side effects, dosage, how to take & discontinue, uses, pros & cons, and more
> BuSpar (buspirone) Overview
BuSpar Article Index | Brand and Generic Availability ›
Learn More about Taking and Discontinuing BuSpar
Brand & Generic Names; Drug Class
US FDA Approved Treatment(s)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
PTSD, other anxiety disorders, Depression (either by itself or with other meds), SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction, smoking cessation.
Learn More about BuSpar’s Approved & Off-label Uses
How Long Until BuSpar Starts Working (Onset of Action)
Because of the nonlinear pharmacokinetics, it’s hard to know when you should get an effect from BuSpar, but Bristol-Myers seems to think two to three days should be sufficient. Like most things that work on your serotonin, especially as this is likely to augment an antidepressant, I would make that two to three weeks to decide if BuSpar helping at all.
Likelihood of Working
BuSpar seems to be immensely variable in how it hits people — even studies showing its effectiveness noticed this. Like most meds, it’s all a matter of hitting the right neurotransmitters in the right ways. But since it’s low on the side effects and non-addictive, it’s worth a stop on the med-go-round if you’re experiencing SSRI poop-out or inadequate relief of anxiety disorders with an SSRI.
Learn how BuSpar Compares with Other Drugs
How to Take BuSpar
The starting dose is usually 5 mg 3 times per day, for a total of 15 per day. With a half life of 3 hours, stepping up every two to three days is not unreasonable biologically — however, it’s insane from a common-sense point of view. Give BuSpar a week between dose step-ups at least, so you can see if it’s doing anything for you at the lower dose. Standard dosages of BuSpar in clinical trials are usually 20 to 30 mg per day; the maximum dosage of BuSpar is 60 mg per day.
How to Stop Taking BuSpar (Discontinue, Withdrawal)
Given a half-live of two to three hours, stepping down by 5 mg at every day is reasonable. Though every other day would be safer. Unless it didn’t do anything at all, including no psychiatric effects, including stuff like making the anxiety or depression worse. In which case go for 10mg a day.
BuSpar’s Pros and Cons
Few drug-drug interactions, weight neutral, and a generally low side effect profile.
A lot of people conclude it doesn’t do shit.
Interesting Stuff your Doctor Probably didn’t Tell You about BuSpar
Per the the PI sheet if you take BuSpar with aspirin you will get a 23% increase in BuSpar’s plasma levels. Now combine that with the increase you get with taking BuSpar on an empty stomach and you get a significant boost. Provided you don’t puke it all up.
Best Known for
Being a total disappointment.
In-Depth Pros & Cons
BuSpar’s Potential Side Effects (Adverse Reactions)
Typical Side Effects
The usual array of common med symptoms — dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, headaches. Cold-like symptoms, i.e. less severe flu-like symptoms that every other med on the planet can cause. Nonspecific chest pain.
Uncommon Side Effects
Blood pressure changes. Conjunctivitis. Altered sense of taste. Muscle cramps. Urinary frequency.
Freaky Rare Side Effects
Burning tongue. Photophobia, or turning into Vlad the Impaler. Pelvic inflammatory disease. Yup. BuSpar not only gave someone an STD, they gave them an untreated STD! Alcohol abuse. Honey, I didn’t mean to quit AA! The BuSpar done made me do it!
Learn More about BuSpar’s Side Effects.
TMI at times
What You Really Need to be Careful About
BuSpar’s Black Box and Other Warnings, Pregnancy Category, etc.
Half-life is the average time it takes for you to process half of the drug’s active ingredient. If a drug has a half-life of around 24 hours and you take a dose of 100mg, you’ll have roughly the equivalent a 50mg dose after one day, a 25mg dose after two days, and so on. The rule of thumb is: multiply the half-life by five and you get how long it is for the dose you took to be cleared from your bloodstream, so there’s nothing swimming around to attach itself to your brain and start doing stuff1. That’s called “plasma clearance.” Complete clearance is a complex equation based on a lot of factors which may or may not: be published in the PI sheet, include personal data like your weight, or even completely figured out by corporate and independent researchers. It usually winds up being 2–5 days after plasma clearance no matter what2, but can take weeks. Sometimes a drug will clear from your brain and other organs before it clears from your blood. If we’ve found the complete clearance, or how to calculate it if it requires things like your weight and what your piss looks like, you’ll find that on buspirone’s pharmacokinetics page.
As if I didn’t go on long enough already.
Learn More than You Probably Ever Wanted to Know about How buspirone Works
AKA mechanism/method of action, pharmacodynamics
How buspirone Works
the current best guess at any rate
As with most of these crazy meds it’s easier to say what BuSpar doesn’t do. BuSpar doesn’t do any of the fun benzodiazepene fuck-you-up-and-get-high effects. BuSpar doesn’t knock you out. BuSpar doesn’t hit GABA.
