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Author Topic: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about  (Read 2517 times)

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Offline Betelgeuse

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With regard to Atripla, the phrase most often associated with it seems to be "weird dreams".

I'm confused as to why that seems to be a huge deal to those discussing side effects of Atripla?  Are they horrible nightmares?  Is it something that interrupts your REM cycle?  What exactly is it these "dreams" that carry such a negative connotation?
04/19/11 - Diagnosed positive
04/29/11 - CD4 188 @ 12.5% / VL 18k
05/03/11 - CD4 171 @ unk% / VL 7k
06/04/11 - Start Truvada/Isentress
07/11/11 - CD4 not tested / VL UD
09/07/11 - CD4 252 @ unk% / VL UD

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 09:56:04 PM »
With regard to Atripla, the phrase most often associated with it seems to be "weird dreams".

I'm confused as to why that seems to be a huge deal to those discussing side effects of Atripla?  Are they horrible nightmares?  Is it something that interrupts your REM cycle?  What exactly is it these "dreams" that carry such a negative connotation?

Not everyone experiences them. They're caused by a component of Atripla called efavirenz (aka Sustiva aka Stocrin).

They're usually described as "vivid" dreams. It's hard to explain unless you've experienced it. It's sort of like dreaming in glorious technicolour with the latest theatre style surround sound.

Horrible dreams are greatly enhanced and so seem much more unpleasant. You're more likely to remember them when you wake. Same applies to nice dreams. I could recall tasting, feeling and smelling things like they were real. It was very odd.

And it's not just dreams, many people have disturbed or less restful sleep and feel quite washed out the next day.

For most people it seems to settle down and become tolerable. For others it isn't. YMMV, is the best way to describe it.

And remember, bad dream are much better than bad wakings.

MtD

Offline Betelgeuse

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 11:23:27 PM »
If having "vivid dreams" is the worst of Atripla's negative side effects, I would think it is rather benign.

I lost the ability to have dreams years ago - both literally and figuratively. 

Maybe I'll try it out.
04/19/11 - Diagnosed positive
04/29/11 - CD4 188 @ 12.5% / VL 18k
05/03/11 - CD4 171 @ unk% / VL 7k
06/04/11 - Start Truvada/Isentress
07/11/11 - CD4 not tested / VL UD
09/07/11 - CD4 252 @ unk% / VL UD

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 11:51:12 PM »
If having "vivid dreams" is the worst of Atripla's negative side effects, I would think it is rather benign.

I lost the ability to have dreams years ago - both literally and figuratively. 

Maybe I'll try it out.

Well the sleep disturbances (the dreams are part of that) associated with efavirenz can be very distressing, so don't dismiss them too quickly.

But that said, efavirenz is a powerful drug and has much to recommend it. You would do well to try it. Most people find it extremely effective and tolerable.

MtD

Offline buginme2

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 11:54:21 PM »
I've had dreams about monkeys wearing suits and and some other weird things but nothing I would categorize as a nightmare.   The only real side effect I have had from Atripla that occurs each day is that it causes some raging hard on's.

For some reason this drug has gotten a bad rap.  I wish people would stop vilifying it.  It just ends up making people nervous about taking it when they shouldnt.  

Offline Ac75088

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2011, 01:22:56 AM »
I've had dreams about monkeys wearing suits and and some other weird things but nothing I would categorize as a nightmare.   The only real side effect I have had from Atripla that occurs each day is that it causes some raging hard on's.

For some reason this drug has gotten a bad rap.  I wish people would stop vilifying it.  It just ends up making people nervous about taking it when they shouldnt.  

Buginme is right..I was extremely afraid the first night I swallowed my first pill all because of "what Ive heard". But I am very happy with Atripla..My side effects were minimal and Im actually enjoying the dreams lol..It's like a night at the movies, only Im asleep..And I am feeling less groggy the next morning. I was worried over nothing..Atripla is being nothing but nice to my body
01-12-08 Tested poz cd4 700 vl 8,000
04-25-11 Lowest cd4 count of 415 vl high at 250,000
05-03-11 Started Atripla
05-16-11 Hospitalized and treated for 2 weeks (neurosyphilis)
07-05-11 CD4 count 585 VL 550
10-04-11 CD4 count 700 VL 75
02-03-12 CD4 count 799 VL UD
08-08-12 CD4 count 838 VL UD

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 02:28:14 AM »
If having "vivid dreams" is the worst of Atripla's negative side effects, I would think it is rather benign.

I lost the ability to have dreams years ago - both literally and figuratively. 

Maybe I'll try it out.

The weird dreams are just one of a couple of fairly common side effects of sustiva which range in severity from patient to patient.  Depression and Anxiety are both aggravated by this drug.  A handful of us do/did fine on the combo for a while before the more serious CNS side effects began to act up.  Philinftlaudy and I started on Atripla around the same time and while he's ok with it I have gotten progressively more anxious on the drug to the point of being ready to change my regimen.  This is now 2 years in for me and my intolerance for it comes and goes a bit.

