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BuSpar Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Nov 23, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm.

How it works

  • BuSpar is a brand (trade) name for buspirone which may be used for the treatment of anxiety. Experts are not sure exactly how buspirone works but think its anxiety-relieving effects may be due to its effects on serotonin and other neurotransmitter receptors such as dopamine.
  • BuSpar belongs to the group of medicines known as anxiolytics.

Upsides

  • May be used to treat anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of anxiety.
  • May help to relieve symptoms such as fear, irritability, tension and other physical symptoms.
  • Maybe less sedating than other medications used in the treatment of anxiety; however, there is a lot of variation in the way individuals respond to BuSpar.
  • Does not appear to cause tolerance or dependence and not associated with abuse; however people with a history of drug abuse should be monitored closely.
  • BuSpar is not chemically related to other drugs traditionally used for anxiety such as benzodiazepines or barbiturates.
  • BuSpar is not a controlled substance.
  • BuSpar is available as a generic under the name buspirone.

Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Dizziness, light-headedness, headache, nausea, sleep problems and excitement.
  • May cause drowsiness, although less likely than other medicines used for anxiety. Avoid alcohol and be cautious about operating machinery until the effects are known.
  • May interact with grapefruit and grapefruit products. May interact with a number of other drugs including some antibiotics (such as erythromycin, itraconazole), nefazodone, and other inhibitors or inducers of hepatic enzymes CYP3A4. Should not be taken if MAOI antidepressants have been taken in the past 14 days.
  • Only available as tablets. Needs to be taken two to three times a day.
  • Does not treat symptoms of psychosis.
  • May not be suitable for some people including those with liver or kidney disease,
  • May cause false-positive results on routine assay tests for pheochromocytoma. Discontinue BuSpar at least 48 hours before undergoing a urine test for catecholamines.
  • Not FDA approved for use in children and adolescents under the age of 18 years.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

BuSpar is used for the treatment of anxiety and is less likely than most other anti-anxiety medicines to cause sedation.

Tips

  • Take BuSpar consistently; either always with or without food.
  • Buspar tablets are scored and may be broken into a smaller dosage; however, do not take tablets that have not broken correctly and the resultant piece is too big or too small.
  • Take exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the dosage without his or her advice.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice because it may increase the levels of BuSpar in your body. Most people can tolerate one to two glasses of grapefruit juice per week.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery if BuSpar makes you drowsy and affects your judgment.
  • Seek urgent medical advice if you develop chest pain or shortness of breath after taking BuSpar.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol with BuSpar because it may enhance its sedative effects.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Peak concentrations of BuSpar are reached within 40 to 90 minutes of a dose.

References

BuSpar (buspirone) [Package Insert]. Revised 11/2010. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company https://www.drugs.com/pro/buspar.html

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use BuSpar only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2018 Drugs.com. Revision Date: 2017-11-23 03:34:34

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