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Nightmares caused by pain meds?

meydey321mmeydey321 Posts: 2,435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Pain Medications
I know this sounds a bit strange, but I've been having this problem ever since I started on extended release pain meds. It's not like once in a while, it's all the time and even in my mid morning naps. The nightmares have been scary or downright disturbing and I have started dreading to fall asleep. I imagine I'd sound goofy if I'd mentioned this to my doctor, so I will not :$ Does anybody experience weird dreams too?


  • I've found percocet gives me bad dreams and a change in character. I rarely take it. Probably once a month when I go on the subway across town to see my Dr. MS Contin is okay with me and the cymbalta. I ask God to help me and I've even called his name and the nightmares are gone mostly. Try to get the Dr. to increase the MS contin so you won't need breakthrough meds so much. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I would have never guessed it was the percocets. Do you have the regular oxycodones or the one with tylenol? I wonder what is in the oxy's that gives you weird dreams? You would think the culprit was Cymbalta because it is an antidepressant. Or the MS Contin due to it's potency. My dilemma is that I need the oxycodone because of all the BT pain I get. I don't think they'd raise the morphine since I'll be having surgery soon. I have prayed before going to sleep in order to get the nightmares to stop. I always dream about the same subject matters. Maybe I have unresolved issues to work through :? Thanks again for your help Charry >:D<
  • All pain meds give me nightmares, which is probably why I'm an insomniac, come to think of it :(
  • I would have nightmares if I took sleeping pills and took my pain meds to close to when I took my sleeping pills I would feel real weird like I couldn't wake up and couldn't breathe but I was fine . It only happened when I took them to close together, I stopped taking the sleeping pills (cause i was tired of the side affects ) and i don't have the crazy dreams hardly at all.Good luck
  • I also take oxazepam for sleep. Maybe you need something to relax you and you're worried about your surgery. I also stopped watching violent movies and shows as it gives me nightmares. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Every medication can affect every person differently. I know my dad had bad nightmares on certain pain meds (MS Contin I think). I would call the dr and let them know. You might need a different med. Hope the nightmares are gone soon. >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Hi Meydey,

    I'm right there with you on the strange dreams and nightmares. I'm on the same dose of percocet that you are, so Charry is right. When I went to my PCP for my UTI, he told me that percocet can also have the memory loss side effect while taking it. I can tolerate the memory loss and weird dream side effects. I don't want to switch to anything else, as the percocet works great for the B/T pain.

    I had a horrible dream the night before last. I actually had to take 1/2 a xanax, as it put me into an anxiety attack.

    The weird dreams I hate the most, are the ones to where I am forgetful and panicky. Those are my nightmares.

    I used to get this one recurrent dream out of high school and way into my twenties. Drove me bonkers when I would have this dream and it lasted for years! I wasn't on any kind of medication... so I assumed it was my subconscious mind playing tricks on me. In my dream, I would forget the combination to my locker and no one had my combination in the school's registration office. My term paper was in my locker and my whole graduating... depended on the paper inside of my locker. If I couldn't retrieve that paper before that class was over... I wouldn't graduate. I kept trying every combination possible... but my locker wouldn't open! I would wake up in total panic.

    Now... I have the panic dreams, but they are all different. The one I had the night before last was... my son was flying into San Diego to meet us on vacation. My hubby and I were still in Arizona, having dinner with some friends. My cell phone rang at the dinner table and it was my son telling me he had arrived in San Diego. In my dream, I had my days mixed up. My son is 15 and can't drive yet or get a hotel on his own. My hubby and I tried to get to the Phoenix airport as fast as we could, but traffic was at a standstill. My son called and said the airport in San Diego was closing, due to rain conditions and there were a bunch of strange people walking around. My son can hold his own, but still... I am responsible for him until he is 18. The rest of the dream just progressed into more panic and I shot up in bed with my heart racing so bad.

