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Buspar (Buspirone) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?

Buspar (Buspirone) is an anxiolytic drug that is used as a safer treatment option for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Many doctors prescribe Buspar to their patients’ for anxiety because the benzodiazepine class of medications like Xanax carry significant withdrawal effects and are linked to dementia. Many of the benzodiazepines are also highly addictive with potential for abuse – Buspar does not carry this risk.

This is a drug in the azapirone chemical class that functions as a partial serotonin receptor agonist and influences dopamine to a lesser degree. It also does not function the same as an SSRI medication, but may be used as an augmentation strategy to help increase libido and energy. Many people end up withdrawing from Buspar because they try it and realize that it’s not really doing much of anything.

This is a medication that works well for select individuals, but it may not do much of anything in others – even at higher doses. For these reasons, it is obvious that most people that end up taking it will eventually stop. Most doctors and psychiatrists will suggest that there are no withdrawal effects that you need to be concerned with – and for the most part, they are correct. However, there are still reports of individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms while coming off of Buspar.

Factors that may influence Buspar withdrawal include

Since there are no major withdrawal symptoms associated with Buspar, whether you quit cold turkey or taper doesn’t really matter. Most people’s individual physiology will determine how they respond to this medication (e.g. whether it actually works) as well as whether they experience any withdrawal symptoms.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Buspar? If you were on it for an extended period of time at a higher dose, there is a greater chance that you are going to experience some sort of “withdrawal” symptoms when you stop taking it. Those that were on Buspar for a shorter duration are not likely going to experience a withdrawal.

2. Dosage (5 mg, 10mg, 15mg, 30mg)

As with any medication, usually when you are on a higher dose, it has more of an impact on the brain and nervous system. If you were on the highest dose of Buspar, you may want to consider tapering back down to a lower dose before you quit.  Most doctors and psychiatrists will advise people to simply quit cold turkey.

3. Individual Physiology

Everyone reacts differently to being treated with Buspar. Some people experience anxiety relief and find that the drug works great. Others find that it doesn’t do much of anything to aid in the relief of anxiety. Certain people respond well to lower doses, while others require higher dosages to get a good effect. Your individual physiology will play a role in determining whether you experience any symptoms following discontinuation.

4. Cold turkey vs. Tapering

Most doctors suggest that there is no major discontinuation syndrome associated with Buspar. This means that many people are able to quit taking the medication cold turkey and notice absolutely zero withdrawal effects. With that said, if you have been on the medication for an extended period of time at a higher dose, you may want to still taper.

The half life of Buspar is very short (3 to 5 hours), so lowering your dose by 5 mg per day is recommended if you want to play it safe. If you want to play things ultra safe, reduce your dose by 10% every month. The only reason a person may want to consider tapering is if they were on a high dose for an extended period of time.

Buspar Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Although most people don’t report any major withdrawal symptoms from taking Buspar, others do experience a withdrawal. Compared to other classes of medications such as benzodiazepines or SSRI’s, coming off of Buspar should be relatively easy. If you experience a withdrawal period, it should be relatively short-lived. Below are some symptoms that have been reported from stopping Buspar.

  • Anxiety: Most people take this drug to help with anxiety. When they stop taking it, it may lead to an increase in anxiety and nervousness. If you are coming off of Buspar and your anxiety skyrockets, just know that it will return to a normal level.
  • Fatigue: Some people get really tired when they stop taking this drug. Usually the fatigue and lethargy doesn’t last for an extended period of time. The first few days you stop taking this medication may result in you feeling tired, but this will go away.
  • Dizziness: This is yet another common symptom associated withdrawal from most drugs. Fortunately the dizziness that you may experience when coming off of Buspar is not going to be nearly as intense as that associated with SSRI’s.
  • Drowsiness: There are reports of drowsiness upon discontinuation of this medication. Once again give things a few days and this symptom will subside.
  • Headache: This is a very general symptom associated with stopping any psychiatric medication. If you develop a headache, just know that this is extremely common.
  • Insomnia: Since Buspar works well for anxiety, this helps some individuals fall asleep at night. Anxiety in itself is very stimulating and can keep people awake. If they experience rebound anxiety when they stop taking Buspar, it may lead to insomnia.
  • Lightheadedness: Some people experience lightheadedness as a withdrawal symptom.
  • Nausea: There have been reports that people experienced nausea when they stopped Buspar. Fortunately there weren’t any reports of vomiting that accompany the nausea. If you feel nauseated for a few days after you begin withdrawal, this will go away.

