Published on 26 June 2023

Medications That Cause Vivid Dreams And Nightmares

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Millions of people take medications in the world. As there are various diseases, and each condition has different medicine. When a person consumes a drug, it is for curing purposes but have you ever thought that medicines could also give you nightmares experiences? First, know about Nightmares and who is affected the most.

It is quite common for people to experience nightmares. Many people around the world feel it due to various reasons. But when people face such dreams, they tend to feel fear, uneasiness, and anxiety. Nightmares are experienced by children the most compared to others. 

Mental and physical relief and soothing sleep can best help people experiencing nightmares. Now, know which medicines can make you experience nightmares and how they can be solved for a peaceful living. 

Why Does One Suffer From Nightmares Due To Medicines?

Every medication has its own side effects. It won't affect every person who consumes the medicine, but it causes people whose bodies do not support the medicinal properties. But it is not yet known why people experience Nightmares or vivid dreams after taking medicines. Some experts believe that Nightmares or vivid dreams are caused within people due to the medicinal properties affecting the Brain.

Which Medicines Cause Vivid Dreams And Nightmares?

Various drug classes are available in the pharmaceutical world. You should get the best medicine for your condition. If any medicine affects your mental health and causes you nightmares, then you should request a drug change or talk to your doctor about the dreams you have been experiencing.

Following the medicines that cause Vivid dreams and Nightmares,


Medicines that belong to Antidepressants are used by many people worldwide. It is used by all the age groups above 12 years. The research has stated that Antidepressants drugs cause nightmares

Antidepressant medicines are primarily used for treating conditions like depression and anxiety. But as an off-label use, it is also used to correct moods. The Nightmares caused by these medications are due to the working mechanism of the drug. As it is worked in the Brain directly and changes moods. 

Medications that belong to antidepressants that cause nightmares and vivid dreams are as follows:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Serotonin Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Fluoxetine (Prozac),

Venlafaxine (Effexor)

Amitriptyline (Elavil)

Sertraline (Zoloft),

Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

Nortriptyline (Pamelor)

Escitalopram (Lexapro)


Blood Pressure Medication

Blood pressure is quite a prevalent health condition suffered by many people worldwide. Millions of people suffer from blood pressure issues, also known as hypertension. Globally 1 in 5 women and 1 in 4 men suffer from this issue.

Various factors cause blood pressure issues, such as age, family history, obesity, lifestyle, etc. Medications that treat blood pressure issues help people by lowering blood pressure and keeping it under control. The working mechanism of each blood pressure medication prescribed is different as per the person and the type of medicine taken.


Alpha Blockers

Central Alpha Agonists

















Millions of people opt for Steroids worldwide. It is also known as glucocorticoids or corticosteroids. It is used for different conditions and works as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive. It is mainly prescribed to use for a short duration. It affects the Brain and changes the mood of the person.

The effects of the medicines vary depending on the person. If you are experiencing nightmares, you should consult a doctor. 

Steroids that can cause nightmares are 

  • Prednisone
  • Medrol

Allergy Medications

Allergic conditions are quite common among people. Allergies can happen due to many reasons, whereas medicines are the saviors. Medications that treat allergies are also called antihistamines. 

Allergic medicines work best by blocking the allergic substances in the body and creating an immune against them. It also affects sleep patterns, eventually causing nightmares or vivid dreams.

First Generation Antihistamines cause nightmares such as:

  • Diphenhydramine (benedryl)
  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor- trimeton)

Cholesterol Medications

Most people in the world suffer from cholesterol conditions. People older than 40 starts to suffer from such situations, and it is widely caused to people above 75. Medicines that help to control cholesterol levels are also called statins or lipid-lowering medications. 

The medicines work by lowering the cholesterol levels produced in the liver. It also gets off the body by the bloodstream. Some of the cholesterol-controlling medications that cause nightmares are as follows:


  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)

Alzheimer's Disease Medications

When a person has Alzheimer, it affects entirely on memory, behavior, and cognition. It affects the daily life of a person. Alzheimer's medications can help them through getting off the condition. It works on their Brain by changing their memory and mood. This can change the dream patterns from normal one to a nightmare.

Cholinesterase Inhibitors

  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Galantamine (Razadyne)
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon)

Sleep Medications

Many people use sleep medications to treat sleep disorders and insomnia. Various sleep medications work on your Brain, giving relaxation and calming effects to the Brain. These medications can change the dreaming patterns that can change your experience from normal dreams to nightmares. 

Sleeping medicines that cause nightmares are as follows:

  • Zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Diphenhydramine (Diphen)
  • Zopiclone (Imovane)

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease is caused when the dopamine levels are low in the Brain. When one takes medicines, dopamine levels are increased. This can cause one to suffer from nightmares.

Medications that help to cure Parkinson's Disease are:

  • Carbidopa/Levodopa (Sinemet)
  • Selegiline (Zelapar)
  • Amantadine (Gocovri/ osmolex ER).

ADHD Medications

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a condition that children and adults suffer from. There are various medicines available to treat such conditions. It works to boost focusing power and lower impulsive behavior. But as every drug has side effects, ADHD medications also show nightmare effects. But getting confirmation that causes nightmares due to drugs is essential before getting to the conclusion.

Medicines that can treat ADHD and causes nightmares are as follows:

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

AIDs Drugs

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the final stage of infection after HIV. When the Immune system gets severely weakened and damaged, HIV changes to AIDS. Various drugs are available that protect your immune system from the infection to grow more. With changes in the body, there are chances of nightmares to occur.

Medicines such as Efavirenz (Sustiva) can cause nightmares and vivid dreams. Get prior information about the drug about its side effects.

What If You Are Prescribed Medicines Causes Nightmares?

If you are experiencing nightmares or vivid dreams, you must know about the medicine before taking them. Some may experience and some may not. If you feel any nightmares like side effects are affecting you, you should contact your doctor and get the medicines changed or another treatment option medicine abruptly; it can cause various effects on your body.

Also, Read

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Plenty of medications make you experience nightmares. Various studies have been made about the suffering experienced by people after consuming the medicine. But the reason is still under research, but some experts state that its medicinal properties affect the Brain, which eventually tends to cause nightmares.

You will not be 100% affected by the side effects, such as nightmares or vivid dreams, But if you experience such effects, consult the doctor. You can get help from a doctor or the therapist you have been visiting for other conditions.

Frequently asked questions

No, you should not be worried about vivid dreams. It can stay for a particular time, and eventually, it can be cured.
You can follow tips that can help you with nightmares, such as following a proper sleep schedule, eating well, avoiding stress or becoming anxious over situations, and following positive paths or lifestyles.
No, If you are experiencing nightmares every night, you are probably affected by the nightmares disorder.