BuSpar is the brand name for buspirone hydrochloride, which is an anxiolytic medication or anti-anxiety medication used to treat anxiety disorders. Buspirone can help people with anxiety think more clearly, relax, worry less, and manage their day-to-day activities and responsibilities. This medication can also manage symptoms like difficulty sleeping, sweating, and rapid heartbeat. However, because it’s used for long-term anxiety treatment, it’s important to understand BuSpar withdrawal if you’re taking it regularly.
Like benzodiazepines, buspirone works by influencing the activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain to improve mood, reduce stress, and increase focus and concentration. Buspirone especially stimulates serotonin and dopamine, which can lead to elevated mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Unlike stronger anti-anxiety or sedative medications that are potent enough to be used for short periods, such as Ativan or Xanax, buspirone is often prescribed for long-term use. Because BuSpar is not associated with a high risk of abuse or addiction, it’s become a popular drug of choice for patients who may have a history of drug abuse that are seeking mental health treatment.
However, buspirone withdrawal symptoms can occur if the drug is stopped abruptly, which is why patients are usually weaned off of it before ceasing their treatment. Because buspirone is not addictive like heroin and cocaine are, patients are less likely to take extremely high doses unless they’re prescribed to do so.
As a result, patients who follow their doctors’ instructions are less likely to experience the side effects of BuSpar withdrawal. With that said, the patients who are most likely to experience these symptoms are those who have taken buspirone for long periods of time or require higher doses of the medication to feel its effects.
Dependence is when a person who’s become tolerant of a certain dosage of their medication may require more of it to experience the same relief or effects. And while BuSpar dependence doesn’t present the same risks as opioid dependence, it’s crucial that people who have been taking BuSpar for long periods be slowly weaned off the drug with the guidance of their doctor to avoid withdrawals.
BuSpar Withdrawal Symptoms
Buspirone acts on various chemicals in the brain to reduce feelings of anxiety. When a person uses this medication for long periods, the brain eventually becomes accustomed to receiving a drug that balances certain chemicals to promote relaxation and calm.
As a result, when the drug is suddenly removed from the person’s regimen, the symptoms that were previously being managed will suddenly present themselves, leading to withdrawals. Common withdrawal symptoms of BuSpar include:
Nausea and/or vomiting
Unusual tiredness, drowsiness, or sedation
Burning or tingling in the extremities
Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
Confusion or impaired judgment
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Changes in blood pressure
Although rare, buspirone withdrawal effects may also include chest pain and loss of consciousness. If you notice the signs of BuSpar withdrawal in yourself or someone else, reach out to the prescribing doctor for help. If rarer symptoms like chest pain or loss of consciousness occur, seek medical attention immediately.
How Long Does BuSpar Withdrawal Last?
The buspirone withdrawal timeline can begin as soon as 24 hours after the person’s last dose. BuSpar symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the detox regimen the person is placed on, the dose they were regularly taking, and how long they had been taking this medication.
In most cases, the longer someone takes a drug, the more intense and longer lasting their withdrawal symptoms will be. The same applies to the dosage, as people who are accustomed to taking higher doses of buspirone may experience more intense withdrawals when they decide to stop.
Help for Drug Withdrawal & Detox
Although patients can get help from their prescribing doctors for detoxing or withdrawal, this all depends on the drug in question and the duration of drug use. Although help from your doctor may be sufficient for stopping BuSpar use, managing withdrawals of opioids or benzodiazepines may require a more in-depth form of treatment.
Our Heartland drug rehab offers medically monitored detox for both illicit and prescription drugs. We offer patients a safe and calm environment where they can receive 24-hour care and medical assistance as they’re slowly weaned off their particular drug of choice.
Specialists at our drug rehab in Illinois believe that detox plays a major role in long-term addiction recovery because it reduces the risk of relapse during withdrawal. Following detox, clients can then work with our counselors individually and in group settings to learn more about their conditions and develop sober lifestyle skills that will help them stay on track long-term.
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.