buspirone, Buspar (Discontinued brand in the US)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: buspirone

BRAND NAME: Buspar (Discontinued brand in the US)

Buspirone is a medication that is used for the treatment of anxiety. Its mechanism of action is not clearly understood but may involve effects on neurotransmitters, chemicals that nerves use to communicate with one another. Serotonin and dopamine are two of these neurotransmitters. Buspirone may work by stimulating serotonin type 1A receptors on nerves, thereby altering the chemical messages that nerves receive. It also has minor effects on dopamine receptors, but this does not contribute much to its action. Unlike medications for anxiety of the benzodiazepine class, for example, diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin), buspirone does not cause sedation. The FDA approved buspirone in September 1986.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5, 10, 15 and 30 mg.

STORAGE: Tablets should be kept at room temperature, less than 30 C (86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Buspirone is used for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. Buspirone is especially effective in persons with generalized anxiety of a limited or moderate degree. It is not very effective in persons with severe anxiety, panic disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorders. It also may help improve symptoms of depression in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2013



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index