Anxiety Medications: BuSpar

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

BuSpar is an anxiety medication that helps to control symptoms of anxiety and has been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of limited to moderate Generalized Anxiety Disorder, including fear, worry, irritability, dizziness and tension. This medication may not be as effective for people with severe anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The generic name is buspirone.

BuSpar is generally used for short periods of time.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juices have been shown to cause possible harmful interactions with BuSpar. You should not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit in your diet before discussing it with your doctor.

Alcohol can also intensify the effects of BuSpar and should be avoided while taking this medication.

Before Taking this Medication

People with either kidney or liver disease may not be able to take BuSpar or may need to have their dosage adjusted. If you have kidney or liver disease, talk with your doctor about the possible dangers to your health before beginning this medication.

In addition, you should notify your doctor of any other medications you may be taking, especially:

· MAOI drugs

· Antidepressants

· Antihistamines

· Sedatives/Sleeping Aids

· Pain relievers

· Muscle relaxers

· Anxiety medications

· Medications to treat other psychiatric disorders

Before taking any over the counter medications, including cold and allergy medications, vitamins or herbal remedies, you should speak with your doctor about possible interactions with BuSpar.

Side Effects

There are a number of common side effects some people experience while taking BuSpar. Many of these are mild and do not interfere with daily activities. If your side effects interfere with your ability to perform daily activities, do not go away or worsen, talk with your doctor. Some common side effects include:

· Drowsiness

· Fatigue/Tiredness

· Dry mouth

· Nightmares

· Headaches

· Nausea

· Nervousness

· Dizziness/Lightheadedness

· Blurred vision

· Trouble sleeping

In addition to the common side effects, some people may experience more serious side effects from taking BuSpar. For the following reactions, seek immediate medical help:

· Shortness of breath

· Chest pain

· Rapid or irregular heart beat

· Bruising or bleeding easily

· Rash

· Itching

· Swelling

· Trouble breathing

In some rare cases, people may experience movement difficulties such as tremors, muscle stiffness, jerky movements while walking or tardive dyskinesia. You should contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.


BuSpar is listed as a Category B medication by the FDA, which indicates it is not expected to cause harm to an unborn baby, however, you should always tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, before beginning or while taking any medication.

At this time it is not known whether BuSpar will harm a nursing baby. If you are breast feeding, you should discuss the possible risks with your doctor. BuSpar is not recommended for children under the age of 18.


"BuSpar", Revised 2007, Aug 30, Author Unknown, Cerner Multum, Inc.,

"BuSpar", Date Unknown, Author Unknown, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)

"BuSpar Oral", 2007, Author Unknown, First DataBank, Inc,

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.