• Announcements

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Tips for tapering off busipirone (Buspar)

5 posts in this topic

AKA Axoren, Ansial, Bespar, Bespar, Barpil, Buspar, Buspinol, Censpar, Lucelan, Travin

Does buspirone have a withdrawal syndrome? Yes indeed it does, despite the "folk wisdom" you might hear from doctors.

Withdrawal symptoms from buspirone, like buproprion (Wellbutrin) are only somewhat less likely than other psychiatric drugs.

See http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-questions/buspar/what-withdrawal-symptoms-can-i-expect-as-i-end-my-taper-off-buspar

Official FDA information at http://www.drugs.com/pro/buspar.html


Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment

One guide to the relative clinical importance of adverse events associated with BuSpar is provided by the frequency with which they caused drug discontinuation during clinical testing. Approximately 10% of the 2200 anxious patients who participated in the BuSpar premarketing clinical efficacy trials in anxiety disorders lasting 3 to 4 weeks discontinued treatment due to an adverse event. The more common events causing discontinuation included: central nervous system disturbances (3.4%), primarily dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, drowsiness, and lightheaded feeling; gastrointestinal disturbances (1.2%), primarily nausea; and miscellaneous disturbances (1.1%), primarily headache and fatigue. In addition, 3.4% of patients had multiple complaints, none of which could be characterized as primary.

And other interesting tidbits:

Potential for Withdrawal Reactions in Sedative/Hypnotic/Anxiolytic Drug-Dependent Patients

Because BuSpar does not exhibit cross-tolerance with benzodiazepines and other common sedative/hypnotic drugs, it will not block the withdrawal syndrome often seen with cessation of therapy with these drugs. Therefore, before starting therapy with BuSpar, it is advisable to withdraw patients gradually, especially patients who have been using a CNS-depressant drug chronically, from their prior treatment. Rebound or withdrawal symptoms may occur over varying time periods, depending in part on the type of drug, and its effective half-life of elimination.

The syndrome of withdrawal from sedative/hypnotic/anxiolytic drugs can appear as any combination of irritability, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, tremor, abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, flu-like symptoms without fever, and occasionally, even as seizures.

Possible Concerns Related to Buspirone's Binding to Dopamine Receptors

Because buspirone can bind to central dopamine receptors, a question has been raised about its potential to cause acute and chronic changes in dopamine-mediated neurological function (eg, dystonia, pseudo-parkinsonism, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia). Clinical experience in controlled trials has failed to identify any significant neuroleptic-like activity; however, a syndrome of restlessness, appearing shortly after initiation of treatment, has been reported in some small fraction of buspirone-treated patients. The syndrome may be explained in several ways. For example, buspirone may increase central noradrenergic activity; alternatively, the effect may be attributable to dopaminergic effects (ie, represent akathisia).

Reduce by 10% per month to start
The 10% rule holds for buspirone, just like other psychiatric drugs: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.)

See Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Cutting up regular buspirone tablets
Buspar comes in these dosages: 5 mg, 10mg, 15mg, 30mg tablets. The tablets are scored for splitting.

People taking may taper by cutting up the tablets with a pill splitter. It's a good idea to keep the pieces you don't use in a clean pill bottle labeled with the dosage for future use.

Use an electronic digital jeweler's scale to weigh small amounts
If you are sensitive to dosage changes, you may wish to be more precise in your measurements so you can taper at a measured rate. A digital scale, which can be bought for about $30, is useful. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/

Use a liquid solution

Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid

Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in lower-dose tablets or capsules, gradually converting to all liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another.


If your doctor prescribes compounded liquid and tablets or capsules at the same time, most likely he or she will have to indicate "divided doses" in the prescriptions to get the drugs covered by insurance.


Have a compounding pharmacy make capsules with custom dosages
Compounding pharmacies can weigh buspirone and make up capsules for you of specidic dosages. The only drawback is this can be quite expensive.

"Bridging" with Prozac
This should not be necessary with buspirone.

Edited by Altostrata

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see this is an old post, but I did a search for info on Buspar.  I ran out of Buspar on Sunday morning.  I was on it since April 2013, after the other medications prescribed by the psychiatrist failed (caused too many negative side effects), those being Wellbutrin and Seroquel.  Horrible stuff.


The Buspar had no side effects that I could see or feel, but then again, it didn't do anything to help me, either.  Supposedly it was being prescribed to me for anxiety.  I still felt plenty of anxiety during stressful situations.  I'm not sure how normal that even is.


I asked my family doctor a few months ago if I could taper off the Buspar, as it seemed to be doing nothing and was a waste of money and who knows what all else it's doing to me negatively, surreptitiously.


His response was, "Let's up your dose and see what happens."


I reluctantly went with his advice, going from 10 mg twice a day to 15 mg twice a day.


I didn't notice any changes for better or worse.


Last week, I saw that I was running low on Buspar, so I tried to get an appointment with my doctor.  I was told he had no appointments till early December.  I asked if there's any way they could squeeze me in, as I'm running out of my prescription Buspar.  They said no.  Since I already had an appointment scheduled for December 2, I figured all I could do was wait.


I took my last Buspar on Sunday morning, which was two halves for a total of 10 mg.  So far, nothing seems amiss.


Still, I don't know what I don't know, and thus far have not found anything convincing online to assure me I'm going to be okay or if there is anything specific about which I should be aware.


This is only my second post on this site.  I didn't see an option for me to start a new thread, so please forgive me if I have posted this in the wrong spot.  Hoping to find a little support.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I strongly advise don`t underestimate Buspirone! I thought it was an easy drug to withdraw from. I couldn`t have been mistaken more. I came off it very fast and after about two weeks hell unleashed! Reinstatement didn`t work for me, I had to taper it faster than recommended again. I`ve never had such panic attacks, persistent anxiety and sever depression in my life before!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone done a 10% taper with buspar/buspirone? I'd like to hear how it went!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0