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Zaleplon

Uses

The drug is prescribed for the short-term treatment of insomnia (the inability to sleep or stay asleep).

IUPAC name: N-[3-(3-cyanopyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-7-yl)phenyl]-N-ethylacetamide

Drug class: Sedative-hypnotics, non-benzodiazepines

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO 

Mechanism of action

It works by stimulating the effects of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter), it calms and relaxes the brain and helps you fall asleep. 

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, lack of coordination, disorientation, memory loss, vision changes, rash/itching,  shortness of breath. 

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to non-benzodiazepines (such as zopiclone and zaleplon ), or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, breathing problems (such as obstructive sleep apnea, COPD-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), mental disorders, depression, blood pressure issues,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

Older adults may be more sensitive to this medication.

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

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