Zalep Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Food Interaction and all others data.

Zalep, a pyrazolopyrimidine, is a sedative and hypnotic agent structurally unrelated to the benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotic agents. It is shown to interact with GABA subtype A complex by binding selectively to benzodiazepine type 1 receptor. It reduces sleep latency without affecting sleep duration.

Zalep is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic from the pyrazolopyrimidine class and is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia. While Zalep is a hypnotic agent with a chemical structure unrelated to benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or other drugs with known hypnotic properties, it interacts with the gamma-aminobutyric acid-benzodiazepine (GABABZ) receptor complex. Subunit modulation of the GABABZ receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex is hypothesized to be responsible for some of the pharmacological properties of benzodiazepines, which include sedative, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsive effects in animal models. Zalep also binds selectively to the CNS GABAA-receptor chloride ionophore complex at benzodiazepine(BZ) omega-1 (BZ1, ο1) receptors.

Trade Name Zalep
Availability Prescription only
Generic Zaleplon
Zaleplon Other Names Zaleplon
Related Drugs amitriptyline, lorazepam, melatonin, zolpidem, diphenhydramine, Ativan
Type Capsule, Tablet
Formula C17H15N5O
Weight Average: 305.3339
Monoisotopic: 305.127660127
Protein binding

Approximately 60% (in vitro plasma protein binding).

Groups Approved, Illicit, Investigational
Therapeutic Class Benzodiazepine hypnotics, Benzodiazepine sedatives
Manufacturer Cipla Limited
Available Country India
Last Updated: September 19, 2023 at 7:00 am


Zalep is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Zalep has been shown to decrease the time to sleep onset for up to 30 days in controlled clinical trials.

Zalep is also used to associated treatment for these conditions: Insomnia

How Zalep works

Zalep exerts its action through subunit modulation of the GABABZ receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex. Zalep also binds selectively to the brain omega-1 receptor located on the alpha subunit of the GABA-A/chloride ion channel receptor complex and potentiates t-butyl-bicyclophosphorothionate (TBPS) binding.


Zalep dosage

The dose of Zalep should be individualized. The recommended dose of Zalep for most non elderly adults is 10 mg. For certain low weight individuals, 5 mg may be a sufficient dose. Although the risk of certain adverse events associated with the use of Zalep appears to be dose dependent, the 20 mg dose has been shown to be adequately tolerated and may be considered for occasional patient who does not benefit from a trial of lower dose. Dosage above 20 mg has not been adequately evaluated and is not recommended.Zalep should be taken immediately before bedtime. Taking Zalep with or immediately after a heavy, high fat meal results in slower absorption and would be expected to reduce the effect of Zalep on sleep latency. Elderly patients and debilitated patients appear to be more sensitive to the effects of hypnotic, and respond to 5 mg of Zalep. The recommended dose for these patients is therefore 5 mg, doses over 10 mg are not recommended. For patients with mild to moderate renal impairment no dose adjustment is necessary.An initial dose of 5 mg should be given to patients concomitantly taking Cimetidine because ZalZalep clearance is reduced in this population.

Side Effects

Side effects of Zalep appear to be dose related. So, it is important to use the lowest possible effective dose, specially in the elderly. The side effects are usually mild and transient, the most common are diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, headache, asthenia, nightmare etc.


Side effects include abdominal pain, amnesia, dizziness, drowsiness, eye pain, headache, memory loss, menstrual pain, nausea, sleepiness, tingling, weakness


Timing of drug administration: Zalep should be taken immediately before bedtime or after the patient has gone to bed.Use in the elderly and/or debilitated patients: Impaired motor and/or cognitive performance after repeated exposure or unusual sensitivity to sedative/hypnotic drugs is a concern in the treatment of elderly and/or debilitated patients. A dose of 5 mg is recommended for elderly patients to decrease the possibility of side effects. Elderly and/or debilitated patients should be monitored closely.Use in patients with concomitant illness: Zalep should be used with caution in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect metabolism or haemodynamic responses. Although preliminary studies did not reveal respiratory depressant effects at hypnotic doses of Zalep in normal subjects, caution should be observed if Zalep is prescribed to patients with compromised respiratory function, because sedative/hypnotic have the capacity to depress respiratory drive. However, patients with compromised respiration due to preexisting illness should be monitored carefully. The dose of Zalep should be reduced to 5 mg in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. It is not recommended for use in patients with severe hepatic impairment.Renal impairment patients: No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment. Zalep has not been adequately studied in patients with severe renal impairment.Use in patients with depression: As with other sedative or hypnotic drugs, Zalep should be administered with caution to patients exhibiting signs or symptoms of depression


Zalep has been shown to have minimal effects on the kinetic of Warfarin, Imipramine, Ethanol, Ibuprofen, Diphenhydramine, Thioridazine, and Digoxin.

