Social Anxiety Disorder Resources and Guide

Buspar and Buspar Side Effects Information

What is Buspar?

Buspirone Hydrochloride (HCL) is an anti-anxiety medication generally prescribed for management of anxiety and anxiety disorder or short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. Buspar is in tablet form and comes in 5mg, 10mg, 15mg and 30mg strengths. Although effective in helping with anxiety, buspar side effects have been reported by some users.

How does Buspar work to help with anxiety?

The actual mechanism of action of Buspar is not clearly known. Buspar is different from typical benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax anti-anxiety medication in that it does not exert anti-seizure or muscle relaxant effects. In addition, Buspar lacks the prominent sedative effect that is associated with benzodiazepines. Studies have shown that Buspar has a high affinity for serotonin receptors (receptors in the brain that mediate arousal).

What are the Side Effects of Buspar?

Buspar side effects may include dizziness, nausea, headache, nervousness, lightheadedness, and excitement. In addition, other common buspar side effects and adverse reactions include:

Central nervous system disturbances (3.4%), primarily dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, drowsiness, and lightheaded feeling; gastrointestinal disturbances (1.2%), primarily nausea; and miscellaneous disturbances (1.1%), primarily headache and fatigue.

Studies indicate that Buspar is less sedating than other anti-anxiety medications and that it does not produce significant functional impairment. However, its CNS effects in any individual patient may not be predictable. Studies report that some additional side effects of Buspar are interference with cognitive and motor performance.

Caution - Buspar Side Effects:

Therefore, patients should be cautioned about operating an automobile or using complex machinery until they are reasonably certain that Buspar treatment does not affect them adversely.

While formal studies of the interaction of Buspar with alcohol indicate that Buspar does not increase alcohol-induced impairment in motor and mental performance, it is prudent to avoid concomitant use of alcohol and Buspar.

How Effective Is Buspar:

The effectiveness of Buspar in long-term use, that is, for more than 3 to 4 weeks, has not been demonstrated in controlled trials. There is no body of evidence available that systematically addresses the appropriate duration of treatment for GAD. However, in a study of long-term use, 264 patients were treated with Buspar for 1 year without ill effect. Therefore, the physician who elects to use Buspar for extended periods should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

Drug Abuse and Dependence:

Although there is no direct evidence that Buspar causes physical dependence or drug-seeking behavior, it is difficult to predict from experiments the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused.


National Center for Health and Wellness