National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Generic name: buspirone (byoo SPYE rone)
Medication class: anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
What is BUSPAR® and what does it treat?
Buspirone is in a class of medications called anti-anxiety medications. Buspirone is not related to other anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates or other sedative/ anxiolytic drugs. It is approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) occurs when a person experiences excessive anxiety or worry for at least six months. Other symptoms include
What is the most important information I should know about BUSPAR®?
Alcohol may increase any drowsiness or dizziness when taken with buspirone. You should avoid the use of alcohol while taking buspirone.
It may take 3 to 4 weeks before you start to feel better. Initially you may begin to notice a decrease in irritability and worry. Do not stop taking this medication without talking to your healthcare provider first. Only your healthcare provider can determine the length of buspirone therapy that is right for you.
Unlike other anti-anxiety medications, buspirone has very low abuse potential.
Are there specific concerns about BUSPAR® and pregnancy?
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your healthcare provider to best manage your medications. People living with anxiety disorders who wish to become pregnant face important decisions. It is important to discuss this with your doctor and caregivers.
Regarding breastfeeding, caution is advised since it is unknown whether buspirone passes into breast milk.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking BUSPAR®?
How should I take BUSPAR®?
Buspirone should be taken twice a day with or without food.
Your healthcare provider will determine the dose that is right for you based upon your response.
Use a calendar, pillbox, alarm clock, or cell phone alert to help you remember to take your medication. You may also ask a family member a friend to remind you or check in with you to be sure you are taking your medication.
What happens if I miss a dose of BUSPAR®?
If you miss a dose of buspirone, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Do not double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed.
What should I avoid while taking BUSPAR®?
Avoid drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs while you are taking buspirone. They may decrease the benefits (e.g., worsen your condition) and increase the adverse effects (e.g., sedation) of the medication.
What happens if I overdose with BUSPAR®?
If an overdose occurs call your doctor or 911. You may need urgent medical care. You may also contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
A specific treatment to reverse the effects of buspirone does not exist.
What are the possible side effects of BUSPAR®?
Common Side Effects
Rare Side Effects
Changes in weight or appetite, fainting, changes in blood pressure, muscle cramps or spasms, and redness or itching of eyes
Serious Side Effects
Allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of your lips, tongue or face); chest pain or an irregular heartbeat; slurred speech; confusion or blurred vision; numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, arms, or legs; depression; or uncontrollable movements of your arms, legs, tongue, or lips.
Are there any risks for taking BUSPAR® for long periods of time?
To date, there are no known problems associated with the long term use of buspirone. It is a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
What other medications may interact with BUSPAR®?
If you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, such as phenelzine (Nardil®), isocarboxazid (Marplan®), selegiline (Eldepryl®, EMSAM®) or tranylcypromine (Parnate®), within the past 2 weeks, do not take buspirone. The use of buspirone with these agents can cause a severe increase in your blood pressure.
The following medications may increase the levels and effects of buspirone:
The following medications may decrease the levels and effects of buspirone:
How long does it take for BUSPAR® to work?
It may take 3 to 4 weeks of taking buspirone every day before you start to feel better.
Provided by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists