WARNING: Do not act as adviser to Chantix/Champix users

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 25th, 2008, 8:44 pm #1

WARNING: Advise Chantix / Champix Users with
Side Effects Concerns to Immediately Contact
Their Prescribing Physician or Pharmacist
While Freedom graduates some of the most knowledgeable ex-smokers on earth, it is a mistake to assume how the chemical varenicline (Chantix or Champix) will interact with the human body. Champix or Chantix is prescribed by a physician and dispensed by a pharmacist. Most here are not physicians or pharmacists but abrupt nicotine cessation students and educators. Encountering and attempting to advise a varenicline user as to any symptom or concern is not only dangerous and likely interfering with the doctor-patient relationship, it could delay them seeking immediate or emergency medical care that may have prevented serious harm.
When encountering a Chantix or Champix user who appears to be doing fine, without expressing any symptom concerns, we do our very best not to discourage them. But we still do not assume the role of cessation advisor. Instead we remind them that we are not doctors. We encourage them to read and know the side effect warning signs that came with their prescription and immediately confide in their treating physician or pharmacist should any concerns arise while using varenicline or when coming off it.
This link is to an FDA advisory that was issued because the concerns expressed within it are both real and possible. The paragraph below the link is part of the advisory:
"Health care professionals, patients, patients' families, and caregivers should be alert to and monitor for changes in mood and behavior in patients treated with Chantix. Symptoms may include anxiety, nervousness, tension, depressed mood, unusual behaviors and thinking about or attempting suicide. In most cases, neuropsychiatric symptoms developed during Chantix treatment, but in others, symptoms developed following withdrawal of varenicline therapy."
Should you encounter any Champix or Chantix user or ex-user experiencing any of the above symptoms, strongly encourage them to seek immediate medical attention, at the nearest emergency room if necessary.
Also, when speaking with any new or recent quitter do not assume they quit cold turkey. Before rendering advice ask them their quitting method.
If you encounter a varenicline quitter who experienced a significant adverse event while using it, once the event has passed encourage them to report the event to their government's adverse event reporting agency. Unless they do so their government has no way of knowing how frequent such events are. Here are links to a few national reporting agencies:
Australia | Canada | New Zealand | United Kingdom | United States
What follows is from Freedom's left margin "No Medical Advice" link. While the new arrival's knee jerk reaction may be to see it as cop out, a way of side stepping symptom questions, our more seasoned members know it to be the only means by which an individual's symptom concerns can receive proper investigation and treatment, if warranted:
Medical Disclaimer
This site is not meant to replace the advice of any physician. Do not rely upon any information that you read here at Freedom (or that you obtain through posts, email or links) to replace consultations or advice received by qualified health professionals regarding your own specific situation. The information provided here at Freedom is intended as smoking cessation educational materials only and it should NEVER be construed as medical advice.

If you have any question in your mind regarding any lingering health concern, including depression or mental health, IMMEDIATELY seek medical assistance. If you are not satisfied with the advice being rendered by a physician, you always have the right to obtain another medical opinion. We are not physicians or doctors here at Freedom. We are students and teachers of smoking cessation.

It is also important for you to understand that as a smoking cessation forum Freedom is staffed entirely by cessation educators who are not physicians, pharmacists or dietitians. Further, Freedom's Rules prohibit any member from rendering any medical advice to other members, from giving medication or herbal advice or recommendations, or from giving dieting or exercise advice or recommendations, other than the advice to seek the assistance of trained and qualified health care professionals.

There are organizations and individuals whose sites have disclaimers such as this to simply protect themselves legally. We have this policy because we believe it's right for every individual reading here. We do all we can to make sure that any information or concepts acquired here do not pose medical risks to readers.

When it comes to the treatment or management of any medical condition we sincerely believe that it is best for every person to deal with a qualified medical professional in their real world. The materials, concepts and information shared here allow readers to improve their health, and likely extend the productive years of their lives, by simply making and sticking to a personal commitment to Never Take Another Puff, Dip, or Chew.
When encountering Chantix or Champix users please put their well being above all else. We are not physicians or varenicline use experts but abrupt nicotine cessation students and educators. For us there was is only one rule ... no nicotine today.
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Gold x8)
John R. Polito
Nicotine Cessation Educator
(843) 849-9721


September 13th, 2008, 7:35 pm #2