Offline elf

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 11:06:01 PM »
I don't take Atripla (nor Sustiva), but I take melatonin which is also famous for causing vivid dreams.
I'd say the most ''different'' thing about these dreams is your ability to recall them (and scrutinize their content when you wake up).  :)

These dreams feel so real.
A few days ago. in my dream I was diagnosed with a gastric cancer  >:(
But the experience was so vivid as if it were real life, and it was terrible.
I felt reborn when I got up (''Oh I don't have a cancer'').
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 11:11:00 PM by elf »
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline antibody

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 11:10:00 PM »
Dreams would be so realistic that I didn't know if events really happened. Scary.
Timbuk      <50/ 794  CD4 10/06 
                 <50/ 1096 CD4 3/07
                 <40/ 1854 CD4 4/09

Started Atripla  7/14/06
Switched to boosted Reyataz Truvada 3/28/07

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Offline Betelgeuse

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 01:05:49 AM »
Well the sleep disturbances (the dreams are part of that) associated with efavirenz can be very distressing, so don't dismiss them too quickly.

MtD

I just read what I wrote.  I didn't in any way mean to minimize the dream problems some people experience with this drug.  I'm sorry for the way I sounded.
04/19/11 - Diagnosed positive
04/29/11 - CD4 188 @ 12.5% / VL 18k
05/03/11 - CD4 171 @ unk% / VL 7k
06/04/11 - Start Truvada/Isentress
07/11/11 - CD4 not tested / VL UD
09/07/11 - CD4 252 @ unk% / VL UD

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 01:31:13 AM »
I just read what I wrote.  I didn't in any way mean to minimize the dream problems some people experience with this drug.  I'm sorry for the way I sounded.

Betel,

Don't be sorry! :) Many people experience no problems with the drug and others do. All experiences are valid. I'm sorry if I sounded like I was ticking you off, I wasn't.

:)

MtD

Offline MarkB

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 02:32:13 AM »
If having "vivid dreams" is the worst of Atripla's negative side effects, I would think it is rather benign.

I lost the ability to have dreams years ago - both literally and figuratively. 

Maybe I'll try it out.

Hi Betelgeuse

On the point about literal dreams, depending on whom you read (and believe), you probably actually spend about two hours a night dreaming. What you don't do is remember them. On Atripla, however, the chances are that you will; and the dreams can be very vivid indeed. For some people that is quite an interesting experience; for others, actually quite unpleasant.

As Matty and Hellraiser have said, many people experience no problems whatsoever with the drug and swear by it. For others, it has proved more problematic, and have found that it causes profound mood changes and sluggishness. But it does the job.

As to your 'figurative' dreams, I was saddened to read that you feel you have "lost the ability" to have them: my hope is that in time to come they will come back to you.

 :-*

Offline Betelgeuse

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 02:39:35 AM »
Hi Betelgeuse

On the point about literal dreams, depending on whom you read (and believe), you probably actually spend about two hours a night dreaming. What you don't do is remember them. On Atripla, however, the chances are that you will; and the dreams can be very vivid indeed. For some people that is quite an interesting experience; for others, actually quite unpleasant.

As Matty and Hellraiser have said, many people experience no problems whatsoever with the drug and swear by it. For others, it has proved more problematic, and have found that it causes profound mood changes and sluggishness. But it does the job.

As to your 'figurative' dreams, I was saddened to read that you feel you have "lost the ability" to have them: my hope is that in time to come they will come back to you.

 :-*

Thanks for catching that.  :)  That part was the dramatic side of me.   I can't blame it on coping with my recent diagnosis as I lost my ability to dream years ago.  Topic for the "Mental Health" forum perhaps. 
04/19/11 - Diagnosed positive
04/29/11 - CD4 188 @ 12.5% / VL 18k
05/03/11 - CD4 171 @ unk% / VL 7k
06/04/11 - Start Truvada/Isentress
07/11/11 - CD4 not tested / VL UD
09/07/11 - CD4 252 @ unk% / VL UD

Offline MarkB

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 02:53:18 AM »
Thanks for catching that.  :)  That part was the dramatic side of me.   I can't blame it on coping with my recent diagnosis as I lost my ability to dream years ago.  Topic for the "Mental Health" forum perhaps. 

As with the literal ones, it may be that you will remember what those other dreams were when the morning comes.

