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Generic Name:

buspirone, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • BuSpar
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for buspirone

Oral tablet
1

Buspirone is used to relieve anxiety.

2

Buspirone comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Buspirone is available as a generic drug. It’s not available as a brand-name drug.

4

The recommended starting dosage for adults is 15 mg daily (7.5 mg twice per day). Your doctor will tell you the dosage that’s right for you.

5
You‘re at increased risk of being drowsy and less alert while taking buspirone. Use caution while driving a car or using machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Mental alertness

You’re at increased risk of being drowsy and less alert while taking buspirone. Use caution while driving a car or using machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal reactions

If you’ve been taking a benzodiazepine drug (such as clonazepam, alprazolam, or lorazepam) for anxiety long-term (a month or longer), talk with your doctor. They will likely have you slowly stop taking the benzodiazepine drug before you start taking buspirone. Or your doctor may slowly decrease your dose while increasing your dose of buspirone over several weeks. If your current benzodiazepine medication is stopped suddenly and replaced with buspirone, you may have withdrawal reactions. These may include feeling irritable or nervous, trouble sleeping, tremor, cramps, vomiting, sweating, or flu-like symptoms.

Delayed effect

When taking this drug, you may see a decrease in your anxiety within 2 weeks. However, you likely won’t see the full effect of the drug until 3–6 weeks after you start the drug.

What is buspirone?

Buspirone is a prescription drug. It comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

Buspirone is only available as generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Buspirone may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Buspirone is used to relieve anxiety.

How it works

It’s not fully known how buspirone lowers anxiety levels. It decreases some of the activity of a chemical called serotonin in the brain. This decrease is thought to affect anxiety.
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SECTION 2 of 5

buspirone Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of buspirone include:

  • dizziness

  • nausea

  • headache

  • nervousness

  • lightheadedness

  • excitement

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

  • Heart or cardiovascular effects. Symptoms can include:

    • fast heart rate
    • palpitations (feeling like your heart is skipping a beat)
    • chest pain
    • low or high blood pressure
    • fainting
  • Trouble with coordination (controlling your movements)

  • Outbursts of anger

  • Serotonin syndrome. Symptoms can include:

    • confusion
    • large pupils (the black centers of the eyes)
    • fast heart rate
    • high blood pressure
    • fever
    • excessive sweating
    • rigid muscles
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • seizures
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
Buspirone causes drowsiness.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

buspirone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Buspirone can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Food interactions

During your treatment with buspirone, avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice or eating large amounts of grapefruit. Grapefruit can increase the amount of buspirone in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Most people can consume small amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (1 serving 2–3 times per week) without problems.

Alcohol interaction

Buspirone can cause drowsiness. Drinking alcohol while taking this drug can cause slowed reflexes, poor judgment, and sleepiness, which can be dangerous.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Antibiotics

Taking certain antibiotics with buspirone can increase the levels of buspirone in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone. Examples of these drugs include:

  • erythromycin
  • clarithromycin
  • telithromycin

Antidepressant drugs

Taking certain drugs used to treat depression with buspirone raises the risk of serotonin syndrome. Symptoms can include rigid muscles, high fever, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Examples of these drugs include:

  • fluoxetine
  • paroxetine
  • escitalopram
  • citalopram
  • sertraline
  • amitriptyline
  • mirtazapine

Taking certain drugs used to treat depression with buspirone can also increase the levels of buspirone in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone. Examples of these drugs include:

  • nefazodone
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which can also increase your risk of high blood pressure. Do not take buspirone with an MAOI. Examples of these drugs include:
    • selegiline
    • isocarboxazid
    • phenelzine
    • tranylcypromine

Antifungal drugs

Taking certain drugs used to treat fungal infections with buspirone can increase the levels of buspirone in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone. Examples of these drugs include:

  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • fluconazole
  • voriconazole

Antiseizure drugs

When taken with buspirone, certain drugs used to treat seizures can lower the amount of buspirone in your body. This can make buspirone less effective, and it may not work as well to treat your anxiety. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone. Examples of these seizure drugs include:

  • carbamazepine
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin

High blood pressure drugs

Taking certain blood pressure drugs with buspirone can increase the levels of buspirone in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone. Examples of these drugs include:

  • diltiazem
  • verapamil

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs

Taking certain drugs used to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) with buspirone can increase the levels of buspirone in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone. Examples of these drugs include:

  • ritonavir
  • atazanavir
  • darunavir
  • lopinavir/ritonavir

Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism drugs

When taken with buspirone, certain drugs used to treat these Parkinson’s disease and related conditions can increase your blood pressure. You should not take buspirone with these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as:
    • rasaligine
    • selegiline

Other drugs

Rifampin is used to treat tuberculosis and other infections. When taken with buspirone, rifampin can lower the amount of buspirone in your body. This can make buspirone less effective, and it may not work as well to treat your anxiety. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone.

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid drug. It’s used to treat conditions such as immune disorders and skin, eye, or respiratory problems. When taken with buspirone, dexamethasone can lower the amount of buspirone in your body. This can make buspirone less effective, and it may not work as well to treat your anxiety. Your doctor may change your dose of buspirone.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Buspirone warnings
People with severe kidney damage
People with severe kidney damage

You should not use buspirone. Your kidneys clear buspirone from your body. If they’re not working well, the amount of buspirone in your body can increase to dangerous levels.

People with severe liver damage
People with severe liver damage

You should not use buspirone. Your liver processes buspirone in your body. If it’s not working well, the amount of buspirone in your body can increase to dangerous levels.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Buspirone is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals hasn’t shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies don’t always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It’s not known if buspirone passes into breast milk and causes side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children
For children

There is no information available on how safe or effective buspirone is for long-term use in children. Don’t use this drug in people younger than 18 years.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Allergies
Allergies

Buspirone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives (itchy welts)
  • rash

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take buspirone (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Anxiety disorders

Generic: buspirone

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • Typical starting dosage: 15 mg daily (7.5 mg twice per day).
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage 5 mg per day every 2–3 days.
  • Maximum daily dosage: 60 mg.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

There is no information available on how safe or effective buspirone is for long-term use in children. Don’t use this drug in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Buspirone comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

Your anxiety may continue or worsen.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • seizures
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your level of anxiety should decrease.

Buspirone is used for short-term or long-term treatment. The length of therapy depends on the condition being treated.

Important considerations for taking buspirone
Take buspirone either with or without food. Be sure to do it the same way each time.
Take buspirone either with or without food. Be sure to do it the same way each time.
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
Buspirone tablets can be crushed or cut
Buspirone tablets can be crushed or cut
Store this drug carefully
Store this drug carefully
See Details
A prescription for this medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store buspirone at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does buspirone Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for buspirone

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for buspirone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for buspirone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on November 30, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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