Generic Name: Buspirone



BuSpar (buspirone) is a non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic (antianxiety and antipanic) primarily prescribed to teens and adults to relieve anxiety and associated symptoms. BuSpar was initially developed to be used as an antipsychotic, but it did not prove successful. Instead, it became adopted by clinicians as a non-sedating anxiolytic.

How Does BuSpar Work?

BuSpar is a central nervous system (CNS) selective drug that acts on a single subtype of serotonin (5-HT) receptor. It has high affinity for type 1 serotonergic receptors (5HT-1). The relative affinity is greater for the 5HT-1A receptor compared to that of 5HT-1B and acts as a partial or mixed agonist. This is what causes BuSpar’s anxiolytic activity.

This medication also has moderate affinity for dopamine receptors and may improve the quality of sleep for those experiencing anxiety without having hypnotic or sedative effects.

Dosage FAQs

  • What is a safe dose of this drug?
    To relieve anxiety, a dose of 5 mg should be given two to three times every day. This dose can be increased to 15 mg to 30 mg, but should not exceed 45 mg per day. This medication has a slow onset of action of and may require a period of three to four weeks to attain the proper therapeutic effect.
  • How is this drug processed in my body?
    This medication’s onset of action appears within the first two weeks, but individuals taking this medication may only begin to experience the effects after three to four weeks. This corresponds with a bioavailability beginning at 4%. The protein binding of this medication is around 90% where it mainly binds with albumin. It is metabolized in the liver and is excreted through the body’s passing of urine and feces. It has a half-life of two to three hours. Food may affect its absorption and the timing of administration should be adjusted accordingly.
  • Is this drug safe to use during pregnancy?
    BuSpar should only be used during pregnancy if absolutely needed. A thorough assessment should be performed by you and your doctor to determine risk to the mother and fetus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies this medication as a pregnancy category B drug, meaning animal reproduction studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, there are no well-controlled studies available for human pregnancies.
  • Are there ways to complement my mental health treatment with this drug?
    This medication is primarily prescribed to teens and adults for anxiety-related issues, many of which have a demonstrated history of being effectively treated with types of psychotherapy. Medication can be useful to dull symptoms, but it cannot teach coping strategies, social skills, or self-care in the same manner as a therapist. Pairing your drug treatment with psychotherapy may help you achieve a longer-lasting, better mental health outcome than treatment with drugs alone.

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