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Does Buspar cause weight gain/ lowering metabolism as side affect?

25 Answers

Inactive 27 Jun 2011

Weight gain is not listed as a possible side effect:


All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using BuSpar:

Blurred vision; dizziness; drowsiness; excitability; headache; lightheadedness; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using BuSpar:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); abnormal muscle movements; chest pain; fainting; fever; irregular heartbeat; loss of coordination; memory problems; new or worsening mental, mood, or personality changes (eg, anger, hostility, confusion, depression); seizures; suicidal thoughts or actions; unusual restlessness; vision changes.


Votes: +0
onmyway72 27 Jun 2011

Thanks! Just wondering if any groups of people experienced weight gain on Buspar. I experienced weight gain on Lexapro and hated it, so hoping I can get the benefits of this med without the frustration of feeling heavy.

Inactive 27 Jun 2011

Well, I also hope you do not experience any weight gain, and you are welcome.

Patty4 26 Mar 2012

I have gained 5 lbs in the last 6 weeks. :(

jpender 3 May 2014

I have been taking busiporne twice a day for hot flashes and watch what I eat and work out 5 times a week but keep gaining weight... could this be a side effect of this medication? Help!

Amber0130 15 Oct 2018

I was told by my counselor that anxiety causes you to lose weight, so once you are on medication and you no longer have the level of anxiety you used to, you will gain weight due to being in a calmer state and not being so tightly wound. Exercise and eating right should counteract this effect.

Addydawn 20 Jan 2017

It makes me hungry all of the time. It does work on anxiety. I just have to make sure that I don't overeat and that I walk often.

Votes: +3
Angelgirl1982 10 Dec 2018

I feel the same way! I never used to have a problem with munching so much throughout the day but some meds seem to have that affect and then I can't go to the bathroom as well either! So, I don't think it makes any changes with body chemistry but will give you the desire to just snack and that will cause weight gain! I think I have to consciously start saying no more and just allow so much or I won't even realize how much I have eaten! I also think actually having to consciously write down each item you eat on My Fitness Pal App helps to keep you accountable and knowing what is happening and why all of a sudden you gained such and such pounds!! :)

Egush 26 Apr 2020

Do you have any advice for the overwhelming cravings? What do you do to counteract the constant hunger?

Christmyworld 23 Feb 2017

OK understand

Votes: +0
Baron 7 Nov 2017

I have been taking Buspar for about 3 weeks and I stay hungry.

Inactive 24 Feb 2017

Hi Onmyway: It's a possibility that buspar could cause you to gain weight. But ask yourself this question: Are you taking any other meds along with buspar, and could the weight gain possibly be a result of one of your other medications? It gets confusing when more than one medication is being taken as to which one is causing a weight gain problem.

Votes: +1
Betrothed 29 Apr 2017

I've taken Buspirone for very short periods of time (1 - 2 weeks at a time max) maybe once or twice a year off & on for 20 years with no weight gain affect. However, I have now taken it daily for 3 months and am wondering why I have a distended & bloated stomach & abdomen despite a much increased workout & walking regimen for the same time frame. My legs and arms are toned, whereas my mid-section is unusually distended despite daily core exercises. I found this question listed on the website as I was researching the side effects of Buspirone for potential weight gain since I've never had a weight problem, I've never before had "basketball belly" and I have not introduced any other drugs to my routine lately.


My personal answer to the question posed would be; "Yes, it would be my non-clinical, end-user opinion that continued use of Buspirone appears to cause weight gain, a bloated feeling and a much distended mid-section". Whereas, short-term intermittent use of Buspirone only produces minor certain other side affects listed on for me, personally. It's a hard decision - experience anxiety or start to become rotund despite other best efforts?

Votes: +1
BRAEMAR100 6 Jun 2017

Thank you for your post I am so glad that I came across it I am having the same problem and I thought I was losing my mind

Beethoven1 7 Jun 2017

I have also experienced basketball abdomen with weight gain . This med overall caused me anxiety and I feel much better off it . Of course it's all about body chemistry so if it works for you that is awesome.

lyndsayrae20 5 Aug 2017

I too have gained weight - like 15 lbs in 2 mos. I've done some stress eating during that period but whenever i have done that in the past I have never gained this much this fast. Especially because the majority of my diet is VERY healthy and I exercise regularly. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is very reassuring.

