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Generic Name: zaleplon (ZAH le plon)
Brand Names: Sonata
  • Prescription Settings

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Drug Information:
Sonata (zaleplon) is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in your brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia). Sonata is used to treat insomnia. Sonata causes relaxation to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Sonata may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Some people using Sonata have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. Serious injury or death could occur if you walk or drive while you are not fully awake. If this happens to you, stop taking this medication and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder. Learn more

Sonata Side Effects

Sonata Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about zaleplon. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Sonata.

In Summary

More frequent side effects include: amnesia and dizziness. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to zaleplon: oral capsule

Along with its needed effects, zaleplon (the active ingredient contained in Sonata) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking zaleplon:

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • blurred or double vision
  • not feeling like oneself


  • Nosebleed
  • seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling things that are not there

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking zaleplon:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Confusion
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness, severe
  • dizziness or fainting
  • drowsiness, severe
  • weak muscle tone
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual dullness or feeling sluggish

Some side effects of zaleplon may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Dizziness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • nausea

Less common

  • Abdominal pain
  • burning, prickling, or tingling sensation
  • constipation
  • cough
  • difficulty concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of mouth
  • excess muscle tone
  • eye pain
  • fever
  • heartburn, indigestion, or acid stomach
  • itching
  • itching or burning eyes
  • joint stiffness and/or pain
  • memory loss
  • menstrual pain
  • mental depression
  • nervousness
  • sensitive hearing
  • severe headache
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • tightness in chest
  • trembling or shaking
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • wheezing

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

  • Abdominal and muscle cramps
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • increased sweating
  • sadness
  • trembling or shaking
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to zaleplon: oral capsule


The most commonly reported side effects included headache, dizziness, nausea, asthenia, and somnolence.

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 42%)

Common (1% to 10%): Amnesia, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, hypertonia, hypesthesia, migraine, paresthesia, parosmia, somnolence, taste perversion, tremor, vertigo

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal gait, ataxia, hyperesthesia, hyperkinesia, hypotonia, incoordination, neuralgia, nystagmus

Rare (less than 0.1%): Central nervous system (CNS) stimulation, cerebral ischemia, decreased reflexes, dysarthria, dystonia, facial paralysis, hypokinesia, increased reflexes, myoclonus, neuropathy, slurred speech, stupor, taste loss, visual field defect


Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal thinking, anxiety, confusion, depersonalization, depression, hallucinations, nervousness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Agitation, apathy, decreased libido, emotional lability, euphoria, insomnia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Bruxism, delusions, hostility, psychomotor retardation, sleep talking, sleep walking

Postmarketing reports: Nightmares


Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, colitis, constipation, dry mouth, dyspepsia, nausea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Circumoral paresthesia, eructation, esophagitis, flatulence, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gingivitis, glossitis, mouth ulceration, rectal hemorrhage, stomatitis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Aphthous stomatitis, cardiospasm, cheilitis, duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, enteritis, gum hemorrhage, increased salivation, intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcer, tongue discoloration, tongue edema, ulcerative stomatitis


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, ear pain, fever, hyperacusis, malaise

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chills, face edema, hangover effect, substernal chest pain, tinnitus

Rare (less than 0.1%): Deafness, labyrinthitis


Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia, arthritis, back pain, myalgia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthrosis, bursitis, joint disorder, joint pain, joint stiffness, joint swelling, neck rigidity, myasthenia, tenosynovitis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Myositis, osteoporosis, trismus


Common (1% to 10%): Photosensitivity reaction, pruritus, rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Acne, alopecia, contact dermatitis, dry skin, ecchymosis, eczema, maculopapular rash, skin hypertrophy, sweating, urticaria, vesiculobullous rash

Rare (less than 0.1%): Melanosis, psoriasis, purpura, pustular rash, skin discoloration


Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal vision, conjunctivitis, eye pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diplopia, dry eyes, photophobia, watery eyes

Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormality of accommodation, blepharitis, cataract specified, corneal erosion, eye hemorrhage, glaucoma, ptosis, retinal detachment


Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, peripheral edema

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Angina pectoris, bundle branch block, edema, generalized edema, hypertension, hypotension, palpitation, tachycardia, vasodilation, ventricular extrasystoles

Rare (less than 0.1%): Bigeminy, cyanosis, pericardial effusion, postural hypotension, sinus bradycardia, thrombophlebitis, ventricular tachycardia


Common (1% to 10%): Bronchitis, epistaxis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Asthma, dyspnea, laryngitis, pneumonia, snoring, voice alteration

Rare (less than 0.1%): Apnea, hiccup, hyperventilation, increased sputum, pleural effusion, pulmonary embolus


Common (1% to 10%): Dysmenorrhea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bladder pain, breast pain, cystitis, decreased urine stream, dysuria, hematuria, impotence, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, vaginitis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Albuminuria, delayed menstrual period, leukorrhea, menopause, urethritis, urinary retention, vaginal hemorrhage


Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Gout, hypercholesteremia, increased appetite, thirst, weight gain

Rare (less than 0.1%): Diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia, hyperuricemia, hypoglycemia, hypoglycemic reaction, ketosis, lactose intolerance, weight loss


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anemia, lymphadenopathy

Rare (less than 0.1%): Eosinophilia, leukocytosis, lymphocytosis


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Kidney calculus, kidney pain


Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormal liver function tests, bilirubinemia, biliary pain, cholelithiasis, increased ALT, increased AST


Rare (less than 0.1%): Goiter, hypothyroidism


Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, severe anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Sonata