Xanax and buspirone are two drugs that are available by prescription to treat anxiety. Although both are anti-anxiety agents, they possess different mechanisms of action and differ chemically. Buspirone is not considered habit-forming, but Xanax is regarded as a Schedule IV drug with the potential for dependence and addiction. While the medications have similar side effects that include dizziness and somnolence, they are distinctly different, as we’ll describe below.


Buspirone is a nonbenzodiazepine antianxiety agent, which is the generic name for the drug Buspar. Although the U.S.escitalopram pill side effects (2) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug to treat anxiety, it is considered for some off-label uses such as depression. The way in which the drug works is not fully understood, but its effects on dopamine and serotonin are significant.

The drug is also highly absorbed with a bioavailability of 90 percent. Buspirone boasts a half-life of two to three hours after a single dose. Oral tablets are available in several strengths, including 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg. Doctors commonly prescribe the lowest dose and gradually increase that number to 20 to 30 mg per day. The maximum safe dose is 60 mg every day.

Buspirone is heavily metabolized in the kidneys and liver, and it is not recommended for those with kidney or liver impairment.


Xanax, which also known by its generic name alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine drug that works to modify and increase GABA production in the brain. The drug reaches its peak one to two hours after it is administered orally, and it boasts a half-life of 11 hours. It comes in oral tablets with strengths that vary from 0.25 mg to 2 mg. Xanax is available in orally disintegrating tablets, but you may also find extended-release tablets. It is typically dosed three times daily with a maximum dose of 4 mg.

In the event of kidney or liver impairment, your physician could alter your dose. Xanax comes with a black box warning against using the drug in conjunction with opioids, which could increase the risk of coma, respiratory depression, and death.

Buspirone Vs. Xanax

While the two drugs share similarities, they possess several differences as well. These characteristics can be found below, which include:

Why Is Buspirone Prescribed?

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Short-term relief of anxiety symptoms

Common Side Effects of Buspirone

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Excitement
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nervousness

Why Is Xanax Prescribed?

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder

Common Side Effects of Xanax

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness

What Are The Differences Of Buspirone And Xanax?

While Xanax and buspirone are medications that are effective in the treatment of anxiety, they both work in different ways and cause various side effects. Both drugs are metabolized in the liver, which could play a role in adverse effects and drug interactions. Buspirone is better for short-term anxiety related to depression, while Xanax is more useful in treating panic disorders and anxiety. If you are considering using one of these medications, speak to a doctor about potential drug interactions and side effects.

Tap to GET HELP NOW: (855) 935-0303