 :)

Offline bufguy

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 08:05:21 AM »
I've been on Atripla for 3 years now and honestly don't notice any change in my dreams...As a matter of fact other ten the first week, I have had no side effects at all. It's like taking a multi vitamin at night...just don't forget.
5/29/08 confirmed HIV+
6/23/08 Vl 47500  CD4 511/29% CD8 .60
start atripla
8/1/08 Vl 130  CD4 667/31% CD8 .70
9/18/08 Vl un  CD4 not tested
12/19/08 Vl un CD4 723/32% CD8 .80
4/3/09 Vl un CD4 615/36% CD8  .98
8/7/09 vl un CD4 689/35% CD8 .9
12/11/09 vl un CD4 712/38% CD8 .89
4/9/10 vl un CD4 796/39% CD8 1.0
8/20/10 vl un CD4 787/38% CD8 1.0
4/6/10 vl un CD4 865/35% CD8 .9
8/16/10 vl un CD4 924/37% CD8 1.0
12/23/10 vl un CD4 1006/35% CD8 .9
5/2/10 vl un CD4 1040/39% CD8 .9
8/7/13 vl un CD4 840/39% CD8 .9

Offline justpoz

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2011, 08:47:07 PM »
I have seen this so called vivid dreams, it is difficult to explain them, except that when you actively "dreaming" it does not feel like a dream, it feels real, there are also times when you have sleep paralysis, where your aware of the act of dreaming.   I have had an equal amount of good bad and horrible dreams.
diag 08  vl 60,000 cd4 360
started atripla, 708
could not afford cost of meds.
stopped atripla 808 started atripla 109  vl 90,000 cd4 250 | 209 vl undect, cd4 275

Changed meds Truvada 200-300
Isentress 400 | 0312  vl und  cd4 550
snip
1212  vl und  cd4 625
0113  vl und  cd4 675
12/13 vl und  cd4 720

Feb 2014, insurance blue cross blue shield, increases co-pay from 120.00 to 970.00, tier 5, 33 percent of retail prices.

Cannot obtain any patient assistance, the AFA is a serious threat to patients with HIV. 

Unable to afford to purchase medications.
tired of fighting to stay alive.

March 4, 2014, VL, 161,000 cd4 400
Terrified but helpless to do anything about it.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2011, 08:59:53 PM »
justpoz, you hit it right on the head with the sleep paralysis part --- being on Atripla for almost 2 years now, I have times when I have the vivid dreams and I know I am dreaming.  I think over the course of time I have bee taking the med, I have only had 3 or 4 dreams that were disturbing - not scary - just disturbing enough to wake me up.  The latest one involved me being in a room, it was night time and I was in bed.... my brother was in the room also, sleeping in another bed.... when all of a sudden a bunch of elementary school kids were peering in the window - shining flashlights and trying to see in the room...... I laid very still and they kept trying to look in..... in my dream I could feel the intensity of them staring in and see the beams of the lights.... I decided to try to jump up from the bed and scare them away..... but when I tried to jump up, I was stuck down onto the bed and couldn't move --- this scared me awake --- and when I first woke up I was making the motions of trying to get up out of the bed, but not being able to..... it was really really freaky......

Other than that, I have dreamed of pirates, parties, shopping, traveling, flying, tornadoes, etc, etc..... and the recall is much more than when I used to dream (which I know I did, but don't remember) before I started Atripla.....

The dreams happen much less if I don't eat or don't eat extremely fatty foods within a few hours of taking the meds....
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Ac75088

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2011, 01:04:36 AM »
Phil!! It's weird that you brought up sleep paralysis..I have suffered horrible SP episodes but BEFORE I started my meds..I haven't had any sleep paralysis attacks while on Atripla just yet (watch me have one tonight since I'm typing this). I call it an attack because mine felt like just that...I wake up from a sound sleep..My eyes are open..I'm in bed..I can see everything in my room..only I can't move!! I can move my eyes..but none of my limbs..There is a dark shadow figure at the end of the bed that just stands there looking at me..and suddenly it lashes at me and starts strangling me..I'm trying to gasp for air and fight but I am unable to move..just can go on anywhere from a few seconds to what seems like an entire minute before I actually "wake up"..but it's so real when it happens. I experience this at least once a month or sometimes longer..but when it does happen it's very frightening.
01-12-08 Tested poz cd4 700 vl 8,000
04-25-11 Lowest cd4 count of 415 vl high at 250,000
05-03-11 Started Atripla
05-16-11 Hospitalized and treated for 2 weeks (neurosyphilis)
07-05-11 CD4 count 585 VL 550
10-04-11 CD4 count 700 VL 75
02-03-12 CD4 count 799 VL UD
08-08-12 CD4 count 838 VL UD

Offline Nicolas2

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Re: Confused about the "weird dreams" everyone keeps talking about
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2011, 04:00:22 AM »
I hope I won't dream the people I love and that I'm separated from (permanently or temporary). Those dreams affect me a lot the next day :'( and I wouldn like those meds enhance and make those feelings more intense...

I'm fine with dragons, pirates, monkeys in suites and Fredy Kruger...

 


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