Ask the Experts

Do ADHD Meds Cause Nightmares?

“My 10-year-old son has started having terrible nightmares. Is this a side effect of his stimulant medication?”

If your son has taken the medication for a year and you haven’t made any changes to his regimen, I suspect that something else is causing the nightmares. There is an easy way to find out. Stop the medication for a week. (Any time you discontinue a child’s medication, talk to his teachers and ask them to be more understanding during that period.) If the nightmares stop, you should ask his doctor to try another medication. If not, consider other sources of stress in his life that might cause his nightmares.

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