Chantix improves walking for SCA3

The randomized controlled clinical trial investigated the effectiveness of varenicline (Chantix) in treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, or SCA3. The findings were published online earlier this month in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neuroscience.
Lead author Dr. Theresa Zesiewicz and colleagues at the USF Ataxia Research Center collaborated with researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, and from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA.

If successful for sca3, couldn’t it be successful for other forms of ataxia. I’ll give you the link to the article in the next discussion. I don’t know how to do it here with my iPhone.

Here’s the website I read it on.

Thanks for the post Barb. Even if this isn't successful I think they are certainly making inroads.

Was just on the website barb and it sounds exiting.

You’re right JC. Drug manufacturers like to get their medicines FDA approved for multiple purposes. I should have known that having worked for the pharmacy of a teaching hospital. The researchers should not have a conflict of interest.

I’m commencing this Chantix programme (1st Mar 2018’) to firstly quit smoking but to see if it improves my Ataxia so I can get out of this hell-hole Nursing Home… I’m also taking 75mg Endep to have my m00d stable :relieved:
…Wish me luck.Have not been on this site for a long time…How ya’ll going? See ya! :pray:

:slightly_smiling_face: Good luck with your decision Ozzy :+1:

So far, it appears that in a study of Varenicline (Chantix), it was poorly tolerated across the spectrum of Ataxias. The most noted results were in a patient with SCA3, and a patient with SCA14, who noted marked improvement in their Cerebellar symptoms shortly after taking Varenicline (Chantix). see

The most noted side effects reported were, nausea, vivid dreams and leg tingling.

Conclusion - More studies needed to find a drug that works on the Nicotinic Acetylcholine System with fewer side effects than Varenicline (Chantix).

There is also info on > 031314_ Ataxia
The recommendation is that studies/trials of a specific drug be restricted to one specific type of ataxia.

Again, good luck :slightly_smiling_face: and of course keep in touch with your findings :slightly_smiling_face: xB

March 1st is my start date… will keep you posted on my new journey,ok! :ok_man:

1 Like

Now the 6th April and no improvment thus far !? Doctor says might be too early yet,
soooooo I 'll hang in there! Will keep ya’ll posted…:upside_down_face::smirk:

Chantix (aka Champix) can have some awful depressive side effects. I know of 4 people who have used Champix and 3 of them reported it sent them on a severe downer, so be aware and if you have a reaction inform your dr’s ASAP

Merl from Moderator Support

:slightly_smiling_face: So Ozzy, have you noticed any changes at at all, good or bad :thinking: xB

Tnx Beryl,I can feel a slight co-ordination improvement,but at the same time my Ataxia (12yrs now) seems to take hold and mitigate those improvements… I’m going to keep trying thou! Exercise daily and a good diet still,plus now no smoking. :ok_hand:


Well after two months using Champix I smoke less,lol, but no improvements with Ataxia.
That drug also gave me nausea and depression,so,IMHO…forget it! Back to me old self and keep ya’ll posted if I try any other u-bewt remedies… much <3 Ozzy

Be aware, Chantix is simply very low dose Wellbutrin.


post deleted for personal reasons.

Linda, you have to kee in mind what the orignal med is for when considering side effects. Dilantin is to prevent and control seizures, and very serious seizures at that, it’s not a first line med. With that in mind ataxia as a side effect is more than acceptable when stopping seizures.

Also, keep in mind that ataxia as a side effect (which I have from Keppra, which I take for migraines) is much different from ataxia as a nuero condition. My experience with ataxia as a side effect is basically dropping everything I pick up. I’ve had to replace all my dishes with shatter-proof Corelle and only use plastic drinking glasses. I also have some trouble judging distance – I’ll miss the shelf I’m trying to put something on – but again, this is all very minor in the big picture. The medication helps control disabiling migraines for me so the side effect of dropping stuff is fine with me. Again, as a side effect it’s not the same as what you experience as the root condition.

Remember, for every action there is a reaction!


post deleted for personal reasons.

When a side effect of a drug become “unacceptable” weighed against the benefits, it can no longer be categorized as a “minor” side effect. The patient is the ultimate decider.

:slightly_smiling_face: Linda, I’m just wondering, was Dilantin prescribed for you to control seizures :thinking: xB

post deleted for personal reasons.