Lamictal Nightmares

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/23/2011 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys,
I recently made a post about Lamictal, but this one is more on the serious side. I have been taking Lamictal for about 4 days now, at 50 mg's. I am experiencing the most lucid and vivid nightmares that I haven't experienced since I was a little kid. I mean, I'm talking so frightening and unsettling that I am afraid to go to sleep. 2 nights ago, I had a dream that I could hear my dog growling in the middle of the night- very unusual for her. So immediately, I knew something was wrong. I crept downstairs to discover my mother sleeping on the couch. My dog was growling in the direction of the front door, where stand this huge, tall, man/monster looking thing staring at my mother as she slept. I ran to the door to lock it, but the thing had already opened the door and was pushing its way inside. THankfully, I then woke up, screaming so loud that the actual dog that was in the dream came running upstairs to see if I was okay. It was a cross between a nightmare and a night terror, as I was not fully convinced it was a dream after I had awoken. Has anyone else experienced dreams this horrifying while taking Lamictal, or any other drug? If so, do you have any suggestions for alleviating and preventing these awful occurences? The Lamictal is already starting to lift my mood, but the nightmares are a colossal drawback. If there are any suggestions other than quitting the medicine, please tell me. I am not interested in taking addictives like Xanax or Ambien to help me sleep. Thanks,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1441
   Posted 1/26/2011 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
This happened to me too. It will subside William. Just give the medicine time for your body to get use to it in your system. It may take a few weeks but it gets better.
Hang Tough.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
~Leo Buscaglia~

*Crohns Disease 1994
*Bipolar 2003/Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20048
   Posted 1/26/2011 11:54 PM (GMT -7)   
mine are what i have termed 'rapid-cycling'. 1 dream is actually 6. they all flow into the next, and the intensity up, and ups, eventually i force myself awake in a bad state. it use to be every night, not every night now, glad they are easing, albeit i do very much understand. here 4 ya, jamie.
ps. been unwell trying to catch up with posts. i try!!


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/27/2011 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the same thing on starting Lamictal, but it does go away fairly soon.

Bipolar N.O.S. Lamictal
Major Depression Abilify
Anoxic Brain Injury Cymbalta
Epilepsy Coreg
post-Cardiac Arrest

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/30/2011 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
i have been on lamotrigine 25 mg since last wednesday...soo for about a week now.
my ideal dosage is 100 mg my dr said, but im going to start slow and up the dose every two weeks....
i have been having really intense dreams as well but i didnt even think it was related to the medication, but now that you mention it i think i am going to write down my dreams as soon as i wake up so that i can discuss it with my dr. ive notced that ive been having such REAL LIFELIKE dreams that ive made comments to my roommates about things that they say have never happened..... scary to think that its possible that im not going to be able to differentiate between my dreams and reality.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 1/31/2011 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Guys: I haven't tried lamictal but once and I only lasted about four days. I broke out in a rash and it scared me right off of the med. My Dr. said he didn't think it was the dangerous rash warned about in the literature; but just to be safe he put me back on Depokate (Valporic Acid, 500mgs.) I haven't been on a mood stabilizer for probably ten years; but currently I am in crisis and Dr. says" back to lamictal". I am so nervous using "off label" meds. Lamictal is a pediatric ani-convulsant; I believe. I am scared of the hugh doses of Valporic Acid required due to a fragile liver. What else is there? I realise the above is a bit off topic; the night terrors being the topic; I was on Cymbalta for about two months or so; and had the most horrendous night terrors that now I am off of it; I am still afraid to fall asleep; but then I hate waking up also, so what is one to do? I don't post often on this forum, usually on Fibro or Depression forum; but right now my life is so screwed up; I have to face reality and get some help for the Bi-Polar. Cheers

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 2/1/2011 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
They will stop... I had them too, and had insomnia... My doctor put me on 300mg of seroquel every night and its been much better since. I'm on 200mg of lamictal, working my way up to 300mg. My mood has completely changed. My mood swings have stopped being so intense. Life is better! Give it time because it takes weeks for you to completely get used to it.
Bi Polar 1
Anxiety/ Panic disorder
Major depressive disorder
Scoliosis/ Degenerative disc disorder

Lamictal 200mg daily
Seroquel 300mg daily
Klonopin 0.5mg as needed
Xanax 1mg as needed
Keppra 500mg daily
Vicodine 750mg as needed

"Never settle for less than you deserve, have the courage to walk away when you know you should, live with a purpose, love with passion, fight with all you have, know what you're worth, embrace your potential, understand the odds, learn the rules, then.... conquer the impossible"

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/24/2011 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to say this thread helped me a lot. I had the worst nightmare of my life last night. I never remember my dreams, so I knew something was up. I just upped my does of Lamictal from 50mg to 100mg. I am so relieved to hear that it will get better, because it is definitely helping.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 10/24/2011 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
well I'm the winner. I am at 500mg lamictal everyday for 7 years. Holds me down except for a few hypos.

