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Warning: Champix/chantix + Bipolar = Disaster (Page 1)

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I'm bipolar and have been taking 200mg Lamictral and 25mg Seroquel for about 2 years now, with some success. Recently I decided to quit smoking and to make it more likely that I'd succeed I started taking a new quit-smoking medicine, known as Champix or Chantix.

After 5-7 days I started having the manic trip of my life, stronger than any I had ever experienced. I spent a month in a state of total euphoria. And this in spite of the fact that my mania normally expresses itself as rage and irritability -- this is only the second classic manic episode I've had in my LIFE (the first was triggered by a SSRI). Jesus was I happy! And since I had virtually no experience with euphoric mania, I was clueless.


Of course, everything came crashing down, and I'm dealing with a brutal depression and more intense suicidal ideation than I can remember ever having. EVER. So be warned, bipolars - avoid Champix / Chantix like the plague. Better to smoke yourselves to death -- you'll probably live far longer that way. (NOTE: Of course this drug is not contraindicated for bipolar - it's new, and drug companies invariably do trials on people who are healthy in every way)
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First Helper champixsucker
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replied October 22nd, 2007
Ditto
Same thing happened with me. I'm on Abilify and Lamictal. Started having wierd dreams and than I started to get paranoid and have racing thoughts. I don't think they tested the drug for interactions with bp medications.
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replied October 22nd, 2007
Experienced User
i enjoy euphoric episodes but i tend to make problems for myself. abilify... doctors give that to people that have schitzophrenia also. i dunno what lamictal is, almost sounds like something youd put up your bum. just because champix / chantix did that to you doesnt necessarily mean it will to others, everyone is different.
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replied May 14th, 2012
LOL I have to admit, that was a funny post! Lamictal is a bipolar medicine. I am currently on Lamictal to control my manic episodes. I started reading this site because I was concerned about the side effects associated when mixing my current medications with Chantix. I agree completely that everyone responds differently to any medication, however it is very useful to discover the positives and negatives from real life experiences.
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replied October 23rd, 2007
Mixxing Drugs
You mix drugs you might have a reaction. Nothing against Chantix but I doubt the standard round of test they did didn't include people on bipolar medication. Give it time and we'll be on the list of possible interactions.
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replied November 13th, 2007
Oh, you might do well on a kappa-opioid agonist. It down-regulates acetylcholine receptor mRNA, inhibits the release of both norepinephrine and acetylcholine, and it should have an overall stabilizing effect on your moods. It might also reduce your chances of developing propensities for alcoholism. No promises. I'm just a mad sage. I wouldn't let anyone suffering from bipolar disorder within nine yards of Chantix, though. It would make you kids climb the walls. I don't know why it wasn't immediately contraindicated.

Keep the euphoric trips under control. Whenever I let these things get out of hand, I do an icarus, and daaaaaaaang it hurts when I fall. I discovered a few years ago that, if I can keep the manic episodes in check, I can nearly altogether escape the depression and still stay on a constant life high. It's so great. I don't know if I'm bipolar, though. It's cyclothymia at the very least. Me and my tangents.

The OP is correct. Avoid chantix like the plague. It's wonderful for most people, poison for someone affected with bipolar.
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replied November 20th, 2007
Supporter
i take chantix and a list of other meds, for bipolar, and have no quarrel with it. although, it does make me extremely nauseous if i haven't eaten first. that sucks for you.... i'm trying to quit right now, too, with little success i'm afraid. good luck!
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replied November 23rd, 2007
You're taking it FOR bipolar? Bah, now I'm going to have to revise my conclusions again. Different strokes, different folks, I guess.
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replied November 25th, 2007
Supporter
ah... no sorry mistyped... thought, brain cloud. NOT taking chantix for bipolar; i'm taking it to assist in my efforts to quit smoking. i probably meant 'in conjunction with' bipolar meds, as discussed on this forum category topic whatever.

