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Buspar

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/10/2017
Buspar Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: BuSpar, BuSpar Dividose

Generic Name: buspirone (Pronunciation: byoo SPYE rone)

What is buspirone (Buspar)?

Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medicine that affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.

Buspirone is used to treat symptoms of anxiety, such as fear, tension, irritability, dizziness, pounding heartbeat, and other physical symptoms.

Buspirone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of buspirone (Buspar)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain;
  • feeling short or breath; or
  • feeling like you might pass out.

Other common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, headache, blurred vision;
  • drowsiness, feeling tired;
  • feeling restless or nervous;
  • nausea, dry mouth, upset stomach;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
  • stuffy nose, sore throat; or
  • ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Buspar (buspirone) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about buspirone (Buspar)?

You should not use buspirone if you are allergic to it.

Do not use buspirone if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of buspirone.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with buspirone and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Buspirone is usually taken for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 4 weeks without your doctor's advice.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Buspar Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking buspirone (Buspar)?

You should not use buspirone if you are allergic to it.

Do not use buspirone if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

To make sure buspirone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:

  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category B. Buspirone is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether buspirone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.

How should I take buspirone (Buspar)?

Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Buspirone is usually taken for only a short time, such as 3 or 4 weeks. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

You may take buspirone with or without food but take it the same way each time.

Some tablet forms of buspirone (Buspar Dividose) may need to be broken before you take the medicine. These tablets have special scored marks on them to make breaking the tablet easy. Do not use the tablet if it has not broken correctly and the piece is too big or too small. Follow your doctor's instructions about how much of the tablet to take.

If you have been switched to buspirone from another anxiety medication, you may need to slowly decrease your dose of the other medication rather than stopping suddenly. Some anxiety medications can cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them suddenly after long-term use.

While using buspirone, you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor's office.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Buspar Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Buspar)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Buspar)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while taking buspirone (Buspar)?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of buspirone.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with buspirone and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

What other drugs will affect buspirone (Buspar)?

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by buspirone.

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with buspirone, especially:

  • bosentan (Tracleer);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • conivaptan (Vaprisol);
  • dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex, DexPak);
  • haloperidol (Haldol);
  • nefazodone;
  • St. John's wort;
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), rifapentine (Priftin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
  • antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), or voriconazole (Vfend);
  • a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Cardizem) or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); or
  • the hepatitis C medications boceprevir (Victrelis) or telaprevir (Incivek);
  • HIV/AIDS medication such as efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), etravirine (Intelence), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra), or saquinavir (Invirase);
  • medicines to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafinil (Nuvigil) or modafinil (Progivil); or
  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with buspirone, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about buspirone.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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