Buspirone ( BuSpar )


What is BuSpar Used to Treat?

BuSpar® is the brand name of the drug Buspirone. It is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders as well as short term treatment for anxiety symptoms such as fear, tension, and anxiety. BuSpar also used for treatment of physical symptoms of anxiety such as a pounding heartbeat, sweating and dizziness.

Although not designed for treatment of depression, BuSpar has been found to be a successful SSRI therapy for depression.

Other uses include successful treatment for alcohol dependence, and improvement of spatial learning and memory after a traumatic brain injury.

How does BuSpar Work?

An anxiolytic psychoactive drug, BuSpar comes in tablet form and is taken orally and affects the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced and contribute to anxiety. Functioning as a serotonin 5-HT receptor partial agonist is what is thought to contribute to BuSpar’s anxiolytic and antidepressant capabilities.

Possible Side Effects

Some people who take BuSpar experience side effects. Patients should consult their pharmacist or health care provider if they experience any of the following:

  • Nausea/Vomiting/Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach or stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tiredness

If any of the following more serious side effects occur the patient should contact their doctor right away:

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Movement disorders such as shakiness or tremors, muscle stiffness, jerky movements, mask like facial expressions
  • Uncontrolled movement of face, mouth, tongue or extremities
  • Shortness of breath
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Rash/itching/swelling
  • Precautions/Interactions

Anyone taking BuSpar should be aware of possible interaction with other substances and necessary precautions. With BuSpar these include:

  • Watching intake of grapefruit and grapefruit juice as it may increase the amount of BuSpar in the bloodstream.
  • BuSpar should always be taken the same way at the same time of day. Taking it with or without food is not important as long as it is consistent.
  • Persons with kidney or liver problems, bi-polar disease or Parkinson’s may not be candidates for BuSpar and should discuss any health issues with their doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, become pregnant, nursing or thinking about becoming pregnant consult your doctor before using Buspar.
  • Because BuSpar can cause dizziness/drowsiness, people who are taking this drug should not drive or operate heavy machinery until it is known how they react to the medication.
  • Alcohol use may increase side effects and should be limited.
  • Health care providers should be informed of any allergies and other medication taken.
  • If you are having surgery or dental surgery tell your doctor you are taking BuSpar.
  • If you are taking BuSpar or thinking of taking it, please consult with your health care provider to make sure it is the best medication for you.


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