The presence of stress is inevitable in a world that is constantly moving and changing. Depression and anxiety can culminate from this stress, controlling our life and keeping us from performing adequately. Although some can turn off the stress quickly, others find it difficult to overcome its side effects. BuSpar (Buspirone) is a prescription medication that aids people in their struggle with anxiety. Yet amidst its great qualities, there are also BuSpar side effects to keep into consideration when thinking about taking the medication.
What Is BuSpar?
BuSpar is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety-related symptoms. Anxiety is caused by an imbalance of serotonin in the brain. BuSpar balances serotonin levels and is meant for short-term anxiety relief. Anxiety can often coexist with depression, but BuSpar is not an anti-depressant. The medication can be taken alongside anti-depressants or other medications to treat multiple diagnoses.
The chemical properties of buspirone hydrochloride include 8-[4-[4-(2-pyrimidinyl)-1-piperazinyl]butyl]-8-azaspiro[4.5]decane-7,9- dione monohydrochloride. The white crystalline powder is highly soluble in water and is administered into the body orally. It has a molecular weight of 422.
The tablet also holds inactive ingredients from the following list:
Uses and Dosage
BuSpar is used specifically for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is prolonged worry or uneasiness that lasts more than six months. The medication is not meant for the everyday stresses of life.
Anxiety symptoms include but are not limited to:
The recommended dose when you first take BuSpar is 15 mg daily. If needed, the dose may increase by 5 mg daily for optimal results, but the maximum dosage should not exceed 60 mg. BuSpar is usually taken 2-3 times per day with or without food. It takes a few weeks for the medication to relieve anxiety symptoms. The medication is commonly taken for six months up to a year. Doctors may advise more time if symptoms are not improving.
Good BuSpar Side Effects
Although BuSpar is not intended to relieve depression symptoms, it may reduce them.
Abuse and Tolerance
BuSpar side effects are also positive when studies show a trend of no side effects from the medication compared to a placebo. In many human and animal studies, BuSpar has shown no trends of abuse or tolerance. Clinical trials have tested patients who fall under the GAD diagnosis. They have tested two hundred and sixty-four patients for a period of a year, and the outcome presented anxiety relief with no ill effects for all patients. They also conducted a study with two human volunteers with drug and alcohol use history.
The volunteers could not tell the difference between the placebo and the medication. They also conducted a rat study with a focus on body weight. The outcome resulted in zero loss of body weight from the medicated rat. Loss in body weight is a common sign of substance dependency.
The negative BuSpar side effects are generalized and are not inclusive to all patients. They may or may not affect a patient. Many initial symptoms ease after the first week of taking BuSpar. However, it is important to contact a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.
Bad BuSpar Side Effects
Contact a doctor immediately if experiencing the symptoms listed below:
Warnings and Precautions
Take these warnings and precautions into consideration when taking the medication as they may increase or worsen BuSpar side effects:
Drug Interaction Warnings
Do not take BuSpar with any of the following drugs or substances:
After addition of BuSpar to the amitriptyline dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) of amitriptyline or its metabolite nortriptyline were observed.
After addition of buspirone to the diazepam dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) were observed for diazepam, but increases of about 15% were seen for nordiazepam, and minor adverse clinical effects (dizziness, headache, and nausea) were observed.
In a study in normal volunteers, concomitant administration of BuSpar and haloperidol resulted in increased serum haloperidol concentrations. The clinical significance of this finding is not clear.
There is one report suggesting that the concomitant use of Desyrel (trazodonehydrochloride) and buspirone may have caused elevations on SGPT (ALT) in a few patients. In a similar study trying to replicate this finding, no interactive effect on hepatic transaminases was identified.
Coadministration of BuSpar with either triazolam or flurazepam did not appear to prolong or intensify the sedative effects of either benzodiazepine.
Because the effects of related administration of BuSpar with most other psychotropic drugs have not been studied, the related use of BuSpar with other CNS-active drugs should be approached with caution.
Diltiazem and Verapamil
In a study of nine healthy volunteers, coadministration of BuSpar (10 mg as a single dose) with verapamil or diltiazem increased plasma buspirone concentrations. Adverse events attributable to BuSpar may be more likely during concomitant administration with either diltiazem or verapamil. Subsequent dose adjustment may be necessary and should be based on clinical assessment.
In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with erythromycin (1.5 g/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations. These interactions were accompanied by an increase of BuSpar side effects.
In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of BuSpar with grapefruit juice increased plasma buspirone concentrations. Patients receiving BuSpar should be advised to avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice.
In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of BuSpar with itraconazole increased plasma buspirone concentrations. These interactions were accompanied by an increase of BuSpar side effects. If the two drugs are used in combination, a low dose of buspirone is recommended.
In a study of steady-state pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers, coadministration of BuSpar with nefazodone resulted in marked increases in plasma buspirone concentrations and significant decreases (about 50%) in plasma concentrations of the buspirone metabolite 1-PP. With 5 mg b.i.d. doses of buspirone, slight increases in AUC were observed for nefazodone (23%) and its metabolites hydroxynefazodone (HO-NEF) (17%) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (9%). Slight increases in Cmax were observed for nefazodone (8%) and its metabolite HO-NEF (11%).
In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of BuSpar with rifampin decreased the plasma concentrations and pharmacodynamic effects of BuSpar. If the two drugs are used in combination, the dosage of BuSpar may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.
Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance
Studies show that BuSpar tablets are less sedating than other medications and that it does not produce significant functional impairment. However, BuSpar side effects in any individual may not be predictable. Therefore, patients should be cautioned when operating an automobile or using complex machinery until they are certain that buspirone treatment does not affect them adversely. While formal studies of the interaction of BuSpar with alcohol show that buspirone does not increase alcohol-induced impairment in motor and mental performance, it is safest to avoid the use of alcohol when taking BuSpar.
Concerns Related to BuSpar's Binding to Dopamine Receptors
Because BuSpar can bind to central dopamine receptors, they have raised a question about its potential to cause acute and chronic changes in dopamine-mediated brain function (e.g., dystonia, pseudoparkinsonism, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia). Clinical experience in controlled trials has identified no significant change in depressive nerve activity; however, a syndrome of restlessness, appearing shortly after the beginning of treatment, has been reported in some small fraction of BuSpar-treated patients.
To ensure the least amount of negative BuSpar side effects and for the overall safety of the patient, it is important to recognize the following:
The negative BuSpar side effects extend to large amounts of ill possibilities when taking the medication. However, side effects will differ depending on the individual. It is important to speak to a doctor before taking BuSpar to understand whether this medication is right for you. BuSpar also has many positive side effects in aiding anxiety and relieving symptoms that impair function in everyday life.