I had dream problems with Chantix (to quit smoking) and abilify. Dreams so vivid about murder and cannibalism I was disturbed I even had those types of thoughts in my head.

My opinion is to try something else. Throughout the process of this disease there will need to be tweaks and adjustments. There are many marvelous meds out there which work better for some than others.
Lithium 600mg
Lamotrigine 500mg
Mirtzapine 60mg
Lorazepam up to 18mg as needed.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/15/2012 1:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Having a lifetime history of lucid dreams/ nightmares, I guess I am relieved and worried that Lamictal can induce night terror/nightmares. In the nine days I have been taking it, I have had the most disturbing dream ever. Mainly my death, but even more disturbing: murder, dead bodies and rape. Before reading through these forums, was starting to think I might have some new issues to talk to my doctor about. Relieved the lamictal is causing them. Being that I am about to be increased to 100 mg, I just hope it isn't going to get worse. Good thing for insomnia! LOL!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/23/2012 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sad to say I have been on lamictal for about four months and the nightmares have only gotten worse its terrifying getting dreams mixed up with reality it's just the dreams are so real and life like. I really thought some one was in my house last night. I havent been able to go to sleep because of the dreams I've had the last two nights. And it's never one dream its always about 7 and I wake up after each one but it seems all of them are happening in my own house. I don't know what to do...

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 12/25/2012 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Britnee74 - call your Dr. Losing sleep will worsen bp symptoms, so you need to act quickly. If you cannot reach your Dr because of holidays, call a local crisis line. They can often get you urgent psych care - like next day appointments that aren't available except through crisis.

Devil May Care
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/4/2013 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank goodness my husband found your posts.

I'm a very vivid dreamer and nightmares are quite detailed and scary. But since my doctor doubled my dose, I have NEVER experienced anything like this.

Instead of night terrors, which I have had, I call them nightmare hallucinations. They feel real and the intensity and out right fear they cause makes me wake up in panic attacks. I have never been so frightened in my life. Two nights ago I had one of these hallucinations involving a friend. Later while I was still dreaming she confirmed my nightmare. So my brain was reinforcing the reality of the dream.

Last night I refused to go to sleep. Some of you have mentioned that these go away. I can't hold off waiting. I cannot bear another night.

If it goes away for some of you, how long did it take? Did readjusting the dosage help?

Thanks to all who submitted their stories. My husband thought I was exaggerating.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 335
   Posted 3/9/2013 3:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Devil May Care, you didn't say what your dosage was or how long you'e been on it but if the side effects are that bad I would get off the medication ASAP. I don't mean quit on your own, NO, that can be worse than the side effects, I mean get into to see your psych or the nurse and get a different medication. I they get all bent, too bad, your there to get help and get better not to be tortured and have your condition made worse by lack of sleep. They may also be able to give you another medication, like Seroquel, with the Lamictal to ease the nightmares. Bottom line, you deserve to have peaceful, refreshing sleep and medications that give you back control over your emotions(I needed 3 years of CBT for that)and to be treated as a deserving human being by the people who are there to help you. smurf
Crainiotomy Lg. Meningioma Dec.02, Bi-Polar 2004, SMI 06, Gluten/Wheat/Dairy Intolerance, IBS 06, Migraines w/pseudo-seizures 07, Dev. Septum Sur. Sept.07, 2nd Men./Tumor Gamma Knife Rad. Dec.08, Radical Hysterectomy Sept.09 w/instant Menopause, Fibromyalgia 09, Disability since 09, EBV/CFS 11,Vomiting/Multiple Ulcers, Vertigo 12, Chronic Fatigue Moderator 2013.No meds list I ran out of space.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 3/16/2013 5:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I had bad dreams when I first started Lamictal too. It has been about 3 years now and I still get some but no more than I had prior to starting Lamictal.
Diagnosed BP. Celexia, Lamictal, Lorazipram, Trazidone

CooCoo 4 Cocoa Puffs
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/10/2013 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I found if I took the Lamictal in the morning - I no longer had nightmares. It was when they had me taking it at night. I take almost all my meds in morning now.
Major Depressive Disorder

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/14/2013 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I just took Lamictal for the first time last night. I already have nightmares and night terrors. Hope this doesn't make it worse.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/20/2013 12:14 AM (GMT -7)   
It happened to me too. Ive been on 150 mg 2x day for about a year now and it took months for them to subside. I too have a very active imagination and have always had nightmares consistently. I still have the dreams though they are less frequent.