as i'm reading this thread again i'm remembering taking chantix while taking seroquel 600mg/day, lamactile 1mg/day, cymbalta 60mg/day and ativan 6mg/day. and i was just, 2 weeks ago, diagnosed with bipolar 1 as a result of who knows what; first manic episode just before a fight with mom to panic attack to full blown hyperventilation. BUT, i don't think taking these meds together has caused my ill temper and terror because i felt this way long before chantix.

it is true... different strokes for different folks

a dr overdosed me on paxil once.

hang in there.... this too will pass.
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replied November 30th, 2007
cold turkey is the safest way i think
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replied February 20th, 2009
Chantix/Champix Depression
I do not have any history of depression, and the same thing happened to me.

Started taking, felt very happy, after about 10 days started feeling more and more depressed.

Took me a while to work it out as no history of depression, but everything seemed bad and I felt miserable. Not until I stopped taking that I felt better and realised how bad it had made me feel.

Ontop of that, I failed to quit smoking and it makes you feel incredibly nauseous the whole way through....not advised.
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replied February 20th, 2009
Experienced User
Hey guys.

I feel your pain on the champix thing.

I have a history of depression but any major episodes were few and far between. I would have minor depressive episodes every few months and major ones say every 2 years.

Since going on Champix late last year I have been on a major non stop roller coaster ride. I am constantly depressed and suicidal. Found out that I fit the mould for 2 personality disorders and am now waiting for my appointment to start talking about bipolar.

My understanding is that champix is great for people with sound mind (I did give up on it myself immediately). But us crazy people are taking a risk with it.

Take care all.
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replied May 28th, 2009
chantix and lamictal
I am on week five of chantix. I also take 200 mg of lamictal, and 30 mg of celexa. While I dont really want to smoke, i feel like im going to jump out of my skin. Im depressed (which i can handle for a while if i can quit)so the depression, with the anxiety, (i am hyper and bipolar, lol. Here is the thing, I have two other family members that quit, they are using nothing and have the same side effects. My brother is a week ahead of me. I think depression is a huge side effect of quitting smoking in general.

Kelly h.
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replied May 14th, 2012
Hi Kelly, I was just wondering if you experienced any similar effects before staring Chantix? I currently take Lamictal as well and my doctor added Celexa a while back. Taking the medications together gave me extreme "jumping out of my skin" reactions as well. After stopping Celexa my moods were able to balance back out. I was just thinking that my experience with the same effects may help you also.
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replied August 5th, 2009
I have never been diagnosed with any form of bi-polar disorder. But am aware of this and unuderstand it due to the nature of my job role.

I am currently on Champix and in my 4th week. This is my second time on Champix, first time I quit smoking for 6 months. And experienced similar effects to as I am now.

I came across this thread after googling 'champix related to euphoria' as I am amazed by the effect the drug seems to have on me. not only stopping smoking, but my general attitude too.
I have never been so alert, organised, switched on, happy as when I am on these pills, I go on mad cleaning sprees till 6am, manage to be super productive at work and go to the gym 5 times a week. I love it, until this weekend I was away and forgot to take the pills with me. Managed not to smoke, but 3 days off Champix and i am finding myself withdrawn. I am lethargic, sad and appear to be what I would describe myself as slightly depressed.

Has anyone else experienced these sort of behaviours on Champix?
When I last came off Champix I was slightly down, I put this on being that I had stopped smoking.
I have started taking champix again, and fear what will happen when i come off it when my course is finished.
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replied February 15th, 2010
Bipolar on Chantix one week..
I am Bipolar, normally more depressed than on the high side of things.. started Chantix about a week ago. I am on 300 seroquel, 1 buspirone, 0.5 clorazapam x3 per day as needed, 20 mg lexapro.. My symptoms since a week ago right after i started have been.. irritibility, extremely high stress, increase in energy, increase in emotional outbursts, mood swings, clearer thinking (I think).. < Im sure you all know how that goes.. lol. Does this sound comparable and should i be worried.. I am doing very well at quitting right now.. I am aware of the risks and watching myself carefully.. just would like some input.
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replied March 12th, 2010
Bi-Polar disaster meds
If you are Bi-polar Stay away from:

