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Thread: Zyban / Champix and diving?

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    Meg

    Zyban / Champix and diving?

    Does anyone with a medical background know if there are any problems associated with these meds and deep deco dives??

    Cheers

    Pete

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    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    I have NO medical background.

    I have used both Zyban and Chantax to stop smoking. My Doctor told me that I need only be as worried as if taking Sudafed. I kept diving with no adverse effects. I was not diving deeper than 180' though.
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    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    Zyban was initially marketed as Wellbutrin, an antidepressant (you can google Wellbutrin). Wellbutrin has the potential to cause seizures.

    From the Zyban website:
    Seizures: Because the use of bupropion is associated with a dose-dependent risk of seizures, clinicians should not prescribe doses over 300 mg/day for smoking cessation. The risk of seizures is also related to patient factors, clinical situation, and concomitant medications, which must be considered in selection of patients for therapy with ZYBAN. ZYBAN should be discontinued and not restarted in patients who experience a seizure while on treatment.

    Zyban (Bupropion Hcl) Drug Information: Uses, Side Effects, Drug Interactions and Warnings at RxList

    Champix (or Chantix as is marketed in the US by Pfizer) has also the potential for interesting side effects:

    from their website "Patients should be informed that they may experience vivid, unusual, or strange dreams during treatment with CHANTIX. Patients should be advised to use caution driving or operating machinery until they know how quitting smoking with CHANTIX may affect them."

    Side Effects and Important Safety Information — CHANTIX Official

    Anything that cautions you regarding driving or operating heavy machinery would be suspect in my book when planning to dive. It sets red flags regarding reflexes and alertness.

    It would be prudent to consult a physician familiar with diving medicine and see what they would recommend. As with all drugs, they affect different people in different ways. You can always make a quick phone call to DAN and request their advise, you do not need to be a member for this.

    Dive safe,

    Celia

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    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    Hi Pete,

    I used Zyban when it first came out and it scared the shit out of me!!!

    I was driving down a road I travel down almost every day when I suddenly thought I was driving up hill. I ended up doing an emergency stop as I just lost it, sweaty palms, blurred vision, and thought the car was going to start rolling backwards.

    And the dreams, well don't get me started on those!

    I only took it for about a week and binned the rest.

    I DEFINETLY would not be diving while taking it.

    Champix, works in a different way to Zyban and is said to have less side effects but there have been claims that it's been linked to suicides.

    I went cold turkey in the end and still have cravings when drinking, it's never going to be easy but good luck with it.


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    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    When I was in the RAF they were offering Zyban to everyone who wanted to stop smoking but as soon as you accepted it then straight away you were Medically Downgraded for 6 months as unfit to be issued firearms, unfit for postings/detachments and unfit for promotion all due to the possible side effects that it can cause.

    If I was you I would give your local diving doc a call or even DDRC at Plymouth for advice.

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    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celia_E  View Original Post
    Zyban was initially marketed as Wellbutrin, an antidepressant (you can google Wellbutrin). Wellbutrin has the potential to cause seizures.

    From the Zyban website:
    Seizures: Because the use of bupropion is associated with a dose-dependent risk of seizures, clinicians should not prescribe doses over 300 mg/day for smoking cessation. The risk of seizures is also related to patient factors, clinical situation, and concomitant medications, which must be considered in selection of patients for therapy with ZYBAN. ZYBAN should be discontinued and not restarted in patients who experience a seizure while on treatment.

    Zyban (Bupropion Hcl) Drug Information: Uses, Side Effects, Drug Interactions and Warnings at RxList

    Champix (or Chantix as is marketed in the US by Pfizer) has also the potential for interesting side effects:

    from their website "Patients should be informed that they may experience vivid, unusual, or strange dreams during treatment with CHANTIX. Patients should be advised to use caution driving or operating machinery until they know how quitting smoking with CHANTIX may affect them."

    Side Effects and Important Safety Information — CHANTIX Official

    Anything that cautions you regarding driving or operating heavy machinery would be suspect in my book when planning to dive. It sets red flags regarding reflexes and alertness.

    It would be prudent to consult a physician familiar with diving medicine and see what they would recommend. As with all drugs, they affect different people in different ways. You can always make a quick phone call to DAN and request their advise, you do not need to be a member for this.

    Dive safe,

    Celia
    Hi Celia,

    Thanks for that. I'm a DAN member, that seems like a logical thing to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivon  View Original Post
    Hi Pete,

    I used Zyban when it first came out and it scared the shit out of me!!!

    I was driving down a road I travel down almost every day when I suddenly thought I was driving up hill. I ended up doing an emergency stop as I just lost it, sweaty palms, blurred vision, and thought the car was going to start rolling backwards.

    And the dreams, well don't get me started on those!

    I only took it for about a week and binned the rest.

    I DEFINETLY would not be diving while taking it.

    Champix, works in a different way to Zyban and is said to have less side effects but there have been claims that it's been linked to suicides.

    I went cold turkey in the end and still have cravings when drinking, it's never going to be easy but good luck with it.
    Cheers mate. PM coming your way.

    Quote Originally Posted by matt crane  View Original Post
    When I was in the RAF they were offering Zyban to everyone who wanted to stop smoking but as soon as you accepted it then straight away you were Medically Downgraded for 6 months as unfit to be issued firearms, unfit for postings/detachments and unfit for promotion all due to the possible side effects that it can cause.

    If I was you I would give your local diving doc a call or even DDRC at Plymouth for advice.
    Scary s**t !!!
    Contacting DDRC also seems like a logical step, thanks Matt.

  7. #7
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    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    Hello,

    I would definitely not recommend using zyban during diving for the reasons other have raised above; particularly the risk of seizures. You must remember that during diving you are exposed to epileptogenic stimuli (such as high PO2) to which users at 1 ATA are not exposed. The risk of seizures in diving is therefore almost certainly higher, and possibly a lot more so. I am less familiar with the other medication, but would probably put it in a "to be avoided" category also.

    Having said these things, from a risk perspective, avoidance of medication that might help you give up smoking to sustain a diving habit makes no sense at all. Thus, if you were one of those patients who seems unable to give up smoking by any other means, I would consider using one of these drugs and giving up diving for the 6 months (or whatever) required. For a smoker, giving up smoking is the single most important step you can take for your future health.

    Hope this helps,

    Simon M

  8. #8
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    Meg

    Re: Zyban / Champix and diving?

    Thankyou every one for your comments. All the best for the new year.

    Pete

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