Anxiety Home > BuSpar

BuSpar is commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety. The medication works by affecting serotonin and dopamine in the brain. While most people tolerate it well, side effects may occur. Common side effects of Buspar include dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and nausea. The drug comes in tablet form and is generally taken two to three times a day.

What Is BuSpar?

BuSpar® (buspirone hydrochloride) is a prescription anxiety medication. It is approved for the short-term treatment of anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders.
(Click BuSpar Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes BuSpar?

BuSpar is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Generic BuSpar is made by several different manufacturers.

How Does It Work?

BuSpar is not related to any other anxiety medications. Unlike most anxiety medications, it is not useful for preventing seizures, relaxing muscles, or treating insomnia. It is not known exactly how the medication works to treat anxiety, although it is known that it affects several chemicals in the brain. In particular, it likely affects serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

When and How to Take BuSpar

General considerations for when and how to take the drug include the following:
  • The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth, usually two to three times daily.
  • Because food can affect the way your body absorbs the drug, you should take it consistently (either always with food or always without) every day.
  • It should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
  • BuSpar 15 mg and 30 mg tablets are specially designed to be able to split easily into half or in thirds. However, many people find that a "pill splitter" is necessary to accurately split these tablets into halves or thirds, since the tablets often split in the wrong places.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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