Chantix
Wellbutrin
Steroids
and ADHD Medicine (speed)

They will create/cause disasters
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replied March 24th, 2010
I am not on any bipolar meds but I do have bipolar badly. I just deal with it on my own and have for many of years. I was on the starter pack of Chantix and I was still smoking so it wasn't because I didn't have cigs. OMG I was so mad!!! I couldn't control the rages I was having. I haven't been that way in years! I stopped the meds after 4 days and I am finding myself getting back to my normal self again (whatever that is LOL) Chantix might be okay for some people with bipolar but I strongly suggest you watch yourself for side effects. Me...I told my grown children with bipolar to never get this med to help the stop smoking. I will be starting the patch at 21mg for 28 days...doctor was smart and didn't give me anymore meds that mess with your head LOL
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replied May 17th, 2010
Chantix and Bipolar
This was my third time on Chantix, I knew the risk, but have not been successful at quitting anyother way. I took Chantix just long enough for me to quit smoking. I am bipolar and the medicine does severaly effect my mental state. Fortunatrly for me, I am in control of my illness enough to deal with this for only short time. Bt I do not advise this for most. It is very dangerous to mix Chantix and bipolar!
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replied May 17th, 2010
My experience...
I suffered from depression (unipolar) for many years and had actually made some huge strides in overcoming it before I took Champix / Chantix. When I first started taking it I began to feel exceptionaly euphoric but it switched into a depression after about the 1st month along with severe sleep depervation (dreaming the entire night and waking up feeling as though I had hardly slept and waking up frequently throughout the night), constipation, excessive gas, sore eyes, extreme fatigue, brain fog, sore teeth, weight gain, poor erection quality, but I was determined to quite smoking and thought the symptoms would stop when I stopped the meds since most of the side effects I was having were listed and the others I assumed were unrelated... But when I stopped taking it the problems did not go away and all heck broke loose. I began to be unable to control my emotions it was like I was on an emotional roller coaster; I had extreme sadness, rage, anxiety, irritability, my nerves were shot, I developed hyperacusis (extreme pain and pressure in my ears worsened by high frequency noises), I had crawling sensations all over my body (including my face), I became suicidal, I broke out in pimples on my neck, I felt like I was losing my mind, I was diagnosed with Mixed-Affective Disorder, Psychosis NOS, Somatoform Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder (Which I had before but not to the extreme I have now), prostate pain, hair hurting and falling out rapidly, I think I now have IBS, frequent urination. Whenever I went out drinking I would get myself into trouble and/or black out. Picking fights with bouncers twice my size on numerous occasions whereas before exceptionally well behaved when I drank and most times people couldn't even tell I was drunk. For about 5 months after I stopped taking Champix I was unable to get ANY deep sleep and would just dream the entire night in a state of REM and feeling as though I was still partially awake. I started took Champix back in March of '08 and I am still suffering from many of the problems. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It has SEVERELY affected my mental and physical health, put strain on my friendships, and cost me my job. If you have suffered any side effects from Champix please report it to the Health Authorities so that they will know the extent to which this "medicine" is harming people.
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replied February 16th, 2012
Chantix Destroys Lives and Families
Exactly, This drug has destroyed my life ! I lost my career. Scalp crawling sensation, hair roots hurting and hair falling out, burning feet, sore muscles and joints, brain fog, etc... etc.... Difficulty focusing, and more.

WHY DID THE FDA DO THIS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE !
WHY DOES OUR GOVERNMENT LET BIG PHARMA GET AWAY WITH THIS.

