Buspirone Vs. Xanax

Buspirone Vs. Xanax: Side Effects, Uses, and Precautions 

Buspirone Vs. Xanax
Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient's unique health circumstances and needs.

Are you suffering from anxiety and chronic stress

Do you use either Xanax or Buspirone? 

These two medications are the leading prescription drugs for treating anxiety.

Are you suffering from anxiety? Click the button below to avail the safest treatment options for anxiety.

This article will help you make better decisions while choosing the best medication for anxiety issues. Your doctor will nonetheless assist you in selecting the proper medication for your anxiety problems.

Medication remains the best anxiety treatment option, particularly when anxiety gets out of hand. Various medications for anxiety are beneficial in preventing anxiety from taking a toll on your life. 

Buspirone and Xanax are some of the best anxiety medications. While these two medications are considered effective anti-anxiety drugs, they have different working mechanisms. These two drugs also differ in their chemical composition. 

1. What Exactly Is Buspirone and How Does the Medication Work?

Buspirone is a generic name of a medication known as Buspar. FDA approved the use of Buspirone as an anxiety-relief medication over three decades ago. Buspirone is still one of the top hundred prescription drugs in America. 

Buspirone is mainly used to treat anxiety disorders, especially GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).

However, Buspirone isn’t normally prescribed to treat mental illnesses like:

It would be best if you always had in mind that the drug isn’t effective in treating minor anxiety problems.

Let’s look at all the details you need to know about Buspirone. 

Why Do People Use Buspirone?

Buspirone is a form of drug classified as anxiolytics. Buspirone belongs to the 5-HT category of drugs.

  • These medications are used in the treatment of various anxiety disorders. 
  • Buspirone is mainly used for the treatment of anxiety.
  • Nonetheless, it is sometimes prescribed for the treatment of other mental health conditions.
  • Research shows that Buspirone was initially made as an antipsychotic.
  • Later on, Buspirone was found beneficial in helping patients with anxieties to relieve their symptoms. 
  • Buspirone can help you think clearly.
  • The medication can further assist you to worry less and keep you relaxed while doing your everyday activities.
  • Moreover, when compared to other types of anxiolytics, Buspirone has fewer side effects.
  • Apart from treating anxiety, research shows that Buspirone can effectively treat unipolar depression along with SSRIs (selective serotonin inhibitors).
  • Although the FDA hasn’t approved the use of Buspirone in treating other mental disorders, there is evidence showing that Buspirone can help treat MDD (major depressive disorder) mainly when you use this medication with melatonin. 

Hence, Buspirone remains the best choice of medications for people with anxiety. 

Buspirone Vs. Xanax

Buspirone Overdose Symptoms

How Exactly Does Buspirone Work?

Buspirone affects the neurotransmitters in your brain. The drug affects brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin.

These two neurotransmitters help with regulating several bodily functions, including:

Buspirone is mainly a serotonin receptor agonist. That means that the drug increases the activity of serotonin in the brain. The heightened levels of serotonin in your brain help alleviate anxiety in the long run.

Furthermore, Buspirone helps with blocking dopamine auto-receptors in your brain. The drug increases the metabolism of dopamine in your brain. 

The drug takes between 2 and 4 weeks to produce desirable effects. Thus, you have to wait between 2 and 4 weeks to get desirable outcomes after taking Buspirone to relieve your anxiety problems. 

Long-term use of anxiolytic medications isn’t suitable for the treatment of chronic anxiety.

However, there is concrete evidence that Buspirone can help alleviate signs of chronic anxiety after several months.

Studies show that the medication can be highly effective in treating chronic anxiety when using this drug for one year consistently. Nonetheless, your doctor needs to monitor the use of this drug in the long run. 

Is Buspirone a Benzodiazepine? 

Buspirone can’t be classified as a benzodiazepine. Buspirone is also not related to barbiturates and other forms of anxiety medications.

Instead, Buspirone belongs to a group of drugs that are known as azapirones. Many people use this group of drugs as anxiolytics. These drugs possess both anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. 

