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Pfizer treatment to stop smoking meets endpoints

  • Pfizer (PFE -0.2%) says a clinical study measuring the efficacy and safety of its treatment to help smokers quit met its primary and secondary endpoints.
  • The study found patients treated with PFE's Chantix or Champix smoking cessation products (varenicline) were more likely to continue abstinence in the final weeks of the study than those without.
  • Chantix/Champix was approved by the FDA in 2006 for people 18 and older.
Comments (15)
  • I can attest. Chantix works. I, and at least a dozen hard-core long-time smokers I know, have quit and no one I know experienced any serious side effects, unless one considers difficulty sleeping for a short time serious in relation to permanently dying.
    21 Jan, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • same here, had minor side effects but better than spending 10 bucks a day, missing events due to having to smoke, and the all important one, die an early death
    21 Jan, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • I'm curious how bad your habit was before (how many packs a day) and how long you were on the program. I smoke just under 3/4 of a pack a day, hate it and would love to quit.
    21 Jan, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • I smoked for about 35 years, was a truly physically-addicted smoker (not at all the casual cigarette with a drink psychologically-addicted type) and, at the worst of it, I chain smoked just under two packs a day. The most I could go without a cigarette under any circumstance was two hours, though it was usually more like twenty minutes. People who know me well would halfway joke with me that I would be one of those little old men in the hospital bribing staff to wheel me and my oxygen machine outside so I can have a smoke. Getting as sense of how bad my habit was yet?


    It took a total of about 5 months to quit completely, but that's counting the half of that time that I gradually reduced the amount I was smoking before even starting to take Chantix. I recommend that approach since most of us actually smoke more than we "have to" anyway. By the time I was in the final month, I was just going from 3-4 cigarettes a day down to zero.


    Another thing I strongly recommend is doing some reading first so you're aware of changes to your body to expect and can preemptively find other ways to deal with each of them, rather than being not caught of guard by them and inclined to turn back to cigarettes. This site was helpful to me:


    There were four big ones for me ...
    1] heartburn ... more constant and more extreme than ever before ... get a big bottle of Pepcid and cut back on acidic foods/drinks (tomato foods, orange juice, etc.)
    2] insomnia ... also constant and extreme ... start exercising
    3] eating ... change eating habits to, instead of three big meals, smaller meals and snack in between, but only healthy snacks to lessen weight gain (fruits, nuts, etc.)
    4] irritability ... talk to everyone you spend lots of time around (home & work) and ask them to cut you a little extra slack for a while so you're not burning bridges ... remind them as needed


    I hope this helps. Good luck. If I can do it, anybody can.
    21 Jan, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for the input. I’ve been considering Chantix to help take the edge off quitting and I might give it a go. I’ve been gradually cutting back and am actually down to maybe 10 to 12 cigarettes a day but occasionally hit 3/4 of a pack. I’ve quit a few times and made it a few days but always start back up again. That’s why I think something like Chantix could really help me. I’m sure if I can make it 1 or 2 weeks, I’ll have the worst of it behind me.


    The only 2 side effects I have concern about are insomnia and weight gain. I’ve had sleep disorders all my life so I’m somewhat accustomed to them, but I hate gaining weight. I always pack on 10 lbs within days of stopping smoking but I believe most of that is water weight. My dietary intake doesn’t vary too much so I think it is a metabolic change that causes my body to store water. Again, I think if I can make it 1 to 2 weeks, my body will begin to return to ‘normal’.


    Thanks for responding.
    22 Jan, 06:23 AM Reply Like
  • You're welcome. Just a couple follow up thoughts from things you mentioned. Frequent stop/start "quitting" can make it harder to quit permanently. If you can make it a few days with no help, Chantix will turn that few days into a few months, then it's all up to you. The first couple weeks are indeed the hardest, but at the same time, it would be a mistake to think you've got it beat at that point ... even months/years later we are still susceptible starting back up if we let it happen. I too have always been an extreme insomniac (sleep about 4 out of every 36 hours), but it can be managed. About weight gain, we're all different, but weeks may be overly optimistic ... perhaps at least several months for any real adjustments to take place. I don't know about the water weight thing, but everyone I know started eating nearly twice as much as soon as they stopped smoking. All the sudden, it's not unusual to have dinner, then want a snack 30 minutes later ... not a problem if the dinner wasn't huge and the snack is a bowl of fruit. Best of luck.
    22 Jan, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • DAG, I had to laugh at your comment “even months / years later we are still susceptible starting back up”. I quit for 17 or 18 years (lost track) and one night was in a bar in Central America, not drunk, but someone offered me a cigarette and I accepted and lit up for some reason. That was about 6 years ago.


