Buspirone (Buspar) is a serotonin agonist and functions as an anxiolytic by partially binding to serotonin receptors. This results in increased serotonin levels. Decreased levels of serotonin are associated with anxiety and depression. By increasing serotonin levels, buspirone results in anxiolytic and antidepressive effects.
Decreased serotonin levels may result in anxiety. Although the exact mechanism of relieving anxiety remains unknown, Buspirone has a high affinity to the binding sites of serotonin receptors and leads to increased serotonin levels.
Since buspirone may result in orthostatic hypotension, patients can experience dizziness. The patient should be advised to rise slowly from a sitting or lying position.
Buspirone binds to serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep cycle. Since buspirone affects serotonin levels, the medication may cause sleep disorders including insomnia.
Buspirone initially takes a week to take effect. The medication takes 2-4 weeks before responses peak and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Due to its delayed therapeutic effect, buspirone is not recommended for PRN administration or patients requiring immediate relief of symptoms of anxiety.
Buspirone has a low abuse potential and is an appropriate anxiolytic option for individuals with a history of substance abuse. Unlike benzodiazepines and barbiturates, this drug does not carry severe reactions with alcohol. Some interaction is possible, with some patients reporting increased sedation or fatigue when these drugs are used concomitantly.
Buspirone targets serotonin receptors and does not depress the central nervous system, and therefore has no muscle relaxant or anticonvulsant effects. This drug can cause fatigue or drowsiness, however.
Buspirone is a drug of choice in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder because the medication lacks physical dependence and tolerance. Buspirone’s low abuse potential is appropriate for individuals with tendencies of alcohol or drug dependency.
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