Skip to Content

Buspirone Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of buspirone include: dizziness. Other side effects include: nervousness and headache. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to buspirone: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by buspirone. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking buspirone:

  • Chest pain
  • confusion
  • fast or pounding heartbeat
  • fever
  • incoordination
  • mental depression
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or feet
  • skin rash or hives
  • sore throat
  • stiffness of the arms or legs
  • uncontrolled movements of the body

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking buspirone, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position suddenly
  • drowsiness (severe)
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach upset
  • very small pupils of the eyes

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with buspirone may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Restlessness, nervousness, or unusual excitement
Less common or rare:
  • Blurred vision
  • clamminess or sweating
  • decreased concentration
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of the mouth
  • muscle pain, spasms, cramps, or stiffness
  • ringing in the ears
  • trouble with sleeping, nightmares, or vivid dreams
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to buspirone: compounding powder, oral tablet

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Dizziness (12%), drowsiness (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Lightheadedness, decreased concentration, numbness, paresthesia, incoordination, headache, tremor, syncope, seizures
Rare (less than 0.1%): Cerebrovascular accident
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Serotonin syndrome, amnesia, cogwheel rigidity, dystonia/dystonic reactions, dyskinesias (acute and tardive), ataxias, parkinsonism, akathisia, restless leg syndrome
Postmarketing reports: Vertigo, extrapyramidal symptoms, transient difficulty with recall[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia/palpitations, chest pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypotension, hypertension
Rare (less than 0.1%): Congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, bradycardia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash, sweating/clamminess
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus, flushing, easy bruising, hair loss, dry skin, facial edema, blisters
Rare (less than 0.1%): Acne, thinning of nails, ecchymosis, urticaria[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, dry mouth, abdominal/gastric distress, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Flatulence, anorexia, increased appetite, salivation, irritable colon, rectal bleeding
Rare (less than 0.1%): Burning of the tongue[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Musculoskeletal aches/pains
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Muscle cramps, muscle spasms, rigid/stiff muscles, arthralgias
Rare (less than 0.1%): Muscle weakness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Eye redness and itching, conjunctivitis, eye pain, eye pressure, photophobia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Visual changes (including tunnel vision)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, weakness, tinnitus, sore throat
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Altered taste, altered smell, inner ear abnormality, edema, fever, roaring sensation in the head, malaise
Rare (less than 0.1%): Alcohol abuse, loss of voice, hiccoughs[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, nervousness, excitement, anger/hostility, confusion, depression, dream disturbances, attention disturbance, sleep disorder
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depersonalization, dysphoria, noise intolerance, euphoria, akathisia, fearfulness, loss of interest, dissociative reaction, hallucinations, involuntary movements, slowed reaction time, suicidal ideation, decreased or increased libido
Rare (less than 0.1%): Claustrophobia, cold intolerance, stupor, slurred speech, psychosis, delayed ejaculation, impotence
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Depersonalization
Postmarketing reports: Emotional lability, restlessness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nasal congestion, pharyngolaryngeal pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hyperventilation, shortness of breath, chest congestion
Rare (less than 0.1%): Epistaxis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy, menstrual irregularity and spotting, dysuria
Rare (less than 0.1%): Amenorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, enuresis, nocturia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Urinary retention[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increases in hepatic aminotransferases (SGOT, SGPT)[Ref]


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


Rare (less than 0.1%): Galactorrhea, thyroid abnormality[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Eisonophilia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, bleeding disturbance[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Allergic reactions, angioedema[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Buspar (buspirone)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Not all side effects for buspirone may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.