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Can You Get High On Buspar?

Can You Get High On Buspar?

Anti-anxiety medications often impact the brain similarly to antidepressants. They may alter the levels of certain chemicals in the brain to reduce mental and physiological responses to anxiety and stress, such as increased heart rate and breathing. Among these medications is Buspar or buspirone. The anxiety-reducing properties of this drug, although effective, also give it a potential for abuse. But can you get high on Buspar?

What Is Buspirone (Buspar)?

Also known by its brand name Buspar, buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication that belongs to the anxiolytic drug class. It’s normally prescribed to alleviate symptoms in people with anxiety disorders or the short-term treatment of anxiety’s effects on the brain and body.

People prescribed buspirone take it as a tablet, usually twice daily. The dosages prescribed usually depend on the severity of the individual’s condition, height, weight, and age, to name a few.

Additionally, this medication is not meant to treat the anxiety that one may experience every once in a while, due to stressors in our daily lives. This medication is strictly meant for people who suffer from ongoing anxiety disorders.

How Does Buspar Work?

Buspar works by altering certain neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brain, particularly serotonin and dopamine. Both are neurotransmitters that play roles in regulating mood, feeling of well-being, and physiological functions like heart rate, sweating, and breathing.

Buspirone is a serotonin receptor agonist, which means that it especially increases serotonin levels in the brain. Specifically, serotonin plays a role in regulating functions like bowel movements, digestion, nausea, sleep, and mood.

Some individuals naturally have lower levels of serotonin, which may contribute to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. When Buspar is taken to address anxiety, it increases serotonin levels, leading to improved mood, concentration, emotional stability, and a sense of calm. Buspirone typically reaches peak blood concentrations around 40 to 90 minutes after administration. However, individuals with liver disease may experience significantly elevated levels of buspirone, up to thirteen times higher than normal with continuous use. Likewise, those with kidney disease may encounter up to a fourfold increase in buspirone levels.

Can You Get High On Buspirone?

Due to its mood-boosting side effects, you can get high on buspirone. However, achieving a Buspar high would take an extremely large dose.

Usually, when taken as directed by a doctor, buspirone’s abuse potential is pretty low, as well as its risk for addiction. Normal doses of buspirone usually range from 5 mg (milligrams) to 10 mg, 15 mg, or 30 mg.

To achieve a high from Buspar, you’d have to take double these doses, or possibly more than 30 mg. However, taking higher doses than directed is considered buspirone abuse.

When taken in large doses, a Buspar high is characterized by symptoms like sedation, dizziness, sleepiness, and extreme calm. Usually, this high only lasts for about 30 minutes.

Other ways that people may abuse their prescription drugs include mixing with other substances or alcohol or taking them in ways they shouldn’t. For instance, some people may try snorting Buspar to achieve a high.

In addition to a possible high, Buspar abuse also increases the person’s risk of overdose. Although recreational Buspar use is normally done to achieve euphoria, taking larger doses than prescribed or mixing it with alcohol can flood the body with more than it can metabolize, producing an overdose.

Common Buspar overdose symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea/and or vomiting, upset stomach, and pinpoint pupils. If you recognize these signs of overdose in yourself or someone else, get medical assistance immediately.

Is Buspirone Addictive?

Although buspirone is considered to be a non-addictive anxiety medication, it can become addictive, and here’s why. Addiction refers to the compulsive use of drugs or alcohol despite the repercussions the individual may experience.

Drug addiction is just as mental as it is physical and considering that Buspar can produce a high, someone who abuses it regularly enough may come to rely on how it makes them feel. But, as we said, the potential for addiction when taking this medication is low.

Even so, keep in mind that overdose can occur if you take too much of any substance. While a Buspar overdose isn’t considered to be life-threatening, if mixed with other substances like alcohol, the result can be catastrophic.

With that said, always make sure to take your medications as prescribed. Do not share them or take other people’s medications.

Additionally, avoid drinking alcohol with your prescription drugs or mixing them with other medications unless directed to do so by your doctor. Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit substances, so remain cautious. It's particularly important to consider this advice when taking buspirone, as alcohol may worsen its side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness.

