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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
3.810344827586207Sonata
Reviews for Sonata (Zaleplon)
42%
of people say Sonata (Zaleplon) is worth it
24%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
58%
+16% vs. Sonata (Zaleplon)
32%
+8% vs. Sonata (Zaleplon)
11%
+16% vs. Sonata (Zaleplon)
Side effects
SonataUnisom
  • Headache 7%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Amnesia 3%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Eye pain 2%
  • Menstrual cramps 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Tremor 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
SedativePrescription only
Antihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Prescription or OTC
Available as
SonataUnisom
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
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
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding
    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
    • Enlarged prostate
    • History of bladder problems
    • Glaucoma
    • Nursing mothers
    Detailed Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    SonataUnisom
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
    • Sonata (Zaleplon) can be disinhibiting (like alcohol) or cause hallucinations. Tell your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in behavior.
    • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
    • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
    Food
    • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
    No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    • Doesn't last as long in the body as other sleep medicines, so it's not as good at helping you stay asleep.
    • People have sleep-walked, sleep-driven, and sleep-eaten while on Sonata (Zaleplon).
    • 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.
    • 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.)
    • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
    • Can cause headache, drowsiness, or dizziness.
    • All prescription sleep-aid medicines like Sonata (Zaleplon) have a risk of physical dependence. Dependence means that you'll feel withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the medication all at once. Talk to your doctor about natural ways to improve sleep or treat underlying conditions that prevent sleep.
    • Sonata (Zaleplon) increases your risk of performing potentially dangerous activities while asleep, such as sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating. Talk to your doctor immediately about stopping Sonata (Zaleplon) if any sleep-related activities occur.
    • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
    • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
    • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
    • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
    • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
    • People age 65 years and older have a higher risk of side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine). Watch for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. The drowsiness caused by Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can make you "unsteady" on your feet, leading to a higher chance of falls.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    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
    More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert