This drug is primarily used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Buspirone can also be combined with SSRI therapy to treat clinical depression.
Buspirone selectively blocks presynaptic mesolimbic D2 autoreceptors in lower doses and yields increased dopamine synthesis and release. Buspirone also increases firing in the locus ceruleus, an area of brain where norepinephrine cell bodies are found in high concentration, increasing NE.
Another characteristic of buspirone is that it functions as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist. This agonist activity mediates its anxiety and antidepressive effects, and because this drug is a partial agonist, it has a lower side effect profile.
This drug doesn’t cause addiction or tolerance, unlike benzodiazepines (which is another drug class used for anxiety).
Buspirone has less of an interaction with alcohol than do other anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines. However, buspirone can cause sedation, and therefore concurrent use of alcohol should not be encouraged.
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