Sonata Warnings and Precautions

There are several Sonata warnings and precautions to be aware of before starting treatment. For example, certain people should not take Sonata, including those who are allergic to Sonata, zaleplon, or any inactive component used to make Sonata. There are also a number of side effects that may occur with the use of Sonata, including drowsiness, hallucinations, changes in behavior, and depression.

Sonata: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Sonata® (zaleplon) if you have:
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
 
  • Are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Drink alcohol.
     
Also, tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may currently be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Some Sonata Precautions and Warnings

Patients taking Sonata should keep the following considerations in mind:
 
  • Sonata can interact with certain medications (see Sonata Drug Interactions).
     
  • If you drink alcohol, let your healthcare provider know prior to starting Sonata. In general, people should not use alcohol when taking Sonata because it can increase the risks of developing Sonata side effects (see Sonata and Alcohol).
     
  • Sonata can cause drowsiness and other sedating effects. Taking Sonata with other medications that cause drowsiness may increase the risk of side effects.
     
  • Sonata is considered to be a pregnancy Category C medicine. This means that Sonata may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Sonata if you are pregnant (see Sonata and Pregnancy).
     
  • Sonata passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
     
  • Sonata is considered a sedative-hypnotic type of medication. If you notice any changes in your behavior, such as anything unusual or disturbing, while taking Sonata or other sleep medicines, notify your healthcare provider immediately. As with most sedatives or hypnotics, withdrawal symptoms are possible with Sonata if it is stopped suddenly (see Sonata Withdrawal).
     
  • Insomnia can be a sign of other physical or mental problems. If your insomnia does not improve within 7 to 10 days of taking Sonata, talk to your healthcare provider about other insomnia causes that may be affecting you.

 

  • Sedative-hypnotic medications (such as Sonata) can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. An allergic reaction to Sonata can occur even with your first dose of the drug. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs of an allergic reaction, such as an unexplained rash, itching, hives, wheezing or trouble breathing, or unexplained swelling (especially of the throat, lips, or mouth).
 
  • There have been reports of "sleep-driving," "sleep-eating," or other unusual behaviors in people taking sedative-hypnotic medications. 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.

 

  • Because Sonata works very quickly, it should be taken right before bedtime. After you have taken a dose of Sonata, do not do anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane. Taking Sonata while staying awake can result in memory problems, hallucinations, and other problems.
     
  • Sleep medications sometimes have an effect on breathing. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Sonata if you have any lung problems, including COPD or sleep apnea.
     
  • Elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of Sonata and may need to be started at a lower dose (Sonata 5 mg before bedtime).
     
  • If you have depression, talk to your healthcare provider before taking Sonata, as depression can be a Sonata side effect (see Sonata and Depression). Suicide is more common in people with depression, and some people may intentionally take a lethal overdose of Sonata (see Suicide Risk With Zaleplon ).
     
  • Sonata should not be used in people with severe liver problems, including liver failure or severe cirrhosis. People with mild or moderate liver problems should use a lower dose of Sonata (5 mg before bedtime).
     
  • Sonata is a controlled substance and may be habit-forming. Abuse or dependence with Sonata is more likely with higher doses used for long periods of time and is more likely to happen in people with a history of drug or alcohol addiction. If you have an addiction problem, talk to your healthcare provider before taking Sonata (see Sonata Addiction).
     
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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