Benzodiazepines are types of drugs that slow down all the messages going between your brain and your body.

Benzodiazepines are minor tranquilizers. Doctors prescribe these medications for people suffering from anxiety and stress.

Doctors also prescribe these types of medicines to persons suffering from sleep problems. Furthermore, these medications are effective in treating epilepsy and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

If the anxiety symptoms are interfering with your daily routine, click the button below to schedule your appointment.

2. Xanax and How the Drug Works?

Xanax belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and is among the most prescribed drugs for anxiety in the US.

The medication is the brand term of Alprazolam. The drug can be beneficial in treating panic and other anxiety disorders. The medication is helpful when used as a prescribed medication for anxiety.

Nonetheless, Xanax’s calming effects make the drug beneficial in helping you accomplish a tranquil state of mind. Xanax is a prescription drug for people experiencing anxiety and panic attacks.

The prescription can also help treat specific conditions of phobia, particularly for anticipated anxiety. 

For example, a doctor can prescribe Xanax if you fear going on a flight. Xanax can help manage panic-induced situations. You can use the drug before any event that makes you panic. 

Xanax is also recommended for relieving social anxiety disorder. The drug is commonly prescribed as a medication for cognitive problems such as judgment of other people and worrying about performance.

You can take Xanax an hour before experiencing a stressful event. Researchers have been recommending the use of Xanax in treating panic disorders and anxiety.  [1*]


How Exactly Does Xanax Work?

Xanax works by attaching to a receptor in your brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid.

Xanax has a calming effect on your brain once this medication binds with your brain. One of the main reasons why doctors prescribe Xanax is its efficiency in relieving anxiety problems.

The drug is also a prescription drug among people with anxiety until other alternative effective treatments such as therapy are introduced in such people. 

Xanax effects can last for up to 11 hours. Half–Life is a term used to describe the time that the body takes to eliminate these drugs after consumption.

The clinical effectiveness of one tablet of the immediate-release version of Xanax is relatively shorter. Most users of this medication report that the effects of this drug wear off within six hours.

Facts About the Abuse of Xanax 

Many people with anxiety believe that Xanax is safe for them. Medical professionals prescribe Xanax for anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Nonetheless, this mediation has a high likelihood of abuse. 

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax should only be taken for up to 4 weeks and no longer. After that, patients can develop a physical dependence on the drug. 

Furthermore, you can also become tolerant to the effects of Xanax after using the medication for more than four weeks. The tolerance of this medication can finally result in substance abuse in the long run.

Over time, you will need to take high doses of Xanax to experience a similar effect. Research indicates that more than 5.4 million Americans aged 12 years and above misused their Xanax prescription in 2018. 

Large dosages of Xanax can be pretty dangerous. The side effect of Xanax occurs pretty quickly. Xanax is a fast-acting medication. Your digestive system will absorb all the active ingredients in Xanax once you ingest this medication.

Buspirone Vs. Xanax

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

The elements will go directly into your bloodstream, finally reaching your brain. 

Taking Xanax in an overdose can lead to a long-term addiction to Xanax. Long-term addiction to this drug can lead to death or a comma.

You need to seek treatment from a certified treatment facility if you have an overdose of Xanax. You should also encourage your loved ones to seek immediate help if they exhibit signs of Xanax addiction. [2*]

3. Xanax Vs Buspirone: Dosage and Uses 

Both Buspirone and Xanax come in varied dosages. It is essential to take the proper dosage of these two drugs while treating your anxiety problems.

Your dosage of these two medications can depend on the severity of your anxiety problems.

The dosage can also vary depending on other factors, such as other health conditions and your age. 

The following details about dosages of both Buspirone and Xanax include just the average dosage of these two medications.

Don’t adjust your dose before talking to your doctor if you realize you have an overdose of these two drugs.

In addition, the medicines come with a patient information insert. Kindly go through the instructions on the insert. Consult your doctor if you have any queries. 

