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

27 Answers

catdogball123 9 Dec 2022

Since I've been taking buspar I have lost 7 pounds in 1 month. I have diarrhea I feel sick to my stomach all the time, I can barely eat. Nothing sounds good. My stomach hurts all the time. I have constant nightmares. I wake up at night all the time. I'm constantly thinking somebody's in my house. I wish I had known this before I ever started taking it I just got it through my mail order subscription I didn't read the fact sheet first before I started taking it. Which was really stupid of me. I guess my psychiatrist didn't realize the interaction with my verapamil and another condition I have that was caused by psych drugs it should never be on this drug. I have extrapyramidal disorder due to long-term use of psych drugs it specifically warns about that. This is what happens when you have a student for your psychiatrist. Oh well I'm stopping it I'm only 5 ft tall I can't afford to lose much weight now I'm down to 107 lbs.


I can't even sleep at night. I just got a new car and all it does is
make me cry I wouldn't recommend taking this drug for anything

Votes: +0
georgetterx 23 Sep 2022

9.23.22: my experience:
I went on Prozac (i think it was 20mg daily) in college around 2018 for severe MDD, GAD, and social anxiety/panic. It helped a LOT, but I had strong sugar/carb cravings and gained TONS of weight (10 lbs a year and on my 5ft2 female frame very noticeable). Desperate to lose the weight after literally starving wouldn't help, I tapered off of it shortly after graduation, and sadly gained even more (20 lbs in less than a year).
I felt fine at first, but in a couple months my depression and anxiety came back full force--to the point of almost psychosis. I was brain foggy, always ruminating, confused, scared, anxious and depressed. I wanted to die. So, I knew I had to go back on something.


I found a doc to give me Wellbutrin (bupropion SR 100 mg 2x daily), since I read it can help you lose weight. I've been on it a year now, just turned 25. The Wellbutrin (and birth control I went on around the same time) definitely helped me lose weight effortlessly (20lbs in a year) and reduced cravings/appetite, however it didn't work for my mental health as much as the SSRI Prozac did. It did help me barely manage my anxiety/depression enough to go to work and home, think clearly, and take care of myself (ish) but I still had pretty bad anxiety, depression/suicidal, low confidence, and a new irritability and anger l never had before.
My psychiatrist increased my dose to see if it would help with my depression more. Weight loss came even more fast (10lbs in a few months) and even more effortlessly. I had like NO appetite at all for the first time in my life and I was happy about that! I still ate every day, but in smaller amounts and I never felt I "needed" dessert, never thought about food unless it was there in front of me.
But... I was still suicidal, irritable, and stressed often, so my doc added Buspar (buspirone 5mg 2x daily) and it helped SO much (I enjoy shopping and stuff again, have more energy and creativity. I have good days where I even clean and make plans) but it brought back my sweets/carbs cravings and some weight gain (not as severe as Prozac but still noticeable)...
I knew I would gain some weight once my appetite came back (because I was only having NO appetite due to increasing Wellbutrin & now I'm used to the higher dose), but I didn't think the buspirone would affect my weight, since my doctor and online says it won't.
But here we are... I don't use a scale, but I feel like I look huge and don't have a defined waist anymore. I don't know what to do :( I'm on a low dose (10mg a day total) and its working for my depression and anxiety so well, but I can't become big again or else I will be so depressed and suicidal and low-key have an eating disorder again and I'll never enjoy anything or go anywhere...
so I'm going to start halving my dose and see if it will still work, but with less weight gain. I'll try to comment again in a few months to say how its going.

Votes: +1
georgetterx 9 Dec 2022

12.9.22: As promised, my result a few months later: Yes, going on a half dose of the buspirone and changing nothing else did help me lose some weight & reduce cravings. However, as expected, I don't have as much motivation and positive energy as when taking full 10mg daily... Although I believe it is still helping my depression/anxiety somewhat even on half of a 5mg tablet taken twice a day. (5mg total daily) For me, its worth it to be a bit more depressed in order to keep my weight down as I've struggled with my size all my life and losing weight is one of the few things that gives me confidence to go out, make friends, go shopping, dates, etc. (the things that help with depression)


Side note: if you're a girl with anxiety, and a dermatologist prescribes spironolactone for hormonal acne, do not take it. It caused me panic attacks and uncontrollable crying at the slightest conflict/issue to the point I was crying at work which I have never done. I thought it was just my trauma as I've always been sensitive, but I was having intense despair and hopelessness feelings at things that I normally would be mad about for an hour and move on. I started on a low dose of it 2x day early Nov. & stopped taking it after 3 weeks --immediately better emotionally--however I should've tapered off because it gave me high potassium (tightness of chest, shortness of breath, pain when swallowing). This medicine caused me some weight loss and reduced appetite as well, but I believe I was already losing some in October when i halved the buspar. To be sure, i will update again in another couple months

hasa21 3 Sep 2021

I've been on Lexapro for 9 years with Clonazepam as needed. My doc wanted to take me off Clonazepam as it may cause cognitive issues down the road. Enter Buspar. In all of 2 weeks I had insomnia, headaches and extreme hunger. Within an hour of taking I had anxiety and felt shaky in my brain. Like my brain was loose inside. It's so hard to explain but my brain felt so off. I stopped yesterday. Good luck everyone.

Votes: +0
WildcatVet 3 Sep 2021

I've been taking buspirone for several years now and have had no problem with any side effects at all. It's been particularly effective for me.
Just goes to show that everyone responds differently to every medication.

PatFrat 22 Jan 2021

My metabolism seems to be shut down, I have gained so much weight and bloat while on Buspar. I was a size 11, now I can barely squeeze into a size 14. The tops of my legs are enormous. I look like I am pregnant. I only take blood pressure meds, nothing else. Had enough huffing and puffing. I am on a 1000 calorie diet for 2 weeks and have lost nothing. Buspar causes weight gain, I don't care what my doctor says.

