Medical Advice

Sonata vs Ambien Sleeping Pills For Insomnia

Sonata vs Ambien

In today’s time, people are suffering from various sleep-related problems in their lives. It can be caused due to various reasons such as stress, depression, anxiety, etc. To cure this health condition, medicinal scientists discover various medicines day by day. Doctors prescribe Sonata and Ambien to manage the symptoms of sleeping problems. So, today let’s understand the Sonata vs Ambien comparison that will help an individual to get rid of various sleeping problems.

Both Sonata and Ambien are suggested for those people who have sleep problems and are not used for long-term treatment. However, Sonata has less potential than Ambien. Also, Sonata may have fewer drug interactions as compared to Ambien.

Here, we will discuss a few differences between Sonata and Ambien medicines. Also, the drugs can be differentiated on the basis of their general outlook, use, dosages, drug interactions, and side effects.

Key Differences: Sonata vs Ambien Drugs

Let us highlight the main differences between Sonata and Ambien drugs. The key differences of the medications are as follows:

1) Overview


The generic name of Sonata is Zalepon, which is sold under its brand name. It is a sedative medication and is generally known as “Hyptonic”. As we mentioned above, Sonata is a Z drug (nonbenzodiazepine), and it belongs to the Pyrazolopyrimidine drug class.

In addition, Sonata is also the brand name of this medicine. After taking this, it affects the brain chemicals in patients.

People who experience insomnia problems can have difficulty in getting good quality sleep, staying asleep, and falling asleep. Then, they can use this medication for a short duration. It helps them to sleep better and feel relaxed.


This prescription drug is categorized under Schedule IV of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).

This drug has two brand names, Ambien and Ambien CR. These prescription medications are also commonly used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping) in individuals.

Zolpidem is the generic name of Ambien drug. It belongs to three drug classes, which include Anxiolytics, Sedatives, and Hypnotics.

In addition, this medication also belongs to another drug class, known as Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants. This drug class may slow down the nervous system and the brain chemicals can react in such a way that it provides a soothing effect. It helps treat people who have trouble falling asleep.

2) Use: Sonata vs Ambien


The main use of this drug is to treat insomnia. This drug is helpful for those people, who fall asleep quickly. It is a sleep aid medication that helps individuals with anxiety and stress.

Other than Sonata, Triazolam (Halcion), Estazolam (Prosom), Alprazolam (Xanax), Temazepam (Restoril), Lorazepam (Ativan), Diazepam (Diastat, Valium), and Clonazepam (Klonopin) is also used for treating short-term insomnia in people.


Ambien belongs to both sedative and hypnotic drug classes, so it is normally used to treat the problem of acute insomnia. It is a prescription sleep drug used for short-term treatment in adults, who have difficulty falling asleep.

In addition, this medication is also prescribed for anxiety-related insomnia and other sleeping problems. If this drug is taken for a short period of time, then it is considered one of the safest medicines.

It is not recommended for small children and older people, because it carries a high risk of dementia. This drug is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) for long-term treatment.

3) Dose and Dosage Strength


This drug comes in a capsule form with various dosage strengths for adults such as

Doctors don’t prescribe to take more than 20 mg. Children cannot take the dosage of Sonata.


Ambien is available in the form of oral tablets. Additionally, this drug is classified into two forms Immediate-Release Tablet Form (IR) and Extended-Release Tablet Form (ER).

The immediate-release tablet is helpful for individuals to fall asleep, before going to bed.

The extended-release tablet, particularly, Ambien CR, includes both the first and second layers. The first layer dissolves so quickly that it helps the people to fall asleep. Also, the second layer dissolves so slowly that it helps them to stay asleep.

The dosage forms or strengths of Ambien drug for adults are listed below:

a) Ambien Immediate-Release Tablets

b) Ambien CR Extended-Release Tablets

  • Ambien 6.25 mg
  • Ambien 12.5 mg

However, it is not recommended for pediatric ones. The geriatric ones cannot take 10 mg per day, which is the maximum dose and they can only take 5 mg which is the starting dose.

4) Medication Interactions: Sonata vs Ambien


This medication may interact with other drugs that can cause side effects in individuals. It includes

  • Thioridazine
  • Cimetidine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Rifampin
  • Promethazine etc,

Also, it interacts with-

  • Antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Seizure drugs
  • Anti-anxiety drugs

Always before taking this drug patient should consult with a doctor to avoid side effects.


Ambien may interact with some medications such as –

  • Rifampin
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Azole antifungals (ketoconazole)
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana (cannabis),
  • Anxiety Medicines (alprazolam, lorazepam, zopiclone),
  • Opioid pain or cough relievers (codeine, hydrocodone),
  • Muscle relaxants ( carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine),
  • Antihistamines ( cetirizine, diphenhydramine) etc.

If a person is experiencing a problem with breathing like sleep apnea, he or she should tell the doctor before consuming the Ambien drug.

In a few cases, this drug may increase the risk of shallow breathing which is very harmful for pediatric people.

5) Side Effects of Sonata and Ambien Drug:


Sonata can cause side effects in individuals, if not taken as prescribed by the doctor.

Common side effects

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Problem of coordination (First 2 hours when taking the drug)
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Depression
  • Feeling nervous
  • Vision problem
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth,
  • Abdominal pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Menstrual pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rash


Similarly Sonata, Ambien can also cause both common and serious side effects in patients, if left untreated.

Common side effects

  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Nasal irritation
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle pain
  • Ataxia (balance problems)
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Euphoria
  • Confusion
  • Visual changes

Serious side effects

  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal thoughts
  • Mental disorders
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Memory loss

Some Safety Measures and Precautions that Should Follow When Consuming Sonata or Ambien Drugs:

There are some mentioned below safety measures that patients should practice and follow when taking the drugs to avoid the risk of side effects. These are as follows:

  • During pregnancy, women cannot take these drugs without any doctor’s advice.
  • Patients should take Sonata or Ambien only, when they have 7 to 8 hours of adequate sleep.
    Ambien drugs should not be taken urgently after eating food.
  • Patients should take only one tablet of Ambien orally as suggested by the doctor, before going to bed.
  • Avoid consuming other antidepressant medications along with Sonata or Ambien drugs, until and unless directed by the healthcare expert.
  • Keep the medications away from both children and pets.
  • Avoid alcohol while taking these medications because it may cause excessive drowsiness and other severe side effects.
  • Accordingly, patients have to follow the doctor’s recommendations.
  • If patients want to stop taking either Sonata or Ambien, then recommend to the doctor they slowly decrease the dose only


Sonata and Ambien are commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. If a patient is taking these drugs, he/she should follow the prescribed dosages, to avoid any high risk of side effects.

As these medications should only be used for a short-term treatment of insomnia, therefore patients should avoid prolonged use. Hence,
they should seek medical attention from a doctor or a healthcare expert, if experiencing any withdrawal symptoms of the drugs.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *