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Buspirone (BuSpar®) is an anxiolytic (antianxiety agent), used primarily for relief of mild to moderate general anxiety disorder. Alcohol does not interact in a dangerous manner with Buspirone and Buspirone may be useful in reducing alcohol craving; it is being researched as a treatment for alcoholism.
Buspirone is unique compared to most anti-anxiety drugs. It is not a benzodiazepine or barbiturate or SSRI - it does not relax muscles or interfere with serotonin reputake. In fact, it is not really understood how Buspirone works to relieve anxiety.
Although it may taken for up to one year without adverse effects, Buspirone is shown to be most effective for short-term use.
Buspirone is less "drowsy" than most other anxiety medications. However, the effects vary from patient to patient and there are potential side effects, including:
Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, nervousness, lightheadedness, restlessness, blurred vision, tiredness, insomnia.
A small percentage of patients may develop movement disorders such as shakiness (tremors), muscle stiffness, mask-like facial expression, jerky walking movements, or a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, these conditions may be permanent.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, shortness of breath, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking buspirone, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all allergies.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Consult your doctor if you have kidney problems or liver problems.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any instances of bipolar disorder (manic-depression) or Parkinson's disease.
Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness, while taking Buspirone. Limit alcohol intake.
If you are taking other anxiolytics, do not suddenly cease usage unless directed by your doctor. If you experience withdrawal symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used when clearly needed. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. However, similar drugs pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
This is not a complete list of side effects and should not be relied upon as definitive. Please consult a doctor with any questions about any side effects or other information related to this drug.
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