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Why is this medication prescribed?

Buspirone is used to treat anxiety disorders or in the short-term treatment of symptoms of anxiety. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses.

How should this medicine be used?

Buspirone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or three times a day. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.

Other uses for this medicine

Buspirone is also used sometimes to treat the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

What special precautions should be followed?

Before administering buspirone, it should be determined whether or not the patient is allergic to buspirone or any other drugs. Ask the patient what prescription drugs they are taking, especially antihistamines; anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Barbita, Luminal, Solfoton), and phenytoin (Dilantin); dexamethasone (Decadron, others); diazepam (Valium); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); erythromycin ((E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin, others); haloperidol (Haldol); ketoconazole (Nizoral); itraconazole (Sporanox); MAO inhibitors [phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate)]; muscle relaxants; nefazodone (Serzone); pain medications or narcotics; rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); ritonavir (Norvir); sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; trazodone (Desyrel); verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan); and vitamins.

The patient should not have or have ever had kidney or liver disease or a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Buspirone ahould not be prescribed to patients who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or be breast-feeding. If the patient is having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking buspirone. This drug may make patients drowsy. They should not drive a car or operate machinery until they know how this drug affects you.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

You may take buspirone either with or without food, but take it consistently, either always with food or always without food.

Avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking buspirone.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is within 4 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Buspirone may cause the following side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • depression
  • excitement
  • fatigue
  • nervousness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • lightheadedness
  • weakness
  • numbness

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • blurred vision
  • unusual movements or the head or neck muscles

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.

Symptoms of overdose

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • blurred vision

Brand names

  • BuSpar®
  • BuSpar® Dividose

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