How long does Buspar withdrawal last?

Let’s rephrase the question: “Is there such thing as Buspar withdrawal?” For most people, there are no notable symptoms that occur when they stop taking Buspar. Therefore there really is no withdrawal period. With that said, if you are one of the individuals that do experience withdrawal symptoms, it is important to know that they should subside quickly. Most people will not experience any sort of discontinuation effects after they have been off the drug for a couple weeks.

If you are having a difficult time with the withdrawal process, make sure you are engaging in healthy activities such as: getting plenty of exercise, eating good foods, getting plenty of sleep, and socializing. By engaging in healthy activities, your brain will return to homeostatic functioning sooner than it otherwise would. You should also keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to medications.

Although most people do not experience a withdrawal, there are people that have reported unpleasant symptoms when they stopped Buspar. If you have quit taking this medication and would like to share your experience with “withdrawal” (or lack there of) in the comments section below, it may help someone else coming off of this drug.

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197 thoughts on “Buspar (Buspirone) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?”

  1. I have had light-headedness and deep, recurrent and suicidally-oriented depression (though not severe enough to feel dangerous, if that makes any sense, which it will if you have had what I’ve been feeling!) soon after reducing Buspar too fast and then stopping.

    I have boosted my dose back up and feel relieved from reading this thread that a lot of it is “normal” although when I have finished titrating off completely, I will never again take a pill that affects serotonin.

    They can help in the short to medium term, but always interfere with my sleep after a month or so and set off a worse cycle than what put me on them!

    Going to do more yoga and commit to meditation for starters and see where that leads. Maybe get a new job and move across the country, too. :)

  2. Does anyone else become depressed a few days after tapering down? I also get a bit dizzy. I hate this garbage. I’ve been on it for 8 months and the side effects are becoming too much.

  3. I’m on day 3. I took 10mg 2x a day for about a year, and then in an attempt to wean myself off I stepped down to 5mg 2x a day. I couldn’t get off completely, but I stuck at 5 for another year. I’m trying to transition to Celexa and my doc said to stop the Buspar cold turkey.

    Yesterday the withdrawal kicked in hard. Splitting headache and extreme anxiety. I could sit still, I wanted to cry, and my breathing was out of control from. I took half a pill to try to take the edge off. That seemed to help but caused extreme fatigue.

    Today the anxiety isn’t quite as bad, but the headache is back. I took another half a pill to try to cure the headache, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I’m really hope I can get back to normal soon. I have to work tomorrow and don’t think I can go in if I feel like this.

  4. Buspar is evil. Am trying to taper now and having really bad anxiety. Also got serotonin syndrome from it but some symptoms are better. I hate that we are all going through these terrible things.

  5. Thank you to everyone who commented on their experience with discontinuing Buspar. It helps to know I am not alone and that this will get better. I was experiencing some postpartum anxiety and started Buspar in January. I have been taking 10mg twice daily.

    It never seemed to do much for me so I decided to stop taking it cold turkey. I have been feeling completely awful. I have been having severe anxiety, way worse than my relatively mild postpartum anxiety. When I am in my car, I am struggling with panic attacks. I never experienced anything like that before Buspar.

    It is just awful. My chest feels tight and my clothes feel constricting. It may sound weird, but when this happens, I just want to take off my clothes and lay in bed! I also have been very nauseous, have little appetite and have had diarrhea. I feel dizzy and just “off.”

    The panic attacks are very hard to cope with. It seems to get a bit more manageable every day, but I do want to be back to normal like today! I really did not know what was happening to me until my husband showed me this article.

    He suggested I read the comments. It helps to know why I am feeling the way I am, so again, thank you to those who have shared their story of coming off Buspar.

    • Hey there! Wanted to update everyone on how long the Buspar lasted for me so those still suffering can have a glimmer of hope! After about three weeks, I noticed the anxiety was less severe and getting less frequent. I was still having the symptoms I shared above, but it was more manageable and felt less overwhelming.

      Looking back, the symptoms really were almost paralyzing. That’s probably not the perfect word to describe it, but it really does seem to fit. I’m about a month and a half off Buspar now and I feel great. Every once in a while I will get a bit of an anxiety episode, but it’s very minor.

      In my daily functionality, I actually feel less anxious throughout the day then I did while being medicated with Buspar. I think my relatively moderate postpartum anxiety was made significantly worse with Buspar and the withdrawal was awful. I never felt like that before Buspar.

