Suicide Risk With Zaleplon

Since depression is a possible side effect of certain sleep medications, some patients may be at an increased suicide risk with zaleplon. The sleep medicine is a type of CNS depressant, which means it can slow down the brain and cause problems such as confusion, decreased breathing, or loss of consciousness. If you are having thoughts of suicide while on zaleplon, seek help immediately.

Suicide Risk With Zaleplon: An Overview

Zaleplon (Sonata®) is a prescription sleep medication used for short-term insomnia treatment. As with all medications, it is possible to take too much zaleplon. In some situations, a zaleplon overdose can be fatal.
Although zaleplon is not known to directly increase the risk of suicide, depression may be a side effect of this drug (see Sonata and Depression). People with depression are more likely to attempt suicide.

Overdose and Suicide Risk With Zaleplon

Zaleplon is part of a class of medications called sedatives or hypnotics. These medications cause "CNS depression," which is the medical term for slowing down of the brain. CNS depression effects include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurring of speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Decreased breathing (known medically as respiratory depression)
  • Death.
CNS depression can be mild (with symptoms of slight drowsiness or confusion) or very serious. Taking more than one CNS depressant at a time increases the risk of serious problems or death. Alcohol is a CNS depressant, as are many different medications, including many pain medications.
Death from a zaleplon overdose is most likely to occur when zaleplon is taken with other CNS depressants. Death from CNS depressant overdose usually occurs as a result of respiratory depression, when breathing becomes increasing slow (until it stops altogether).

Zaleplon Drug Info

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