This is a poison that causes permanent brain damage to the dopamine receptors. I have suffered this now for three years or more. I was a very successful and very happy person before. I was going through a stressful time with a legal matter and litigation when I decided to quit smoking and took chantix. This is why I think it affected me so adversely.

These criminals who created a drug that destroys the pleasure center of the brain and delivers small quantities of dopamine while you take it so you won't know what it is really doing to your brain until after the fact should be rounded up and jailed.

I feel sorry for my family who lost a happy loving person and got a stressed out zoned out person in pain in return.
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replied February 16th, 2012
Chantix Destroys Lives and Families
Exactly, This drug has destroyed my life ! I lost my career. Scalp crawling sensation, hair roots hurting and hair falling out, burning feet, sore muscles and joints, brain fog, etc... etc.... Difficulty focusing, and more.

WHY DID THE FDA DO THIS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE !
WHY DOES OUR GOVERNMENT LET BIG PHARMA GET AWAY WITH THIS.

This is a poison that causes permanent brain damage to the dopamine receptors. I have suffered this now for three years or more. I was a very successful and very happy person before. I was going through a stressful time with a legal matter and litigation when I decided to quit smoking and took chantix. This is why I think it affected me so adversely.

These criminals who created a drug that destroys the pleasure center of the brain and delivers small quantities of dopamine while you take it so you won't know what it is really doing to your brain until after the fact should be rounded up and jailed.

I feel sorry for my family who lost a happy loving person and got a stressed out zoned out person in pain in return.
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replied February 16th, 2012
Chantix Destroys Lives and Families
Exactly, This drug has destroyed my life ! I lost my career. Scalp crawling sensation, hair roots hurting and hair falling out, burning feet, sore muscles and joints, brain fog, etc... etc.... Difficulty focusing, and more.

WHY DID THE FDA DO THIS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE !
WHY DOES OUR GOVERNMENT LET BIG PHARMA GET AWAY WITH THIS.

This is a poison that causes permanent brain damage to the dopamine receptors. I have suffered this now for three years or more. I was a very successful and very happy person before. I was going through a stressful time with a legal matter and litigation when I decided to quit smoking and took chantix. This is why I think it affected me so adversely.

These criminals who created a drug that destroys the pleasure center of the brain and delivers small quantities of dopamine while you take it so you won't know what it is really doing to your brain until after the fact should be rounded up and jailed.

I feel sorry for my family who lost a happy loving person and got a stressed out zoned out person in pain in return.
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replied May 26th, 2010
not as bad as it seems
I don't understand these horror stories. I am bi-polar, am taking Lamictil, Seroquel XR and Lithium. I have been level for 3 years, some minor irritability occasionally. I used Chantix to quit smoking for the entire 3 month term and did not experience any of the side effects reported all over the internet. I did experience some mild irritability and racing thoughts but is nothing out of the ordinary for me whether I was on Chantix or not. My opinion, is if one is level enough to recognize his/her own mood swings, then one may be stable enough to use Chantix and manage the adverse mental reaction. Maybe it's a matter of willpower, I don't know, I only know that I had no severe problems and am now a successfully reformed smoker.

My educated opinion, is that the mind is a very powerful thing. Alot of people start taking meds expecting some side effects listed. Once one convinces him/herself they will experience at least some of the side effects, then most likely you will as your mind will subconsciously manifest these. It's directly related to a placebo effect. This goes back to my original statement about willpower. If you are mentally prepared before taking it, and not telling yourself "oh i'm bipolar i'm going to get depressed or hallucinate, or not get an erection (which is not an OFFICIALLY listed side effect btw)".