      Thankfully I am doing great now and I am so grateful I stuck it out through the withdrawal without giving up and going back on the medication. For those who are reading this and in the hell that is Buspar withdrawal, hang in there! You can do it! It gets so much better.

    • Monica G. Everything you experience I’m going through as well. It’s been a month or more since quitting cold turkey and I’m still feeling the effects. Hang in there.

  6. I only took Buspar for a week and stopped taking it because I did not like the side effects. I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I have body aches, stiff neck, insomnia and a crazy headache.

    • Hey I’ve been on buspar for 3 years guys after doing dope for a while. Don’t listen to this bull… I have moderate to severe withdrawals from this medication. And I still can’t get off them.

  7. Hi, I was forced to quit Buspar cold turkey after 2 & 1/2 years of doses ranging from 25 to 10 mg. I tried to lower my dosage, but my panic attacks became more frequent. I am now on day 5 of quitting cold turkey and have been in a depressed fog.

    Headaches everyday and frequent crying spells with fits of rage. I always have panic attacks while driving and now I’m worried I won’t be able to travel to and from work. Any tips with dealing with these symptoms and what other symptoms I could possibly experience would be helpful.

    I’m trying to hang in here and keep some of my sanity.

    • Brittany it will get better. I thought I was losing it after stopping cold turkey. I was on buspar for approx. a month or so. I had brain zaps, cried a lot, very depressed, panic attacks but it does go away. Was also having the headaches everyday.

      I have been off of it for seven weeks now and no leftover symptoms. My doctor had told me I would not have any withdrawal symptoms from quitting cold turkey but he was wrong. It does get better.

      I will never go on another med for anxiety. Am now taking CW Hemp plus pills and it does seems to help with anxiety. Good luck and hang in there!

  8. I am having severe withdrawals from only 5 mg of buspar. I started spiraling after 2 weeks. 100% increase in anxiety and depression. Deathly ill now on day 4 of withdrawing. I could not take one more of these pills, I would have ended up in the hospital.

    • Very true to all symptoms, I was put on 7.5mg a day for the first 7 days. On the 3rd to 6th day of taking the drugs, I was getting tightness of the chest and felt like I couldn’t breathe well. 7th day: Was told to increase to 2 pills a day and the next day woke up with a nauseous feeling in my chest and panic attacks.

      9th day: woke up just tired and shaky. I tried to go to work took my pill and feel asleep for a few hours. It took my doctor a day to respond to my message about tightness of chest. He left me an email saying don’t take them. No other answer.

      I am on my first day not taking the meds and I feel like complete crap, shaky, irritated, stomach pains, sometimes I need to take deep breaths, dizzy. I really don’t wish the feeling upon anyone.

  9. I have been on the highest dose of buspar for 4 years. I am in the process of tapering my klonopin and I plan to taper my buspar as well. This morning I forgot my dose and I was extremely irritable and horribly anxious.

    • I cut my dose in half almost a month ago. Brought on the restless leg syndrome. So for anyone having this issue I started taking high dopa which is actually L Dopa and the precursor to dopamine production. I did this because Buspar instigates dopamine production in the brain.

      So by replacing it, the withdrawals and the restless legs have started to calm down. Plus what I am taking is an all natural supplement. To take care of the RLS the rest of the way, I use Icy Hot. Tried other things that were supposed to help and Icy Hot works the best. Good luck. I still have 15mg to cut ugh.

  10. Stopped taking Buspirone 4 days ago after having been on it for 6 weeks. I feel awful. My dizziness (which I’ve struggled off and on with for 2 years) is worse. Can’t sleep well. Feel anxious/nervous all over. I hate it.

  11. Checking back in. I have been off 5 mg buspar for two weeks today. Still having a really hard time with the withdrawal symptoms but am now able to sleep as whereas before, I couldn’t when I was taking it. I would miss whole day of sleep when using.

    Just still feel anxious as hell and kind of depressed. I do have adrenal insufficiency and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis so I am sure that is not helping. I wish someone on here would let us know how long these withdrawal symptoms last. It is getting very old being so edgy.

  12. I’ve taken between 15mg and 10mg/day of Buspar for 2 years now. For the last 2 days, I’ve been taking 7.5mg/day to taper down to needing nothing. My anxiety has certainly made itself know and even turned into suicidal thoughts.

