Zaleplon is a sleeping pill. It helps you fall asleep if you have a problem sleeping (also known as insomnia).
Take Zaleplon exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Take it just before you go to bed or after you have already gone to bed and experienced difficulty in sleeping.
Take this medicine only if you will be able to get a full night of sleep (7-8 hours) or at least 4 hours of sleep before you must be active again.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
If you are taking Zaleplon over a long period, do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise as stopping it suddenly may worsen your condition. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Zaleplon is used to help you sleep. You may not need to take it every day. Take it only when you need it. If you miss a dose, take it at your next scheduled dose.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have previous experience of complex sleep behaviours (going out of bed while not fully awake and performing tasks that you are not aware you are doing) after taking this medicine or other medicines for insomnia (e.g. zolpidem, eszopiclone) as Zaleplon may not be suitable for you.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- lung disease
- sleep apnoea (a sleep disorder that causes interrupted breathing during sleep)
- history of drug or alcohol dependence or abuse
- conditions that affect the metabolism or blood flow
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Zaleplon to the elderly or debilitated patients (a person who is physically or mentally weak usually due to illness or old age). They may be more sensitive to the side effects.
For as long as you are taking this medicine, your doctor may need to monitor your body's response to the medicine. Your doctor will inform you about this.
Practice good sleeping habits to reduce reliance on sleeping pills. These are some good sleeping habits which you should follow:
- Try to relax before bedtime. Do not engage in strenuous activities.
- Try to go to bed at about the same time every night.
- Have a light dinner. A heavy dinner may disturb your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening. Caffeine-containing food and drinks include coffee, tea, certain soft drinks and even chocolate.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and airy.
- Avoid taking naps especially in the late afternoon.
Zaleplon may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision the next morning after intake. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, stomach pain, lack of appetite, constipation, headache, nervousness, ear or eye pain, changes in sense of smell or taste, and chest pain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are non-existent)
- memory problems or loss
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth, difficulty swallowing or talking
- abnormal activities during sleep e.g. driving, cooking, eating and walking while you are still asleep
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- cimetidine (medicine used to treat conditions caused by too much acid in the stomach)
- thioridazine (medicine for mood disorders)
- medicines to treat depression e.g. imipramine
- medicines for cold or allergy e.g. diphenhydramine
- strong painkillers
- medicines for fits or seizures e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine
- rifampicin (medicine to treat a lung infection known as TB or tuberculosis)
- other medicines that can cause drowsiness or affect your concentration
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Zaleplon.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid taking Zaleplon together with high-fat foods or heavy meals as the effectiveness of this medicine may be reduced. Ask your doctor about the types of food you should avoid.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.