WildcatVet 25 Sep 2017

BuSpar works very well for me with no side effects and no concerns about addiction.

colbax 16 Jan 2018

I'm glad I found this post because I've also experienced weight gain from buspirone (nearly 10 pounds in less than 2 months) and since most articles claim that weight gain is not a side effect, I thought it was my fault. The truth of the matter is I've maintained that same weight without issue for many years, and my biggest change in "diet" in the last 2 months has been that I started taking buspirone. I'm going to go off the medication and see if I resettle into my old weight.

buppityboop 9 May 2018

I am so happy I came across this article. When I started Buspirone, I was coming off of Celexa. I hated being on antidepressant that changed my mood, and realized my depression was more caused by my anxiety. So you can imagine how stoked I was to come across Buspirone that I was told had hardly any side effects. It worked so well for me for about a month, however I noticed I had less and less motivation over time. It has been 3 months to the day and I have been to the emergency room twice over the past month due to abdominal pain, chest pain, lack of oxygen uptake (so it felt like), and a distended belly bloat with constipation. They did an EKG and X-ray of my chest, and all checked out fine. I am going to a specialist now who wants to do a GI scope and colonoscopy. Not one of these professionals thought it could have been coming from the drug. I am not blaming them, as it seems like most people do not experience such symptoms.


I have a lean frame as I run 5x a week, work out 3x a week, and am a yoga teacher. I eat a plant based diet with no processed food or drink, so I did not understand why my stomach was all of a sudden becoming huge. Over the past month, my daily food intake has been at least halved because I have lost my appetite so much, and am still not losing weight, nor do I look smaller in my belly. I probably have put on 15 pounds over the past 2 months and have been cranking the workouts without any luck of stomach reduction. I am getting depressed over this issue and am feeling more and more anxious lately. As of today, I will be coming off of the buspirone. It worked wonderfully for the first month while transitioning off of Celexa and now it is doing more harm than good. So to anyone looking for a longterm solution, this drug may not be the best thing. But everyone is different! Good luck <3

laurenmariet 10 Aug 2017

I tend to disagree. Yes, the side effects do not state they cause weight gain but the one side effect of feeling tired seems so horribly overwhelming at times that you become lazier than usual which in time causes weight gain.

Votes: +2
WildcatVet 5 Dec 2017

"Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Weight gain, weight loss"
The medication affects the metabolism of <1% of all users... causing either weight gain OR weight loss.

Missourihoney 25 Sep 2017

I have been on it 2 years and am bloated and fat in the middle .. stomach .. back.. I have been on other anxiety meds.. never had a weight issue till this one.. it does make you gain weight 20 freaking pounds ... I have read many places on the internet people having the same issue .. I’m done using it.. not worth it if I wind up with weight health issues.

Votes: +3
Egush 26 Apr 2020

What other anxiety meds have worked well for you? Buspar works SO well for me but I hate feeling like a 300 pound hippo. Any advice would be GREAT appreciated.

FeliciaA 30 Nov 2017

I am on buspirone for about a month i have also noticed weight gain in the mid section and back, i do exercise and eat healthy. Is this normal?

Votes: +1
PatFrat 22 Jan 2021

Same here. My clothes don't fit. My legs ache.

Cbasil 5 Dec 2017

So does Buspar cause weight gain or weightloss? I have read that it causes both. I am assuming it depends on the age of a person and their metabolism??

Votes: +0
WildcatVet 5 Dec 2017

"Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Weight gain, weight loss["

Yes, it can go either way depending on your individual metabolism's reaction to the medication... and everyone will react differently.
Note that it is an uncommon side effect affecting <1% of all users...
I've been taking buspirone for over 4 years with no effect on my weight at all.

Pamadair104 16 May 2018

This medicine stinks!!! It's like being prescribed "Penicillin" for a tooth ache in the 70's!!!
Stomach BLOATING is Terrible!!!
I look pregnant and I've never been pregnant!!! My blood pressures increased writing this!

WildcatVet 16 May 2018

Sorry you're in the 1%. I've taken buspirone for over 5 years with NO weight gain... or loss!

Jduke101 25 Mar 2018

I started taking it a while ago for about a month in a half then went off of it thinking it wasn’t working that well for anxiety. I should have tappered off of it because it gave me more anxiety so I decided it must have been working and decided to Start taking it again.

I went back on it almost 2 weeks ago now and have already gained 8 lbs. this didn’t happen the first time but I have also noticed I have been eating a ton, really looking forward to every meal and eating a lot more. It seems to be working for my anxiety and overall mood really well which I didn’t think it was before and it started working right away this time because I guess it already started in my system. I guess if it reduces anxiety you probably will put on some weight because while I have anxiety I don’t have as big of an appetite.