Let’s get into an in-depth view regarding the dosage of Buspirone and Xanax. 

The Average Dosage of Buspirone

Buspirone is available in oral tablets. The average dosage for adults should be 7.5 mg twice a day. Your doctor can choose to increase your dosage if they think you need a high dosage.

Nonetheless, the average dosage for Buspirone shouldn’t exceed 60 mg for adults. The doctor should determine the use and dosage for Buspirone.   [3*]

Furthermore, anyone taking Buspirone to treat their anxiety problems must use consistent dosages of this medication with or without food.

In case you missed the dose, take it as soon as possible. Nonetheless, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose and go back to the usual dosing schedule to prevent a double dose. 

Click the button below to schedule your appointment. 


Book Your Appointment Today!

The Average Dosage for Xanax 

Xanax comes in two forms, namely:

  • Extended-release form
  • Immediate-release form

The medication is also available in the form of an oral solution and disintegrated form.

The immediate-release version of Xanax works almost immediately in relieving anxiety. The immediate-release versions get into your bodily system almost immediately. They also start relieving pain once they are introduced into the body.  

However, the extended-release versions are only prescribed once a day. These versions allow both Buspirone and Xanax to be released gradually in your body in the long term.

The proper oral dosage for Xanax is between 0.25 and 0.5 mg for patients with chronic anxiety. Your doctor can adjust your dosage depending on how you respond to Xanax in your anxiety treatment efforts.

Your doctor will likely change your dosage for these two medications between 3 and 4 days. This is an average dose for adults and older aged patients. The dose for the children must be decided by your doctor. 

Price and Usage Instructions 

Buspirone sells at $90. Nonetheless, you can get this anxiety medication at around $4 if you use a SingleCare Coupon at any participating pharmacy.

The price of generic Xanax can be between $30 and $60 per mg. Tablets of 1 mg generic Xanax can be between $10 and $20 while using your SingleCare coupon. Insurance covers both Buspirone and Xanax.

However, health insurance doesn’t cover the brand form of Xanax. 

Don’t forget to take your Buspirone and Xanax prescription according to your doctor’s prescription.

These instructions below will help both your doctor to make better decisions while taking Buspirone and Xanax.

  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know whether you are allergic to any ingredients in these two medications. You should ask your doctor or pharmacist about the ingredients in these two drugs to help you know whether you are allergic to any of these ingredients. 
  • Talk to your doctor about other nonprescription and prescription drugs you could be taking.
  • Furthermore, tell the doctor about any nutrition and vitamins supplements you could be taken before the doctor administers either Xanax or Buspirone.
  • Let your doctor know whether you are taking any herbal products before the doctor recommends either Buspirone or Xanax. Don’t forget to remind the doctor if you are taking a herbal product such as St. John’s Wort. 
  • Tell your doctor you are taking Xanax or Buspirone if you are scheduled for surgery or dental surgery. 
  • Consult your doctor before taking Xanax or Buspirone if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

4. Side Effects of Buspirone and Xanax

Buspirone and Xanax are effective in combating anxiety. Nonetheless, these two drugs have potential side effects. A comparative study shows that Buspirone has minimal side effects than Xanax. Buspirone also has fewer withdrawal symptoms. 

Fortunately, you can manage the side effects of Buspirone and Xanax. Further, these side effects can vanish away once your body is used to these medications. Nonetheless, consult your doctors if the side effects of these medications persist for longer durations. 

Below are details of the less frequent and more severe side effects of Buspirone and Xanax.

The Adverse Effects of Buspirone

The most common side effects of Buspirone are: 

  • Insomnia 
  • Nausea 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Excitement 
  • Dizziness 
  • Lightheadedness 

Click the button below to effectively manage anxiety-Book your appointment with our mental health expert.

The less severe adverse effects of Buspirone include:

The Adverse Effects of Xanax

Below are some of the common side effects of Xanax:

Are There Withdrawal Effects of Buspirone?