    It seems that our medication truly does bring out some of my subconscious thoughts... but in a very twisted form. Being a mom, of course I worry about my kids. Then, I am really forgetful these days and sometimes do wake up wondering what day it is. Ever since January... I will only watch television and movies that are non-disturbing in nature. (I love action, drama and even some light core horror films (The Kill Bills, etc.)... but there is no way I could watch them right now).

    Any hoo... I could sit here all day and exchange dreams with ya... lol!

    Hope it helps to know that you're definitely not alone!

    You have your pump surgery coming up real soon, so I'm sure that has to be dancing around in your head both consciously and subconsciously. I would probably be dreaming about being on the beach and planning to spend Thanksgiving there, if I was to have better hold of my pain by the end of November! You have a lot to look forward to and I think November and December will be good months for you.

    Best wishes for happy dreams. :D

    Take good care and vent whenever you feel like it! I always enjoy your posts.

    Tammy >:D<

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    Heck us just living with chronic pain is enough of a nightmare!!!

    I have not found that pain medication sets up any bad dreams for me. I've been on so many different pain medications dated back to the original Tylox to some of the new medications. Never had a nightmare...

    However, combining narcotics with certain other medications will do me in. No problem with the Nerve medications or the Muscle relaxers.... BUT, pain medications with sleeping aids (really only Ambien) will put me into Stephen King's backyard.

    But for me, almost anything mixed with Ambien sends me off the end. If I had a glass of wine and later at bedtime ambien.... I would say 95% of the time, about two hours later I would be up roaming the house... Most of the time cooking.. Interesting meals. Leftover shrimptails, grapenuts and marshmallows.... Half way through I would go back to bed..... Luckily for all of us, the smoke alarm sounded as the food on the burner burnt! And I had ZERO remembrance of what happened.
    So, thats my nightmare
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I forgot about mentioning the Ambien, Meydey.

    (Papa Ron, it does the EXACT same to me... get a load of this one..)

    We went up to the mountains to celebrate my 40th birthday, 2 years ago. My birthday is on New Years Eve, which is kind of cool, as everyone celebrates and is in a happy mood!

    We had a wonderful dinner, danced to a live local band, hung out with friends... just enjoyed a fabulous time.

    After we got back to the hotel, I went to use the restroom. My hubby heard me battling with getting into the "restroom" and got up to see what I was doing. I was a hair away from unlatching the top lock on the main door, which leads out to the main hallway... in my "birthday suit"! Thank God, Mike heard me... otherwise who knows where I would have wound up... in my "birthday suit"! I fell back to sleep and again, my hubby was roused by me making noises in the room. I was opening the little refrigerator in the room, fiddling with the racks and just making a commotion. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was sending an E-mail to the head of finance at work! He tells me I'm always pleasant when I have these Ambien walking episodes... so, thank goodness for that.

    I also get the munchies, BIG time, after 2 hours of taking the Ambien. Really interesting combinations of food I come up with. I haven't started cooking anything, so you've got me beat on setting off the smoke alarm... lol! =))

    If I combined the Ambien with alcohol... it would be even more comical, I'm sure.

    There is always someone with me, 24 hours a day, so I can continue to take the Ambien for my bad nights. If I was alone or unsupervised? There is no way I would take it, due to the side effects I have.

    Tammy :)

    P.S. Papa Ron, I hope your knee is feeling better these days. Take good care!

  • I am so grateful to all of you for sharing your experiences. I caught a break last night thank goodness- I refrained from taking an Oxycodone with my bedtime dose of Zanaflex...and I slept fine last night. I did wake up around 4am to take an oxy because of the pain, and I fell asleep without dreaming again.

    I will follow the same medicine regimen to see if it works. Perhaps it's the combo of oxy and zanaflex that sparked off the nightmares for me, who knows?

    I did take Ambien years ago, and I will never touch it again. I would wake up in the morning with all kinds of food in my bed. I sleepwalked and had no memory of what I did or say. That's some scary you know what.