I also spoke with my psychologist regarding using Chantix before starting it, and being bipolar on meds. She was totally fine with that, only listing the side effects I should watch out for, and the irony about the side effects she gave me? They were the same exact identical side effects of Chantix as if I were not bipolar and on meds. I've noticed a lot of people with bipolar disorder claiming to have these symptoms, try searching for claims of these symptoms in people without bipolar disorder, you will find there is about the same percentage of "normal" people having these problems as people with bipolar disorder. Let's not adopt that "i'm special" attitude and focus on just the relation between Chantix and bipolar disorder.

champixsucker, are you sure you don't have a deeper mental issue that Chantix may have simply brought to the foreground? You are the only post I have seen throughout the internet that claims long term or permanent symptoms from using Chantix. For example, I lived the first part my life up until I was 25, without any kind of mental issue or bipolar disorder. I then joined the Navy and the stress and structured lifestyle brought my bipolar disorder out. Traumatic experiences can and will do this to people who had dormant issues or genes and will activate. I just can't see blaming all of those issues on Chantix, maybe if you experienced those symptoms and they went away when you stop using Chantix then I would be inclined to believe it was just the Chantix. For example, when the psychologist originally began my treatment for bipolar disorder, she gave me Abilify, I began having seizures, when she took me off the Abilify, I ceased having seizures. There is a med I do know can cause permanent issues, that is Lamictil, it can cause "ticks" if you will, involuntary muscle spams, and that can be permanent. Yet these are well documented, I see no documentation on permanent side effects to Chantix.

