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Buspirone is used in adults for the short-term management of anxiety disorders and treatment of anxiety symptoms.

How it works

Buspirone tablets belong to a group of medicines called anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs). These medicines work on the central nervous system, altering levels of chemicals in the brain and helps in relieving anxiety.

Common side effects

Excitement, Nervousness, Numbness, Drowsiness, Altered sleep, Blurred vision, Constipation, Depression, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Fatigue, Headache, Lightheadedness, Nausea, Rash, Itching, Tachycardia, Heart rate irregular, Vomiting, Weakness


Expert advice

  • Buspirone should be taken every day to prevent anxiety symptoms and not only when anxiety symptoms are experienced.
  • Do not stop taking buspirone suddenly even if you feel well as this may worsen your symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking a benzodiazepine e.g. nitrazepam or temazepam or another common sedative or hypnotic medicine, or if you had or have any of the following medical conditions: acute narrow-angle glaucoma, muscle weakness disorder (myasthenia gravis), difficulty chewing or swallowing, slurred speech and drug dependence issues.
  • Do not take buspirone if you are also taking selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) e.g. fluoxetine and paroxetine or if you have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor eg. selegiline in the past 14 days.
  • Do not drive or operate any tools or machines while using buspirone, as it may cause dizziness affecting your ability to drive and use machines.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking buspirone.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is buspirone a benzo/ a selective serotonin receptor inhibitor (SSRI)/a Xanax/ like Xanax/a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)/a beta blocker/ contain MAOI?
Buspirone is an antianxiety agent and is not chemically or pharmacologically related to the benzodiazepines. It is not Xanax (also known as alprazolam), but has similar actions. It is not a MAOI, beta blocker or SSRI.
Q. Does buspirone work/ work for anxiety/ help you sleep/ help depression?
Buspirone is used in the management of anxiety disorders. It does not help in depression. It may possibly help with sleep. It works if taken at recommended dosage and duration as advised by your doctor. 
Q. Is buspirone fast acting/ does buspirone work right away/ can I take buspar forever/ how long can i take buspirone for?
Buspirone (brand name: Buspar) is not fast acting but can take many weeks to reach full effect. Buspirone like any other medications should be taken for a time period as prescribed by your doctor.
Q. Is buspirone safe/ addictive/ weight gain/ constipation/ hair loss/ make you tired?
Buspirone is safe if taken at recommended dosage and duration as advised by your doctor. It can cause certain side effects such as constipation and fatigue (feeling tired). It is not addictive but can cause withdrawal symptoms, if stopped suddenly. Always consult your doctor if you experience such side effects.
Q. Can i take buspirone with Xanax/ sertraline/ Benadryl/clonazepam/ Zoloft/ Cymbalta/ Prozac/ Effexor/ escitalopram?
Using buspirone together with Zoloft (sertraline), Lexapro (escitalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause major drug interaction and increase the risk of rare but serious conditions. Buspirone interacts moderately with Benadryl. Always consult your doctor before taking any concomitant medication with buspirone.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)