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Sonata Withdrawal

Sonata (zaleplon) is a sedative-hypnotic drug used primarily as a short-term sleep aid for those who have difficulty falling asleep. It’s a widely known “Z-drug,” along with Ambien and Lunesta, helping people enjoy a peaceful sleep. It works by interacting with the GABA receptors in the brain, slowing down the brain’s mental processes.

Taking Sonata as prescribed by a physician doesn’t typically result in an addiction. It’s more likely that Sonata addiction occurs when someone abuses the drug by taking more than prescribed to feel euphoric. In the case of addiction to Sonata, getting professional treatment may be necessary to contend with the withdrawal symptoms and break the addiction.


Stopping the use of Sonata can result in uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

It is important to seek medical help when coming off Sonata, preferably at an inpatient rehab center where around-the-clock monitoring by substance abuse professionals can occur.

Common Sonata withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Cravings
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakness
  • Shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

On the severe end of withdrawal symptoms, the following can occur:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions


The timeline for Sonata withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person based on various factors. One person may experience intense withdrawal symptoms, while another may not.  The timeline will depend on factors such as:

  • The dose of the drug
  • The frequency
  • Length of time on Sonata
  • General health condition
  • The supportive nature of the individual’s environment
  • Level of tolerance
  • Use of other drugs or alcohol
  • Dietary habits
  • Mental health

Keep in mind that withdrawal symptoms will be worse for people who abuse Sonata. For those who are taking the medicine as prescribed for sleep, there may or may not be withdrawal symptoms experienced when coming off the drug.

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The following is a general Sonata withdrawal symptoms timeline:


Sonata has a short half-life, meaning that it acts fast, but this tends to lead to feeling withdrawal effects sooner than the longer-acting sedatives. As early as four hours after the last dose, one may feel a bit shaky, and experience increased sweating.

1-2 DAYS

Typically, the initial withdrawal symptoms will be felt during the first one or two days. These include nausea, restlessness, insomnia, agitation, and mood swings.


After one week, most of the withdrawal symptoms will have decreased or ceased. However, some lingering symptoms can occur, such as anxiety, depression, and an upset stomach.


Most people are out of the woods after a few weeks. Those who were severe abusers of the drug may still have to contend with some lingering symptoms like depression or anxiety. Having continued support during this timeframe is valuable.


When someone becomes dependent on Sonata, the brain is used to having that drug. It develops a tolerance, which means it’s used to it and will actively desire the same dosage and frequency. When someone wants to stop taking Sonata, it is dangerous to quit cold turkey.

Medical experts state that stopping Sonata abruptly can result in severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures, convulsions, and hallucination. This is why it is recommended to seek help by trained professionals at an inpatient treatment center who can create a taper schedule and monitor withdrawal symptoms.


Detoxing from Sonata is the first step in treatment for Sonata addiction. The next step is to seek continued recovery help either at an inpatient or outpatient treatment center. By doing so, this allows for an easy transition from detox to long-term treatment for the addiction. Research shows that long-term addiction recovery treatment increases the chances significantly for establishing a sober and stable life.

Inpatient treatment allows an individual to live at the treatment center for some time while receiving treatment. This is a great choice for chronic relapses or heavy users. It’s common to reside at the center for 30 days, but some opt to stay 60 or 90 days depending on the level of care they need or desire. Around-the-clock care is provided, which can be quite beneficial for recovery.

Outpatient treatment is helpful for those who cannot move away from home to attend treatment. Rather, individuals can attend a certain number of treatment sessions at the outpatient facility for recovery. As the person becomes stronger in their recovery, the number of weekly sessions can decrease.

At both inpatient and outpatient facilities, there are various therapeutic modalities and strategies offered to help patients recover, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Classes about addiction recovery
  • Support groups
  • Therapy for dual diagnosis
  • Holistic classes (yoga, meditation, etc.)
  • Creation of a relapse prevention plan

Choosing inpatient or outpatient therapy will depend on various factors, such as the level of addiction, whether other drugs being abused, too, ability to leave home temporarily, and the level of care desired.


Many individuals fall prey to a sleeping pill addiction, but know that there is a way out. You don’t have to struggle with getting through Sonata withdrawal symptoms or recovery alone. Seeking help from a treatment facility can help you with overcoming the addiction and help you with alternative sleep aids if insomnia continues to be a problem.


Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. Zaleplon. Retrieved from

RxList. (2019, September 3) Sonata. Retrieved from

MedTV. (2017, January 5) Sonata Withdrawal. Monson, K. PharmD. Retrieved from

NIDA. (2020, June 25). The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics. What is the difference between physical dependence, tolerance, and addiction? Retrieved from (2019, April 21) Sonata. Important Information. Entringer, S. PharmD., Retrieved from

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