a sedative hypnotic drug of the pyrazolopyrimidine class, mainly used to treat insomnia, rare among such drugs in having been found not to cause an increase in road traffic accidents.
zaleplon use for insomnia getting to sleep is o.k. waking up at 3:00 a.m. and remaining awake till 6 or 7 a.m. is the issue. i usually take the zaleplon after being awake for 30 min. and will only take the medication when i have had 1 or 2 nights of insomnia already that week, or if i have an a.m. app't or class to attend. occasionally 10 mg is needed instead of the usual 5 mg. avoidance of activity in the evening and winding down early with relaxation techniques before bed is helpfull. everydayhealth.com
rifampin reduces the amount of zaleplon in the blood by more than 80%. this could lead to a decrease in zaleplon's activity. cimetidine (tagamet) can increase the amount of zaleplon in the blood by 85% by reducing the breakdown of zaleplon in the liver. if cimetidine must be used, lower doses of zaleplon are suggested. ketoconazole (nizoral, extina, xolegel, kuric), erythromycin and similar drugs that reduce breakdown of drugs in the liver also increase blood concentrations of zaleplon. the drowsiness that can occur with zaleplon is accentuated by alcohol, and, therefore, patients taking zaleplon should not drink alcoholic beverages. imipramine (tofranil, tofranil-pm) and thioridazine also increase drowsiness when combined with zaleplon. medicinenet.com
zaleplon should only be taken at bedtime. if you did not take zaleplon before you went to bed and you are unable to fall asleep, you may take zaleplon if you will be able to stay in bed for at least 8 hours afterward. do not take a double dose of zaleplon to make up for a missed dose. medlineplus.gov
"as a result, we are requiring a boxed warning, our most prominent warning, to be added to the prescribing information and the patient medication guides for these medicines," the fda said. "we are also requiring a contraindication, our strongest warning, to avoid use in patients who have previously experienced an episode of complex sleep behavior with eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem." medpagetoday.com
other useful sleep aids are not benzodiazepines but affect the same areas of the brain as benzodiazepines. these drugs (eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem) are shorter acting than most benzodiazepines and are less likely to lead to daytime drowsiness. older people appear to tolerate these drugs well. zolpidem also comes in a longer-acting (extended-release, or er) form and a very short acting (low-dose) form. merckmanuals.com