What BuSpar does do is to keep serotonin within the 5HT1A neurons, thus fooling your brain into thinking it has more serotonin than it actually has. BuSpar also does some noticeable dopamine agonism-antagonism on the dopamine D2 receptor. When combined with an SSRI this can help with sexual dysfunction and to prevent SSRI poop-out, per Dr. Stahl in Essential Psychopharmacology.
Ratings, Reviews, Comments, PI Sheet, and More
BuSpar is a quirky med, and there’s currently nothing else approved for use in its class of azapirones. At least in English speaking countries.
While BuSpar’s value for some flavors of anxiety is important, more important is its potential to augment an SSRI that was working great and then quit on you, the bastard.
BuSpar is a maintenance med - i.e. you wait for the calming effects to build up and you keep taking it until you either learn to deal with your problems on your own or you live with the fact you’re going to be taking BuSpar for the foreseeable future. Something I feel should be considered as a maintenance medication long before the benzos, as it doesn’t build up tolerance or addiction, and thus avoids many of the problems with long-term benzodiazepine use, particularly as a prophylactic (preventing anxiety before it starts).
Give your overall impression of BuSpar on a scale of 0 to 5. Detailed ratings and reviews are available on the BuSpar Ratings & Reviews Page.
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If you’re still feeling judgmental as well as just mental3, please boost or destroy my self-confidence by honestly (and anonymously) rating this article on a scale of 0 to 5. The more value-judgments the better, even if you can criticize my work only once.
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It’s always a good idea to check for drug-drug interactions yourself. Just because most people in the crazy meds business know about really important interactions (e.g. MAOIs and a lot of stuff, warfarin and everything on the planet) doesn’t mean the person who prescribed your meds told you about them, or the pharmacist has all the meds you take at their fingertips like they’re supposed to. Or they have the time to do their jobs properly when not dealing with complete idiots or playing Angry Farmers on the Faecesbooks.
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- BuSpar’s Full US Prescribing Information
- Faught, Edward. “Topiramate in the treatment of partial and generalized epilepsy.” Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment 3.6 (2007): 811-821.
BuSpar Article Index | Brand and Generic Availability ›
1 Based on Julien's calculations from A Primer of Drug Action, the half-life multiplied by five is the generally accepted estimate of how long it takes a single dose of any given drug to be eliminated from the blood stream/plasma of someone with a normal metabolism. That's also the rough estimate for steady stage if they can't get, or won't provide a number for that.
2 For crazy meds. I have no idea what the average complete clearance is for other types of medications. For all I know there are drugs that utterly vanish from your system in under five passes, and others that won't let go of your squishy bits for years after you stop taking them.
3 Thank you! I'll be here all weak. Be sure to tip your content provider. And don't try the veal, it's cruelicious!
4 These include: Canada's Product Monographs (PM), New Zealand's Medicine Data Sheets (MDS), the EU's European Public Assessment Reports (EPAR), and the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) used in Britain, Ireland, and many other places.
If you have any questions not answered here, please see the Crazymeds BuSpar discussion board. We welcome criticisms of the articles, notifications of bad links, site problems, consumer experiences with medications, etc. I’m not always able to write back. Hence I never answer questions about meds via e-mail that are answered by this or other articles. Especially if they have been repeatedly asked on the forum. That’s why we write these damn things. Questions about which meds are best for your condition should also be asked on the forum; because this is a free site, so the price of admission is making things easier for somebody else searching for the same answer. We don’t deal with children on the forum or in private because after doing this for ten years I don’t have the emotional stamina to deal with kids who have brain cooties. How to contact Crazymeds. — Jerod Poore, CME, Publisher Crazymeds (crazymeds.us)
|Last modified on Friday, 28 March, 2014 at 01:45:26 by SomeMedCritic||Page Authors JessicaAllan, Jerod Poore||Date created Friday, 8 July 2011 at 10:56:00|
|“BuSpar (buspirone): a Synopsis for the Educated Consumer” by JessicaAllan is copyright © 2011 JessicaAllan||Published online 2011/07/08|
BuSpar, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are a trademark of someone else. BuSpar’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.
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1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?* I don’t even need my big-ass rant any more. Heartbleed has made my case for me. And that’s just the one that got all the media attention. The very nature of an open source operating system makes security as much of an illusion of anonymity. Before you flip out too much: the domain Crazymeds is hosted on uses a version of SSL that is not affected by the Heartbleed bug. That’s one of the many reasons why I pay a lot of money and keep this site on Lunarpages.
* Yes, I know I’m using open source browsers. I also test the site using the now-defunct IE and Safari browsers. Their popularity - and superiority - killed IE and Safari, so that’s why I rely on the open source browsers. It’s like brand vs. generic meds. Sometimes the generic is better than the brand.
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