But it is true like others have mentioned I kind of have a balloon gut going on but then again if I gain weight it usually goes to my belly but this time it feels really pressured and distended. I had taken Xanax earlier before and I had a good appetite but never gained any weight. In fact I was surprised that I didn’t gain weight because I was eating a lot, but the Xanax mostly helped with the anxiety buspar seems to help with my mood also. I almost seem to plan out my meals and look forward to them in the last two weeks, Anxiety and mood are doing great but I might be pretty Fat soon?

Votes: +0
Napinka 15 Apr 2018

Buspar is terrible for weight gain. I take 100mg a day, and in one year have gained 70 pounds.

Yes the lethargy causes you to unproductive and lazy, however I have never had anything that made me question if I had a tumour growing in my body. My stomach is so huge and distended, and I have a gastric sleeve. So it is not due to my caloric intake. It’s in my opinion due to the Buspar.

I am so glad I decided to google it. This many people can’t be wrong. All having the same issues. And when I went to my journal, I started it in May last year. That’s when the weight gain started.

The benefits don’t outweigh the negative for me. I’m tapering off today. Wish me luck.

Votes: +1
PatFrat 22 Jan 2021

I cannot believe how fat and lazy I have become. I cannot seem to get anything done during the day. It is just too much trouble to get up and get going,

lilfeet66 24 Feb 2021

This is all very disheartenng!! I am gkad I did not take it. I am taking ativan PRN only 1x per week or so when I have a panic attack. It works within 15 min. I am 40-50 lbs overweigh and apple shaped so the idea of gaining more weight in my stomach is horrible. Also I have sleep apnea so gaining weight will exacerbate that condition. Thank you all for posting.

Pamadair104 18 Apr 2018

Thank God I found this website. I was given this p.o.s. prescription and I feel absolutely miserable!!!
My stomachs big and I feel hungry and very bloated! I can't look at myself because I feel terrible! Shame on you doctors who prescribe this! My anxiety and blood pressures through the roof!!!

Votes: +1
Napinka 19 Apr 2018

Hi Pamadair104. Isn’t it just horrible with the weight gain? I couldn’t believe how much weight I put on and would have continued. I am off it 100 percent now for 3 days and I can actually feel the difference. I hope you can feel better soon too.

buppityboop 9 May 2018

Hi guys, can anyone tell me what they've experienced after coming off of this drug? Did you get your body back and feel good again? Thanks!

Pamadair104 16 May 2018

I've made an appointment with my friends doctor and I hope she can help me. I am absolutely miserable! Depressed and the weight gain especially my stomach... and the fact I can't look at myself and my clothes don't fit!!! Angry!!!

Egush 26 Apr 2020

I've become a crying, irritable, depressed mess but the bloated feeling is gone. You could try. I hope and pray it doesn't happen to you. I dont understand why they can put a man on the moon, yet they cant invent an anxiety, depression med that doesn't cause substantial weight gain. Wish you the very best.

Candi12 2 Mar 2019

I have been on this med for almost one month. Only 20mg per day. My appetite has gone right out the window! I don't want to eat at all and the sight of food makes me nauseous. I am however making myself eat enough to keep my body functioning. Lost 9 lbs so far since starting this med. Have not seen any type of bloating around my mid section. This has to be a person to person issue. I am a 38 yr old female who has a normal metabolism. Also makes me pretty shaky at night to where i have trouble falling and staying asleep

Votes: +0
Gregg rackow 31 Jul 2019

Just started it don't know yet.

Votes: +0
reds5775 13 Aug 2019

Thank you everyone, now I know why I gained some weight lately... Been on BuSpar for years "as needed" but recently started taking it 3 times a day. 22.5 Mg. when I was just taking 5mg as needed. Too many side affects including making me very tired throughout the day. I will go back to taking it as needed.. Definitely do not want to gain any weight and will manage my stress another way.

Votes: +0
WildcatVet 21 Apr 2020

Hi, reds!
Have you considered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to learn better coping
strategies to deal with stress/anxiety?
"Buspirone (BuSpar)is a medication that needs to be taken every day for it to have its full clinical effect. So in contrast to benzodiazepines which can be taken on as needed basis, buspirone is a medicine that needs to be taken everyday to have its most effective treatment response."

Egush 26 Apr 2020

How often do you take it as needed to where it still works. I'm only on 5 mg and my appetite for sugar is ridiculous! Any advice no matter how small would be so appreciated free discount card

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