Food Interaction

  • Avoid alcohol. Ingesting alcohol may increase the CNS depressant effects of zaleplon.
  • Do not take with or immediately after a high-fat meal. The effects of zaleplon are reduced when taken with a high-fat meal.

[Moderate] GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may potentiate some of the pharmacologic effects of zaleplon.

Use in combination may result in additive central nervous system depression and
ADJUST DOSING INTERVAL: Administration of zaleplon with a high-fat or heavy meal may delay the onset of hypnotic effects.

In healthy adult subjects, administration of zaleplon with a high-fat meal resulted in a 2-hour delay in the time to reach peak plasma drug concentration (Tmax) and a 35% reduction in the peak plasma drug concentration (Cmax) compared to fasting.

Zalep systemic exposure (AUC) and elimination half-life were not significantly affected.

MANAGEMENT: Patients receiving zaleplon should be advised to avoid the consumption of alcohol.

For faster sleep onset, zaleplon should not be administered with or immediately after a high-fat or heavy meal.

Volume of Distribution

  • 1.4 L/kg

Elimination Route

Absorption Zalep is rapidly and almost completely absorbed following oral administration.

Half Life

Approximately 1 hour


  • 1 L/h/kg

Elimination Route

Zalep is metabolized primarily by the liver and undergoes significant presystemic metabolism. After oral administration, zaleplon is extensively metabolized, with less than 1% of the dose excreted unchanged in urine. Renal excretion of unchanged zaleplon accounts for less than 1% of the administered dose.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding use

Pregnancy: There are no studies of Zalep in pregnant women; therefore, it is not recommended for use in women during pregnancy. Zalep has no established use in labour and delivery.Lactation: A study in lactating mothers indicated that the clearance and half-life of Zalep is similar to that in young normal subjects. A small amount of Zalep is excreted in breast milk, with the highest excreted amount occurring during a feeding at approximately 1 hour after Zalep administration. Since the small amount of the drug from breast milk may result in potentially important concentrations in infants, and because the effects of Zalep on a nursing infant are not known, it is not recommended in nursing mothers.


Zalep is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to any of its components.

Special Warning

Special Patient Group: Patients on cimetidine should receive initial dose of 5 mg at bedtime.Hepatic Impairment:

  • Mild to moderate: 5 mg at bedtime.
  • Severe: Contraindicated.

Paediatric use

: The safety and effectiveness of Zalep in paediatric patients have not been established.

Innovators Monograph

You find simplified version here Zalep

Zalep contains Zaleplon see full prescribing information from innovator Zalep Monograph, Zalep MSDS, Zalep FDA label


What is Zalep used for?

Zalep is used on a short-term basis to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep).Zalep does not help you to stay asleep longer or decrease the number of times that you awaken during the night. .

What type of the Zalep?

Zalep is in a class of medications called hypnotics. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow sleep.

What are the side effect of Zalep?

Zalep may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • lack of coordination
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • vision problems
  • eye pain
  • sensitivity to noise
  • distorted sense of smell
  • painful menstrual periods

Can I take Zalep every night?

You should take Zalep every night since Zalep is taken only at bedtime, you will not be on a frequent dosing schedule.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Zalep?

You should avoid the use of alcohol while being treated with Zalep. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of Zalep such as dizziness and drowsiness.

Is Zalep safe during pregnancy?

Zalep is not recommended for pregnant women unless the doctor believes the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

is Zalep safe during breastfeeding?

If a doctor or health visitor says that your baby is healthy, it's safe to take Zalep while breastfeeding. Zalep passes into breast milk in very small amounts.

Can I drive after taking Zalep?

FDA approves new label changes and dosing for Zalep products and a recommendation to avoid driving the day after using Ambien CR.

Does Zalep make me tired ?

You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication.

Can I take take on empty stomach?

It is better to take this medicine on an empty stomach and only when you are ready for bed. Do not take your medicine more often than directed

How much Zalep does it take to overdose?

Individuals have fully recovered from Zalep overdoses of greater than 200 mg (10 times the maximum recommended dose of Zalep).

How long does it take for Zalep to work?

Zalep takes about 20 to 30 minutes for them to start working.

Does Zalep cause memory loss?

Dizziness, drowsiness, short-term memory loss, or lack of coordination may occur, especially during the first 2 hours after you take the medication.

Can I take Zalep for a long time?

Do not take Zalep for longer than 5 weeks without your doctor's advice.Zalep is for short-term use only.

*** Taking medicines without doctor's advice can cause long-term problems.