Sonata (Zaleplon) Prescription Facts

Sonata is a short-term medication, also known as zaleplon in its generic form, that is prescribed to treat insomnia. Sonata is classified as a sedative-hypnotic drug. It works similarly to benzodiazepines like Klonopin and Xanax despite the fact that it’s not part of this drug class. Zaleplon is primarily prescribed to patients who have trouble falling asleep. Sonata is only intended for short-term use because it has the potential to become habit-forming. There is also a risk of dependence associated with the use of Sonata. Side effects of Sonata can include nausea, dizziness and headaches.

Sonata Regulations

Sonata is a controlled substance in the United States. Specifically, Sonata is classified as a Schedule IV drug, based on the Controlled Substances Act. A Schedule IV drug like Sonata has accepted medical uses but can lead to physical or psychological dependence. No one should ever use Sonata without a prescription or use it in any way other than how it’s prescribed. Sonata should be prescribed to most patients for no more than ten days in order to reduce the risk of abuse and dependence.

Most Commonly Abused Drugs Containing Zaleplon

Sonata is the most well-known and commonly abused drug. The same drug is also sold under the brand names Ambien, Starnoc and Andante. Among the most commonly abused sleeping pills, zolpidem is at the top of the list. Other frequently abused sleeping pills include Lunesta and Intermezzo. Benzodiazepines are often given to patients to help them with insomnia and they carry an even more significant risk of abuse. Some commonly abused brand-name benzodiazepines include Valium, ProSom, Dalmane and Restoril.

How Sonata Affects the Brain and Body

Sonata is a sedative drug that slows the central nervous system. In doing so, Sonata temporarily reduces brain activity -which is why people feel relaxed and drowsy when they use it. Central nervous system depressants act on the GABA neurotransmitters. GABA is a neurotransmitter that decreases activity in the brain, and Sonata increases its effectiveness. Central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects can include coordination, walking problems, blurred vision and changes in perception. Using CNS depressants can also cause slow reflexes and breathing, diminished pain sensitivity, slurred speech, memory loss and cognition impairments.

Some of the longer-term health effects associated with Sonata abuse and other central nervous system depressants can include chronic intoxication, depression and anemia. When someone regularly uses Sonata, they may develop a tolerance to the drug. This means that they need higher doses to feel any effects. Tolerance can then lead to dependence, and people who have used Sonata for a long time may go through withdrawal if they try to stop using the sleep aid suddenly.

Half-Life of Sonata

Sonata is one of the fastest-acting sedative-hypnotics available on the market. The half-life of the drug is one hour, making it shorter even than other prescription sleep aids. The half-life of Sonata means that within one hour, half a dose will be eliminated from the system. With this drug, the maximum concentration in the blood is reached within an hour. Zaleplon starts working very quickly, meaning it has a higher potential for abuse and it leaves the system more quickly than other drugs that act similarly. Due to the short-half life of Sonata, it’s not usually prescribed to patients who have trouble waking up in the night or waking up too early. Sonata is better used for people who have trouble initially falling asleep.

Factors That Influence How Long Sonata Stays in Your System

While Sonata may have a very short half-life on average, some different factors can determine how long it stays in your system. One is age. For many elderly patients, it takes longer to eliminate a dose of Sonata than for younger people. This is because older patients generally have slower organ functionality and often take multiple medications simultaneously. Other factors that influence how long Sonata stays in the system include body weight and fat, metabolism and food and water intake. For example, if someone has a heavy meal before using Sonata, the effects could be reduced.

How Long Does Sonata Stay in Your Urine, Hair, and Blood?

People often wonder how long Sonata stays in the system when they have an upcoming drug test. First and foremost, Sonata is not going to show up on a standard drug screen. It would have to be specifically tested for. Also, since Sonata has such a short half-life, it wouldn’t show up in the system more for than a day or so after it was taken. Sonata doesn’t have any active metabolites either. Metabolites are left behind by a parent drug as the body metabolizes it. With many drug tests, it’s not the parent drug that shows up. Instead, most drug tests track the lingering metabolites. Since Sonata doesn’t have active metabolites, it would only show up on a drug test for a very short time. This also means Sonata withdrawal symptoms would start to occur just a few hours after the last dose of the drug was taken.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.