Jan 21, 2009
good day doctor,
i am currently on atripla and ziagen. most of the times i would have severe nightmares and really vivid dreams. also most of the time i wake up in sweats catching my self from having really bad dreams. now, i know that this is because of the meds... but my question is, does having too much severe nightmares safe? or is it just part of the whole experience dealing with taking this meds?
Response from Dr. Henry
There is not necessarily a negative health outcome from frequent nightmares and or sweats unless there is a lack of sleep (leading to fatigue) or ongoing psyychologic distress disruptive to overall health. Dreams/sleep disturbances due to efavirenz in Atripla peak in the first 2-4 weeks then taper off to < 5-10% having ongoing moderately annoying or worse symptoms. In cases where patients > 4-8 weeks on Atripla are still having symptoms like you desribe without other obvious contributing factors then consideration to an alternative regimen (ie using a boosted protease inhibitor, raltegravir, or nevirapine instead of efavirenz) is worth discussing. KH
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