There is no evidence demonstrating that Buspirone causes addiction and dependence. Thus, patients only need to avoid taking high doses of Buspirone unless their doctor prescribes such high dosages.

Persons taking Buspirone are less likely to experience withdrawal effects. In case of withdrawal symptoms, patients should gradually decrease the use of Buspirone under the guidance of their doctor.

In most cases, persons who have been taking Buspirone for prolonged durations are likely to experience these withdrawal symptoms:

Withdrawal Symptoms of Xanax

Doctors prescribe Xanax for short periods due to the drug’s highly addictive nature. Xanax has higher chances of causing withdrawal symptoms compared to Buspirone.

The symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax vary from one patient to the other.

Nonetheless, research shows that about 40% of persons taking Benzodiazepines to treat their anxiety problems are likely to experience severe or minimal withdrawal symptoms. 

You need patience and determination to quit taking Xanax if you have been taking Xanax multiple times each day.

The best way to cease taking Xanax is by gradually decreasing your dosage of this drug, following your doctor’s instructions. Xanax’s withdrawal symptoms usually appear between 8 and 12 hours after the last dose. 

Buspirone Vs. Xanax

Side Effects of Buspirone and Xanax

Withdrawal can get worse during the second day of not using Xanax. Fortunately, the withdrawal symptoms can go away after four to five days after stopping the drug. Nonetheless, severe symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can persist for many days.

Persons taking Xanax can develop protracted withdrawal symptoms. A prolonged dosage of Xanax can lead to mild psychological problems. 

Below are the possible mental and physical effects of withdrawing from Xanax. These are some of the common symptoms you might experience after withdrawing from Xanax. 

Physical Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal

Below are the physical symptoms associated with withdrawing from Xanax:

  • Seizures 
  • Insomnia 
  • Hyperventilation 
  • Sweating 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Headaches 
  • Insomnia 

Psychological Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal 

Below are the psychological symptoms associated with withdrawing from Xanax:

5. Xanax Vs Buspirone: Are There Possible Drug Interactions? 

Drug interaction can alter how the medication works. Drug interaction can also increase your risk of developing severe side effects.

It is essential to know the drug interactions of Buspirone and Xanax once your doctor prescribes these medications to you or a loved one. These drugs can interact with other medicines such as herbal or vitamin supplements. 

Both Buspirone and Xanax are known to be effective medications for anxiety. Nonetheless, these two drugs aren’t suitable for treating other mental or physical ailments.

For example, your doctor may end up prescribing you more than one medication if you have anxiety or other physical or psychological diseases which can lead to drug interaction in the long run.

You may be exhibiting anxiety symptoms due to multiple reasons– Click below to treat the causes and get your anxiety under control.

Let’s see the possible drug interaction of Buspirone and Xanax in detail. However, the drug interactions that we will mention here are selected depending on their potential significance. 

Furthermore, these interactions aren’t necessarily all-inclusive. Therefore, it would help if you talk to your doctor about any herbal, nonprescription, and prescription drugs you could be taking before taking either Xanax or Buspirone. 

Which Drugs Interact With Buspar and Xanax?

Both Buspirone and Xanax are processed and metabolized by an active enzyme known as CYP3A4. Certain drugs can inhibit this enzyme from being processed in your body once you take Xanax or Buspirone.

The side effects of these two drugs can thus be more severe in the long run. 

Some of the drugs that can potentially inhibit the activity of CP34A after taking Xanax or Buspirone include erythromycin and diltiazem. Furthermore, you should note that grape juice can also inhibit the activity CYP3A4. 

On the contrary, certain drugs can potentially induce the activity of CYP3A4 in your body. 

These drugs can also increase the activity of Buspirone and Xanax in the long run.

Some of these drugs that can heighten the activity of CYP3A4 in your body include:

  • Rifampin
  • Phenytoin
  • Barbiturates such as phenobarbital

What Drugs Does Buspirone Interact With?

