If you are struggling with anxiety or panic attacks, it’s crucial that you find the right medication to manage your symptoms. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates that 40 million adults in the United States over the age of 18 struggle with anxiety. Unfortunately, mental disorders that involve anxiety are among the most common.
Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication used to help individuals manage their anxiety symptoms. The drug works by depressing the central nervous system (CNS) without causing the potent effects you might expect from benzodiazepines. Benzos carry a significant risk of dependence and addiction, which is why buspirone could be a good alternative.
The medication is said by the Mayo Clinic to decrease the amount and actions of the chemical serotonin in parts of the brain, which can help someone struggling with panic attacks. Is it enough to replace benzodiazepines?
Buspirone And Anxiety Treatment
Those struggling with anxiety may know that buspirone is used to treat the disorder, but they may be left wondering its effectiveness. Healthcare providers may prescribe the drug in addition to antidepressants for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), according to GoodRx.
The antidepressant could be a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Using buspirone in conjunction with antidepressants has been shown to enhance the effects. Buspirone may also be used alone for individuals who do not respond well to antidepressants.
Buspirone And Panic Attacks
Panic attacks and anxiety are thought to be the same or similar, but you should know that they are not. Panic attacks are something that comes on suddenly and involves overwhelming fear. These can occur unexpectedly and cause frightening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, or nausea. Panic attacks may occur for no reason at all.
Anxiety is defined as a feature of several psychiatric disorders, and it is possible to experience panic attacks and anxiety at the same time. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) recognizes panic attacks as a problem, but it does not acknowledge anxiety attacks.
If you have been discussing with your doctor about using buspirone to calm your panic attacks, there is research available online indicating it’s not always effective. Various users online reported their experiences with the drug and gave mixed results. The medication may be useful for one, while others may not feel any relief.
In some cases, users reported that buspirone made their condition worse. The side effects include an increased heart rate, which may increase someone’s anxiety significantly. While some of the effects may be considered rare, they could occur in your case. In the event this happens, you must reach out to your prescribing physician immediately.
If you experience the following side effects, call a doctor immediately. These include:
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Nervous feelings
Rare side effects of buspirone include:
- Chest pain
- Rapid or pounding heartbeat
- Skin rash or hives
- Stiffness in your arms or legs
- Uncontrollable body movements
- Sore throat
- Muscle depression