Side Effects from Buspirone

What is Buspirone, Anyway?

Buspirone is more commonly known by its brand name, BuSpar. If you have anxiety or know someone who does, the chances are good that you may have encountered this medication. If you have been prescribed it, you might be wondering, what are the side effects from Buspirone? Oddly enough, one of the reasons it is prescribed is because of the lack of serious side effects from Buspirone.

BuSpar is a popular option for prescribing doctors looking to help alleviate a patients anxiety symptoms without the risks associated with the more powerful controlled substances used to quell anxiety. Namely the benzodiazepine-class drugs. These include medications like Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam). The comparison of these medications side effects from Buspirone is a bit like night and day. While benzo are effective in treading anxiety, they are also potentially quite addictive and cutting them can be incredibly difficult and even dangerous. 

The Side Effects of Buspirone 

The more common side effects of Buspirone are relatively mild and include restlessness. Most patients do not experience any of Buspirone’s side effects or they are too mild to be noticeable. The reality is that most people who are prescribed this medication are interested in relief from anxiety and since it is effective in most cases, any minor side effects Buspirone may have for them aren’t much of a concern compared to quelling their anxiety symptoms. Like any medication with potential side effects (which is almost all of them) Buspirone’s side effects should be factored in on the list of pros and cons for any patient who may take them. 

The more common side effects of Buspirone include the following:

  • Restlessness or nervousness

The Less common and rare side effects of Buspirone include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Muscle cramps or stiffness
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares 

Who is Prescribed Buspirone?

Buspirone is a non-narcotic anxiety medication prescribed to adults who are suffering from anxiety disorders. It has been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

Advantages of Buspirone Over Benzodiazepines

1.Non-narcotic: Unlike benzodiazepines, which are classified as narcotic medications, buspirone is not addictive and can be taken safely with minimal risk of dependency or side effects.

2. Longer Duration of Effectiveness: Buspirone takes around 2 weeks to start having an effect on anxiety symptoms and this effect can last for up to 6 months after discontinuation. This is much longer than the effect of benzodiazepines which often last only a few weeks.

3. Fewer Side Effects: Benzodiazepine use has been linked to an increased risk of side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, fatigue and impaired coordination. Buspirone users report fewer side effects than those who take benzodiazepines.

4. Interaction with Other Medications: Since buspirone is non-narcotic, it does not interact with other medications like benzodiazepines do, reducing the risk of interactions that might have negative effects on anxiety symptoms or overall health.

5. Safer in Overdose: Due to its non-narcotic nature, an overdose of buspirone is much less likely to be fatal than an overdose of benzodiazepines.

Overall, buspirone has many advantages over benzodiazepines and is a safe and effective way to treat anxiety disorders in adults. It is important for individuals taking anxiety medications to discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor before making any changes to their treatment regimen. 

Buspirone and Recovery 

Buspirone can be particularly useful to people in addiction recovery for a number of reasons. The most obvious of course is that Buspirone has no real potential for abuse. There is no worry about becoming addicted to it or getting a “high” or head change that could trigger a recovering person to pick up other substances. This should be a tremendous relief to anyone in recovery who lives with symptoms of anxiety as the side effects of Buspirone are minor and it gives you one more tool to manage your anxiety which is safe. Another very popular non-narcotic medication used for anxiety is the prescription antihistamine Vistaril (Hydroxyzine). It is also safe for people in recovery and has no addictive potential to speak of. 

Aside from concerns about relapse though, it is beneficial for people in recovery to have options for anxiety symptoms even in the short to medium term. Even recovering people who haven’t had an anxiety disorder formally diagnosed may experience symptoms and any tool that can offer them relief safely is worth exploring. In early recovery, in particular, anxiety is not uncommon. Right after a patient completes a medical detox it is not unusual for them to feel a little edgy or nervous. Just how anxious someone might be after detox really varies from person to person though. This “nervousness factor” is also largely determined by their personality, mental health baseline, what drugs they were detoxing from and how long and how much they were using. So there are a lot of variables to consider there.

Getting Treatment for Anxiety or Addiction in South Florida

ARIA is one of the leading mental health and substance use disorder treatment centers in America. If you or someone you love is wrestling with debilitating symptoms of anxiety or another mental health disorder, such as addiction to drugs or alcohol, ARIA can help. Give us a call at (844) 973-2611 for more information. 

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