Generic Name: Zaleplon

  • What is Sonata?

    Sonata is prescribed for people who have trouble falling asleep at bedtime. Because it has a short duration of action, it doesn't help those who suffer from frequent awakenings during the night or those who wake too early in the morning. It is intended only for short-term use.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Sonata?

    Sonata is not approved for use in children.

    Do not take Sonata unless you plan to be in bed for at least 4 hours after taking it. If you need to be alert and active in less than 4 hours, your performance could be impaired. Never attempt to drive a car or operate other dangerous machinery right after taking Sonata.

    Problems with sleep are usually temporary and require only short-term treatment with medication. Call your doctor immediately if it seems the medication is making the problem worse, or if you notice any unusual changes in your thinking or behavior, such as hallucinations, amnesia, agitation, or a lack of inhibition.

    Use Sonata only for temporary relief of insomnia; sleep medicines tend to lose their effect when taken for more than a few weeks. Taking sleeping pills for extended periods or in high doses can lead to physical dependence and the danger of a withdrawal reaction when the drug is abruptly stopped.

    If you have worsening insomnia or the emergence of unusual thinking or behavior, see your doctor since this may signal an unrecognized disorder.

    There have been reports of complex behaviors, such as "sleep driving" or "sleep eating" (driving or eating while not fully aware of what you are doing) in people taking medications such as Sonata. In general, people do not remember doing these things when they wake up in the morning. These activities can be dangerous, since people are not fully awake or alert.

  • Who should not take Sonata?

    Sonata is not recommended for people with severe liver disease.

    Do not take it if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. It contains the coloring agent FD&C Yellow No. 5, which causes a reaction in some individuals. This allergic reaction is more likely in people who are sensitive to aspirin.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Sonata?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Sonata. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have depression, liver disease, sleep apnea (stopping breathing for short periods while asleep), asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease, myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness), or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual dose is 10 milligrams (mg) taken once daily at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust the dose to your individual need, especially if you are in a weakened condition or have a low body weight. A dose of 5 mg is recommended if you have liver disease or use the drug cimetidine. Doses above 20 mg have not been adequately evaluated and are not recommended.

    Elderly: This population are more sensitive to the effects of Sonata and respond to 5 mg. Doses over 10 mg in the elderly are not recommended.

  • How should I take Sonata?

    Sonata is very fast-acting and should be taken only at bedtime. Sonata should be taken immediately before bedtime or if you have difficulty falling asleep after you have gone to bed. Taking Sonata while still up and about may result in short-term memory impairment, hallucinations, impaired coordination, dizziness, and lightheadedness.
  • What should I avoid while taking Sonata?

    Avoid alcoholic beverages when taking Sonata.

    Never attempt to drive a car or operate other dangerous machinery right after taking Sonata.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Sonata?

    If Sonata is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Sonata with the following: alcohol, carbamazepine, cimetidine, diphenhydramine, erythromycin, imipramine, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, promethazine, rifampin, and thioridazine.

    Avoid high-fat meals immediately before taking Sonata; they tend to slow or reduce the drug's effect.

  • What are the possible side effects of Sonata?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, amnesia, back pain, chest pain, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, eye pain, headache, memory loss, menstrual pain, migraine, muscle pain, nausea, sleepiness, tingling, weakness

  • Can I receive Sonata if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Sonata during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. Sonata is excreted in breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Sonata?

    Take Sonata only when you're ready to sleep. Never double your dose.
  • How should I store Sonata?

    Store at room temperature in a light-resistant container.