How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Buspirone belongs to the class of medications called anxiolytics, or anti-anxieties. Buspirone is used for the short-term relief of excessive anxiety for people with generalized anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is believed to be caused by imbalances in certain brain chemicals. This medication works by bringing these chemicals back into balance.

Buspirone is not used for everyday anxiety and stress.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each white, pillow-shaped, scored tablet, engraved "BU 10" on one side and "APO" on the other, contains buspirone 10 mg.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose starts at 5 mg 2 or 3 times daily. This may be increased by 5 mg every 2 to 3 days to a maximum of 45 mg daily in divided doses as directed by the doctor.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to buspirone or any ingredients of this medication
  • have severe kidney impairment
  • have severe liver impairment

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • excitement
  • headache
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle cramps
  • nasal congestion
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • sweating or clamminess
  • tremor
  • trouble sleeping

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • chest pain
  • nightmares or vivid dreams
  • rapid, pounding heartbeat
  • reduced coordination
  • restlessness
  • signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
  • tingling, burning, numbness, or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • weakness

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: This medication may impair the mental or physical abilities required for certain tasks, such as driving a car or operating machinery. Do not drive or operate dangerous machinery while using this medication until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Kidney function: The kidneys are involved in removing buspirone from the body. People with reduced kidney function may experience increased side effects of buspirone as a result of it not being removed as quickly as expected.

If you have kidney disease or reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: Buspirone is broken down by the liver so it can be removed from the body through the kidneys. Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause a build-up of buspirone in the body and cause side effects.

If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Seizures: The safety and effectiveness of buspirone when taken by someone with a seizure disorder have not been determined. If you have a seizure disorder or a history of seizure disorders you should not take this medication.

If you have a seizure disorder, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if buspirone passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of buspirone for children below the age of 6 years have not been established.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between buspirone and any of the following:

  • "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
  • chloramphenicol
  • conivaptan
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • delavirdine
  • dextromethorphan
  • diltiazem
  • ergot alkaloids (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergotamine)
  • macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
  • meperidine
  • methylene blue
  • monoamide oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcipromine)
  • nefazodone
  • protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, lopinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, imipramine, nortriptyline)
  • St. John's wort
  • tramadol
  • trazodone
  • "triptan" migraine medications (e.g., sumatriptan, zolmitriptan)
  • verapamil
  • warfarin

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.