Buspirone Addiction Treatment
Buspirone (brand name Buspar) is a commonly prescribed drug for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and sometimes for anxiety symptoms caused due to other issues by affecting the neurotransmitters in our brain such as serotonin and dopamine. However, misuse or abuse of Buspirone, especially in combination with other substances can lead to harmful consequences.
Buspirone is categorized as an azapirone drug, the only one in its category, which means unlike benzodiazepines, it does not have muscle-relaxant or anticonvulsant properties. It is an antianxiety drug that is prescribed for its anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. It is considerably safer and non-addictive, therefore it is used in addiction treatment with medical supervision.
Although Buspirone is considered a safer alternative to other anti anxiety drugs, it is commonly abused by combining it with other substances such as alcohol or other addictive drugs, which can be very dangerous, and even life-threatening. Long term use of Buspar may also develop tolerance for the drug in the body and brain, leading to withdrawal symptoms when stopping medication.
Taking Buspirone when on antibiotics such as Erythromycin or Clarithromycin raises the risk of side effects. Taking Buspirone along with any other antidepressant drugs or anti seizure raises the risk of severe side effects. Consult your doctor about taking Buspirone if you are already on high blood pressure medication or HIV medication or other prescription medications.
Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
Review Date: 3/1/2023
Buspirone, an azapirone class drug, is a psychotherapeutic medication that is prescribed as an antipsychotic or anti-anxiety medication. It impacts the neurons in the brain which use the neurotransmitter serotonin to communicate. Buspirone is a serotonin receptor agonist, which means it activates serotonin receptors in the brain to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Unlike other SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) medications, Buspirone does not cause sexual side effects.
Buspirone is most commonly used to reduce anxiety or chronic anxiety symptoms, as a mood enhancer, and for improved sleep. It is used to treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and their accompanying symptoms.
Because Buspirone enhances the activity of serotonin in the brain, it is sometimes used in combination with other SSRIs to treat depression, major depressive disorder, and other disorders with symptoms of depression.
Although Buspirone is not a medication for OCD, it is sometimes prescribed as a secondary drug to manage the symptoms of anxiety in OCD patients.
Buspirone is not a primary drug of choice for PTSD prescriptions, however it may be used in combination with other antidepressant drugs to alleviate symptoms of PTSD and panic attacks.
Buspirone is an anti anxiety medication which is safe to use, if used as prescribed. It is commonly used in addiction treatment to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, however if it is misused or abused, tolerance and dependence to the drug may develop, which may lead to withdrawal symptoms. If you are trying to stop taking Buspirone, consult an addiction treatment center to safely wean off the drug and treat any accompanying mental health issues.
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