Zaleplon, a prescription medication, is licensed to treat short-term insomnia in adults. The sleep medicine is effective in helping people fall asleep faster, but does not appear to help people stay asleep longer or wake up less frequently during the night. Zaleplon, which comes in capsule form, is a controlled substance and can be abused. Since the medication can be habit-forming, it should be used with caution and taken only as needed.
What Is Zaleplon?
Zaleplon (Sonata®) is a prescription sleep medication used for short-term insomnia treatment. It belongs to a class of medications called sedatives or hypnotics. The medication is most effective for people who have trouble falling asleep, rather than people who have trouble staying asleep.
Zaleplon is manufactured by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does Zaleplon Work?
Zaleplon is part of a class of medications called sedative/hypnotics, which are known more commonly as sleep medicines. Like many other sleep medications, it is a controlled substance and may be abused.
Effects of Zaleplon
Zaleplon has been evaluated in several clinical studies for insomnia. In studies for chronic insomnia, people who took the medicine fell asleep faster than people who did not take it. Similar results were seen in a study of zaleplon in people with transient insomnia (insomnia that comes and goes). In these studies, the medication did not help people to stay asleep longer or to wake up less frequently during the night.
Also, studies have shown that zaleplon can cause mild rebound insomnia (worsening of insomnia after stopping a medication). Rebound insomnia symptoms usually occurred for only one night after the drug was stopped, after which people returned to their normal sleeping patterns.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Sonata [package insert]. Bristol, TN: King Pharmaceuticals;2006 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 16, 2008.
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