GENERIC NAME: buspirone
BRAND NAME: Buspar
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Buspirone is an antianxiety medication which works by stimulating serotonin type 1A receptors on nerves thereby altering the chemical messages which nerves transmit to each other. Unlike the most commonly prescribed antianxiety medications of the benzodiazepine class (e.g., diazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam; clonazepam), buspirone does not cause sedation.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: no
PREPARATIONS: Tablets (white), ovoid-rectangular in shape: 5mg and 10mg.
STORAGE: Tablets should be kept at room temperature, less than 30C (86F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Buspirone is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. Buspirone is especially effective in persons with generalized anxiety of a limited or moderate degree. It is not very effective in persons with severe anxiety, panic disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorders.
DOSING: Unlike antianxiety medications of the benzodiazepine class which are effective after a single dose, effectiveness with buspirone may require two or more weeks of treatment. Buspirone usually is given as three doses daily. The dose may be increased every several days until an effective dose is found. Although food increases the amount of buspirone that is absorbed, the importance of this effect is not clear. Buspirone probably should be taken, therefore, either with or without food on a consistent basis.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Buspirone may interact with drugs called monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane) which are used in psychotic disorders. The use of buspirone with these drugs can cause increased blood pressure. The combination of buspirone and trazadone (Desyrel), an antidepressant, may cause abnormal liver enzymes in the blood. The combination of buspirone and warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner, may accentuate the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding.
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of buspirone in pregnant women. However, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus. Buspirone therefore can be used in pregnancy if the physician feels that it clearly is necessary.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if buspirone is secreted in breast milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most commonly noted side effects associated with buspirone are dizziness, nausea, headache, nervousness, lightheadedness, excitement, and insomnia. Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal may occur when switching persons from antianxiety medications of the benzodiazepine class (see above) to buspirone since buspirone is not a benzodiazepine. Such a withdrawal reaction may include irritability, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, tremor, or even seizures.