I too would have dreams and not know if the event had actually happened or if i was dreaming. This is especially dangerous when it comes to my job, forgetting if i had this conversation, missing deadlines because i thought the task had been completed. One dream that i had about my cat who i had to put down (also kind of the first time i realized i was truly an adult) but she was in my dream and i knew i had put her down in my dream but i was still looking for her for a while after that.

A suggestion? This takes a lot of practice but start trying "conscious dreaming". I still dont do it often but essentially you train yourself to recognize that you are dreaming when you are in your dream/nightmare itself. I just blew my own mind!

A VERY important thing to know...if you miss two or three doses in a row, you may have to start over with ramping up because of the risk of a rash that can develop and impair breathing. The drug is absorbed very quickly and has a short window of efficacy when ingested, thus it will be out of your system quickly, you will come down fast and hard, and likely have to start over.

Good luck darlin'!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/23/2013 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I was prescribed Lamictal and Buspar at the same time and almost immediately started having nightmares and insomnia.. My doctor doubled my dosage of Buspar for my anxiety and told to me wait it out and within about a week and a half, I felt normal! The nightmares can be really scary, but generally go away... If you have nightmares too often for a few weeks though, you might want to talk to your doctor about an adjustment.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/26/2013 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Your taking to much to start. Lower the dosage. Add 1pill a week till you reach your goal..

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/27/2013 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't started taking the Lamictial yet (brand name) and now after reading this I wonder if its worth taking. My Doctor hasn't told me I'm Bi-Polar and doesn't like me looking things up on the enet because he often gives even anti-Psychotic meds ion very low dosages that are not enough for being Psychotic but can help with other problems. I fear so much that the Government is going to take away my Social Security and if they do thjat to me than I know I won't survive at all. NOW THAT'S A REAL LIVING NIGHT MARE! I am scared to death all the time as it is and the idea of a substance making it worse scares the crap out of me . I call his nurse to tell him to tell the Doc that I decided to go ahead and try this medication and I have called two times and I hear nothing BUT I AM A VETERAN that goes to a V.A.Clinic and they are so busy with So many other Veterans with problems of having real life night mares that I think hes too busy to call me back and I just don;'t know what to do. I thought about ending my life and then after thinking that way I found that I was afraid of myself too. I am scared all the time having panic attacks every day. I'm taking 4mg of Clonazepam a day and 60mg of Mertazapine as well as my regular doctors medications

Blue cantenelli
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/15/2014 12:02 AM (GMT -7)   
SoSickAndTired said...
They will stop... I had them too, and had insomnia... My doctor put me on 300mg of seroquel every night and its been much better since. I'm on 200mg of lamictal, working my way up to 300mg. My mood has completely changed. My mood swings have stopped being so intense. Life is better! Give it time because it takes weeks for you to completely get used to it.


Living Well
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 2/15/2014 3:06 AM (GMT -7)   
BC, Don't be offended when a new thread is created with this by an admin, they have a general cut off of about replies to ads over 4 months old.. They like us to make new ones with reference to the old thread if need be... but i shall let the moderators explain. Nightmares are awful. Glad they have subsided!
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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/25/2014 4:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi to all :) So glad i found this page/blog.... my nightmares were starting to confuse me and so strange to remember every GORY detail.... my pillow has even kept me awake. So i was only dignosed with bipolar on the 18/03/2014 and was put onto Lamictal straight away, is this normal? after 1 session? I have had no side effects at all and feel super chilled, not so angry anymore which makes me think that Dr can only be right BUT like the topic goes, the nightmares are so life like and odd, trying to wake up from one doesnt help as you just go straight into the next unless you physically sit up and chage positions. Do they go away? if not can i change meds or are they all the same? Thanks for helping me feel a little more sane and sooooo not alone! x

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/14/2015 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
This helped so much. I am on 50 mg and seem to start nightmares just a few minutes after I lie down. Afraid to go to sleep.

Bipolar II
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