Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hardspear quits smoking with Champix and Pfizer

(Ignore what I am saying below - I started smoking shortly after I wrote this post and still struggling to quit 3 months down the line).  Initially I could not detect any clashes between Ritalin & Champix, but soon the combo started making me anxious like hell.  I stopped taking Champix...)

Having taken up smoking after quitting for 5 years, I, J. Hardspear de la Azotea have tried to stop again since the 1st cigarette I smoked in July.  Not successful.

Then I got myself a prescription for the new quit-smoking drug – Champix – by Pfizer.  Putting it simply – the other successful drug in recent years (Zyban), is an anti-depressant of which one of the side effects is to curb cravings for smoking.  Champix on the other hand blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain, as I understand it.
I started taking Champix a week ago and also enrolled in the online support programme Pfizer developed called mytimetostart  The programme advises one to finally stop smoking a week after you’ve started the meds.  During the 1st week they start you off on a weak dosage, which increases to full strength on the first day you’re supposed to quit.
During that 1st week, personally I did not feel much of an urge to quit, but I have been getting these super motivational, helpful and insightful e-mails form the programme.
Yesterday I actually had to stop.  Lo and freaking behold.  I did not crave a cigarette at all.  I was not cranky, irritated, agitated, impatient or “mislik”.  I first thought of a cigarette at 15:00 after an afternoon nap.  During the evening we were with friends and I had a glass of red wine.  I had a very low intensity and fleeting “lus” for a cigarette, which was totally manageable and quick.
This morning I woke up – no craving!!! 
In fact.  My mood and energy levels improved quite a bit since I started Champix a week ago.
5 Years ago when I first quit, I went cold turkey (nicotine replacement therapy did not help me at all).  It was extremely difficult, but I did it.  Now is one of those periods in my life which is typically not a good time to stop, but with Champix I am doing it anyway, despite all the stressors in my life.
I was worried that taking Champix with Ritalin may have some strange effects, but after consulting with friend Cara Noir, who is a psychiatrist, I was happy to learn that it should not, and now I am testament that it does not. 
The Champix is quite a loooong course to complete, but in order to ensure success, I am going to take every single last nicotine blocking tablet in this course to ensure success.
Thanks Champix and Pfizer. 


Julia said...

Way to go! Are there no negative side effects at all?
I'm asking for my friend who is in bed next to me.

SheBee said...

Oh wow, this actually sounds doable! I'm going to watch for more updates and if you haven't pulled out your hair by this time next month I pledge that I shall join you on this journey.

Momcat said...

Wishing you all strength in this battle. Smoking is an insidious curse.

Spear The Mighty said...

Congratz and I hope you keep it up! I stopped on 9/11/2010. Since then I did smoke 4 cigarettes in total during drunken stupors at parties. Each time I was disgusted. I'm going to be honest I still get cravings every now and again.

Hardspear said...

Hi Guys

Thanks for the support - still not smoking - will do proper post soon.


Michelle said...

God Bless you for trying Chantix (It's called that in the States) I was afraid to try it as I tend to put too much stock in the scare labels all psych meds have these days. Quitting is hard enough, didn't want to murder someone in the process. I quit by sheer gutting it out and it was a toughie. My husband threatened divorce (and meant it-I wasn't just a smoker, I was a liar/sneaking smoker) I tried to cut down but that didn't help so I just threw out the pack. Granted I had only smoked for about 6 months, this time. I had stopped and started so many times since age 12. I kinda like this husband so I'm not going to start again. Good Job Spear! Glad to hear it worked for you!!