Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the chantix is almost perfect

I haven't smoked for a week now. I've been taking .5mg/day for 10 days and, because it gives me problems sleeping, plan to stay there. (I was supposed to step up to 1mg a week ago, and 2mg 4 days ago, but if it keeps working at .5mg there's no reason to do more.)

The only side effect I get is really crummy sleep. I should count myself lucky, since I could be having anxiety, headaches, nausea, suicidal ideas, and/or a "potentially fatal" rash. Instead I can't get to sleep till midnight, wake up at 3am for an hour or so, and wake up at 5:30 am, sometimes getting back to sleep, sometimes not.

However, I don't seem to feel the lost sleep much. I might nap an hour or two once or twice a week. By the numbers, it doesn't make up for the loss, but it seems to be all I need. It could be the meditation I've been doing for the past couple months, could be the dopamine makes me feel the loss less.

In any case, it's worth it to not be smoking. The drug has made it incredibly easy to pass on the urge. They tell you urges only last a few minutes, and while this is true, it just isn't that simple. I get beset by urges: the first I could pass on, but urges would keep coming every 5-10 minutes, until I gave in. With the Chantix, the first urge goes away easily, and subsequent urges (if they come at all) are noticeably weaker.

I plan to do the full 12 week course (though as I said at a low dosage) and hopefully at the end of it I will have built new habits and will have enough groundwork laid that it becomes something in itself, not to be destroyed.

The standard warning label:
Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping CHANTIX. If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems before taking CHANTIX, as these symptoms may worsen while taking CHANTIX.

Some people can have serious skin reactions while taking CHANTIX, some of which can become life-threatening. These can include rash, swelling, redness, and peeling of the skin. Some people can have allergic reactions to CHANTIX, some of which can be life-threatening and include: swelling of the face, mouth, and throat that can cause trouble breathing. If you have these symptoms or have a rash with peeling skin or blisters in your mouth, stop taking CHANTIX and get medical attention right away.

The most common side effects include nausea (30%), sleep problems, constipation, gas, and/or vomiting. If you have side effects that bother you or don't go away, tell your doctor.

You may have trouble sleeping, vivid, unusual or strange dreams while taking CHANTIX. Use caution driving or operating machinery until you know how CHANTIX may affect you.

No comments: