Buspar(A complete guide)

Buspar is an anti-anxiety medication used for short-term treatment. 

What is Buspar? 

Buspar is a medication used as a short-term treatment for anxiety disorders. It should not be used as an antipsychotic. 

How does Buspar work?

It is not entirely known how Buspar works to relieve anxiety, but experts believe that it decreases the amount of actions of serotonin in certain parts of the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that enables neurons to communicate with one another.

It is one of the brain’s regulators of sleep, appetite, and mood.  How is Buspar taken?

Buspar is an oral tablet that is usually taken twice daily.

If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember, but skip the missed dose if your next scheduled dose is coming up soon.

Do not take any extra Buspar to make up for your missed dose. 

How do I know if I should take Buspar? 

Do you have irrational fears or worries that interfere with your everyday life?

Do you ever get hot flashes, feel dizzy, lightheaded, or out of control for no apparent reason?

Do you avoid certain situations altogether out of intense fear?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they have lasted for at least six months, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. 

Don’t worry though, anxiety disorders are extremely common, with around 1 person out of every 13 suffering worldwide.

With the proper medication regimen in combination with therapy, you can effectively manage your anxiety disorder symptoms and live a relatively normal life. 

Be sure not to confuse normal every day anxiety with an anxiety disorder.

If you are experiencing a problem at work, big exam coming up, or an important decision, you are probably having a normal anxious reaction to life stressors.

Anxiety disorders, however, are chronic and usually center around irrational fears and worry. 

There are many different types of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, to name a few.   

Symptoms of GAD usually include: 

·      Feelings of restlessness or on edge

·      Difficulty concentrating and racing thoughts

·      Muscle tension

·      Irritability

·      Trouble sleeping

·      Difficulty controlling feelings of worry

·      Easily fatigued 

Anti-anxiety medications are commonly prescribed to people suffering from panic disorder because the calming effects help subside panic attacks. Symptoms of panic attacks include:

·      Heart palpitations or accelerated heartrate 

·      Sweating, trembling, shaking

·      Shortness of breath 

·      Feelings of impending doom 

Phobia-related disorders are another set of anxiety disorders that are characterized by an intense fear or aversion to specific situations or objects.

This fear is usually out of proportion to the actual danger imposed by the situation or object. 

Symptoms of phobia-related disorders include: 

·      Irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation 

·      Intentional avoidance of feared object or situation 

·      Intense and immediate anxiety upon exposure to the object or situation 

Specific phobias can be related to situations such as flying or heights, or related to animals such as spiders.

Some people also have phobias of receiving injections or blood.

Agoraphobia is another type of anxiety disorder where people have an intense fear of two or more of the following situations: 

·      Being in open or enclosed spaces

·      Standing in lines

·      Crowded areas

·      Using public transportation

·      Being outside of their home 

People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations out of fear that they will not be able to escape.

Some have an intense fear that they will panic or have other embarrassing symptoms.

In severe cases, people may avoid leaving their house altogether. 

If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, do NOT start taking Buspar from a non-reputable source such as a friend, consult a psychiatrist immediately. 

Buspar should be taken in combination with the right kind of psychotherapy, such as talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

These therapies teach the patient active coping mechanisms to manage anxiety symptoms. 

To get more insight into anxiety disorders, click here. 

What are the side effects of Buspar? 

Buspar can cause the following side effects: 

·      Dizziness or lightheadedness

·      Gastrointestinal issues (nausea, diarrhea)

·      Headache

·      Confusion

·      Fatigue

·      Nervousness

·      Excitement

·      Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

·      Feelings of anger or hostility 

·      Weakness

·      Numbness

·      Excessive swearing

Buspar can also cause more serious side effects. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: 

·      Skin problems indicating an allergic reaction such as rash, hives, or itching

·      Swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, throat, tongue, or lips

·      Fast or irregular heartbeat

·      Blurry vision

·      Shaking uncontrollably in a part of the body 

·      Agitation

·      Fever

·      Shivering

·      Seizures

·      Hallucinations

·      Loss of coordination or balance 

·      Flushing

·      Confusion

Is it possible to overdose on Buspar?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on Buspar.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms, seek emergency medical help immediately: 

·      Collapse, loss of consciousness 

·      Trouble breathing 

·      Seizure

·      Nausea

·      Vomiting

·      Dizziness

·      Drowsiness

·      Blurred vision 

·      Upset stomach 

What is some important information to know before taking Buspar?

