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Buspar

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Buspar

Side Effects
Interactions

SIDE EFFECTS

(See also PRECAUTIONS)

Commonly Observed

The more commonly observed untoward events associated with the use of BuSpar (buspirone) not seen at an equivalent incidence among placebo-treated patients include dizziness, nausea, headache, nervousness, lightheadedness, and excitement.

Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment

One guide to the relative clinical importance of adverse events associated with BuSpar (buspirone) is provided by the frequency with which they caused drug discontinuation during clinical testing. Approximately 10% of the 2200 anxious patients who participated in the BuSpar (buspirone) premarketing clinical efficacy trials in anxiety disorders lasting 3 to 4 weeks discontinued treatment due to an adverse event. The more common events causing discontinuation included: 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. In addition, 3.4% of patients had multiple complaints, none of which could be characterized as primary.

Incidence in Controlled Clinical Trials

The table that follows enumerates adverse events that occurred at a frequency of 1% or more among BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) patients who participated in 4-week, controlled trials comparing BuSpar (buspirone) with placebo. The frequencies were obtained from pooled data for 17 trials. The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of side effects in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. Comparison of the cited figures, however, does provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and nondrug factors to the side-effect incidence rate in the population studied.

TREATMENT-EMERGENT ADVERSE EXPERIENCE INCIDENCE IN PLACEBO-CONTROLLED CLINICAL TRIALS* (Percent of Patients Reporting)

Adverse Experience BuSpar
(n=477)
Placebo
(n=464)
Cardiovascular
  Tachycardia/Palpitations 1 1
CNS
  Dizziness 12 3
  Drowsiness 10 9
  Nervousness 5 1
  Insomnia 3 3
  Lightheadedness 3
  Decreased Concentration 2 2
  Excitement 2
  Anger/Hostility 2
  Confusion 2
  Depression 2 2
EENT
  Blurred Vision 2
Gastrointestinal
  Nausea 8 5
  Dry Mouth 3 4
  Abdominal/Gastric Distress 2 2
  Diarrhea  2
  Constipation 1 2
  Vomiting 1 2
Musculoskeletal
  Musculoskeletal Aches/Pains 1
Neurological
  Numbness 2
  Paresthesia 1
  Incoordination 1
  Tremor 1
Skin
  Skin Rash 1
Miscellaneous
  Headache 6 3
  Fatigue 4 4
  Weakness 2
  Sweating/Clamminess 1
*Events reported by at least 1% of BuSpar (buspirone) patients are included.
—Incidence less than 1%.

 Other Events Observed During the Entire Premarketing Evaluation of BuSpar (buspirone)

During its premarketing assessment, BuSpar (buspirone) was evaluated in over 3500 subjects. This section reports event frequencies for adverse events occurring in approximately 3000 subjects from this group who took multiple doses of BuSpar (buspirone) in the dose range for which BuSpar (buspirone) is being recommended (ie, the modal daily dose of BuSpar (buspirone) fell between 10 mg and 30 mg for 70% of the patients studied) and for whom safety data were systematically collected. The conditions and duration of exposure to BuSpar (buspirone) varied greatly, involving well-controlled studies as well as experience in open and uncontrolled clinical settings. As part of the total experience gained in clinical studies, various adverse events were reported. In the absence of appropriate controls in some of the studies, a causal relationship to BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) treatment cannot be determined. The list includes all undesirable events reasonably associated with the use of the drug.

The following enumeration by organ system describes events in terms of their relative frequency of reporting in this data base. Events of major clinical importance are also described in the PRECAUTIONS section.

The following definitions of frequency are used: Frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring in at least 1/100 patients. Infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients, while rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1000 patients.

Cardiovascular

Frequent was nonspecific chest pain; infrequent were syncope, hypotension, and hypertension; rare were cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and bradycardia.

Central Nervous System

Frequent were dream disturbances; infrequent were depersonalization, dysphoria, noise intolerance, euphoria, akathisia, fearfulness, loss of interest, dissociative reaction, hallucinations, involuntary movements, slowed reaction time, suicidal ideation, and seizures; rare were feelings of claustrophobia, cold intolerance, stupor, and slurred speech and psychosis.

EENT

Frequent were tinnitus, sore throat, and nasal congestion; infrequent were redness and itching of the eyes, altered taste, altered smell, and conjunctivitis; rare were inner ear abnormality, eye pain, photophobia, and pressure on eyes.

