Prescription-Based Sleeping Pills (other than Ambien)

Ambien, the medicine owned by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis is considered to be the most popular prescription-based sleeping pill available in the market and other than Ambien; there are also certain other sleeping pills available on prescription  that are especially popular for their effectiveness in treating insomnia. These sleeping pills are mentioned below:

1. Ambien CR
2. Lunesta
3. Sonata1.

Ambien CR
Ambien CR is the product of Sanofi-Aventis, the pharmaceutical company that is also the manufacturer of Ambien® and further details associated with Ambien CR make it evident that it is a medicine approved by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) for treating insomnia.

However, the striking details associated with Ambien CR also point out that it is a two-layered medication and the first layer of this drug is absorbed gradually to help a person fall asleep while the second layer is released quickly and gradually in the body to assist a person in staying asleep.

Ambien CR relieves people from the grip of insomnia quite effectively and this medicine has been made available in the US from October 2005 onwards for treating insomnia in men and women. Altogether, pertaining to Ambien CR, it is noteworthy that it has been approved by the FDA for curing insomnia in people for a comparatively long period of time if the physician recommends long term usage of the drug.


Lunesta® is a prescription-based medicine for treating sleeplessness and it has been approved for helping people to fall asleep as well as to keep them stay asleep. Specific details pertaining to Lunesta are mentioned below:

  • Lunesta® is a product of Sepracor Inc. Lunesta is a hypnotic as well as a sedative and it induces sleep by yielding effects on certain chemicals present in the brain that reach an unbalanced state and lead to insomnia or sleep problems.
  • Lunesta can be taken for short term as well as long term treatment of insomnia. Generally, people who face sleep problems occasionally take Lunesta for a short term period only but others with chronic sleep difficulties can use Lunesta for long term treatment of insomnia.
  • Lunesta may occasionally facilitate certain side-effects such as hallucination, agitation, aggression, behavioral changes, headache, anxiety, depression, feeling of nervousness et al and when these as well as various other Lunesta side-effects show off, you should visit the doctor immediately.
  • However, to yield maximum benefits from Lunesta and to avoid unnecessary harm from the medicine, it is to be administered in the precise manner in which it is prescribed to be taken by the physician. Lunesta is meant to be taken along with a glass of water.
  • Lunesta is never to be administered if you are not having at least 8 hours for sleeping. Altogether, Lunesta is never to be overdosed and you should never take an extra dosage to make up for the missed Lunesta dosage.
  • It is important to note that Lunesta may have drug interactions if you are taking it along with certain other medicines. Therefore, before opting for Lunesta, it is essential to inform the doctor if you are taking ketoconazole (Nizoral), medicines for treating seizures, antidepressants, rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane), anti-anxiety drugs, medicines treating narcotic pain et al.

3. Sonata
Sonata is a prescription-based medicine that has gained approval from the FDA for treating short term difficulty encountered by people in falling asleep. Some of the striking details on Sonata are included below:

  • Sonata is popularly known as a medication that belongs to the specific category of drugs commonly known as hypnotics or sedatives or sleep medicines and it induces sleep by affecting certain chemicals present in the brain that may become unbalanced and lead to insomnia. However, clinical experiments conducted on Sonata have found it effective for reducing the onset of sleep for up to 30 days.
  • The manufacturer/distributor of Sonata is Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories Monarch and Zaleplon is the generic name of Sonata.
  • Sonata is meant for treating insomnia on a short term basis only, generally for a period of 7 to 10 days and the medicine is to be opted for only after obtaining a prescription from the physician. If Sonata doesn’t yield the desired results after taking the medication for the recommended short term period, the doctor should be contacted immediately. However, the medicine is not to be administered for more than 2 weeks if not recommended by the doctor.
  • Sonata is to be administered in the exact dosages prescribed by the doctor and in any case, the medicine is not to be taken for bigger dosages than instructed by the physician. It is altogether necessary that you should never think about taking over dosages of Sonata and if a dosage of the medicine is missed out, you should not take any additional dosage to compensate for the missed dose.
  • People using Sonata to treat insomnia may occasionally fall victim to certain side-effects of Sonata. Some of these side-effects triggered off by Sonata are namely, numbness/tingling, memory and concentration problems, felling of nervousness, depression, anxiety, headache, agitation, aggression, behavioral changes et al. Further, as soon as you fall prey to these and other Sonata side-effects, you should contact the doctor immediately.
  • Sonata is capable of interacting with certain other medicines and hence before administering Sonata,  you should inform the doctor appropriately if you are taking seizure medications, medicines for relaxing the muscles, medicines for treating narcotic pain and anxiety, drugs for treating depression, namely, sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and several other medicines.