Buspar is not approved for anyone under the age of 18. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking Buspar. Start drinking these juices to fight anxiety.

Notify your doctor if you are currently taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (brand name Marplan), linezolid (brand name Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (brand name Nardil), selegiline (brand names Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (brand name Parnate).

If you stop taking Buspar, your doctor will most likely tell you to wait at least two weeks before starting to take an MAOI. 

Using Buspar with the following medications is not recommended.

If you are taking one of these medications, discuss with your doctor because your dose or usage regimen for Buspar may change. 

·      Alfentanil

·      Almotriptan

·      Amitriptyline

·      Amoxapine

·      Amphetamine

·      Benzohydrocodone

·      Benzphetamine

·      Bromazepam

·      Bromopride

·      Buprenorphine

·      Butorphanol

·      Cannabidiol

·      Carbinoxamine

·      Ceritinib

·      Cetirizine

·      Clorgyline

·      Clozapine

·      Cobicistat

·      Codeine

·      Conivaptan

·      Desvenlafaxine

·      Dextroamphetamine

·      Dihydrocodeine

·      Dolasetron

·      Doxylamine

·      Duloxetine

·      Duvelisib

·      Escitalopram

·      Esketamine

·      Fentanyl

·      Flibanserin

·      Fosnetupitant

·      Granisetron

·      Hydrocodone

·      Hydromorphone

·      Hydroxytryptophan

·      Idelalisib

·      Iproniazid

·      Ivosidenib

·      Larotrectinib

·      Lasmiditan

·      Lefamulin

·      Levomilnacipran

·      Levorphanol

·      Lisdexamfetamine

·      Lithium

·      Lofexidine

·      Lorcaserin

·      Lorlatinib

·      Loxapine

·      Lumacaftor

·      Meclizine

·      Meperidine

·      Metaxalone

·      Methadone

·      Methamphetamine

·      Methylene Blue

·      Metoclopramide

·      Midazolam

·      Mirtazapine

·      Moclobemide

·      Morphine

·      Morphine Sulfate Liposome

·      Nalbuphine

·      Netupitant

·      Nialamide

·      Oxycodone

·      Oxymorphone

·      Palonosetron

·      Pargyline

·      Pentazocine

·      Periciazine

·      Procarbazine

·      Remifentanil

·      Scopolamine

·      Selegiline

·      Sertraline

·      Sodium Oxybate

·      Sufentanil

·      Tapentadol

·      Toloxatone

·      Tramadol

·      Trazodone

·      Vilazodone

·      Vortioxetine

·      Ziprasidone

·      Zolpidem

Before using Buspar, tell your doctor if you are taking any antidepressants (including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine, or tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, or trazadone).

Also discuss with your doctor if you are currently taking haloperidol or drugs that slow down the metabolism of Buspar by affecting certain liver enzymes (i.e., azole antifungals such as itraconazole and ketoconazole, and ritonavir, nefazodone, and diltiazem.)

The following drugs speed up the removal of Buspar from the body, so it is imperative to discuss with your doctor if you are taking any of the following: rifamycins (rifampin, rifabutin) corticosteroids, (i.e., dexamethasone) and certain anti-seizure medications such as phenytoin or phenobarbital). 

Certain drugs that cause drowsiness will interact with Buspar and amplify this effect.

These include the following: 

·      Opioid pain or cough relievers (codeine, hydrocodone)

·      Alcohol

·      Marijuana (cannabis) Check the best herbs to smoke for anxiety, besides marijuana.

