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  • Withdrawal symptoms of BuSpar may include nausea, dizziness, headache, and sleeping problems. These symptoms may be unlikely as buspirone has a low potential for drug abuse and physical dependence. 

    Withdrawal symptoms may last for about 2 weeks, and may be treated by medical professionals.

    BuSpar (generic name buspirone) is an FDA-approved anxiolytic or anti-anxiety medication. It may be prescribed as a lower-risk anxiety treatment option compared to common benzodiazepines such as Xanax.

    Despite BuSpar’s lower perceived abuse potential or risk of serious side effects, patients with a history of substance abuse may be more likely to abuse BuSpar. Taking BuSpar as directed can reduce your chances of physical dependence and withdrawal.

    Buspirone Withdrawal Symptoms

    Reported Buspirone withdrawal symptoms may be mild, and may include:

    • nausea
    • dizziness
    • headache
    • insomnia
    • drowsiness

    Buspirone may be less likely to cause severe withdrawal symptoms due to its lack of interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). 

    Benzodiazepines and other anxiolytics interact with this inhibitor neurotransmitter, which is linked to serious withdrawal once drug use stops.

    Studies show that long-term use of buspirone for up to one year did not increase the prevalence of adverse effects or withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor to determine whether short-term or long-term use of buspirone is the right option for you.

    Withdrawing From Other Substances While On BuSpar

    Patients may take BuSpar as an alternative anxiolytic. Taking BuSpar may require stopping other anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines. BuSpar may not alleviate withdrawal symptoms for these substances.

    Withdrawal from prescription drugs such as Xanax may include rebound anxiety, cravings, lightheadedness, blurry vision, high blood pressure, and chest pain. Patients may experience these symptoms when switching from benzodiazepines to buspirone to relieve their symptoms of anxiety.

    The risk of serious withdrawal symptoms from other prescription drugs may require separate timelines and treatment options for patients taking BuSpar.

    Buspirone Withdrawal Timeline

    Buspirone may not have a definitive withdrawal timeline, due to the lack of available data and low potential for withdrawal symptoms. One study identifies minor withdrawal symptoms of BuSpar, such as nausea and nervousness, lasting for up to two weeks.

    Buspirone hydrochloride has a half-life of about 2 to 3 hours. After 5 half-life cycles, or 10 to 15 hours, buspirone may exit the bloodstream. If a physical dependency has formed, withdrawal symptoms may then set in.

    The timeline for buspirone withdrawal may vary with each patient’s history of drug abuse, current medications, and even nutritional supplements they are taking.

    Treatment For BuSpar Withdrawal

    Treating BuSpar withdrawal may involve the treatment of BuSpar’s withdrawal symptoms. You may be recommended to stay at a detox center while the drug exits your system, where you can be monitored by healthcare providers in a safe environment.

    Medical professionals may avoid drugs that cause harmful drug interactions with BuSpar, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a type of antidepressant. Mixing these drugs can cause a life-threatening rise in blood pressure.

    During and after the withdrawal period, your mental health and history of drug use may be addressed. You may be referred to a treatment center if your risk of continued drug abuse is high.

    Addiction Treatment Options

    The potential for drug abuse and withdrawal effects of buspirone may be low when the drug is taken on its own. 

    However, buspirone abuse can come in several forms, such as taking the drug in high doses, drinking grapefruit juice after a dose of buspirone, and intentionally causing harmful drug interactions.

    Patients with mental health problems such as generalized anxiety disorder may be at a higher risk for drug abuse.

    If you suffer from Buspirone abuse and mental health problems, you may benefit from a dedicated substance abuse treatment program. For information on our inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment option, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration - BuSpar
    National Library of Medicine: StatPearls - Buspirone
    SpringerLink - Buspirone vs Alprazolam: A Double-Blind Comparative Study of Their Efficacy, Adverse Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on October 21, 2022
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