Buspar (Buspirone)

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Buspar packaging

Buspar (Buspirone) is a prescription-only, long-term anti-anxiety medication which does not generate dependency in its users and has no withdrawal effects.


Buspirone is part of a class of drugs called “azapirones.” It was first discovered by a team at Mead Johnson in 1972 and patented in 1975. Clinical trials began shortly thereafter, and Buspirone was approved by the FDA in 1986.


Unlike benzodiazepines, azapirones like buspirone are not addictive. The drug is effective at treating generalized anxiety disorder, but (as with every medication) results will depend on the individual’s body chemistry.

Side Effects

As stated above, buspirone does not have the side effect profile of benzodiazepines. However, there are some mild to moderate side effects to consider, which is why the drug should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor. A full list of side effects can be found here.

Where to Buy

Buspirone can only be purchased with a prescription. To acquire a prescription for Buspar or another generic buspirone medication, you will need to consult with a general practitioner or psychiatrist.

Scientific Studies

Azapirones: history of development.

Abstract: The azapirones, a unique pharmacologic class that includes buspirone and gepirone appear to offer the promise of both antidepressant and anxiolytic activity. Their singular affinity for the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) type 1A (5-HT1A) receptor subtype may be the factor responsible for the therapeutic activity of these agents. It is hoped that the distinctive characteristics of this new class of drugs will lead to effective therapy for the treatment of mood disorders without the adverse or ancillary effects associated with currently available agents such as the benzodiazepines. The development of drugs for the treatment of anxiety has gradually evolved from less selective agents, such as alcohol, opiates, and the bromides, to progressively more specific drugs, leading ultimately to the development of the benzodiazepine anxiolytics in 1959. The approval of the azapirone buspirone in 1986 marked a new era of psychotherapeutic drug therapy. There is now evidence that this new generation of anxiolytic drugs may offer antidepressant potential in addition to its anxiolytic properties.

Comparison of buspirone in two separate studies.

Abstract: Two double-blind studies are described in which buspirone was compared with placebo and diazepam (Study A) or clorazepate (Study B) in outpatients with moderate to severe anxiety. Results, assessed on the Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression and Anxiety, the SCL-56, the Profile of Mood States, and the Covi and Raskin scales, indicated that buspirone consistently relieved both anxiety and associated depression. In Study B, trends in favor of buspirone were seen on several SCL-56 items and the Hamilton somatic factor; significant differences in this direction were found for several POMS items. Sedation was seen less often with buspirone than either diazepam or clorazepate.

Further Reading

RxList: Buspar

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