Furthermore, buspirone has several specific drug interactions that need to be managed carefully. It is metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme, meaning its levels can be influenced by medications that inhibit or induce this enzyme. For example, CYP3A4 inhibitors like ketoconazole, clarithromycin, or itraconazole can increase the levels of buspirone, potentially leading to increased effects or side effects. Conversely, CYP3A4 inducers such as rifabutin, phenytoin, or carbamazepine can decrease its levels, reducing its effectiveness.

Additionally, certain medications should be used with caution or avoided. These include other anti-anxiety medications like diazepam and oxazepam, antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine, antipsychotics like haloperidol, muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, and pain medications like codeine and oxycodone. Also, substances like grapefruit can affect buspirone’s metabolism and should be avoided.

Buspirone should not be used concurrently with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like selegiline or phenelzine, as this can cause significant increases in blood pressure. Always consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that any new medication or dietary change is safely coordinated with the use of buspirone.

Tips When Taking Buspirone

When taking buspirone, it is important to adhere to several guidelines to ensure its effectiveness and safety:

1. Consistency in Consumption: Always take buspirone the same way, either with food or on an empty stomach, to maintain consistent blood levels.

2. Follow Prescription Details: Consume buspirone strictly as directed by your healthcare provider. The tablet is designed to be split easily to help you achieve the correct dose. For instance, a 30 mg tablet may have markings to divide it into either three 10 mg segments or into sections of 10 mg and 20 mg. Alternatively, it can be split into two 15 mg halves.

3. Avoid Certain Foods: Steer clear of consuming large quantities of grapefruit juice, as it can interact negatively with buspirone.

4. Exercise Caution with Activities: Until you are certain of how buspirone affects your alertness and motor skills, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.

5. Monitor for Side Effects: Be vigilant for signs of serotonin syndrome, which can include symptoms like agitation, hallucinations, increased heart rate, dizziness, skin flushing, nausea, or diarrhea. Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms occur.

6. Consult Before Combining Medications: Do not start any new medicines while on buspirone without prior consultation with your doctor.

7. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The effects of buspirone on pregnancy and breastfeeding are currently unknown; discuss potential risks with your doctor.

Following these steps carefully can help manage your treatment effectively while minimizing any potential risks or side effects.

Help for Buspar Drug Abuse

Despite a medication’s potential for abuse, people who start abusing one kind of drugs often turn to stronger ones in search of a better high. So, while Buspar may not seem as problematic as opioids, people who become interested enough in getting high will eventually seek out other, more dangerous substances that will get them there.

In general, buspirone use, particularly for those between the ages of 18 and 60 who take no other medications or have no other medical conditions, can lead to side effects such as dizziness, light-headedness, headache, nausea, and excitement. There is also a risk of drowsiness, though it is less likely compared to other anxiety medications. It’s important to avoid alcohol and be cautious about operating machinery until you know how buspirone affects you. Additionally, interactions or overdosage can lead to serotonin syndrome, characterized by symptoms like agitation, hallucinations, and a rapid heart rate, among others. Buspirone may also interact with grapefruit and grapefruit products, and is not recommended for individuals with severe liver or kidney disease.

Furthermore, while buspirone does not typically prevent withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal, it has been incorrectly identified as metanephrine in routine assays, potentially resulting in false-positive results for pheochromocytoma. Patients are advised to discontinue buspirone at least 48 hours before undergoing urine collection for catecholamines. Lastly, although animal studies have not shown fertility impairment or fetal damage, adequate and controlled studies in humans are lacking, and breastfeeding while taking buspirone is not recommended. This medication is not approved for use in individuals younger than 18 years.

Therefore, early detection of prescription drug abuse and treatment is crucial to recovery. If you or someone you know has lost control of their prescription drug use or has begun abusing other drugs or alcohol, our Heartland drug rehab can help.

We offer outpatient and inpatient substance abuse treatment in Illinois for addictions to medications, illicit drugs, and alcohol. We incorporate individual and group counseling and even offer family therapy to establish a support system for patients and help their loved ones recover from the impact of drug abuse as well.

To learn how our drug and alcohol rehab in Illinois can help you or someone you care about achieve an addiction-free life, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Can You Get High On Buspar?
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