Sonata (Zaleplon) For Insomnia – How It Works, Safety Info + Dosages

Zaleplon For Insomnia – Chronic insomnia, just like many other sleep disorders, can occur due to significant changes in sleep habits, environmental factors, sleep aid dependence, drug abuse, stress, or anxiety. To add to that, patients who suffer from an insomnia disorder may also have underlying behavioral or psychological problems – that is why treatment of insomnia is considered complicated. Since it takes a long time to treat this kind of sleep disorder, only a few sleep medications are considered safe and reliable to use. One of them is Zaleplon.

According to clinical trials, Zaleplon may be used for the treatment of insomnia for up to 12 months. However, just like any other medication, it has its pros and cons. Are you suffering from the harmful effects of insomnia? Are you looking for a medication that will best suit your needs? If so, read on to find out more about Zaleplon for insomnia and how it will work for you.

Zaleplon For Insomnia
What is Zaleplon

Zaleplon is a hypnotic agent that is used as a prescription sleep medication for patients suffering from chronic or rebound insomnia. One of its popular versions is called Sonata which is recommended for short-term treatment of the sleep disorder. Results of controlled clinical studies suggest that Zaleplon can decrease sleep onset among insomnia patients for up to thirty days. However, it is not yet proven whether it can increase sleep time or decrease awakenings among elderly patients.

In clinicaltrials gov, 5 to 10 milligrams of Zaleplon taken at bedtime reduce sleep latency in patients with insomnia. It also prevents rebound insomnia to occur in patients that have abruptly discontinued the medication, just like the nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic drug Eszopiclone. It also works as a sedative which helps patients who have trouble falling asleep. Zaleplon reaches its maximum efficacy an hour after it is administered.

How Does Zaleplon for Insomnia Work

Zaleplon imitates a chemical in the brain that aids in helping people fall asleep. However, it is different from other known sleeping pills because it works immediately as a sedative yet its effects do not stay in the body for too long. It is not only suitable for people who have trouble falling asleep at bedtime. It is also recommended for use for people who awaken in the middle of the night and want to fall back to sleep. For this fact alone, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Zaleplon for insomnia back in 1999.

Aside from being a long-term treatment for insomnia, Zaleplon Sonata also works as a hypnotic drug and is an excellent alternative for the treatment of a wide range of neuro disorders. It does not only treat insomnia but is also suitable for people with particular sleep problems such as sleep onset and sleep apnea. Since its effects do not stay in your system, it is considered highly beneficial for people who tend to experience next day drowsiness when taking a placebo and hypnotic drugs.

Zaleplon, along with other similar hypnotic drugs like (Eszopiclone) Lunesta, works just like non-benzodiazepines – it acts as a GABA-receptor agonist in the brain and has a presystemic metabolism effect on the body. Why is that good for you? When you take a dose of Zaleplon, you will immediately feel the right amount of drowsiness you need to fall asleep. That means you can quickly achieve a restful night’s sleep and reset your natural sleep-wake cycle without having to worry about adverse events like oversleeping or daytime sleepiness.

Dosage of Zaleplon for Insomnia
Dosage of Zaleplon for Insomnia

If you talk to your doctor about taking Zaleplon for your insomnia, he or she will usually give you a dosage of 5-20 mg. While 10 mg is a standard dosage for healthy adults, elderly patients that have serious health problems aged 65 years and older are recommended a dose of 5 mg only. Zaleplon effects do not stay in your body because of its natural first-pass metabolism. However, your doctor will suggest you to avoid taking Zaleplon with a meal since its sedating effects will take longer to occur. The maximum dose is 20 mg per day.

Dose Considerations

Insomnia patients who simultaneously suffer from hepatic impairment shall be given an initial dose of 5mg at bedtime for sleep. However, those who have severe hepatic impairment are strongly suggested to avoid placebo or hypnotic drugs such as Ambien cr. On the other hand, insomnia patients with mild to moderate renal impairment do not need any dosage adjustments.

Dose Warnings

Because sleep disturbances are usually a symptom of a psychiatric disorder, hypnotic drugs should only be administered after a careful evaluation by a sleep specialist. Zaleplon should only be taken on an empty stomach and only when the patient is about to sleep. As with all hypnotic drugs, taking Zaleplon while still actively up and about can cause short-term memory effects, cognitive impairment, dizziness, anterograde amnesia, psychomotor performance, hallucinations, and increase your risks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Within seven to ten days of taking Zaleplon for insomnia, you should be sleeping well. However, if your insomnia symptoms persist after this period, contact your doctor immediately. Failure of insomnia to diminish after a maximum of ten days is usually an indication of a medical or psychiatric illness. It is also not recommended to abruptly stop Zaleplon without talking to your doctor as this may cause you to experience withdrawal effects such as vomiting, muscle cramps, sweating, and nausea.

When your doctor sees you fit and ready to stop taking Zaleplon, you may find it difficult to doze off or stay asleep on your first few nights without it. That is a normal occurrence and usually gets better after a night or two. Do not, however, try administering a more massive dose of Zaleplon without your doctor’s approval as it can be a habit-forming drug. Also, Zaleplon is not recommended for use to pregnant women.

Possible Side Effects of Zaleplon
Potential Side Effects of Zaleplon


Zaleplon is a part of a group called central nervous system (CNS) depressants. In general, these types of drugs, as well as other sleep medications used to treat insomnia, should only be used for a short amount of time since they can lose their effectiveness or possibly cause abnormal behavioral changes. Although rare, some patients who have taken CNS depressants and alcohol simultaneously have reported having experienced sleep-driving. Because sleep-driving causes people to have no memory of the event, discontinuation of Zaleplon is strongly advised after suffering effects of an episode.

Abuse, dependence, and tolerance

Abuse, dependence, and tolerance of Zaleplon have been reported as side effects of the drug. Abuse or addiction happens when Zaleplon is compulsively used, often with other psychoactive drugs, for non-medical effects and purposes. Dependence on the drug can occur to people who continue to use it for its sedative effects even after a physician has prescribed him or her against doing so. Tolerance, on the other hand, is one of the probable side effects of overusing placebo Zaleplon for insomnia and other sleep problems.

Anaphylactic reactions

Anaphylactic or allergic reactions rarely occur but are considered one of the worst adverse effects of Zaleplon. There have been rare cases reported of angioedema, an allergic reaction involving the larynx or tongue after taking sedative-hypnotics, including Zaleplon. Some patients also report other anaphylactic reactions such as throat closing, airway obstruction, nausea, and vomiting.

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