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  • BuSpar Oral (Buspirone) | Uses, Dosage, & Effects

    BuSpar (Buspirone Hydrochloride) | Abuse Potential, Uses, & Side Effects

    Anxiolytic medications, including buspirone hydrochloride (brand name BuSpar), are prescribed to help treat anxiety and other related disorders

    But, unlike other anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines or barbiturates, buspirone doesn’t belong to any larger class of medications. 

    This medication is only approved for treating specific conditions like generalized anxiety disorder or short-term symptoms of anxiety.

    Abuse Potential Of Buspirone

    Unlike benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), triazolam (Halcion), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin), BuSpar is not considered a potential drug of abuse

    This is because BuSpar does not interact with the GABA neurotransmitter or receptors (unlike benzos). At high doses, this drug does not cause any sort of high, euphoria, or altered state of consciousness. 

    BuSpar also has a delayed onset, requiring regular doses over two to four weeks to take full effect. Benzodiazepines, which are much more potent and fast-acting, likely take effect in under an hour.

    Buspirone Dosage & Use

    Buspirone 10mg tablets are dosed out according to your body weight and should be taken two or three times a day as prescribed, with or without food. 

    Buspar is considered safe for long-term use. Clinical trials lasting a full year have revealed no dangerous long-term side effects or withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking this medication.

    Effects Of Buspirone

    If you have a generalized anxiety disorder, BuSpar can help you think more clearly and relax more easily—less anxiety gets in the way as you put your mind and body at ease. You may sleep better, sweat less, and feel less jittery and irritable as well.

    The benefits of these effects are considered to be on par with commonly prescribed benzodiazepines, at least when it comes to treating the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

    Buspirone Side Effects

    As with any medication that treats mental health conditions, there is the potential for side effects when using BuSpar. However, these side effects are mild relative to many other medications used to treat anxiety disorders. 

    Common side effects of BuSpar may include:

    • nausea
    • headaches
    • dizziness
    • difficulty concentrating
    • nervousness or restlessness
    • lightheadedness
    • drowsiness
    • blurred vision
    • dry mouth
    • upset stomach
    • feelings of illness
    • ringing in the ears
    • excitement
    • difficulty sleeping or strange dreams

    Uncommon and serious side effects have been known to include:

    • hallucinations
    • seizures
    • allergic reactions (chest pain, lightheadedness, faintness)
    • serotonin syndrome (agitation, sweating, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, shivering, goosebumps, etc.)

    These effects are most common when BuSpar is taken with certain other substances. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these severe adverse effects.

    Learn more about BuSpar Side Effects

    Buspirone & Pregnancy

    BuSpar is considered safe to use during pregnancy, though it has not been well studied during this period. Use of BuSpar while breastfeeding is not recommended.

    Read more about taking BuSpar While Pregnant

    Buspirone Overdoses

    Unlike many other medications, excessive use of buspirone is not fatal or seriously harmful. However, uncomfortable effects may result from BuSpar overdoses, including:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • dizziness
    • drowsiness/sedation
    • constricted pupils
    • gastrointestinal distress
    • tremors
    • movement difficulties (dyskinesia)

    Harmful overdose is much more likely to occur if BuSpar is abused concurrently with other, more harmful drugs or alcohol. 

    Learn more about BuSpar Overdose

    Potential Drug Interactions

    Those taking BuSpar should avoid combining it with heavy consumption of grapefruit juice or grapefruit. 

    Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs or MAO Inhibitors) may cause elevated blood pressure when used concurrently with BuSpar. These medications include:

    • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
    • phenelzine (Nardil)
    • selegiline (Emsam)
    • tranylcypromine (Parnate)

    In addition, using the following medications with BuSpar may result in unwanted or dangerous drug interactions:

    • itraconazole (Sporanox)
    • rifampicin (Rifampin)
    • nefazodone (Serzone)
    • haloperidol (Haldol Decanoate)
    • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
    • fluvoxamine (Fluoxetine)

    If you struggle with polysubstance abuse and need help, please contact us today.

    BuSpar FAQs

    What Type Of Drug Is BuSpar?

    Buspirone (brand name BuSpar) belongs to a class of medications known as anti-anxiety agents or anxiolytics. BuSpar is not considered to be a controlled substance.

    Learn more about BuSpar Drug Class & Schedule

    How Is Buspirone Different From SSRIs?

    Buspirone is different from SSRIs because it primarily treats anxiety. SSRIs are typically used to treat depression and that is not an approved use for buspirone. Buspirone also binds to both the serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain. SSRIs work on serotonin alone.

    To learn more, read Is BuSpar An SSRI?

    What’s A Typical Dose Of BuSpar?

    The recommended dose for adults taking buspirone (BuSpar) for generalized anxiety disorder is 15 mg in one day, usually divided into 7.5 mg doses taken every twelve hours.

    Learn more about BuSpar Dosage

    How Long Does BuSpar Stay In Your System?

    Buspirone (BuSpar) stays in your system for about 12 hours depending on the individual. This drug is not routinely screened for on drug tests, but is detectable in urine for between 24 and 36 hours after the last dose.

    Learn more about How Long BuSpar Stays In Your System

    Can You Snort BuSpar?

    The prescription medication buspirone (brand name BuSpar) can be crushed into powder and snorted, increasing the general effects of the drug and potentially causing damage to the nasal passages.

    Learn more about Snorting BuSpar

    What Does A BuSpar High Feel Like?

    A BuSpar high can make you feel relaxed, dizzy, tired, lightheaded, and nauseous. Abusing BuSpar to get high may be less likely than other prescription drugs, though your BuSpar use may still be monitored.

    Learn more about a BuSpar High

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - BuSpar®
    Mayo Clinic - Buspirone (Oral Route) Description and Brand Names
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Buspirone

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on January 31, 2023
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