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Common Brand Name: Buspar

Side Effects & Precautions

Medically reviewed by Jessica Swirble, PharmD
Last updated on 3/27/2024

Drug Information | Side Effects | Use & Dosage | Request a Prescription

What are the side effects of buspirone?

The use of buspirone has been shown to cause side effects in some patients.

Common mild side effects of buspirone use include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Mood changes
  • Sweating
  • Weakness

More severe side effects include:

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Changes in mood or behavior, such as agitation or aggression
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real)
  • Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling of the face/tongue/throat, severe dizziness)

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any severe symptoms while taking buspirone. If you experience mild side effects that become severe or do not go away after a few days, speak to a healthcare provider right away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using buspirone?

Tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions, allergies, or other medications you are taking before starting treatment with buspirone. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, as they may interact with this drug.

Tell your provider if you are taking these medications or supplements:

  • Cardiovascular medications
  • MAOIs
  • Anticoagulants
  • NSAIDs
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antiemetics
  • Pain management drugs
  • Antivirals/Anti-infectives
  • Opioid replacement therapy
  • Diuretics
  • Sedatives
  • Tranquilizers

You should also mention medical conditions such as:

  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Bleeding or clotting disorders
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Heart problems
  • History of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before using buspirone to assess potential risks and benefits.

Are there any other special instructions I should follow?

Buspirone can be taken with or without food. However, to maintain a consistent level in your bloodstream, try to take it at the same time each day. You should either always take buspirone with food or always without food.

Avoid alcohol while taking buspirone, as it may exacerbate certain side effects like drowsiness and dizziness.

Avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking buspirone, as it can interfere with the medication's effectiveness.

Your healthcare provider may suggest regular monitoring of your blood pressure and heart rate while you are taking buspirone, particularly during the initial months of treatment.

Your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions regarding the use of buspirone with food, beverages, and other medications. It's essential to follow their guidance to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and minimize the risk of side effects.

What should I do in case of an overdose?

The symptoms of a buspirone overdose include:

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gastric distress

If you experience any of these symptoms, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. If an individual has collapsed, is having seizures, or is unresponsive, call 9-1-1 immediately.