticed various things over the past 3 weeks. If you are starting out and you have read my account you may not be so startled when sensations occur. In fact, you may think of my account and be encouraged that the medication is actually working.
Like everyone I went down to the the stop smoking nurse and asked her to put me on Champix. I was apprehensive as I had read all the horror stories about it's side effects, some even talking about suicide. I suffer from mild depression from time to time, and so that was obviously in the back of my mind. I spoke with the nurse and she arranged that every Friday I would drop into her for a chat about my progress. I took the breath test and came up as 9. I was a 15 a day smoker just for the record.
So I started out on my course and worked my way up to the end of the starter pack. I picked up another batch of blue pills yesterday and am still on my journey.
Personally the only side effects that I experienced were slightly vivid dreams. They weren't nightmares, but I never really feared this aspect of the side effects as I rarely get nightmares. In terms of my mood I've been absolutely fine. No temper tantrums - and believe me, I had excuses Maybe the slightest bit of nausea from the 1st pill on my first few occasions, but seriously.......nothing to get worked up about. I also felt the slightest sense of wooziness at times, but once again, not something to be worried about.
I found at the start that I was actually smoking more ! I was putting them away like nothing on earth. One day I smoked 30 cigarettes!!!! As long as I have been smoking I have never smoked that many. I called up a friend of mine who is a doctor to ask him why he felt I was doing this. He explained to me that because my receptors are beginning to really get blocked I'm not getting the fix that I used to get from a smoke. I recall times back in the day when I'd smoke a cigarette and put it out 3 quarters way down because I had had enough. Even the thought of lighting up again wasn't appealing until maybe 1 hour later. Whilst on Champix I could smoke 2 in a row without a problem. No buzz.......nothing. This was the first time I realised something was different. Sure I'm smoking more, but at least I'm on my course.
Then on Friday September 25th, just 4 days into being on Champix something quite strange happened. I work from home and was buzzing about doing bits and bobs as I normally do. I had run out of smokes that morning at about 10am but had texted my wife to bring some home. She got in at about 7pm, and I hadn't smoked for about 9 hours. She announced to me that she hadn't bought my smokes because she didn't get the chance, but that we could buy them on our way in London. We had planned to go meet some old friends on Liverpool Street. Normally I'd actually be in a bit of a huff over this, but honestly......I wasn't bothered. I sort of shrugged my shoulders followed by a nonchalant "ok." So we walked down to the local shopping centre to pick up a few sandwiches and orange juice for the bus ride in. Lining the old stomach and all that. We got all our stuff and hoped on a bus. 30 minutes into the journey nearing Liverpool Street I realised that I hadn't even thought about buying the cigarettes that I so desperately used to crave. Amazing ! I would never, and I mean NEVER have done that. Cigarettes would have been on the forefront of my mind. The following day I caught myself doing something similar again.
So my official quit date was Wednesday September 30th. I ran out of smokes Tuesday 29th and wasn't bothered to go down to the shop so just decided to make my quit date a day early. It was pretty easy. Didn't smoke Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and most of Friday.....
Before I continue I think it's important to point out something I read online. Yes you are supposed to have a quit date, but many people have used their quit date to cut down, allowing the medication to take it's course. In other words, if you have a smoke after your quit date DON'T beat yourself up over it. Look at the bigger picture.
.....so Friday evening I started to get thought about a pint and a smoke. End of the week, just finished work etc. I walked into my house and my flatmate threw a can at me. 3 cans later and I'd sparked up. We had a house party the following night so I lit up at that. When Sunday October 4th came around I didn't bother smoke and technically haven't since
Let me explain the technicality of my claim You see, I had been told all about this bitter taste on the tongue that so many Champix users were raving about. Sadly I hadn't experienced this. I wanted to, but so far I didn't really mind the taste of a smoke. This is probably why I had no problem smoking the Friday and Saturday night. Monday evening I started to get this bitter taste in my mouth. No over powering, but always there. It was there whether I would brush my teeth or not. I gargled mouthwash but it was still there. I drank water but it made the water taste like there was a slice of lemon in it. I ate food but the bitter taste would return shortly afterwards. I woke up again this morning with the same taste in my mouth so I called up my doctor pal. To my sheer delight I found out that this is the bitter holy grail !
Purely as a test I rolled up and smoked a cigarette. I couldn't even finish the darned thing. I had to put it out early and I felt sick. It was disgusting. I actually had to brush my teeth, gargle mouth wash and wash my hands. That has NEVER happened to me before. Please also note, this experiment was solely for the purpose of testing the bitter taste. I didn't even have an urge to smoke.
So here I am sat in my couch typing on a forum full of smokers and non smokers. Some of you may be considering Champix but have the usual fears that smokers have regarding the side effects of quitting. After all, there is nothing worse than that sudden nano second spike of fear that goes through your head and down your spine when you realise that you can't have that smoke on the way to work, that you can't enjoy a drag or two drinking that cup of coffee you enjoy whilst talking to your best mate on the telephone.
From my honest and most humble opinion based on 1st hand experience, Champix cuts this out. It just makes you not really give a damn whether you smoke or not. You can take it or leave it, and it's this nonchalant approach to smoking that is to your advantage. If you've got a 'take it or leave it' mindset towards something you're trying to quit, you're obviously going to LEAVE it. Going the Will Power route robs you of this luxury. You don't have a 'take it or leave it' mind set towards nicotine 5 days down the Will Power road no sir-ee
Go for it guys. The worst that can happen is that the side effects are either too much to bear, or it simply doesn't work. Who knows though ? It may work and you may be very surprised. With my new bitter friend I now know that even if I force feed myself with smokes I'm only going to end up puking. Not exactly my idea of a good Friday night out. Champix allows you over time to forget about smoking, and theoretically brings you to a point where you just don't smoke.