The interaction of Buspirone and MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) can lead to a dangerous drug interaction. An increase in blood pressure is common in people that use MAOIs and Buspirone simultaneously.

Thus, you should desist from taking any MAOIs within two weeks of taking Buspirone. Using such drugs with MAOIs can place you at risk of developing serotonin syndrome and high blood pressure.

Below are some of the common medicines that work as MAOI inhibitors: 

  • Phenelzine 
  • Isocarboxazid 
  • Methylene blue
  • Moclobemide 

Furthermore, Buspirone has no known antipsychotic activity. You should not use the medication with any antipsychotic treatments. Besides, Buspirone can lead to a harmful interaction with antidepressants, including SSRIs.

Is There a Possible Interaction of Xanax and Other Drugs?

Using benzodiazepines such as Xanax together with opioids can lead to unexpected sedation.

This drug interaction with Xanax can also lead to:

Benzodiazepines can cause respiratory depression once you use these drugs with opioids.

Thus, your doctor should monitor you for respiratory depression. Your doctor should also limit your doses of opioids and Xanax.

Some of the medications from drugs are classified as opioids: 

  • Oxymorphone
  • Morphine 
  • Hydromorphone 
  • Buprenorphine

Benzodiazepines also cause additive CNS depressants effects when you use these drugs with CNS depressants.

Buspirone Vs. Xanax

Buspirone Versus Xanax

Some of these effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion

CNS depressant for anxiety relieves entails using:

  • Ethanol
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Psychotropic medications

Apart from drug interactions, several things can end up worsening the potential adverse effects of Buspirone and Xanax.

Ensure you use the recommended warnings and precautions before using Xanax or Buspirone so that you can be on the safer side. 

6. Precautions You Should Consider Before Taking Buspirone and Xanax

Buspirone and Xanax can help you with your anxiety, but they can lead to several side effects, as discussed earlier.

So, before making the best and safe choice for healing your anxiety, it is essential to know about precautions or warnings you need to follow before using the medication.

Besides the drug interactions, many things can worsen the possible side effects of both Buspirone and Xanax.

To be on the safer side, make sure that you follow the necessary precautions before using these medications.

Precautions for Taking Buspirone

You should monitor or stop taking Buspirone especially if you are using other medicines that can potentially interact with the drug. You should particularly refrain from using any MAOIs together with Buspirone.

Furthermore, you should observe sensitivity or allergy to Buspirone.

You should not use Buspirone to treat your withdrawal symptoms of alcohol, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines. The impact of Buspirone would reduce if you were previously taking benzodiazepines for anxiety or other conditions. 

Your liver metabolizes Buspirone while your kidney excretes the medication from your body. Hence, persons with impaired renal or hepatic function should use Buspirone with caution and moderation.

Buspirone falls under the category of pregnancy B drug. The group of pregnancy B drugs is safe among women during pregnancy. 

Women should only use Buspirone during pregnancy only if their doctors recommend them to use this drug. Breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking Buspirone.

Buspirone can suppress the CNS (Central Nervous System). The long-term effects of Buspirone can slow down your reflexes or make you feel sleepy. Avoid driving or operating any heavy types of machinery while taking Buspirone. 

To make it easier and safer for you to use Buspirone, kindly follow this checklist or questions before using Buspirone:

  • Have you been taking Buprenorphine, Morphine, or MAOIs?
  • Do you have kidney or liver problems?
  • Are you pregnant? 
  • Are you breastfeeding?
  • Are you suffering from glaucoma?
  • Are you suffering from epilepsy?

Click the button below to let our mental health experts help you deal with anxiety.

Precautions for Taking Xanax

Talk to your doctor if you have allergies to Xanax or other medications such as:

Take these precautions while taking Xanax if you have any of these allergies. 

  • Family History of Ailments

Before you use Xanax, it is good to inform your doctor if you possess a family history of breathing or lung problems.

It would help if you told your doctor about:

  • Sleep apnea
  • COPD
  • Glaucoma
  • Liver disease

It would be best to talk to your doctor if you have a family history of drug and substance abuse. For instance, you should mention your family history of alcohol or any other drugs.

