Buspirone

Brand names of buspirone

  • Apo-Buspirone
  • Buspar
  • Buspar Dividose
  • Buspirex
  • Bustab
  • Censpar Sorbon
  • FTP-Buspirone
  • Gen-Buspirone
  • Lin-Buspirone
  • Med-Buspirone
  • Novo-Buspirone
  • Nu-Buspirone
  • PMS-Buspirone

Buspirone is an anti-anxiety drug that influences the chemicals in the brain which are responsible for causing anxiety when they lose balance. While the modus operandi of this medication is yet to be ascertained clearly, it is likely to have an influence on the neurotransmitters - chemicals in the brain that are used by the nerves for communicating with each other. Two such neurotransmitters are called serotonin and dopamine. It is understood that buspirone possibly works by invigorating the serotonin type 1A receptors found on the nerves and by this means it alters the chemical messages (transmissions) received by the nerves. In addition, buspirone also has slight impact on the dopamine receptors, but this does not have much to do with the medication's action. It may be noted here that dissimilar to other anti-anxiety medications belonging to the benzodiazepine class, such as lorazapem (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin) and alprazolam (Xanax), use of buspirone does not have any tranquilizing effect. Buspirone was approved for sale and common use by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in September 1986.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking buspirone

As in the instance of starting treatment with any prescription drug, before you begin to take buspirone, there are certain things that you need to tell your physician and pharmacist. Prior to taking buspirone, tell your physician or pharmacist if you have allergic reactions to this medication, any of its ingredients or have any other type of allergy. This medication may enclose a number of inactive elements that may result in allergy or lead to additional problems. Hence, if you are not certain about the ingredients of buspirone, ask your pharmacist to provide you with a list for the same.

Individuals suffering from specific medical conditions should not use buspirone. People who may be suffering from any kidney and/ or liver problem should check with their physician before starting treatment with this medication. In addition, prior to taking buspirone, it is essential that you tell your physician or pharmacist regarding your entire medical history, particularly if you have Parkinson's disease or bipolar disorder (also called maniac depression).

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Using buspirone is likely to make you feel lightheaded or drowsy. Therefore, it is advisable that you avoid any task that requires clear vision and/ or alertness, such as driving or operating a machine while undergoing treatment with this medication till you are certain about the effect of the medication on your body and also when you are able to undertake such tasks safely. People taking buspirone should also restrict consumption of alcoholic beverages.

In case you are taking any other anti-anxiety medication, it is advisable not to stop taking it unless your physician directs you to do so, for buspirone does not help to avert the withdrawal symptoms of other drugs. In such instances, your physician will ask you to gradually lower the dosage of the other anti-anxiety drug before stopping it completely and switching over to buspirone. It is important that you talk to your physician regarding your treatment schedule and contact your physician at once in case you experience any withdrawal symptom.

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Pregnant women should use buspirone only when it is absolutely necessary for their condition. In fact, women intending to start treatment with this medication should tell their physician if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. They need to consult their physician regarding the benefits and disadvantages of taking this medication during pregnancy.

While it is still not clear whether buspirone passes onto the breast milk, it has been found that other anti-anxiety medications do pass onto breast milk and cause harmful effects on the breast-feeding infant. Therefore, new mothers taking buspirone should check with their physician before breast-feeding.

Usage

Buspirone is generally prescribed as an interim medication to treat extreme anxiety in people who also suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.

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Usage of buspirone is likely to help the patient have clear thoughts, unwind, lessen worries, and also participate in routine activities without any difficulty. In addition, this medication may also assist in lessening the nervous and tetchy feelings of the patient and may even restrict symptoms like sweating, sleeping problems and pounding heart. It may be noted that buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication which acts by influencing the neurotransmitters in the brain.

How to use buspirone

Buspirone is taken orally twice or three times daily or as instructed by your physician. This medication may also be available in tablet form that can be divided to get your appropriate dose of the medication. While splitting the tablet, it is important to strictly follow the Patient Instruction Sheet made available by the manufacturer with the medication or ask. You may also seek the advice of your pharmacist regarding the manner to split the tablet to get your correct dose. Buspirone may be taken with or without food, but it is important to take the medicine always in the same way to enable your body to take up the drug in the same amount all the time.

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The dosage of buspirone largely depends on the medical condition and response of the patient to the treatment. In order to obtain the utmost benefit, you need to use this medication on a regular basis. In order to remember that you have to take buspirone timely every day, you should take this medication at the same times daily. When you start taking buspirone, it is possible that the symptoms of restiveness/ anxiety may first deteriorate and then start improving. The benefits of taking this medication are not evident immediately, but it may take about a month or even more for you to experience the complete effects of using buspirone. Contact your physician right away if you find your symptoms continue or worsen even after taking this medication for quite some time.

Unless your physician instructs you otherwise, while undergoing treatment with buspirone, you should restrict the quantity of grapefruit you drink or eat daily (usually the intake ought to be below one quart daily). It is important to remember that consumption of grapefruit is likely to augment the amount of the medication in the bloodstream. Hence, it is advisable that you talk to your physician or pharmacist for further details in this regard.

In the event of missing a dose of buspirone, take it immediately when you remember. However, if it is already time for the subsequent dose, skip the earlier dose and continue with your regimen. Never take a double dose of the medication to compensate for the missed dose.

It is advisable that you should never share buspirone with any other person. In addition, it is important for people undergoing treatment with buspirone to keep all their appointments with their physician as well as the laboratory. In case you are using also trazodone, it may be essential to check the functioning of your liver on a regular basis with a view to detect if you developed any side effect of using this drug. Talk to your physician for further information on this.

How buspirone works

Buspirone works by affecting the actions of neurotransmitters (serotonin and, to some extent, dopamine) that are intensely associated with emotions, moods and mental state of an individual. Dissimilar to several other anti-anxiety medications, using buspirone does not cause any sedation or have any muscle relaxant effects. In addition, this medication does not seem to result in physical dependence or addiction.

Side effects

Common:
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Specific herbs and supplements may interact when used in conjunction with buspirone and, hence, they should be avoided. For instance, ephedra and hawthorn are likely to react violently when used together with buspirone, therefore it is advisable to avoid such combinations. Using valerian while undergoing treatment with buspirone may augment drowsiness, while Indian snakeroot, hops, St. John's wort and passionflower herb have German Commission E monograph indications for anxiety. In addition, use of kava kava and the Indian snakeroot is contradicted for depression. If you are undergoing treatment with buspirone, it is advisable that you consult your physician prior to including any new herbal product to your existing list of medications.
Alcohol:
Although the effects of using buspirone are comparatively less than diazepam (Valium), people undergoing treatment with this anti-anxiety medication should preferably avoid using alcohol.
Marijuana smoking:
Smoking marijuana while undergoing treatment with buspirone causes an additive augmentation in stupor.

Storage instructions

The anti-anxiety medication buspirone should always be kept in the container in which it was made available. Close the lid of the container and store it in a place that is beyond the reach of children. This medication should be stored at room temperature and in a place free from light, too much dampness and heat. Never store buspirone in your bathroom, which is usually a damp place. When any medication becomes outdated or is required no longer, discard it in a proper and safe manner. If required, talk to your pharmacist or any local waste disposal company regarding the safe disposal of all unnecessary medications.

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