    I’m definitely going to try it. I hate smoking.
    22 Jan, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • I had a similar experience about 20 years ago, but I only stopped for a couple years and the bar wasn't in Central America ... at least we'll know better this time. I've hated smoking for many years too ... that's what I try to get young people I know who smoke to understand ... we're not doing it because we like it or because we choose and you don't realize that change until long after it happens ... but, of course, most of them know everything already ... even so, the occasional one I get through to is worth the hassle of the other 99%.
    22 Jan, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • After the horrible nightmares while on Chantix and waking up in cold sweats and feelings of terror, I quit taking the drug immediately. I decided, after 45 years of smoking, I would rather fully commit to stopping via my own will power. I have been smoke-free now for six years, will power only. If you "want" to take this drug, please read the literature wherever you can find it about how it CHANGES THE BRAIN. I do NOT know if the receptors in the brain that no longer work when you take this drug are in any way related to Alzheimer's or dementia. Again, I DO NOT KNOW if there is any publicly available research on this. Do your own due diligence/research. Do a LOT of it. Here's one place you can start: and here


    I now have COPD and wish I had tried earlier and harder to quit on my own.


    Regardless, I think Pfizer is a good company. I just don't like this drug.
    22 Jan, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • If anyone finds possible nightmares more scary than certain death, that's obviously their choice, but personally, I find it hugely irresponsible to start rumors about a treatment that changes/extends people's lives based on zero facts and nothing other than speculation. Despite whatever appropriate disclaimers may follow, a large portion of people who hear such comments will spread them forward with more simplistic variations like "I heard that Chantix causes Alzheimers." Personally, I don't like the idea that even one person will continue smoking until they contract cancer and die for no reason other than that they "heard that Chantix causes Alzheimers."
    22 Jan, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • It blocks receptors and I have no concerns about any loss of brain cells. If I was concerned about that, I probably wouldn’t have consumed that 1,000 gallons of Crown Royal over the last 30 years.


    I am quite concerned about the damage cigarettes are doing to my lungs and I want to quit before I’m forced to go around open flames while carrying an oxygen bottle.
    22 Jan, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • Believe what you wish, but it is being proven that Chantix can cause suicide, which is fully documented and in many legal courts now. Read the articles in the links. Personally, when a drug changes [receptors in] my brain, I'm out. Fast.
    23 Jan, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • This is from the Chantix website. I personally had nothing to do with what they have posted. Read for yourself. The point I was trying to make is that anything that affects changes to my brain to this extent concerns me greatly. I do not know WHY no research appears to be available on any POSSIBLE connection to Alzheimer's. This, as I stated indirectly, is one of my fears about this drug. It is a known fact that brain "plaque" is an Alzheimer's condition that prevents/blocks certain signals in the brain from connecting with one another. My fear is that, if Chantix disables receptors, it might cause or exacerbate a similar dysfunction. Feel free to lead us to any research that shows that this is not a possibility. For me, blocking signals in my brain is a no-no brainer.
    23 Jan, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Risk versus reward;


    A. I can continue smoking and destroy my lungs, which is almost certain to happen. I’ve had pneumonia 3 times and bronchitis maybe 40 or 50 times in my life. I have to alert the technicians before I have a chest x-ray so they don’t dial 911 when they see the results.


    B. I can roll the dice and try something that may cause other issues, but has the possibility to help me stop destroying my lungs.


    I am not a hard core smoker and don’t expect to have to take this more than 2 or 3 months at the most. I’ve tried to quit a few times and do okay with it, but I can’t quit and believe all I need is a little help to help push me beyond the week or so that I normally make it.


    I promise to lock my guns up and avoid tall buildings while on Chantix, but I have to try it.
    23 Jan, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • I wish you good luck with quitting. Please remember about human will power as well. It's the best natural solution to some of our human problems. Please let us know how you do.
    23 Jan, 08:14 PM Reply Like
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