Medical Advice

Sleeping Pills for Insomnia: Ambien VS Sonata 

Ambien VS Sonata

One of the most common disorders that is faced by Americans is insomnia, which is a sleeping disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep. Fortunately, there are medications available to treat this disorder namely, Ambien and Sonata. Though both sleeping pills cure insomnia, they may differ in some cases This blog helps you to understand Ambien vs Sonata, how they differ from each other, and which is the better between both drugs.

These medicines are categorized as non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs and are approved in the United States. Ambien and Sonata are called the ‘Z’ drugs. These drugs act similar to benzodiazepines.

Below, you will find the comparison of dosages, uses, and side effects of Ambien and Sonata medications.

What is Ambien?

Ambien is a relaxant, also known as hypnotic. This medication helps to treat insomnia in people. Ambien (Zolpidem) affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with insomnia. Zolpidem is a generic variant, and this medication is used to treat insomnia.

Ambien helps to increase the time, which is required to fall asleep, by decreasing the number of unintentional awakenings.

This medication is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat insomnia. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classified Ambien as a Controlled Substance of Schedule IV. The prescribed dose may differ in males and females.

What is Sonata?

Sonata, like Ambien, can be used to treat the disorder of sleeplessness/insomnia. It is a sedative, also called hypnotic. This drug affects the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in individuals with sleeping problems. It comprises Zaleplon, a generic variant, and it belongs to the hypnotic class of drugs, but it is not related to benzodiazepines. It is for short-term use only and will make you fall asleep.

Sonata is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat sleep disorders, and people who are over 18 years of age are allowed to use this medicine. This medication is a controlled substance of Schedule IV.

Comparison: Ambien vs Sonata


Dosage of Ambien Medication:

This drug is available in the form of an immediate-release (IR) oral tablet. Its dosages are as follows:-

  • An Ambien 5 mg oral tablet is available having the shape of a capsule. The tablet is imprinted with AMB 5 and 5401 on the other side of the medicine.
  • The Ambien 10 mg tablet is also available in capsule-shaped form. The tablet is imprinted with AMB 10 on one side and 5421 on the other side.

The 5 mg dosage is advised for the geriatric and hepatic impaired patients and should be taken before bedtime, while the 10 mg dosage of the drug is recommended for adults only, and taken before going to bed.

Dosage of Sonata Medication

Sonata drug is available in the form of oral capsules with dosage strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg.

Adults are advised to start with 10 mg, and 20 mg is the maximum dose that is recommended by the doctors. Whereas, geriatric individuals can take 5 mg and 10 mg is the maximum dose for people. It is recommended to take this medication before going to bed.

Uses: Ambien vs Sonata

Both drugs are approved by the FDA for treating the problem of insomnia. These medications help to improve sleep latency. Ambien and Sonata have quite an effective result that works rapidly. An insomnia patient can take Sonata at bedtime to fall asleep but, Ambien can be taken at bedtime to fall asleep and stay asleep.

How long does Ambien & Sonata last in the body?

Ambien lasts for a longer time than Sonata after taking them. Sonata quickly works in an individual but, it quickly leaves the body too. So, patients can take it when they are having trouble falling asleep. But a person should take Ambien before bedtime only or if he/she plans to sleep for at least 8 hours.

Side Effects of Ambien and Sonata Medications:

There are some common and serious side effects of the two drugs, which may vary from person to person, including-

Common Side Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Watery stool (diarrhea)
  • Headache
  • Light-headed feeling
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nose or throat irritation
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness in the body
  • Prickly feeling on the skin
  • Coordination problems
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Feeling drugged

Serious Side Effects

  • Mood swing
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Behavioral changes
  • Serious recklessness
  • Hallucination
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-harming thoughts
  • Loss of memory (dementia)
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Confusion
  • Breathing problem
  • Depression

Common Precautions of Ambien & Sonata:

  • You should inform your healthcare expert about your medical history before starting the treatment(s).
  • Always avoid the consumption of alcohol while taking these medications because these may make a person feel more dizzy and drowsy.
  • It is not advised to take this medicine immediately after or with food, but you can take these medications before going to sleep.
  • You should not break or chew the tablet, the whole tablet should be swallowed.
  • These medications may cause some withdrawal symptoms, so it is advised to not abruptly stop taking these drugs.
  • You should not breastfeed while taking these medications because it can lead to drug dependency.
  • These medications are approved for adults, but not for children.
  • Due to drug interactions, these medications should not be simultaneously taken with other drugs.
  • If some of the side effects get worse, then you should consult your doctor immediately.


There are a variety of sleeping drugs available in the market, but your healthcare expert will prescribe you the ones that will be curated for your needs. Misuse of these drugs can cause death, addiction, or overdose in people because these medications are habit-forming. Try to make sure that you are taking such drugs in compliance with your doctor’s prescription.

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