Generic Name: zaleplon (ZAH le plon)
Brand Names: Sonata

What is Sonata?

Sonata (zaleplon) is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause sleep problems (insomnia).

Sonata is used to treat insomnia. This medicine causes relaxation to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sonata may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Sonata may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking Sonata and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Sonata will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have at least 4 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking this medication and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Sonata can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. It can increase some of the side effects of zaleplon, including drowsiness. Sonata may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. This medicine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking this medication after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking Sonata suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Sonata may be habit-forming. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION OR OVERDOSE, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away Sonata is against the law.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Sonata if you are allergic to zaleplon.

To make sure zaleplon is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • sleep apnea (breathing stops while you are asleep);

  • lung disease (asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD) or other breathing problems;

  • a history of depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts; or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether zaleplon will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

It is not known whether zaleplon passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

The sedative effects of Sonata may be stronger in older adults. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

How should I take Sonata?

Take Sonata exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Sonata will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have at least 4 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens, stop taking Sonata and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.

Take Sonata only if you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have at least 4 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

Avoid taking Sonata within 1 hour after eating a high-fat or heavy meal. This will make it harder for your body to absorb the medication.

Sonata is for short-term use only. Do not take it for longer than 2 weeks without your doctor's advice.

Call your doctor if your insomnia symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse after using Sonata for 7 to 10 nights in a row

Sonata may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION OR OVERDOSE, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away Sonata to any other person is against the law.

Do not stop using zaleplon suddenly after taking it over several days in a row, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Zaleplon is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Sonata is usually taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Never take this medication if you do not have at least 4 hours to sleep before being active again. Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, confusion, loss of coordination, limp muscles, weak or shallow breathing, fainting.

What should I avoid?

Sonata can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Sonata. It can increase some of the side effects, including drowsiness.

Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxants, and medicine for depression or anxiety).

Avoid taking Sonata during travel, such as to sleep on an airplane. You may be awakened before the effects of the medication have worn off. Amnesia (forgetfulness) is more common if you do not get at least 4 hours of sleep after taking a dose.

Sonata side effects

Sonata may cause a severe allergic reaction. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; nausea and vomiting; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Sonata and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • aggression, agitation, changes in behavior;

  • anxiety, nervous feeling, depression, confusion, hallucinations;

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);

  • thoughts of hurting yourself; or

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.

Common Sonata side effects may include:

  • problems with memory or coordination;

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • numbness or tingling;

  • headache;

  • upset stomach, constipation;

  • dry mouth;

  • back pain, chest pain;

  • joint or muscle pain; or

  • mild itching or rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Sonata dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia:

5 to 20 mg orally immediately before bedtime or after the patient has gone to bed and has experienced difficulty falling asleep.

Doses above 20 mg have not been adequately evaluated and are not recommended.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Insomnia:

Elderly patients and debilitated patients appear to be more sensitive to the effects of hypnotics, and respond to 5 mg of zaleplon. Doses over 10 mg are not recommended.

What other drugs will affect Sonata?

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking Sonata with any other sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with zaleplon, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Sonata.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Sonata only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2014-01-13, 8:20:19 PM.

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