    BTW, I have censored myself on what I watch before falling asleep. I don't need any disturbing images in my head, esp the Stephen King variety :SS

    Happy dreams y'all.. <):)
  • dilauro said:
    BUT, pain medications with sleeping aids (really only Ambien) will put me into Stephen King's backyard.
    I giggled :p
    I'm in Stephen King's backyard every night (reading that is)
  • =)) That is sooo cool. Be happy you didn't wind up on Youtube =))

    I'm sure I sleepwalked on Ambien and thank goodness I had my skivvies on....or did I? :jawdrop:
  • I was introducted to Stephen King at the tender age of 12. Not personally, but through his novels. My sister let me read "'Salem's Lot". I was hooked. I have every novel, book or short stories, even novels he wrote under Richard Bachman. I used to read the "Twilight Zone" Magazines, reading his short stories. I have been drawn to horror stories my whole life.

    When I was a teenager, I had what my mother referred to as "nightmare flu". I had a horrid nightmare every night for a week. Not only was it the same dream, but a continuation of said dream. Talk about Sca-REY! It was so cool!

    For me, a night mare would be "entertaining". Not to invalidate anyone else's anxiety over them at all! I'm just in to freaky stuff....

    I can't tell you the last time I've had a dream... Don't sleep deeply enough. No restoring sleep for me. Even with 12.5 mg of Ambien and 8mg of Zanaflex... No more than 3 - 4 hours at a click.

    I hope you get some good rest there, Meydey. And everyone else!

  • I know what you mean. A few years back one med or another gave me a nice set of nightmares. SO vivid I yelled outloud a couple of night in a row. I to found them entertaining and was sorry the med did not work out. I still remember bits of those dreams to the point I wonder if I really did hide that body there!!!

    No, it was a dream, but it sure was scary!

  • Yes, I still am having nightmares; some are terrible while others disturbing, but it's always the same story line. I guess I will have to deal with this, and just be happy when I don't dream at all.

    Wrambler, I swing, punch, yell, scream, talk...the whole works. Poor hubby...
  • Meyday - so sorry you are being plagued with such vivid nightmares. :( Hopefully you won't give your man a black eye! Have you tried meditation before falling asleep? I'm going to start trying it myself! Also, I wonder if you can "set" your internal dream factory much as you can set your internal alarm? Interesting thought. =))

    Nightmares suck, especially the kind where you SWEAR you are awake... I'm talking about the kind that you are lying in bed, which makes it much more realistic... just last night I had one of these, I thought I woke up to feel a dark presence in my apartment, then I heard my daughter or one of my son's (they sounded the same as babies) crying, but was again a baby. I tried so hard to get out of bed, but I was frozen, and scared s***less! In the past I've had many that I thought I fell out of bed I was so scared... I just started having these nightmares again... but I'm not on any narcotics so I guess it must be the Neurontin?

    I feel like we are the same Jeaux! I have every SK book as well, and extremely well-read copies of The Stand, The Dark Tower Series, and Cell. image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> Another thing, as a child I also had a recurring nightmare... something about being stuck in a large hole with un-scalable dirt walls... strange that you made me remember that.

    Eee Gads this was long... sorry!

