Compare Sonata vs. doxepin

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


Sonata (zaleplon)

Prescription only


Prescription only
Helps you fall sleep.

Sonata (zaleplon) aids in falling asleep, but it's not as good with helping you stay asleep or with waking up in the middle of the night.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 175 reviewsforSonata
Treats depression and anxiety.

doxepin can treat depression and anxiety, but it's not a first choice medication because of its many side effects.

  • Effectively helps people fall asleep faster.
  • Doesn't last as long in the body like some other sleep medicines, so it may cause less side effects the next morning.
  • Generic is available, so it's affordable.
  • doxepin has been consistently shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • doxepin has been used to treat depression for over forty years.
  • Not typically used for long-term treatment because it can be habit-forming and hasn't been shown to be effective for chronic insomnia.
  • Doesn't last as long in the body as other sleep medicines, so it's not as good at helping you stay asleep.
  • Not recommended if you can't sleep at least 7-8 hours a night.
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
  • doxepin can make you very sleepy. Try taking it at bedtime if you need to be alert during the day.
  • You shouldn't drink alcohol with doxepin. It can worsen side effects like drowsiness.
  • You have to take it daily, especially if you are feeling better, for the medicine to do its job.
  • It can have more side effects than other antidepressants, like weight gain and increased appetite, decreased libido, and sleepiness.
  • It's not unusual for people to try different antidepressants until they find one that works for them.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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175 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
18possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lack of energy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sleepiness
  • Memory problems
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Burning/prickling sensation
  • Eye pain
  • Malaise
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Decreased touch sensations
  • Tremor
  • Abnormal vision
  • Increased sensitivity to sound
  • Smell disorder
See more detailed side effects
The doxepin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • Continuous use of Sonata (zaleplon) for 2 weeks or more
  • Hangover feeling the next day
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medications that make you less alert
    • Less than 7 hours of sleep
  • CNS depressants and abnormal thoughts
    • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
  • Performing activities while asleep
    • Taking Sonata (zaleplon) with alcohol or drugs that cause drowsiness
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breastfeeding
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or under
  • Unmasking of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Adults over 65
    • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Sleepiness
    • Adults 65 years or older
    • Taking other medicines that cause drowsiness (antihistamines, sleep medications, narcotic pain medications)
    • Alcohol
  • Dizziness and falls
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings