Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nausea Revisited

Today is Chantix Day 70 and Smoke-free Day 58.

Lately, the Chantix pill that I take after a usually pretty medium-sized lunch doesn't ever really bother me or make me nauseous, but the one right before bed gets me if I don't hurry up and actually go to bed soon after taking it. Especially the last two nights.

Last night was probably my fault because I wound up taking one at dinner (forgot at lunch) and then before bed (an hour or two less than the 8 hours between Chantix doses I mentioned reading here near the end of the post). I also had an Americano during the finale of Hell's Kitchen (I'd link, but their site shows winner, so spoiler alert if you go there - this show is one of the few guilty pleasures I have left, so I watch it even if it's not even remotely "quality" tv). Then while I made a batch of another meatballs recipe (yummy Basic Meatballs, now in freezer with the others - so productive lately), I also had my first glass of wine post-quit (went well, still not ready for more than one small glass or in a smoky place). None of the above helped with the eventual tummy issue, I'm sure. It did make me start looking forward to the beginning of the end of Chantix when I start tapering off next week because nausea is just no fun.

The whole Chantix nausea thing has been kind of odd. First really bad, then not bad at all, then suddenly it came back, then left, and now it's become all about timing and meal size. I did a little re-cap awhile back (on July 23rd, this post) but I'll include some of it here as well just to keep things all in one place. This is what I had to say then:

For those who haven't been reading along, don't remember every detail I've written or just like stuff neatly summarized, this has been my experience with Chantix nausea so far:
  • First few weeks: mild nausea that wasn't so bad if after a lighter meal and plenty of water
  • Next few weeks: very little and sometimes no nausea even on an empty stomach with coffee
  • Chantix Day 46: worst nausea yet - clearly empty stomach with coffee method stopped working this day
  • Chantix Day 47: fairly strong nausea even when taking with food and water again due to previous day's bad experience - huh?
  • Chantix Day 48: little to no nausea after taking Chantix after lunch and plenty of water
  • Update - Beyond that: after lunch dose is mostly fine, but the 2nd dose before bed often does make me fairly nauseous
Related to all of that is the timing of my Chantix dosage, so I also re-capped it here on July 27th, and included below again. I'm still taking it after lunch and before bed to avoid the nausea.
  • Before Quit (I Quit Smoking on Chantix Day 13):At first, I got kind of mathematical about the whole thing spacing the 2 doses about 12 hours apart because it made sense, so I was taking it around 8AM and 8PM. [update: this was before I'd read about it being fine to take the second dose at least 8 hours apart - 12 hours not necessary - mentioned at the end of this post]
  • Shortly After Quit: Daytime wasn't so terrible, but some of the evenings got really rugged, so I decided to try taking the same morning dose around 8AM and started taking the evening dose earlier, around 5PM. It seemed to help. No clue whether that was all in my head, whether it was just getting a little easier, or whether the change in time of second dose really made a difference. Who cares - it worked.
  • By 3 Weeks Quit: Somewhere by my 20th smoke-free day when the constant or really bad urges or cravings were mostly gone, I'd already started still taking the morning dose at 8AM but taking the second dose of Chantix pretty much whenever, usually sometime after dinner.
  • Around 5 Weeks Quit: After the crazy and sudden and worse than it had been on Chantix nausea cropped up, I went back to being careful about taking it after eating. Since all of my best becoming a breakfast eater intentions had fallen by the wayside, 8AM was no longer practical. So this brings us to current. I'm taking the first dose after lunch and the second dose right before bed. Both of these time choices are aimed specifically at avoiding that nausea thing, and it seems to be working.
Thankfully, throughout this process the nausea has been minimal and not so bad with adjusted dose timing as I've been going. I'd still say that any Chantix nausea I've had has been more than worth it because I'm in the neighborhood of 2 months smoke free (by weeks, yes, it's been 8, but by calendar date, not until the 18th), and it hasn't been as hard as it could have been without the Chantix to help me along.


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog looking for some Chantix nausea relief and while you are pretty much doing the same things I am, I wanted to say, as little as it may matter from a random stranger, you are doing a wonderful job!

    I was a smoker for 7 years and started taking Chantix in January 2009, and by mid-February, I had quit completely. Honestly, the transition using Chantix was so seamless that I don't even know my actual quit date. One day, I just stopped, and I had a half a pack sitting around my house for a month before I finally threw it away.

    I was smoke-free for nearly a year and a half, but unfortunately, in July, I made the mistake of having a couple during a night out with some friends. Worst mistake I could have made. I wouldn't have thought that I'd fall back into it so easily, but I was up to half a pack a day within two weeks.

    I didn't want to muck around with it, so I went straight to my doctor and got a new prescription. I'm midway through week 3 and things are looking up. I was smoke free the first two days this week and then life stresses (not a good excuse, I know) got me sneaking a few the last couple of days. Tomorrow starts serious smoke-free regimen from here on out, and I fully intend to continue taking it right up until my prescription runs out. I want to put as much distance between myself and the cigarettes as possible.

    Your blog is a nice, refreshing way to see that others are trying this wonderful pill as well. I'm trying not to get too down on myself for slipping, but rather resolving to quit once more and take it as a can't even have one. I'm going to be bookmarking this blog and checking back with it. Much luck to you, and stay strong! Feel free to email me if you need any support or just to talk.

    -Obie Williams
    24 years old
    7 year smoker
    Quitting motivation: 5 year old daughter, 7 month old son.

    P.S. Content aside, you have a lovely blog. It's so nice to see a careful mixture of pleasing aesthetics and excellent grammar (I'm an English great first impression!)

  2. *smacks his forehead*

    After writing that long message, I only then realized that this blog entry is three years old. I nearly tried to delete the message out of embarrassment, but I left it, because you deserve the compliments I gave you in it.

    I hope that now, three years later (*shakes his head*), you are still going strong with having quit. Hopefully you will wish me luck with my retry, and, in case you're interested, when Googling "Chantix nausea help", your blog is one of the first few results.

    Best wishes.

    -Obie Williams

  3. Obie, thank you *so* much for your kind comments, and I wish you all the best with your quit. You can do it, and it is totally worth it!

  4. After reding this about the nausea (which is why I stopped yaking Chantix 1 1/2 years ago I'm gonna try it again .. I also heard peppermint candy (or any peppermint)& ginger tea help alot.. maybe peppermin/ginger tea will be the rick ! :-)
    Thanks for both yout posts .. I also saw it was 3 years old ...
    Are you still smoke free Maggie ?


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