  • I just started on neurontin,and I have terrible nightmares,mine aren't entertaining as they always involve the people I care about and I can't help them.(wonder what a psychologist would say about that?)The neurontin does help me sleep,and I can't wake myself up during a bad dream.Since I started taking it I can actually feel my body relaxing,and although it is a painful kind of relaxing,it's also relieving???? I used to take effexor and it gave me horrible,vivid dreams,I got off that C$%^! So for now I think I will take the trade-off,for some rest. Drugs are drugs whether they are legal or not...so I try to monitor the effects. Hopefully the dreams will be short-lived....that's my story....Sagehen
  • I'm sorry you guys are joined in this weird club. So far I've caught a small break from night terrors and I will enjoy it as long as it lasts. This side effect sucks but what can we do? We still need to take our meds. Oh well. Good night and peaceful sleep for all.. O:)
  • OMG, when I started Cymbalta, it was horrible! One of the listed side effects of it(and nearly every medicine) are nightmares. I did not sleep at all for many days when I started the medicine and I had constant slide show of gruesome images in my head. I suppose if I could have slept it would have been nightmares, but I wasn't sleeping. I didn't have hallucinations, I just kept remembering things in my head that I had seen that are totally gruesome(i.e. patients with brain matter coming out their noses, dead babies, etc.) from work. Not saying Cymbalta is your culprit, just throwing in my experience. I hated that medicine and it didn't do squat for my nerve pain. Was very glad to get off of it.

    I have noticed that if I take a Zanaflex capsule instead of the tablet(I usually take tablets) I have very intense, bizarre, realistic, dreams. Like last night, I dreamed that baby rattlesnakes were crawling all over my 4 year old. I've had some dreams from the capsules where I wake up and think the dream was real and start yelling at my husband for whatever wrong he did in my realistic dream.

    No, I haven't been diagnosed as psychotic, it's just weird how different meds and combos of them do funny things to us.
  • Those kind of dreams are certainly not our fault because of the effect that meds have on the mind. But it sure sucks when you can't get a decent night's sleep on account of them. I would even get scared of falling asleep, and I would cling to my DH until knocking out. Of course he would joke around and say, please don't slug me tonight honey.. :S
  • gotten older i have nasty dreams anyhow.i do think that the amount of oxycontin i take has a lot to do with it .i dream about my late grandmother a lot and have scary dreams bout pain {i carnt even escape bloody pain through sleep!!}i always wake up in pain usually with my hands buried in my back groaning ..then its down to the supply of pain killers and acticare a cup of tea and back to sleep on the recliner {where i hardley ever remember my dreams!} strange
  • Has anybody had a dream that they were being attacked or hurt, only to wake up in a lot of pain? It happens to me all the time. I would also dream about being in a fire and when I wake up I have burning sensations in my legs. It is like your mind is alerting you in your sleep that pain is wreaking havoc again.
  • i don't dream at all.. :? haven't dreamed on many years.. :D oh i know they must be there but can't tell you a one of them! so sorry about the nightmares everyone is experiencing!!! ~X( Jenny :)
  • Every night I wake up and my ceiling is curved, sometimes coloured but always with a Tarantula walking across the ceiling. I close my eyes and then open them and it's still there. This started when I increased my Tramadol. Very weird.
  • tramadol make me hallucinate too and when i closed my eyes i could hear weired noises like being in a room full of people that were all mumbling different languages
  • The two times that I took Tramadol it sent me into panic mode. The whole night long I clinged to my husband in mortal fear. Never again will I take them. I called my family doctor and pharmacist and they told me not to take it.

    Guess what- I messed up and watched Sweeney Todd-Demon Barber. What was I thinking?!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    What does this all add up to?
    Do I have nightmares? Yes I do, and sometimes those nightmares are so scary I will awake in a sweat. I see visions of my life coming to an end one way or another.
    But I also have some great dreams. At times I feel like I am a young strapping 21 year old and can just about anything.
    I only wish I could figure a way to turn one off , turn the other one are at my command
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron, how good would it be to control our dreams with TIVO. We can fast forward through bad parts or record over them with a good dream. #:S
  • Several of you mentioned tramadol. Don't forget to NOT take this with an anti-depressant because of serotonin response syndrome! Ask your pharmacist or doc about your meds. This can cause hallucinations, nightmares, tics, seizures, etc.
  • That episode I had with tramadol was a few years ago and I believe at the time I was taking Skelaxin. I don't know the deal with tramadol that makes me freak out, but you won't catch me taking it again.
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