If you are on maintenance medication for depression or your heart or some other long-term illness, one thing you should always be aware of when taking a new medication is its effect on your dreams.  Your doctor may not care about your fruitful dream state, but you care because you must. Your dreams are the pathway to a prescient future.

Sometimes, the medicine-induced dream-influencing doesn’t happen for a few months, or the fitful sleep arrives in dribs and occasional drabs that leads to a dribbling memeing.  I discovered, through trial and error, and the momentary comparative experience, that Benicar, my blood pressure medication, was indicating horrific nightmares for many months.

The Benicar nightmares didn’t happen straight away.  They would creep upon me whenever uncertain sleep came my way, and I blamed the horrible dreams — my mother chasing me with an axe, houses burning on hills, random gunshots fired into crowds, etc. — on being too hot or sleeping too long.

I used to love to sleep to dream — but under Benicar — I wished I didn’t have to close my eyes.

I didn’t start to put together the association of nightmares and Benicar until I had to leave that medication for a new one: Azor.  After a few months on Azor, I was freely sleeping and dreaming rightfully again.  I was able to roam and visit new worlds.  It was a great gift.

There’s no such thing as a coincidence.

Because the weaning from Benicar and the addition of Azor was a slow process, it took me quite a while to connect that the horrible nightmares I was having were because of Benicar.  Azor showed me just how medication is supposed to work to help you at all hours of the day and night and not just in lowering your blood pressure.

It certainly makes sense that any medication your take that is designed to modify your body chemistry will have multiple avenues for affecting the whole of who and what you are.  Some call these side-effects, but I call them “side assaults” and they are more demonic than we are led to believe.

It isn’t enough for doctors to just check your blood results and record your weight and ask about your general well being — they must also ask about your dreams and, in turn, dig into your nightmares.  I’m not sure if doctors would change a medication that is working for you if are only having nightmares, but they should.  Why unnecessarily suffer in sleep if a simple medication change can win the night?

If you’re taking a medication that messes with the dopamine or serotonin levels in your brain, you should be especially aware how the medicine is influencing your dreams.  Keep a dream log.  Note your sleep patterns.  If you’re out-of-sync, discuss options with your doctor to help get you back in proper dreaming mode. Your mind will thank you.

Sleep should be a welcoming and blissful part of your day — and if anything interferes with your ability to relax and refresh for a few hours a night — then you need to leave your inactive dreaming state and use the real world to wake up some consequences and solutions to fight off the bad lucidity — and the axe-wielding mother hiding in your closet.

3 Comments

  1. Makes a note never to take Benicar – I really do not like bad dreams at all . i think things like this should be made known , going from peaceful sleep to disturbed sleep is never a good thing stress wise and anything that develops into night terrors is even worse.

    1. Agreed on all counts. It took me a long time to figure out these new night terrors were from the Benicar. If I had not changed medication — because it was no longer effective in lowering my blood pressure enough — I don’t think I ever would have known the cause of the awful, new, norm.