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All about: Zaleplon

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Generic Name: Zaleplon (zah-LEH-plon)
Brand Name: Sonata

Zaleplon is used for:

Short-term treatment of insomnia.

Zaleplon is a hypnotic agent. It works by depressing the central nervous system (brain), causing drowsiness to aid in falling asleep.

Do NOT use Zaleplon if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zaleplon
  • you are taking sodium oxybate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Zaleplon :

Some medical conditions may interact with Zaleplon . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances, especially tartrazine dye or aspirin
  • if you have a history of depression or other mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, or are debilitated
  • if you have severe kidney or liver problems or a breathing disorder

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zaleplon . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cimetidine or sodium oxybate because an increase in sleep duration may occur
  • Carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin because they may decrease Zaleplon 's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zaleplon may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zaleplon :

Use Zaleplon as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Zaleplon by mouth with or without food.
  • Do not take Zaleplon with or right after a high-fat or heavy meal. Doing so may delay when the medicine will begin to work.
  • Zaleplon works very quickly. It should be taken immediately before going to bed or after you have gone to bed and are having trouble falling asleep.
  • Do not take Zaleplon unless you will be able to get 4 or more hours of sleep before you must be active again.
  • If you miss a dose of Zaleplon , take it when you remember if you are still able to get at least 4 hours of sleep. If you are no longer able to get at least 4 hours of sleep when you remember, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zaleplon .

Important safety information:

  • Zaleplon may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or changes in vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zaleplon with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Continue to use caution the morning after taking Zaleplon .
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Zaleplon ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Common side effects, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, coordination problems, and memory problems occur most often within 1 hour after taking Zaleplon . Be sure to take Zaleplon right before you to go to bed or after you are already in bed. This will help to decrease these side effects.
  • Zaleplon may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Zaleplon . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Zaleplon before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • This product may contain tartrazine dye (FD&C Yellow No. 5). This may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, ask your pharmacist if your product has tartrazine in it.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • You may experience trouble sleeping for 1 to 2 nights after you stop taking Zaleplon . If it continues, contact your doctor.
  • Use Zaleplon with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Zaleplon should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking Zaleplon while you are pregnant. Zaleplon is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zaleplon .

When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking Zaleplon . This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you stop taking Zaleplon suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and, rarely, seizures.

Possible side effects of Zaleplon :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abnormal skin sensations; decreased sensitivity to touch; dizziness; drowsiness; incoordination; lightheadedness; muscle pain; short-term memory loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal thinking; agitation; bizarre behavior; changes in personality, mood, or behavior; daytime drowsiness; hallucinations; memory loss; suicidal thoughts; worsening of depression.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; confusion; depression; drowsiness; lethargy; loss of coordination; loss of consciousness; low blood pressure; slow, shallow breathing; sluggishness.

Proper storage of Zaleplon :

Store Zaleplon between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Protect from light, moisture, and heat. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Zaleplon out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zaleplon , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zaleplon is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve in 7 to 10 days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is summary only. It does not contain all information about Zaleplon . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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