·      Sleep or anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines such as alprazolam, lorazepam, or zolpidem)

·      Muscle relaxants (carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine)

·      Antihistamines (cetirizine, diphenhydramine) 

Buspar may interfere with the results of some laboratory or medical tests including brain scans for Parkinson’s disease.

Make sure your doctor knows you are currently taking Buspar before undergoing a medical test. 

Discuss with your doctor any preexisting medical conditions especially kidney disease, liver disease, or a history of alcohol or drug abuse. 

You should not suddenly stop taking Buspar, even if you feel better.

Talk to your doctor if you would like to taper off of Buspar and he or she can gradually lower your dose and figure out a better treatment plan for you.

If you do suddenly stop taking Buspar, you may experience the following unpleasant withdrawal symptoms: 

·      Increased anxiety

·      Burning or tingling feelings

·      Confusion

·      Dizziness

·      Headache

·      Irritability

·      Nausea

·      Nervousness

·      Muscle cramps

·      Sweating

Excessive fatigue or weakness


Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Buspar: 

1.   Are Buspar and Xanax the same thing? 

Although Buspar and Xanax both work to treat anxiety, they are part of different classes of drugs.

2.How does Buspar make you feel?

Buspar may help you feel less jittery and irritable and may help you sleep better.

Other symptoms that Buspar might help with are sweating and a pounding heartbeat.

3.   How long does it take for Buspar to work?

Buspar usually takes 1-2 weeks to have an initial effect and about 4-6 weeks to have its full clinical effect. 

4.   What is Buspar used to treat?

Buspar is prescribed to patients with anxiety and it can relieve symptoms such as fear, tension, irritability, dizziness, and pounding heartbeat.  

5.   Does Buspar work immediately?

No, Buspar does not work immediately. It usually takes anywhere from 1-6 weeks to show effects. 

6.   Does Buspar make you sleepy?

Buspar may make you feel sleepy as well as increasing your reaction time.

Do not take Buspar if you need to drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects your level of drowsiness.

7.   Does Buspar make you feel weird? 

Unlike Xanax, Buspar does not cause feelings of euphoria, however abuse of this medication can result in extreme sedation.

Sometimes people with anxiety will take large doses of Buspar to induce sedation.

Discuss the proper dose for you with your doctor before taking Buspar, and take it exactly as your doctor prescribes. 

Want to learn more about Buspar? Try these books!

BUSPAR (Buspar): Treats Anxiety Disorders, or Short-Term Treatment of Symptoms of Anxiety, But not Anxiety or Tension caused by the Stress of Everyday Life

This book by James Lee Anderson provides information about bupropion in paperback form.

It discusses what Buspar is prescribed for, how it works, and how it should be taken.

He gives a very powerful quote: “Although your health condition may impact your everyday life, do not let it define who you are”. 

Buspar Hydrochloride; A Complete Guide

G. J. Blokdijk goes into detail on the appropriate questions you should be asking your doctor about Buspar.

Some questions include: do vitamins interact with Buspar hydrochloride medications?

Can natural products be just as effective as Buspar hydrochloride prescription medications?

What happens if I am willing to try new medications if the current Buspar hydrochloride regiment is not working?

This guide will help you formulate the right questions to ask your doctor and includes room for notes so you can jot down important information during your appointments.

In addition, if you are a healthcare provider and want to make sure you can answer every question your patient has, then this guide book is for you as well. 

I am not in recovery. I am in discovery: Journaling my mental illness

Journaling is a great way to help process and keep track of your experiences and feelings while you are going the debilitating symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

This journal contains 94 daily templates to aid in your discovery process. 

Questions or comments about Buspar? Post below! 


Buspar.Medline Plus. April 15th, 2019.

Buspar: (Oral Route).Mayo Clinic. November 1st, 2019. 

Buspar HCl.WebMD. 2019. 

Facts & Statistics: Anxiety Disorders.Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 2018.