Chantix also know as Champix in Europe was released as a wonder drug to quit smoking in 2007. Pfizer released the drug claiming a 44% success rate in smokers quitting using this new drug.
Before I get into how Chantix works, it's important that you understand the addiction to nicotine and why you crave a cigarette every 30 minutes or so. Before you started smoking, you didn't crave a cigarette. You were not addicted to nicotine and so there was nothing in your body or mind that told you it needed a cigarette.
After your first few cigarettes, you began generating receptors in your brain. These receptors are ports where the nicotine travels to your brain and you get that good feeling when you smoke. The more you smoked over the years, the more receptors opened in your brain and the more nicotine your body craved. This is the part of the brain that keeps telling you that it wants a cigarette, and in most cases you obliged by smoking. Once this pattern began you were trapped and no longer making decisions on your own, you were a slave to these receptors.
As the nicotine travels to the receptors, you received a dopamine rush that gave you that good feeling when you smoked. This is why you continue to smoke and believe that you enjoy smoking. The release of dopamine provides a nice feeling, feelings of great pleasure. Of course you think you enjoy it!!!!
A doctor who happened to smoke invented the drug Chantix or Champix as it is known in many countries. The idea behind this magic pill to quit smoking, is that it blocks those nicotine receptors in your brain, and doesn't allow you to receive the nicotine to that part of the brain any longer. That is the reason that it is recommended to smoke the first week while you are on the drug.
By eliminating the pathway and not allowing the nicotine to reach these receptors, you no longer will get the same dopamine rush and good feeling sensation when you smoke. In time all the receptors will be blocked and no longer scream for nicotine.
The theory behind the drug is sound, this is the part of smoking that is difficult to get beyond, especially during the early days of quitting smoking. In fact, Pfizer boasts an amazing quit rate of 44% on their website for Chantix.
I took Chantix during one of my first quitting attempts. I followed the instructions exactly as they were recommended and I was able to quit smoking after a week of taking the medication. I know many others that this drug has helped to cure the smoking addiction, and I know many that it did not.
I did experience side effects while on Chantix. I had the craziest dreams you could ever imagine, and I found myself sleeping much more than I had prior to taking Chantix. It definitely has an effect on your brain and there have been a lot of incidences of people acting in strange ways and even taking their own lives while on this drug. I don't know the facts behind the stories and I can't tell you whether Chantix played a major role, but it is worth noting that a drug of this magnitude can have side effects - severe in some cases.
Unfortunately for me, Chantix was not the end of my smoking days. I relapsed back to smoking several months after quitting and when I did finally quit smoking for good it was using the cold turkey method. I don't know how many of the 44% successful quitters using Chantix are still non smokers, but my guess is the number is much less than 44%.
In my opinion cold turkey is the best method to quit smoking, and by eliminating nicotine from you body, you will slowly start shutting down those receptors in your brain in a natural manner. By not feeding them nicotine, they will close on their own, guaranteed
I will be writing soon about relapsing when you quit and how to avoid that pitfall. It is an important topic and certainly something all people who quit smoking need to understand.
Good luck on your decision to quit smoking. 5000 people quit every day. In fact you quit every time you put a cigarette out. Make the one you just smoked your last!!!