Sonata is a type of prescription sleep aid approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999. This sleep aid was designed to help patients who are restless or experience other insomnia symptoms. If a patient takes Sonata and sleeps less than four hours, the risk of adverse effects like memory loss, dizziness, or drowsiness increases. These effects have led to patients being unaware of what they’re doing or saying, often ending in injuries or death.

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What Is Sonata?

Sonata is another name for the sleeping pill Zaleplon, which is similar to other popular prescription sleeping pills like Lunesta and Ambien. These drugs are typically taken orally as a capsule or a tablet and are prescribed to help patients sleep better and longer. 

How Does Sonata Work?

Sonata activates the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which slows down mental processes. This then blocks feelings of anxiety and stress, leading patients to enjoy a healthy night full of sleep. 

What Is a Sedative?

Sedatives are a broad class of prescription medications that can slow the brain’s activity. They are used to treat anxiety and insomnia as well as being used as anesthesia. These drugs are also known to have addictive potential, so they should be prescribed and taken with caution.

What Is a Non-Benzodiazepine Sedative?

Non-benzodiazepine sedative drugs are a newer class of sedative drugs which includes Ambien, Imovane, Lunesta, and Sonata. They’re often called “Z-drugs” and are similar to previous sedative drugs (benzodiazepine) in their benefits, side effects, and potential risks. The main thing that distinguishes non-benzodiazepine and benzodiazepine drugs is their chemical structure.

Z-drugs are typically prescribed for short-term treatment of insomnia and should only be taken for 2-6 weeks. If insomnia in the patient continues, they should consult their doctor for other treatment options instead of continuing the use of the non-benzodiazepine drugs. 

What Is Sonata Used To Treat?

Sonata is used to treat sleep disorders, especially insomnia. It was designed to be a sedative/hypnotic, so it helps patients fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder that causes the patient to experience trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep. Short-term insomnia can be caused by stressful changes in routine or drastic life changes. To diagnose insomnia, you may have to keep a sleep diary to track how you sleep and how much you sleep for a period of time. 

There are two different kinds of insomnia: short-term and chronic. The difference between the two is based on how long the insomnia lasts.

What Is the Difference Between Short-Term and Chronic Insomnia?

Short-term insomnia can last a couple of days or weeks and will often go away on its own. However, chronic insomnia lasts longer than 3 months. 

How Is Insomnia Treated?

Some ways doctors may treat chronic insomnia is through lifestyle habit changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and some medications to help manage the symptoms of insomnia.  

What Causes Insomnia?

It’s not always clear what can cause insomnia, but there are a lot of factors that can have an impact, such as: 

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Poor sleeping environment
    • Uncomfortable bed
    • Too much light
    • Too much noise
    • Too hot
    • Too cold
    • Etc.
  • Lifestyle factors
    • Jet lag
    • Drinking alcohol before bed
    • Drinking caffeine before bed
    • Bright screens with blue lights too close to bedtime
    • Working late or early shifts
    • Changing work shifts
    • Eating a large meal close to bedtime
  • Mental health conditions
  • Physical health conditions
  • Certain medications

What Are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

If insomnia begins to affect your everyday functions, it’s important to talk to your doctor about possible treatment options. Insomnia symptoms may include: 

  • Trouble falling asleep at night
  • Waking up too early
  • Waking up throughout the night
  • Not feeling rested after sleeping
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Increased errors
  • Increased accidents
  • Ongoing sleep anxiety

What Are the Risk Factors of Insomnia?

Some factors that can increase the risk of developing insomnia include: 

  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Stress
  • Age 
  • Menopause
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Sleep apnea

What Are the Risks Associated With Sonata Usage?

Sonata is a highly addictive sleeping pill and using Sonata frequently places patients at the risk of: 

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Severe facial swelling
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep driving
  • Hallucinations
  • Development of certain cancers

What Are the Common Side Effects of Taking Sonata?

Some of the common side effects of Sonata include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint of muscle pain

What Are the Adverse Side Effects of Taking Sonata?

More serious side effects that patients should watch out for and contact their doctor about include: 

  • Mood changes
  • Unusual behavior
  • Serious vision changes
  • Serious, irregular heart symptoms
  • Severe headaches

What Cancers Are Associated With Sonata?

