Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health

Sonata Alternatives

(zaleplon)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health
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Compare Sonata (zaleplon) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Sonata (zaleplon) or used for similar purposes.

Sonata
(zaleplon)

Ambien
(zolpidem)

Lunesta
(eszopiclone)

Valium
(diazepam)

Klonopin
(clonazepam)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

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.Helps you sleep. Ambien (zolpidem) aids in falling asleep and staying asleep, but it can be habit-forming and might be more likely than other sleep medicines to cause side effects.Helps you sleep. Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is good for falling asleep and staying asleep. Not as habit-forming as some sleep medicines, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Controls seizures and helps you relax. Klonopin (Clonazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and to treat seizures. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Helps you relax. Ativan (lorazepam) is an effective medicine for occasional or short-term anxiety. It's less likely to have drug interactions, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar 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 Ambien
67%
-25% worse vs. Sonata
50%
-27% worse vs. Sonata
16%
-11% worse vs. Sonata
1375 reviews
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lunesta
55%
-13% worse vs. Sonata
36%
-13% worse vs. Sonata
17%
-10% worse vs. Sonata
592 reviews
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium
70%
-28% worse vs. Sonata
53%
-30% worse vs. Sonata
15%
-12% worse vs. Sonata
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Klonopin
70%
-28% worse vs. Sonata
52%
-29% worse vs. Sonata
14%
-13% worse vs. Sonata
767 reviews
Have you used Klonopin (clonazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan
71%
-29% worse vs. Sonata
51%
-28% worse vs. Sonata
15%
-12% worse vs. Sonata
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
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
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Eye pain 2%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Menstrual cramps 1%
  • Amnesia 1%
More Sonata side effects »
  • Drowsiness 3%
  • Headache 1%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Allergic reactions 3%
  • Sinus infection 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Lack of energy 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Ambien side effects »
  • Headache 8%
  • Unpleasant taste 14%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Nervousness 2%
  • Low mood disorder 4%
More Lunesta side effects »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
  • Drowsiness 50%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 30%
  • Behavior problems 25%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 6%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Low mood disorder 6%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Vaginal inflammation 3%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 2%
More Klonopin side effects »
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Unisom »
How it works
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
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.Ambien (zolpidem) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 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.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.Ativan (lorazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects areas of the brain that help calm you down. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.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
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral spray
  • Sublingual pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
Risk factors for serious side effects
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • 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 »
  • Continuous use of Ambien (zolpidem) for 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medications that make you less alert
  • Less than 8 hours of sleep.
  • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
Detailed Ambien (zolpidem) 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
Detailed Lunesta (eszopiclone) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Klonopin (clonazepam) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with opioids
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
Detailed Ativan (lorazepam) 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.

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.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but 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
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • Interacts badly with many other medications.
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other drugs like it, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • It works best if taken without food and avoid taking it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • 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
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
  • 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.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • 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).
  • Ambien (zolpidem) makes you feel drowsy and sleepy, potentially leading to falls and severe injuries. This is especially a risk if you're older. Falls from sleep medicines like Ambien (zolpidem) have caused severe injuries such as hip fractures and head injury. You may need a lower dose if you're taking other medications that also cause drowsiness. Check with your doctor first.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone) make you feel drowsy and sleepy, leading to falls and severe injuries. This is especially a risk if your older. Falls from sleep medicines like Lunesta (Eszopiclone) have caused severe injuries such as hip fractures and head injury. You may need a lower dose if you're taking other medicine that affects your nervous system or have issues with falls in the past. Check with your doctor first.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and salivation.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
Upsides and benefits
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • 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.)
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Extended release form is particularly good for staying asleep, and you can use it for longer than the immediate release form.
  • Generic is available.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Not as habit-forming, so you can use it for longer than most other sleep medicines.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Can be used alone or with other medicines to treat seizures.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other drugs like it, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
  • 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
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • 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.
  • Not typically used for long-term treatment because it can be habit-forming.
  • Some people find that Ambien (zolpidem) becomes less effective over time.
  • More likely to cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
  • More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
  • It's easy to become reliant on sleep medicines. In the long run, it's better to learn good sleeping habits and behavior so that you can sleep better naturally.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Compared to other similar medicines, Ativan (lorazepam) is more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then suddenly stop.
  • Most people find that Ativan (lorazepam) gets less effective over time.
  • 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
SonataAmbienLunestaValiumKlonopinAtivanUnisom
  • 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.
  • Take 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 8 hours.
  • Can be addictive. Meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can form after daily use for 2 weeks.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when taking Ambien (zolpidem).
  • Withdrawal symptoms can occur if you abruptly stop the drug and you've been regularly using it. The symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 nights.
  • Report any confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
  • Take 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Very addictive. Meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can form after daily use for 2 weeks.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Can cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
  • Works best if taken without food.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Withdrawal symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 nights.
  • Report any confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and salivation.
  • Report any confusion or inability to control muscle movements to your doctor.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Take only as much as your doctor prescribes. Taking more than directed or taking this for a long time can cause you to become dependent on it.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Use caution or avoid use in older adults.
  • 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 AmbienSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Ambien (zolpidem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LunestaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about KlonopinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Klonopin (clonazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it