Buspirone : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Buspirone is used to treat anxiety disorders or in the short-term treatment of anxiety symptoms. Buspirone is in a class of medications called anxiolytics. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.
How should this medicine be used?
Buspirone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day and should be taken consistently, always with food or always without food each time. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take buspirone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of buspirone and gradually increase your dose, no more than once every 2 to 3 days. It may take several weeks before you reach the right dose for you.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking buspirone,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to buspirone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in buspirone tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take buspirone. If you stop taking buspirone, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAO inhibitor.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); dexamethasone; diazepam (Valium); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin, others); haloperidol (Haldol); ketoconazole; itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); medications for migraines such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); muscle relaxants; nefazodone (Serzone); pain relievers or narcotics; rifampicin (Rifadin, Rimactane); ritonavir (Norvir); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sedatives such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), levomilnacipran (Fetzima), milnacipran (Savella), and venlafaxine (Effexor); sleeping pills; tranquilizers trazodone (Desyrel); and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects. Many other medications can also interact with buspirone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease or a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking buspirone, call your doctor.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking buspirone.
- You should know that this medicine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Remember that alcohol can increase the drowsiness caused by this drug. Do not drink alcohol while taking buspirone.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking buspirone.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Buspirone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- feelings of anger or hostility
- increased sweating
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, throat, tongue, or lips
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- blurred vision
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- agitation, fever, sweating, dizziness, flushing, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, seizures, hallucinations, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature, away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- blurred vision
- upset stomach
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your response to buspirone.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking buspirone.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.