  • Risk of Use With Opioids

The use of Xanax comes with a warning, according to the FDA.

Long-term use of this drug with opioids can lead to:

  • Sedation
  • Death
  • Respiratory depression

You shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery while taking Xanax until the effects of concomitant use with opioids have been determined.

  • Addiction, Misuse, and Abuse

The use of Xanax can expose you to the risks of misuse, abuse, and addiction in the long run. Your doctor should observe you for any possibility of addiction, misuse, or abuse before prescribing Xanax to you or a loved one with anxiety.

  • Withdrawal Reaction

Xanax can lead to dependence in the long run. The addiction that results from this medication can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. It would help if you used Xanax in moderate dosages to avoid experiencing the withdrawal effects of this drug. 

7. Xanax Vs Buspirone: FAQs About These Medications

Despite being equally effective in treating anxiety, Buspirone and Xanax are considered different choices. Depending on the patient and anxiety disorder, the doctor may choose one of these medications. 

For example, suppose a patient struggles with insomnia. In that case, a doctor may prescribe Xanax instead of Buspirone due to the sedative effects of Xanax.

Buspirone Vs. Xanax Conditions

Conditions Treated by Buspirone and Xanax

Buspirone doesn’t make patients as calm and relaxed as Xanax. Conversely, if you suffer from addiction, your doctor may choose to prescribe Buspirone instead of Xanax. Addictive and unhealthy habit-forming effects of Xanax are well-documented.

After exploring all facts about both medications, now let’s clarify the differences between them and answer the most frequently asked questions that you might also have in your mind.

Differences Between Buspirone and Xanax

  • Buspirone is classified as an anti-anxiety medication. Xanax, on the other hand, is classified as a benzodiazepine.
  • Buspirone is strictly available in the generic form. Nonetheless, Xanax is available in both generic and brand forms. 
  • Buspirone is suitable for both short-term and long-term treatment of anxiety. Xanax is ideal for treating short-term anxiety. 
  • Buspirone is FDA- approved medication for anxiety only, while Xanax is suitable for treating both anxiety and depression. 

Common FAQs About Buspirone and Xanax

Here are the frequently asked questions about Buspirone and Xanax: 

  • Is Buspirone or Xanax Better?

Both medications are equally effective in treating anxiety, according to research. Nevertheless, Buspirone has minimal side effects compared to Xanax. Consult your doctor before taking any of these two drugs.

  • Can You Take Buspirone and Xanax Together?

Both Buspirone and Xanax can have similar effects if you take these two drugs together. Nonetheless, these two drugs can heighten each other’s side effects if you take them together.

Hence you should consult your doctor before taking any of these medications. 

  • Can You Take Buspirone and Xanax With Alcohol?

Buspirone and Xanax can lead to CNS depression if you take these two drugs with alcohol. Taking these drugs with alcohol can also lead to breathing problems. Hence, avoid combining the two drugs with alcohol.

  • Does Buspirone Make Anxiety Worse?

No, Buspirone does not make your anxiety worse. It helps in managing anxiety symptoms. But make sure that you don’t miss your doses or abruptly stop the medicine without consulting your doctor because it can worsen your symptoms.

Learn to cope with anxiety– Click the button below to schedule your appointment.

Wrap Up 

Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions if you are taking either Buspirone or Xanax. Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects after using Xanax or Buspirone.


+3 sources
  1. A comparison of the safety and efficacy of alprazolam versus other agents in the treatment of anxiety, panic, and depression: a review of the literature. (1993)
    Source link
  2. A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal. (2018)
    Source link
  3. Buspirone HCL - Uses, Side Effects, and More
    Source link

Most importantly, talk to your doctor if you think either Xanax or Buspirone isn’t working for your anxiety problems. Click the button below to schedule your appointment with our mental health expert and get the most suitable anxiety treatment for yourself.


Book Your Appointment Today!

Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.