Endocrine

Rare were galactorrhea and thyroid abnormality.

Gastrointestinal

Infrequent were flatulence, anorexia, increased appetite, salivation, irritable colon, and rectal bleeding; rare was burning of the tongue.

Genitourinary

Infrequent were urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy, menstrual irregularity and spotting, and dysuria; rare were amenorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, enuresis, and nocturia.

Musculoskeletal

Infrequent were muscle cramps, muscle spasms, rigid/stiff muscles, and arthralgias; rare was muscle weakness.

Respiratory

Infrequent were hyperventilation, shortness of breath, and chest congestion; rare was epistaxis.

Sexual Function

Infrequent were decreased or increased libido; rare were delayed ejaculation and impotence.

Skin

Infrequent were edema, pruritus, flushing, easy bruising, hair loss, dry skin, facial edema, and blisters; rare were acne and thinning of nails.

Clinical Laboratory

Infrequent were increases in hepatic aminotransferases (SGOT, SGPT); rare were eosinophilia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia.

Miscellaneous

Infrequent were weight gain, fever, roaring sensation in the head, weight loss, and malaise; rare were alcohol abuse, bleeding disturbance, loss of voice, and hiccoughs.

Postmarketing Experience

Postmarketing experience has shown an adverse experience profile similar to that given above. Voluntary reports since introduction have included rare occurrences of allergic reactions (including urticaria), angioedema, cogwheel rigidity, dizziness (rarely reported as vertigo), dystonic reactions (including dystonia), ataxias, extrapyramidal symptoms, dyskinesias (acute and tardive), ecchymosis, emotional lability, serotonin syndrome, transient difficulty with recall, urinary retention, visual changes (including tunnel vision), parkinsonism, akathisia, restless leg syndrome, and restlessness. Because of the uncontrolled nature of these spontaneous reports, a causal relationship to BuSpar (buspirone) treatment has not been determined.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Controlled Substance Class

BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) is not a controlled substance.

Physical and Psychological Dependence

In human and animal studies, buspirone has shown no potential for abuse or diversion and there is no evidence that it causes tolerance, or either physical or psychological dependence. Human volunteers with a history of recreational drug or alcohol usage were studied in two double-blind clinical investigations. None of the subjects were able to distinguish between BuSpar (buspirone) and placebo. By contrast, subjects showed a statistically significant preference for methaqualone and diazepam. Studies in monkeys, mice, and rats have indicated that buspirone lacks potential for abuse.

Following chronic administration in the rat, abrupt withdrawal of buspirone did not result in the loss of body weight commonly observed with substances that cause physical dependency.

Although there is no direct evidence that BuSpar (buspirone) 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, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, physicians should carefully evaluate patients for a history of drug abuse and follow such patients closely, observing them for signs of BuSpar (buspirone) misuse or abuse (eg, development of tolerance, incrementation of dose, drug-seeking behavior).

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

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Psychotropic Agents

MAO inhibitors: It is recommended that BuSpar (buspirone) not be used concomitantly with MAO inhibitors (see WARNINGS).

Amitriptyline: After addition of buspirone to the amitriptyline dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) of amitriptyline or its metabolite nortriptyline were observed.

Diazepam: After addition of buspirone to the diazepam dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) were observed for diazepam, but increases of about 15% were seen for nordiazepam, and minor adverse clinical effects (dizziness, headache, and nausea) were observed.

Haloperidol: In a study in normal volunteers, concomitant administration of buspirone and haloperidol resulted in increased serum haloperidol concentrations. The clinical significance of this finding is not clear.

Nefazodone: (see Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 [CYP3A4])

Trazodone: There is one report suggesting that the concomitant use of Desyrel® (trazodone hydrochloride) and buspirone may have caused 3- to 6-fold elevations on SGPT (ALT) in a few patients. In a similar study attempting to replicate this finding, no interactive effect on hepatic transaminases was identified.

Triazolam/Flurazepam: Coadministration of buspirone with either triazolam or flurazepam did not appear to prolong or intensify the sedative effects of either benzodiazepine.

Other Psychotropics: Because the effects of concomitant administration of buspirone with most other psychotropic drugs have not been studied, the concomitant use of buspirone with other CNS-active drugs should be approached with caution.

Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)

Buspirone has been shown in vitro to be metabolized by CYP3A4. This finding is consistent with the in vivo interactions observed between buspirone and the following:

Diltiazem and Verapamil: In a study of nine healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with verapamil (80 mg t.i.d.) or diltiazem (60 mg t.i.d.) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (verapamil increased AUC and Cmax of buspirone 3.4-fold while diltiazem increased AUC and Cmax 5.5-fold and 4-fold, respectively.) Adverse events attributable to buspirone may be more likely during concomitant administration with either diltiazem or verapamil. Subsequent dose adjustment may be necessary and should be based on clinical assessment.

Erythromycin: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with erythromycin (1.5 g/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (5-fold increase in Cmax and 6-fold increase in AUC). These pharmacokinetic interactions were accompanied by an increased incidence of side effects attributable to buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg b.i.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.

Grapefruit Juice: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with grapefruit juice (200 mL double-strength t.i.d. for 2 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (4.3-fold increase in Cmax; 9.2-fold increase in AUC). Patients receiving buspirone should be advised to avoid drinking such large amounts of grapefruit juice.

Itraconazole: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with itraconazole (200 mg/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (13-fold increase in Cmax and 19-fold increase in AUC). These pharmacokinetic interactions were accompanied by an increased incidence of side effects attributable to buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg q.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.

Nefazodone: In a study of steady-state pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (2.5 or 5 mg b.i.d.) with nefazodone (250 mg b.i.d.) resulted in marked increases in plasma buspirone concentrations (increases up to 20-fold in Cmax and up to 50-fold in AUC) and statistically significant decreases (about 50%) in plasma concentrations of the buspirone metabolite 1-PP. With 5 mg b.i.d. doses of buspirone, slight increases in AUC were observed for nefazodone (23%) and its metabolites hydroxynefazodone (HO-NEF) (17%) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (9%). Slight increases in Cmax were observed for nefazodone (8%) and its metabolite HO-NEF (11%). Subjects receiving buspirone 5 mg b.i.d. and nefazodone 250 mg b.i.d experienced lightheadedness, asthenia, dizziness, and somnolence, adverse events also observed with either drug alone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg q.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.

Rifampin: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (30 mg as a single dose) with rifampin (600 mg/day for 5 days) decreased the plasma concentrations (83.7% decrease in Cmax; 89.6% decrease in AUC) and pharmacodynamic effects of buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, the dosage of buspirone may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.

Other Inhibitors and Inducers of CYP3A4: Substances that inhibit CYP3A4, such as ketoconazole or ritonavir, may inhibit buspirone metabolism and increase plasma concentrations of buspirone while substances that induce CYP3A4, such as dexamethasone or certain anticonvulsants (phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine), may increase the rate of buspirone metabolism. If a patient has been titrated to a stable dosage on buspirone, a dose adjustment of buspirone may be necessary to avoid adverse events attributable to buspirone or diminished anxiolytic activity. Consequently, when administered with a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, a low dose of buspirone used cautiously is recommended. When used in combination with a potent inducer of CYP3A4 the dosage of buspirone may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.

Other Drugs

Cimetidine: Coadministration of buspirone with cimetidine was found to increase Cmax (40%) and Tmax (2-fold), but had minimal effects on the AUC of buspirone.

Protein Binding

In vitro, buspirone does not displace tightly bound drugs like phenytoin, propranolol, and warfarin from serum proteins. However, there has been one report of prolonged prothrombin time when buspirone was added to the regimen of a patient treated with warfarin. The patient was also chronically receiving phenytoin, phenobarbital, digoxin, and Synthroid®. In vitro, buspirone may displace less firmly bound drugs like digoxin. The clinical significance of this property is unknown.

Therapeutic levels of aspirin, desipramine, diazepam, flurazepam, ibuprofen, propranolol, thioridazine, and tolbutamide had only a limited effect on the extent of binding of buspirone to plasma proteins (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Buspirone hydrochloride may interfere with the urinary metanephrine/catecholamine assay. It has been mistakenly read as metanephrine during routine assay testing for pheochromocytoma, resulting in a false positive laboratory result. Buspirone hydrochloride should therefore be discontinued for at least 48 hours prior to undergoing a urine collection for catecholamines.

Read the Buspar Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/13/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Side Effects
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