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Buspirone (Buspar)

Bus-piranha
Picmonic
Buspirone (Buspar) is an anxiolytic psychotropic medication that partially binds and activates serotonin, dopamine, and other neurologic receptors. This activation results in anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. Buspirone is indicated for treating anxiety disorders and providing short-term relief from symptoms of anxiety. Unlike benzodiazepines, this drug does not lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Side effects may include dizziness, headache, and sleepiness. The antidote for buspirone overdose is activated charcoal given promptly. Blood levels of the medication can be increased with the ingestion of grapefruit juice, so patients should be taught to avoid it.
8 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM
Increases Serotonin
Up-arrow Silver-tonic

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.

INDICATIONS
Anxiety
Anxiety-bag

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.

SIDE EFFECTS
Dizziness
Dizzy-eyes

Since buspirone may result in orthostatic hypotension, patients can exprience dizziness. The patient should be advised to rise slowly from a sitting or lying position.

Insomnia
Taped-awake-insomniac

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.

CONSIDERATIONS
Delayed Effect
Delayed-sign

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.

No Alcohol Interaction
No Interaction with Alcoholic-martini

Buspirone has a low abuse potential and is an appropriate anxiolytic option for individuals with a history of substance abuse.

No CNS Effects
No Interaction with CNS-brain

Buspirone targets serotonin receptors and does not depress the central nervous system, and therefore has no muscle relaxant or anticonvulsant effects.

Low Abuse Potential
Missing Low Abuser

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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