can you take lunesta and sonata 3 hours apart.also is sonata good and safe for elderly long term

Hi Howard,
Sorry for the delay in replying.  To be honest, I haven't had any experience with Sonata whatsoever.  It's unavailable in Australia.  I couldn't really say how safe it would be with Lunesta.  From what I do know, however, Sonata (or Zaleplon) and Lunesta (eszopliclone) exist within the same drug class.  By definition, there is no synergistic benefit from taking two drugs from the same class.  Generally, if a condition is inadequately managed by one drug alone, this drug can be replaced or an additional drug can be added to the regime.  This additional agent, although indicated for the same purpose, should have a different mechanism of action, so as to tackle the disease from another angle, so to speak.  The combination of Lunesta and Sonata may not be appropriate.  Moreover, it can lead to worsening of side effects.  A physician would probably consider increasing the dose of either the Sonata or Lunesta (depending on which one the patient is taking).  Or if the physician feels that the patient is not responding well, he/she might replaced it altogether.  

As far as safety in elderly is concerned, it seems to share the same side effect profile and precautions as others within its class.  So the same sort of issues exist eg, drowsiness, reduced mental alertness, risk of falls etc; with possibly less risk of dependence and withdrawals.  Note, however, that these side effects may become more significant when other sedative agents are added to the regime (including alcohol).  The elderly may be more sensitive to these side effects.  For this reason, chronic use amongst the elderly is discouraged.  These are the main concerns long-term.

I hope this helps, Howard.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Gisella Campanelli


I am able to answer questions relating to pharmaceuticals, therapeutic regimes and primary health care. This includes offering advice on drug indications, dosages, and disease state management. I can also identify side effects, drug interactions and contra-indications, and offer recommendations on ways to mitigate these. I can diagnose minor illnesses and suggest appropriate over-the-counter remedies and/or preventive healthcare tips. I can recognize cardinal symptoms which would otherwise require referral to a medical practitioner.


I am a registered pharmacist in Australia, and I have practiced in a hospital pharmacy for over thirteen years. My clinical specializations lie within the areas of psychiatry and general medicine (including gastroenterology, respiratory, endocrinology, neurology, infectious diseases, gerontology, dermatology). I self-managed the training program for pharmacy interns in preparation for their final registration exams, and I have worked for the Pharmacy Board of Australia as an examiner and exam writer.

I hold a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, and I am board-registered to practice within Australia. I also hold a Master's degree in an unrelated field (art conservation).

©2016 All rights reserved.