Compare Benadryl vs. Sonata

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Benadryl
(diphenhydramine)

Sonata
(zaleplon)

Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap.Helps you sleep. Sonata (Zaleplon) helps you fall asleep, but it's not as good for staying asleep. It also interacts with a lot of diseases and other drugs.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (25mg) capsules of diphenhydramine
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 30 (10mg) capsules of zaleplon
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.63Benadryl
Reviews for Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
86%
of people (All ages) say Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is worth it
59%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
294 reviews
Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Sonata (zaleplon)
42%
-44% worse vs. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
23%
-36% worse vs. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
27%
-19% worse vs. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
175 reviews
Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BenadrylSonata

We haven’t found good data for Benadryl side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Eye pain 2%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Menstrual cramps 1%
  • Amnesia 1%
More Sonata side effects »
How it works
BenadrylSonata
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Sonata (Zaleplon) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.
Type of medication
BenadrylSonata
Prescription or OTC
Prescription only
Available as
BenadrylSonata
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Used for
BenadrylSonata
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylSonata
  • Using other drugs with the same ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years and younger
  • Enlarged prostate
  • History of bladder problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Nursing mothers
Detailed Benadryl (diphenhydramine) risks & warnings »
  • Continuous use for 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Less than 7 hours of sleep
  • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding
    Detailed Sonata (zaleplon) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Interactions
    BenadrylSonata
    No interactions related info.
    • Interacts badly with many other medications.
    Alcohol
    BenadrylSonata
    • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
    • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
    Kidneys and liver
    BenadrylSonata
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
    Sleep
    BenadrylSonata
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
    • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster.
    • People have sleep-walked, sleep-driven, and sleep-eaten while on Sonata (Zaleplon).
    • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
    • Can cause headache, drowsiness, or dizziness.
    Upsides and benefits
    BenadrylSonata
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is often better than other antihistamines at treating allergy symptoms and hives.
    • It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
    • It makes you sleepy, so it'll help if your allergies are bothering you at night.
    • The effects wear off in 4 to 6 hours, so side effects don't last that long.
    • It comes as a tablet, capsule, liquid, and quick dissolving tablet.
    • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster.
    • Doesn't last as long in the body as some other sleep medicines, so it's okay to take it in the middle of the night as long as you enough time to sleep. (But be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.)
    Downsides and risks
    BenadrylSonata
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
    • You shouldn't drive after taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) until you know how it affects you.
    • Talk to a pediatrician before giving Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to a child.
    • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine).
    • Don't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) if you are breastfeeding.
    • Not typically used for long-term treatment since it can be habit-forming.
    • Doesn't last as long in the body as other sleep medicines, so it's not as good at helping you stay asleep.
    • Interacts badly with many other medications.
    • Not a good option if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
    • People have sleep-walked, sleep-driven, and sleep-eaten while on Sonata (Zaleplon).
    • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
    • It's easy to become reliant on sleep medicines. In the long run, it's better to learn good sleeping habits and behaviors so you can sleep better naturally.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    BenadrylSonata
    • Take it as needed every 4 to 6 hours.
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can make you dehydrated, so avoid this side effect by drinking plenty of fluids.
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
    • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
    • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term.
    • If you only have itchy or watery eyes, try using just an antihistamine eye drop.
    • Take 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
    • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
    • It's very addictive and meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can start to form after using it daily for 2 weeks.
    • Can cause headache, drowsiness, or dizziness.
    • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
    • Withdrawal symptoms usually get better in 1 to 2 days.
    • Tell your doctor about any sudden confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
    Learn more
    More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SonataSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it