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The administration of BuSpar (buspirone) to a patient taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) may pose a hazard. There have been reports of the occurrence of elevated blood pressure when BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) has been added to a regimen including an MAOI. Therefore, it is recommended that BuSpar (buspirone) not be used concomitantly with an MAOI.
Because BuSpar (buspirone) has no established antipsychotic activity, it should not be employed in lieu of appropriate antipsychotic treatment.
Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance
Studies indicate that BuSpar (buspirone) is less sedating than other anxiolytics and that it does not produce significant functional impairment. However, its CNS effects in any individual patient may not be predictable. Therefore, patients should be cautioned about operating an automobile or using complex machinery until they are reasonably certain that buspirone treatment does not affect them adversely.
While formal studies of the interaction of BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) with alcohol indicate that buspirone does not increase alcohol-induced impairment in motor and mental performance, it is prudent to avoid concomitant use of alcohol and buspirone.
Potential for Withdrawal Reactions in Sedative/Hypnotic/Anxiolytic Drug-Dependent Patients
Because BuSpar (buspirone) does not exhibit cross-tolerance with benzodiazepines and other common sedative/hypnotic drugs, it will not block the withdrawal syndrome often seen with cessation of therapy with these drugs. Therefore, before starting therapy with BuSpar (buspirone) , it is advisable to withdraw patients gradually, especially patients who have been using a CNS-depressant drug chronically, from their prior treatment. Rebound or withdrawal symptoms may occur over varying time periods, depending in part on the type of drug, and its effective half-life of elimination.
The syndrome of withdrawal from sedative/hypnotic/anxiolytic drugs can appear as any combination of irritability, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, tremor, abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, flu-like symptoms without fever, and occasionally, even as seizures.
Possible Concerns Related to Buspirone's Binding to Dopamine Receptors
Because buspirone can bind to central dopamine receptors, a question has been raised about its potential to cause acute and chronic changes in dopamine-mediated neurological function (eg, dystonia, pseudo-parkinsonism, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia). Clinical experience in controlled trials has failed to identify any significant neuroleptic-like activity; however, a syndrome of restlessness, appearing shortly after initiation of treatment, has been reported in some small fraction of buspirone-treated patients. The syndrome may be explained in several ways. For example, buspirone may increase central noradrenergic activity; alternatively, the effect may be attributable to dopaminergic effects (ie, represent akathisia). See ADVERSE REACTIONS: Postmarketing Experience.
There are no specific laboratory tests recommended.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed in rats during a 24-month study at approximately 133 times the maximum recommended human oral dose; or in mice, during an 18-month study at approximately 167 times the maximum recommended human oral dose.
With or without metabolic activation, buspirone did not induce point mutations in five strains of Salmonella typhimurium (Ames Test) or mouse lymphoma L5178YTK+ cell cultures, nor was DNA damage observed with buspirone in Wi-38 human cells. Chromosomal aberrations or abnormalities did not occur in bone marrow cells of mice given one or five daily doses of buspirone.
Teratogenic Effects -Pregnancy Category B
No fertility impairment or fetal damage was observed in reproduction studies performed in rats and rabbits at buspirone doses of approximately 30 times the maximum recommended human dose. In humans, however, adequate and well-controlled studies during pregnancy have not been performed. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Labor and Delivery
The effect of BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride) on labor and delivery in women is unknown. No adverse effects were noted in reproduction studies in rats.
The extent of the excretion in human milk of buspirone or its metabolites is not known. In rats, however, buspirone and its metabolites are excreted in milk. BuSpar (buspirone) administration to nursing women should be avoided if clinically possible.
The safety and effectiveness of buspirone were evaluated in two placebo-controlled 6-week trials involving a total of 559 pediatric patients (ranging from 6 to 17 years of age) with GAD. Doses studied were 7.5 mg to 30 mg b.i.d. (15–60 mg/day). There were no significant differences between buspirone and placebo with regard to the symptoms of GAD following doses recommended for the treatment of GAD in adults. Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that, for identical doses, plasma exposure to buspirone and its active metabolite, 1-PP, are equal to or higher in pediatric patients than adults. No unexpected safety findings were associated with buspirone in these trials. There are no long-term safety or efficacy data in this population.
In one study of 6632 patients who received buspirone for the treatment of anxiety, 605 patients were ≥ 65 years old and 41 were ≥ 75 years old; the safety and efficacy profiles for these 605 elderly patients (mean age = 70.8 years) were similar to those in the younger population (mean age = 43.3 years). Review of spontaneously reported adverse clinical events has not identified differences between elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older patients cannot be ruled out.
There were no effects of age on the pharmacokinetics of buspirone (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Special Populations).
Use in Patients With Impaired Hepatic or Renal Function
Buspirone is metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. A pharmacokinetic study in patients with impaired hepatic or renal function demonstrated increased plasma levels and a lengthened half-life of buspirone. Therefore, the administration of BuSpar (buspirone) to patients with severe hepatic or renal impairment cannot be recommended (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/13/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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