Consumer studies have shown that Sonata has been linked to the development of certain cancers such as:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lymphoma

What Is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland that creates sperm. This is one of the more common types of cancer and, in some cases, it may grow slowly and require little to no treatment. In other cases, prostate cancer is fast and aggressive and requires prompt treatment. Regardless of the severity, prostate cancer is best treated in its earliest stages when it’s located only in the prostate.

What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

The symptoms of prostate cancer can include:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Decreased urine stream
  • Bloody urine
  • Bloody semen
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death from cancer across the world. Smokers are at greater risk of developing lung cancer, but it’s possible for anyone to get it.

What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

The symptoms of lung cancer can include the following:

  • Chronic cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Hoarseness
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath

What Is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer begins in the colon, which is a part of the large intestine. The colon actually makes up the longest part of the large intestine and is instrumental in the digestive process. Colon cancer can occur in anyone but is more common in older adults. This type of cancer typically begins as benign polyps in the colon, which may or may not develop into colon cancer over time.

What Are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

The symptoms of colon cancer can include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling like the bowel hasn’t completely emptied

What Is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is the name of a group of cancers that affect the lymphatic system, which is involved in helping the body fight off germs. The two most common types of lymphoma are Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What Are the Symptoms of Lymphoma?

The symptoms of lymphoma may vary depending on the type and severity of the cancer, but can include:

  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itchiness
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lymph nodes swelling in the
    • Groin
    • Armits
    • Neck

What Are Signs of Sonata Addiction?

Sleeping pills, especially prescription drugs, can be very addictive if taken for long periods of time. It’s important for patients to only take prescription drugs for the recommended time period and to not take drugs without consulting a doctor first. Some signs of Sonata addiction can include:

  • Inability to function without Sonata
  • Taking large dosages of Sonata
  • Inability to quit Sonata usage
  • Engaging in unsafe behaviors while using Sonata
  • Increased Sonata tolerance
  • Isolation from family and friends

How Is Sonata Addiction Treated?

Long-term addiction treatment can help addicted individuals overcome their addiction to Sonata and any other drug. There should be a detox period, where the individual stops taking the drug(s). During this time, they may experience certain symptoms such as: 

  • Insomnia
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety attacks

Once the detox period is over, to ensure that relapse does not occur, many addicts will enroll in inpatient or outpatient Sonata rehabilitation programs. This usually includes individual and group counseling, education on Sonata abuse, and relapse prevention. There are programs that are 30-day or 90-day, but patients can enroll multiple times if need be. 

What Are the FDA’s Warnings About Sonata?

In April 2019, the FDA began to require that sleeping pills such as Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata include a strong warning about serious incidents that may occur with the usage of these drugs. The required warning is called a Boxed Warning. It warns about complex sleep behaviors such as sleepwalking, sleep driving, and other activities while not being awake such as operating other machinery or participating in unsafe sex. 

The FDA also warns patients and doctors alike to pay attention to adverse effects and stop prescribing/taking these medications if any effects are exhibited.

Is Sonata Still on the Market?

Sonata is available in the United States and is still approved by the FDA. The additional warnings given by the FDA aim to help prevent further injuries. 

Why Are There Sonata Lawsuits?

There are many patients who have experienced injuries from taking Sonata excessively. Additionally, many patients and doctors are claiming that the manufacturers of Sonata and other sleeping pills inadequately warned of the side effects associated with taking these drugs. 

Why Have Plaintiffs Filed Sonata Lawsuits?

Most lawsuits associated with Sonata were for dementia patients who were taking these to help with their sleeping patterns. These patients have experienced excessive drowsiness, sleepwalking, and memory loss. Once they become aware, it has been recorded that many of these dementia patients experienced hip injuries or other injuries in their sleepwalking state. 

Are There Sonata Lawsuit Settlements?

There are numerous lawsuits associated with the opioid epidemic, but there have been no recorded lawsuit settlements for Sonata specifically. 

Are There Any Active Sonata Lawsuits?

As of October 2023, there are no active Sonata lawsuits or plans for a class action lawsuit.

Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA. 


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