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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Are nightmares after taking Ativan normal?

Answered by
Dr. Dariush Saghafi


Practicing since :1988

Answered : 1939 Questions

Posted on Tue, 7 Mar 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Ativan is taken by my Grandpa and it gives him bad dreams:
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Need to speak to the doctor and have it removed

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for your question.

Vivid or even "bad" dreams including other very odd behaviors such as hallucinations and loss of memory are potential side effects of Ativan. Sometimes a drug such as Ativan is necessary for a person's health. Other times there are alternatives that are much better and less troublesome in terms of side effects if the drug is being used simply as a sleep agent or a means to relax him due to anxiety, fear, etc. There are complementary types of medications that can relax folks that do not have addictive or dependency issues and if taken in proper quantities can even help relax people enough to sleep such as inositol, theanine, melatonin, and others.

CAUTION: Stopping Ativan abruptly in any patient can result in convulsive seizures therefore, he should be slowly weaned off depending upon the amount he's taking and the length of time he's been taking the drug.

Bottom line.....either you or your grandpa should call the doctor's office and report the side effect. Second, I would have a discussion with the doctor to see if the actual underlying cause for why Ativan is being used in an elderly individual (not really a great option in my opinion) can be managed or treated by some alternative means. If not then, there should be a clear plan for usage of this class of medication (though it will have to be something different...advise staying from Xanax as this can be very difficult for some people to wean off).

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This query has utilized a total of 32 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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