Lunesta vs. Sonata

Reviewed on 1/19/2021

Are Lunesta and Sonata the Same Thing?

Lunesta (eszopiclone) and Sonata (zaleplon) are sedative hypnotics used to treat insomnia.

Side effects of Lunesta and Sonata that are similar include daytime drowsiness, dizziness, "hangover" feeling, problems with memory or concentration, anxiety, depression, nervous feeling, headache, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation, dry mouth, or mild skin rash.

Side effects of Lunesta that are different from Sonata include unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.

Side effects of Sonata that are different from Lunesta include short-term memory loss, lack of coordination (especially during the first 2 hours after you take the medication), numbness or tingling, problems with vision, increased menstrual pain (cramps), back pain, or joint or muscle pain.

Both Lunesta and Sonata may interact with alcohol and other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (sleeping pills, narcotics, prescription cough medicines, muscle relaxers, or medicines for anxiety, depression, or seizures).

Sonata may also interact with cimetidine, cyclosporine, rifampin, or antibiotics.

Do not stop using Lunesta or Sonata suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.


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What Are Possible Side Effects of Lunesta?

Common side effects of Lunesta include:

  • dizziness,
  • tiredness,
  • daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping),
  • loss of coordination,
  • headache,
  • depression,
  • memory problems,
  • numbness or tingly feeling,
  • nervousness,
  • excitability,
  • irritability,
  • changes in menstrual periods,
  • itching,
  • increased or decreased interest in sex, or
  • blurred vision.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Lunesta including:

  • memory loss, or
  • mental/mood/behavior changes (such as new or worsening depression, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, or anxiety).

Rarely, after taking Lunesta, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake ("sleep-driving"). People have also sleepwalked, prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often, these people do not remember these events. This problem can be dangerous to you or to others. If you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking Lunesta, tell your doctor right away.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Sonata?

Common side effects of Sonata include:

  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • short-term memory loss,
  • problems with memory or concentration,
  • lack of coordination (especially during the first 2 hours after you take the medication),
  • "hangover" feeling,
  • numbness or tingling,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • nervous feeling,
  • problems with vision,
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • stomach pain,
  • loss of appetite,
  • constipation,
  • dry mouth,
  • increased menstrual pain (cramps),
  • back pain,
  • joint or muscle pain, or
  • mild skin rash.

Taking Sonata properly just before falling asleep will reduce your risk of these effects. Some people using Sonata have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking Sonata and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder. Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Sonata including:

  • mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, seeing or hearing things that are not there, rare thoughts of suicide), or
  • unusual behavior.

What Is Lunesta?

Lunesta (eszopiclone) is a sedative hypnotic used to treat insomnia.

What Is Sonata?

Sonata (zaleplon) is a non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotic drug used to treat insomnia.

What Drugs Interact With Lunesta?

Lunesta may interact with alcohol, other medicines that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as cold medicines, pain medications, muscle relaxants, and medicines for depression, anxiety, or seizures), ketoconazole, rifampin, or antidepressants.

What Drugs Interact With Sonata?

The dose of Sonata should be individualized. The recommended dose for most adults is 10 mg. For some patients, 5 mg may be a sufficient dose.

Sonata should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Sonata may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Sonata. Do not stop taking Sonata suddenly without first talking to your doctor.

How Should Lunesta Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Lunesta is 1 mg, taken with a full glass of water. Avoid taking Lunesta within 1 hour after eating a high-fat or heavy meal, because this will make it harder for your body to absorb the medication.


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How Should Sonata Be Taken?

The dose of Sonata should be individualized. The recommended dose for most adults is 10 mg. For some patients, 5 mg may be a sufficient dose.


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Sunovion. Lunesta Product Information.
FDA. Sonata Product Information.

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