ZALEPLON

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Sonata

GENERIC NAME(S): ZALEPLON

 

Description: Zaleplon, a pyrazolopyrimidine, is a sedative and hypnotic agent that interact with GABA subtype A complex by binding selectively to benzodiazepine type 1 receptor. It depresses the brain and helps the patient to sleep.

Pharmacokinetics:

Absorption: Rapidly and completely absorbed. Peak plasma concentrations: 1 hr. Absorption reduced by heavy meal or high-fat diet. Bioavailability: 30%.

Distribution: Distributed into breast milk.

Metabolism: Undergo significant first-pass hepatic metabolism.

Excretion: Excreted mainly in urine as inactive metabolites or their glucuronides (70%); <1% excreted unchanged. 17% of a dose excreted in the faeces, mainly as metabolites.

Indications:

This medication is used for a short time to treat people who have trouble falling asleep.

Contraindications:

Should not be given to patient with known allergic reaction to the drug.

How to use zaleplon

Dosage: Take 10 mg of this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor.

  • Zaleplon works very quickly, so it is important to take it just before or when you get into bed.
  • Zaleplon should not be used for naps or short sleep periods of less than 4 hours because this may increase your risk of side effects such as memory loss or drowsiness.
  • You should not eat a very heavy/high-fat meal within 2 hours before taking this medication since doing so may prevent the drug from working properly.
  • You may feel anxious or have trouble falling asleep in the first day or two after stopping this medication (rebound insomnia).

Not available.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Common side effects:

  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • short-term memory loss, or
  • lack of coordination may occur, especially during the first 2 hours after you take the medication

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

  • mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, seeing/hearing things that are not there, rare thoughts of suicide),
  • unusual behavior.

Rarely, after taking this drug, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake (“sleep-driving”). People have also sleepwalked, prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often, these people do not remember these events. This problem can be dangerous to you or to others. If you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking this medication, tell your doctor immediately. Your risk is increased if you use alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy while taking zaleplon.

This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time (more than a few weeks) or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as unusual depressed/anxious mood, stomach/muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, or seizures) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions:

General

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially memory problems, confusion, dizziness, lack of coordination. Dizziness and lack of coordination can increase the risk of falling.

  • Allergy: Before taking zaleplon, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.
  • Medical history: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you had: liver problems, very high/low blood pressure, breathing problems (e.g., asthma), depression, history of drug/alcohol abuse.

Pregnancy Risk: Category C- This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Breastfeeding: This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions:

  • This drug should not be used with the following medication because very serious interactions may occur: sodium oxybate.
  • If you are currently using the medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting zaleplon.
  • Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially of: melatonin, drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove zaleplon from your body (e.g., azole antifungals such as ketoconazole, cimetidine, rifamycins such as rifabutin/rifampin, certain anti-seizure medicines such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital).
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine, promethazine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., levetiracetam), other drugs for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol), narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., thioridazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).

Overdose:

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • confusion,
  • loss of coordination,
  • slow/shallow breathing, and
  • loss of consciousness.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.

Lifestyle changes may help improve your sleep (e.g., avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine close to bedtime or taking daytime naps). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) in a light-blocking container away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Brands:

There are no brands containing this molecule.

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