BuSpar: 6 things you should know
Medically reviewed by C. Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Dec 5, 2018.
1. 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 neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
- BuSpar belongs to the group of medicines known as anxiolytics.
- May be used to treat anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of anxiety.
- May help to relieve symptoms such as fear, irritability, and tension.
- May be 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.
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 to do so compared with other medications used for anxiety. Avoid alcohol and be cautious about operating machinery until you know how Buspar affects you.
- 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 CYP3A4 hepatic enzymes. Should not be taken if MAOI antidepressants have been taken in the past 14 days.
- Only available as tablets. Buspar needs to be taken two to three times daily.
- 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.
- 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.
6. Response and Effectiveness
- Peak concentrations of BuSpar are reached within 40 to 90 minutes of a dose.
BuSpar (buspirone) [Package Insert]. Revised 11/2018. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company https://www.drugs.com/pro/buspar.html
More about BuSpar (buspirone)
- BuSpar Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 407 Reviews
- Drug class: miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics
Other brands: Vanspar
Related treatment guides
- 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.
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