- Press Release
- Oct 5, 2022
Sonata(R) (zaleplon) C-IV Now Used by Astronauts in Space – Sleep Aid Available to Help Shuttle Astronauts in Outer Space Overcome the Difficulties of
Noise from constantly whirring
machines, uncomfortably close confines, a lack of gravity, and a sunrise and
sunset every 90 minutes — sleeping in space isn’t easy.
But now the space
shuttle medicine cabinet offers astronauts the reliability and comfort of the
sleep medication Sonata® (zaleplon) C-IV.
Sonata, which made its maiden
voyage on the 100th space shuttle mission, aboard the shuttle Discovery on
October 11, is a prescription sleep medication which, in clinical trials,
helped people fall asleep quickly and wake up naturally without residual
effects, provided that patients remained inactive for four or more hours.
“Getting proper sleep can be very difficult when one is surrounded by
distractions, whether in space or here on earth,” says Philip de Vane, M.D.,
Vice President of Global Medical Affairs at Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.
favorable safety and efficacy profiles of Sonata make it a useful sleep
medication for people who suffer from sleep difficulty.”
Restful sleep in space can be upset by numerous factors, including spine
elongation (caused by lack of gravity) that results in back pain, high noise
levels, and a sunrise or sunset every 90 minutes, which disrupt circadian
rhythms that tell the body when to sleep.
As a result, many astronauts use
Sonata can help people who have trouble falling asleep at bedtime, or
later after trying to fall asleep on their own, with minimal evidence of
next-day residual effects, such as difficulty concentrating or lack of motor
“We’ve already been able to help so many earth-bound insomnia sufferers —
travelers, shift workers, aging adults — that it is exciting that Sonata
should accompany America’s space travelers as well,” says Dr. de Vane.
In clinical trials, Sonata was shown to be effective in helping people
fall asleep quickly, with minimal evidence of next-day residual effects such
as grogginess, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, or lack of motor
“Zaleplon may revolutionize the way we treat insomnia because it can be
taken on an as-needed basis,” says Thomas Roth, Ph.D., Director of the Henry
Ford Hospital Sleep Center in Detroit.
“Unlike other prescription sleep
medications that need to be taken in anticipation of sleep problems, zaleplon
can be taken either at bedtime or later, after people have tried to fall
asleep on their own, as long as they have four or more hours remaining in
Sonata is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia in adults,
including elderly patients.
Although Sonata improved sleep time from baseline
in clinical trials, it has not been shown to increase total time slept or
decrease awakenings vs. placebo.
Hypnotics should generally be limited to seven to 10 days of use, and
reevaluation of the patient is recommended if hypnotics are taken for more
than two to three weeks.
Prescriptions for Sonata should not exceed a
Until patients know how they will react to sleep agents, they should not
engage in activities requiring mental alertness or motor coordination
(e.g., driving or operating machinery) after taking Sonata or any other sleep
Among the most common side effects of Sonata are headache, dizziness, and
About Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories
Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, a division of American Home Products
Corporation, is a major research-oriented pharmaceutical company
with leading products in the areas of women’s health care, cardiovascular
therapies, central nervous system drugs, anti-inflammatory agents, infectious
disease, hemophilia, oncology, vaccines, and generic pharmaceuticals.