Compare Sonata vs. Unisom

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

Sonata
(zaleplon)

Unisom Sleeptabs
(doxylamine)

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.Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can help you get a good night's sleep, but you can have a hard time waking up if you don't give yourself enough time to sleep.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.79Sonata
Reviews for Sonata
42%
of people (All ages) say Sonata is worth it
23%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
175 reviews
Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Unisom
58%
-16% worse vs. Sonata
32%
-9% worse vs. Sonata
11%
-16% worse vs. Sonata
585 reviews
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
SonataUnisom
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Eye pain 2%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Menstrual cramps 1%
  • Amnesia 1%
More Sonata side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Unisom »
How it works
SonataUnisom
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.Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.
Type of medication
SonataUnisom
Prescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
SonataUnisom
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
SonataUnisom
Risk factors for serious side effects
SonataUnisom
  • 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
Detailed Sonata (zaleplon) risks & warnings »
  • Using other drugs with similar ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years or younger
Detailed Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Interactions
SonataUnisom
  • Interacts badly with many other medications.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
SonataUnisom
  • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
Kidneys and liver
SonataUnisom
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
SonataUnisom
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, or dizziness.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster.
  • People have sleep-walked, sleep-driven, and sleep-eaten while on Sonata (Zaleplon).
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
Upsides and benefits
SonataUnisom
  • 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.)
  • Works well to help you fall asleep and doesn't make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
Downsides and risks
SonataUnisom
  • 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.
  • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
SonataUnisom
  • 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.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) 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.
  • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
Learn more
More about SonataSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it