Also Known As: Sonata, Zaleplon, Starnoc

Zaleplon (marketed under the brand names Sonata and Starnoc) is a sedative/hypnotic, mainly used for insomnia. It is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic from the pyrazolopyrimidine class. In terms of adverse effects zaleplon appears to offer little improvement compared to both benzodiazepines and other non-benzodiazepine Z-drugs.

Sonata (US) is manufactured by King Pharm. of Bristol, TN; Starnoc has been discontinued in Canada. It's usually prescribed privately (rarely) in the United Kingdom; with Zopiclone being the preferred Z-Drug by the NHS.


Zaleplon and Zolpidem both are agonists at the GABA A ɣ 1 subunit. It is also available as a white capsule tablet with no identifying markings. It is also prescribed for anxiety.

Clinical uses

Zaleplon is effective in the treatment of insomnia where difficulty in falling asleep is the primary complaint. Zaleplon, unlike many other hypnotic drugs, does not interfere with sleep architecture and can be administered for up to long term without the risk of dependence or addiction upon discontinuation.[4]

Zaleplon is also effective in the treatment of middle of the night insomnia without causing residual hangover effects.[5][6]

Zaleplon has advantages over benzodiazepines in that it does not disrupt sleep architecture unlike benzodiazepines which whilst inducing sleep actually worsen the quality of it.[7]

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