"I think I can, I think I can. I know I can, I know I can."
I failed again.
But no more!
No longer will you have to recant the mantra from the little train that could. You can stop smoking, eliminate your cravings and lose the rebound effects commonly associated with smoking cessation, like weight gain and substitute vices.
The smoking cessation pill, Chantix.
I was speaking with one of the correctional officers who took the challenge as part of his new year’s resolution. What he had to report was amazing.
First, he stated that he had no cravings or desires to smoke by day 3. Secondly, he did not notice any new behaviors to replace his prior smoking habit. He had to think about what he would do to replace it, not that he’s doing anything now.
He states that the smell of cigarette smoke is revolting to him and he doesn’t think about smoking anymore.
With the price of brand name cigarettes in Michigan pushing 6 bucks a pack, Chantix could not have come on the scene at a better time. If you only smoked 1 pack per day, you would pay less than that for a month’s supply of Chantix. And what I am hearing from the field is that most stop smoking during that first 30 day supply.
Not so with Zyban. Most REDUCE their use of cigarettes and continue to smoke. I rarely have had a case of someone on Zyban that quit within 90 days, let alone 30 days.
So HOW is Chantix different from other pharmaceutical solutions?
Chantrix works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are linked to an addiction of nicotine. Actually, it activates the receptors, which means you FEEL like you do when you smoke. Then it blocks nicotine from binding to those same receptors. So craving is reduced and withdrawal symptoms are decreased. Thus a formula for more success in stopping that nasty habit.
Any downsides? Side effects? Cautions?
Well, the biggest one states by Pfizer is that of mood changes and worsening of psychiatric illness, namely depression. Of course pregnant and nursing women need not apply – this drug is not for you. If you’re on dialysis, your dosage will need to be reduced (it is excreted by the kidneys 92% unchanged and is minimally metabolized).
The other most common constellation of side effect are related to the gastrointestinal system. People also complain of nausea (30%), vomiting, constipation and/or gas. Also sleep difficulties, including weird or vivid dreams, have been reported.
And since there are cautions for diabetics on insulin, asthmatics and people on blood thinners due to drug interactions, well, you are forewarned that Chantix may not play well with others. So make sure your doctors is aware of what you take before you try it.
Be aware that herbal medicines and vitamins may also interact adversely with Chantix. Therefore the best course of action is to stop other supplements AND stop smoking drugs or holistic anti-smoking remedies until after you complete your course of Chantix.
Based on the excitement and feedback I’m getting from the field, Pfizer may have another big winner. Only time will tell.