Votes: +0
alyssaxashley 18 Aug 2020

I’m so glad I found this thread. I got put on this in 2016, I was 124 pounds, super tiny. As I increased it my weight went up, I’m now at 180 and counting, I hateeeee how I look, I don’t like going anywhere, I feel miserable and uncomfortable and no matter what I do it won’t go down, it either stays or keeps climbing. I also noticed my ears and face always feel flushed/hot which for me is usually when I have high blood pressure. I’m 28. I hate myself more and I feel ugly. I can’t fit in any of my clothes, being 5ft it’s already hard enough to find clothes. I cry all the time. I don’t even eat that much or snack. I’m over it. I’ve had three kids and never gained as much as I have on this.

Votes: +0
alyssaxashley 18 Aug 2020

The worst part is my dr tries to say it’s not the meds it’s me but I exercise and drink lots of water, I don’t snack and I don’t eat that much, the only thing in my life I changed has been this medication. It’s crap that drs won’t see that

Sowens04 8 July 2020

I was wondering the same thing. I have been craved ice cream. I have not craved that since i was 100 lbs heavier a couple yrs ago. I was not sure why i Was again. Well this pill was why. Know i am off. I am done with it. I dont do pills that back me gain weight. My dr’s know that.

Votes: +0
WildcatVet 8 July 2020

Uncommon (0.1% to 1% of users): Weight gain, weight loss[Ref]"

Unfortunately most, if not all, psychotrophic medications have the POTENTIAL to cause weight changes (increased/decreased) in a small number of users. :(

Egush 21 April 2020

I am SO relieved to have found this. I seriously thought I was going crazy. Since taking buspar, I have an extremely bloated stomach and feel like I'm walking around with weights on my legs. It helps a great deal with anxiety but it also makes me extraordinarily tired. Worst of all, it makes me hungry constantly. My cravings for sugar and carbs have skyrocketed. I find myself craving things I would never thought twice a out. The urge to eat is all consuming. I have always had somewhat of a sweet tooth but this is terrible. The bloating is so bad, I feel like a 300 pound gorilla. It's a shame because I was really feeling good. Drs will try to tell you it's not the medicine because they are not on these medications! Ignore them and do what's right for you. We cant all be wrong.

Votes: +1
kimberlyxxii 1 April 2020

Honestly the worst medication I have ever taken. I was only on it for a month and I GAINED 20LBS IN 1 MONTH. Like I was already depressed because of my weight and this medication made me feel worse! Always tired, Headaches, AND A HUGE INCREASE TO MY APPETITE. I didn't know why I was so hungry with so many cravings until I quit the medication on my own because I absolutely HATED feeling so tired and lethargic all the time from it. My boyfriend brought it up and said "It made you eat too much also." Which is TRUE. My eating has now returned to normal and I lost 10lbs within the first month of quitting that medication. Best decision ever.

Votes: +0
Haleyr38 11 March 2020

I’m so glad I found this page. I have been taking buspar for about a year & a half. I started taking it more often about 6 months ago and I’ve gained at least 15 pounds. My stomach especially. I definitely have the basketball stomach everyone else is talking about. I’ve also been SUPER tired all the time and lazy. I wrote it off as being depressed or something but this makes more sense. I’m definitely going to taper off of this and see if the weight drops or energy improves. If I think about it, I’ll try to update this later for those who want to know how stopping the med helps.

Votes: +0
Magpie94015 1 March 2020

As I understand, buspar is a relatively new medication so new side effects are certainly possible. I've noticed water bloating and am literally hungry all the time. Not only do I want to eat constantly, but my stomach feels physically hungry. This is the first medication that's caused this for me, and I've been prescribed practically everything for anxiety and depression over the last 20 years.

Votes: +1
WildcatVet 1 March 2020

Just for the record, buspirone was first developed in 1968 and FDA approved in the U.S. in 1986 as an anxiolytic.

Breebaby 2 March 2020

Buspar isn't new. First time I was on it was 2002. That's like 18 years ago ... Dang I feel old now ...

Probably just first time you've been prescribed it is all.
First med I was prescribed for my Bipolar was Lithium, back in 1987.

Completely feel your pain with being on almost everything out there at one point or another. But I think there are a few meds even I haven't been on. And they've tried me on a pharmacy full it seems like over the years :(

Breebaby 12 Feb 2020

I see that some of you say buspar isn't supposed to cause weight gain by causing hunger. But I found this thread by searching the web about if it does or not. I was put on Buspar a couple months ago, and I recently ran out. I have lost weight while being off of it. And realized that I haven't had the munchies like I have been doing the past couple months.
I think it depends on the person's chemistry on weather or not it effects them in this way or not. Kinda like one medicine might make you queasy, but not me.

Votes: +0
Leah S 10 Oct 2019

I was reading through these responses and glad to see I’m not going crazy!! I’ve been on Buspar for 3 weeks and I already stopped taking it. I’ve been on the journey to get the gastric sleeve and I was doing really good, got put on this medication and I’ve gained 8lbs!! It doesn’t help anyways. I lost my appetite and still gained weight. I also noticed the rounded stomach, and bloated feeling. It also gave me more headaches the longer I took it and when I would get really anxious my lips would get numb, never have I had that happen before. Anyways, I’m now going to get yelled at by the Weight Loss Clinic for the weight gain and it pushes my surgery back farther and I have to work even harder all because my doctor wouldn’t listen to me when I talked to her. Good luck everyone!

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 April 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 April 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

Gregg rackow 31 July 2019

Just started it don't know yet.

Votes: +0
Candi12 2 March 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 free discount card

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buspar, weight loss (obesity/overweight), weight

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