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Sonata Side Effects

Generic Name: zaleplon

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug zaleplon. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Sonata.

In Summary

More frequent side effects include: dizziness and amnesia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to zaleplon: oral capsule

As well as its needed effects, zaleplon (the active ingredient contained in Sonata) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking zaleplon, check with your doctor immediately:

Less common:
  • Anxiety
  • blurred or double vision
  • not feeling like oneself
  • Nosebleed
  • seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling things that are not there

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking zaleplon, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Confusion
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness, severe
  • dizziness or fainting
  • drowsiness, severe
  • weak muscle tone
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual dullness or feeling sluggish

Minor Side Effects

Some zaleplon side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common:
  • Dizziness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
Less common:
  • Abdominal pain
  • burning, prickling, or tingling sensation
  • constipation
  • cough
  • difficulty concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of mouth
  • excess muscle tone
  • eye pain
  • fever
  • heartburn, indigestion, or acid stomach
  • itching
  • itching or burning eyes
  • joint stiffness and/or pain
  • memory loss
  • menstrual pain
  • mental depression
  • nervousness
  • sensitive hearing
  • severe headache
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • tightness in chest
  • trembling or shaking
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • wheezing

Side Effects: Post Treatment

After you stop taking this drug, it is possible that you may still experience side effects that need medical attention. If you notice any of the following side effects check with your doctor immediately:

  • Abdominal and muscle cramps
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • increased sweating
  • sadness
  • trembling or shaking
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to zaleplon: oral capsule


General side effects including headache (28% to 38%), asthenia (5% to 8%), fever (2%), malaise (less than 1% to 2%), and photosensitivity (less than 1% to 1%) have been reported.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects including dizziness (7% to 8%), somnolence (5%), amnesia (2% to 4%), anxiety (less than 1% to 3%), paresthesia (3%), depersonalization (less than 1% to 2%), tremor (2%), hypesthesia (less than 1% to 2%), hallucinations (less than 1% to 1%), and vertigo (less than 1% to 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea (7% to 8%), dyspepsia (4% to 7%), abdominal pain (5% to 6%), anorexia (<1% to 2%), and colitis (1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects including myalgia (5% to 7%) have been reported.[Ref]


Ocular side effects including eye pain (4%) and abnormal vision (<1 to 2%) have been reported.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects including dysmenorrhea (2% to 4%) have been reported.[Ref]


Other side effects including hyperacusis (2%), parosmia (<1% to 2%), and ear pain (<1% to 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects including epistaxis (<1% to 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects including peripheral edema (<1% to 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Nightmares


1. "Product Information. Sonata (zaleplon)" Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

It is possible that some side effects of Sonata may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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