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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Zaleplon (Oral)

Zaleplon (By Mouth)

Zaleplon (ZAL-e-plon)

Treats insomnia (having trouble falling asleep).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have severe liver disease.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Use this medicine exactly as your doctor ordered. You should not use more of this medicine or use it more often than your doctor prescribed. This is especially important for older adults.
  • Take this medicine just before going to bed or when you will have time to sleep for at least 4 hours.
  • You should not use this medicine with a high-fat or heavy meal.
  • Zaleplon should be used for no more than 10 days unless otherwise ordered by your doctor.
  • If you have used this medicine every night for more than 1 week, do not suddenly stop using it without first checking with your doctor.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you do not remember until the next morning that you missed a dose of zaleplon the night before, skip the missed dose. Wait until that night to use your medicine.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using any other medicines that can make you drowsy such as sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, tranquilizers, medicine for depression or other mood disorders, and strong pain killers.
  • Before using zaleplon, check with your doctor if you are also using rifampin (Rifadin®) or cimetidine (Tagamet®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Check with your doctor before using zaleplon if you have mild liver disease, any breathing problems, or a history of depression, alcoholism, or drug abuse.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Zaleplon also may cause temporary changes in your behavior, such as aggression, agitation, confusion, or strange behavior. Contact your doctor if you notice any of these signs while using this medicine.
  • After you have taken a dose of this medicine, do not drive, use heavy machinery, or do anything else that requires you to be alert.
  • Sometimes these effects may last through the next day. Make sure you know how the medicine will affect you before you do any tasks that require you to be alert.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Changes in behavior or thinking
  • Depressed mood or thoughts of suicide
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of memory for the first few hours after using the medicine
  • Trouble with coordination
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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