BuSpar Side Effects

by on July 5, 2012


The most common side effects of BuSpar (Buspirone) are excitability, headache, nausea, lightheadedness, blurred vision, dizziness, and drowsiness. These effects are generally not considered serious however, if they persist or become bothersome contact your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

Common BuSpar Side Effects

The most common BuSpar side effects include the following:

  • Excitability
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness


BuSpar should not be taken with medications that can cause drowsiness without talking to your doctor first. Buspirone medications can cause drowsiness; when they are taken with certain medications, this effect is further exacerbated. Talk to your doctor before taking the following medications; antihistamines, cold and allergy medication, narcotic pain medications, seizure medications, antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, and muscle relaxants. It is important to use caution when driving or performing any task that requires you to be alert and focused; do not drive or operate machinery if you have taken a medication that could induce drowsiness.

Other side effects that are less common include the following:

  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Upset stomach

The side effects listed above usually do not require medical attention as they will commonly diminish when your body adjusts to the medication. Your doctor may also be able to advise you of ways to reduce or prevent these common side effects from occurring. However, if any persist or become bothersome you should notify your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

Serious BuSpar Side Effects

An allergic reaction can occur while taking BuSpar. If you experience any of the following symptoms indicating an allergic reaction, get emergency medical help right away.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the lips, face, throat, or tongue

Many other side effects associated with BuSpar can occur that are not indicative of an allergic reaction but are still very serious. If you have any of the following side effects, contact your doctor right away.

  • Depressed mood
  • Unusual thoughts or behaviors
  • Lack of coordination or balance
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Suicidal thinking or behaviors
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal muscle movements
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Vision changes
  • Extreme restlessness
  • Worsening or new mental or mood changes

Other Risks

Certain foods and medications may cause dangerous side effects if taken with BuSpar. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided while using this medication as they can increase levels of buspirone in the blood causing the risk of an overdose. Alcohol should also be avoided while taking BuSpar as it can exacerbate the drowsiness effects of the medication.

A drug interaction that is especially dangerous can occur with MAO inhibitor medications; if you have taken this drug in the past 14 days, you should not take BuSpar. Additionally, you should not start taking an MAO inhibitor after stopping BuSpar unless 14 days has passed, allowing it to clear from your system. Severe, potentially fatal side effects can occur if these two drugs are mixed in your system.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions may require special tests or dosage adjustments to ensure you can safely take BuSpar. If you have liver disease, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, bi-polar disorder, or any medication allergies talk to your doctor before taking a buspirone medication. If you are pregnant or may become pregnant you should talk to your doctor before taking this medication; the FDA has placed BuSpar in category B, which means it is unlikely that the drug will be harmful to a fetus. It is unknown if this drug passes through breast milk or what the effects may be on a newborn; talk to a doctor before breastfeeding if you are taking BuSpar. This drug should not be given to anyone under age 18.

BuSpar is a medication used for the short term treatment of anxiety. Certain medical conditions may require you to have a dosage adjustment or special tests to ensure you can safely take this drug. Dangerous drug and substance interactions can occur with buspirone; talk to your doctor if you take any medications that put you at risk. If you experience any of the serious side effects or a common effect becomes bothersome, notify your doctor right away.