I am not defending Chantix in any way, I am only sharing my experience, and my own educated opinion.
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replied January 14th, 2012
I found this post rather patronising. Also will power is an interesting choice of words, maybe you could have exerted that will power over smoking cessation instead of needing a drug at all.
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replied January 14th, 2012
I found this post rather patronising. Also will power is an interesting choice of words, maybe you could have exerted that will power over smoking cessation instead of needing a drug at all.
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replied May 28th, 2010
@orionsune FYI there are countless reports of people still suffering the effects of Champix long after taking it. Your idea that the symptoms should reside after taking the drug is proven false by the manufacturers own black box warnings that people are reporting problems after coming off the drug which is what happened to me. Everything you posted is based solely on your experience but for you to discount the experience of others or try to say they brought this on themselves is a misguided opinion. You state this because you don't think Champix affected you negatively yet you admit that "I did experience some mild irritability and racing thoughts but is nothing out of the ordinary for me whether I was on Chantix or not." well I am glad that you are familiar with these feelings and take medication to help you with it but I for one was not and my experience was very different from yours. I am glad that you quit smoking and think that Champix was beneficial for you but for other people such as myself it was and still is a nightmare. Your assertion that someone can make themselves hallucinate because someone told them they might is really hard to believe. You say that Champix merely causes the same things you already suffer from so what is the big deal. Well as I stated I only suffered from unipolar not bipolar before I took Champix but I think it is rather nuts for someone to take a drug that is know to cause all of the things they are already suffering and more and is therefore likely to worsen their problems. I am not sure what constitues an offically listed side effect to you; would it be those reported in the trials and adverse reaction reports compiled by various agencies or the minor physical side effects the manufacturer decided to tell people about so they wouldn't be scared to start taking the drug and to continue taking it despite these discomforts. Having a manufacturer list a few minor side effects makes one think they are telling you about all possible effects so that if something else happens you are inclined to believe it is unrelated. Well just so you know Pfizer was aware that there were 165 potential side effects reported in the clinical trials!!! The poor erection quality I spoke of is number 135: (1) nightmares (2) headaches (3) dysgeusia a/k/a reduced sense of taste (4) somnolence a/k/a drowsiness (5) lethargy (6) fatigue/malaise/asthenia (7) rhinorrhea a/k/a runny nose (Cool dyspnoea a/k/a difficulty breathing (9) upper respiratory tract disorder (10) rash (11) pruritis a/k/a itching (12) increased appetite (13) decreased appetite/anorexia (14) anemia (15) lymphadenopathy (16) luckocytosis (17) thrombocytopenia (1Cool splenomegaly a/k/a enlarged spleen (19) angina pectoris a/k/a chest pain (20) arrhythmia a/k/a irregular heart rate (21) bradycardia a/k/a heart rate less than 60 beats per minute (22) ventricular extrasystoles (23) myocardial infarction (24) palpitations (25) tachycardia (26) atrial fibrillation (27) cardiac flutter (2Cool coronary artery disease (29) cor pulmonale (30) acute coronary syndrome (31) tinnitus a/k/a ear ringing (32) vertigo (33) deafness (34) Meniere's disease (35) thyroid gland disorders (36) conjunctivitis (37) dry eye (3Cool eye irritation (39) vision blurred (40) visual disturbance (41) eye pain (42) acquired night blindness (43) blindness transient (44) cataract subcapsular (45 sleep disorder (46) ocular vascular disorder (47) photophobia (4Cool vitreous floaters (49) diarrhea (50) gingivitis (51) dysphagia (52) enterocolitis (53) eructation (54) gastritis (55) gastrointestinal hemorrhage (56) mouth ulceration (57) esophagitis (5Cool gastric ulcer (59) intestinal obstruction (60) acute pancreatitis (61) chest pain (62) influenza like illness (63) edema a/k/a swelling (64) thirst (65) chest discomfort (66) chills (67) pyrexia a/k/a fever (6Cool gall bladder disorder (69) hypersensitivity (70) drug hypersensitivity (71) liver function test abnormal (72) weight increased (73) electrocardiogram abnormal (74) muscle enzyme increased (75) urine analysis abnormal (76) diabetes mellitus (77) hyperlipidemia (7Cool hypokalemia (79) hyperkalemia (80) hypoglycemia (81) arthralgia a/k/a joint pain (82) back pain (83) muscle cramp (84) musculoskeletal pain (85) myalgia a/k/a muscle pain (86) arthritis (87) osteoporosis (8Cool myositis a/k/a muscle inflammation (89) disturbance in attention (90) dizziness (91) sensory disturbance (92) amnesia (93) migraine (94) parosmia (95) psychomotor hyperactivity (96) restless legs syndrome (97) syncope a/k/a fainting (9Cool tremor (99) balance disorder (100) cerebrovascular accident a/k/a stroke (101) convulsion (102) dysarthria a/k/a motor speech disorder (103) facial palsy a/k/a facial drooping (104) mental impairment (105) multiple sclerosis (106) nystagmus a/k/a involuntary eye movement (107) psychomotor skills impaired (108) transient ischemic attack a/k/a mini stroke (109) visual field defect (110) anxiety (111) depression (112) emotional disorder (113) irritability (114) restlessness (115) aggression (116) agitation (117) disorientation (118) dissociation (119) decreased libido a/k/a reduced sexual desire (120) mood swings (121) abnormal thinking (122) bradyphrenia a/k/a slowed thought processes (123) euphoric mood (124) hallucination (125) psychotic disorder (126) suicidal ideation a/k/a suicidal thoughts (127) polyuria a/k/a excessive volume of urination (128) nephrolithiasis a/k/a forming kidney stones (129) nocturia a/k/a waking during the night to urinate (130) urine abnormality (131) urethral syndrome (132) acute renal failure a/k/a kidney failure or injury (133) urinary retention (134) menstral disorder (135) erectile dysfunction (136) sexual dysfunction (137) epistaxis a/k/a nose bleeding (138) respiratory disorders (139) asthma (140) pleurisy (141) pulmonary embolism (142) hyperhidrosis (143) acne (144) dermatitis (145) dry skin (146) eczema (147) erythema (148) psoriasis (149) urticaria (150) photosensitivity reaction (151) hot flush (152) hypertension (153) hypotension (154) peripheral ischemia (155) thrombosis (156) abdominal pain (157) dyspepsia a/k/a indigestion (158) gastroesophageal reflux disease (159) dry mouth and (160) insomnia

NUFF' SAID!
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