    I’ve discussed this with my doctors and am feeling better, but for being a relatively mild drug, there can be some extreme side effects when coming off of it. I’m hoping I’ll even back out by day’s end tomorrow so I can get back to normal, but I wish this possibility had been discussed with me before I committed to tapering.

  13. My PCP prescribed Buspar and Trazodone. I started them both on 1/17/18. I only took 7 1/2 pills of Trazodone because I felt weird. I was on Buspar from 1/17 to 2/16. I stopped because I was feeling strange.

    I am at day 11 of going cold turkey. I am having crazy anxiety, bad headaches, dry mouth, my throat feels like it is closing in. Any ideas to get through this?

    • I too have the closing of the throat, it’s quite painful. I also have insomnia. I was in Buspar for 8 months. I hospital put me on it while I was detoxing from Benzos, now I just want to be drug free. I was given Trazodone to help me sleep and it helps with the throat pain.

      I was taking 45mg a day of Buspar, I now take 30mg. I stopped taking one of my 15mg pills, seems like a fast taper to me, especially from a drug that shouldn’t give you withdrawal symptoms. Sucks! I’ll live. It’s nothing compared to stopping Ativan cold turkey after 7 years, 4mg. Good luck.

  14. I am on day six of stopping just 5 mg Buspar. I quit cold turkey. I only took for five weeks. Dr said I would not have withdrawal symptoms. I cannot sleep at night and it is making me crazy. Heart rate definitely increased along with anxiety. This needs to stop.

    • Hi Betsy – Hang in there. If it gets too rough you can split the 5mg tablets in half easily with a pill cutter/splitter. I am on day 14 and struggling a bit. I was at 15mg twice a day for 10 months and tapered off over 4.5 months. My goal is to ride this out.

      Hopefully I will be able to do it. Although this medication is supposed to be mild it still manipulates our brain chemistry and it will time to get back to normal. Good luck and please post on your progress. Thanks, J

  15. Do any of you recent entries have an update on your withdrawal progress? I am at day 12 after a slow taper and experiencing many symptoms. Muscle pains/knots, shaking, chills and increased anxiety are the main ones. And the one mentioned in the recent post “want to lay in bed”. I am just wondering where all of you are with your symptoms and if they have subsided yet. Thanks for any reply.

      • Hi Betsy – Sorry for the late reply. I just saw your response. I am doing well thanks. I felt better around day 15 but then around day 21 they started again a lasted a couple of weeks. Now, around day 48, I feel pretty good.

        I do think it takes time for our minds to heal and get back to a ‘normal’ state. I hope you are doing well. Everyone else, stick with the withdrawal if you can – but don’t hesitate to take something if you really need it. We are all different and the important thing is to feel good.

        • J Smith how are you know? I am on day 21 and still have horrible headaches. Like you I felt better around day 13, but the headaches came back on day 18.

  16. I started taking this in November. The lowest dose possible. I also take 300 mgs of Wellbutrin daily and have the lowest dose of Xanax available for emergencies. In January I had a small panic attack which I haven’t had in years – I tend to only have what I call situational anxiety. I told my doctor and she upped my buspar.

    I had another panic attack and another. I told her that it wasn’t working – the point is to not have panic attacks. She prescribed a low dose of Pristiq and said I could start it immediately and just taper off the buspar a few days. I decided to just taper the buspar for a few days before adding the pristiq in the mix.

    I only tapered off for 4 days since I was taking so little anyway. The next night (last Thursday) I took pristiq and woke up the next morning with a panic attack. Then I just felt uneasy, anxious, shaky, nauseous, etc. and this past Sunday I had one of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had in my life. So I quit taking pristiq as well after only 3 days.

    Since I only took it for 3 days I’m sure how ive been feeling this week is totally Buspar withdrawals. Increased anxiety, tired, irritable, I get the shakes in the afternoon, nausea, upset stomach, feeling like things will never get better, restless leg, etc. I have moments where I feel decent and then boom it hits again.

    I’ve been taking Xanax (as little as possible) and zofran for nausea. Today will be my 8th day off buspar and 5th day off pristiq and I am in bed still not feeling good. Just took zofran but am really hoping for the first day I don’t have to take Xanax.

    I haven’t taken it yet today but have a feeling I will have to. Anyway- just wanted to chime in that I’m having the same issues as you all as well. I hope it ends soon for all of us. I’m scared to take any new medications period at this point.

    • Hi, You are not alone. I am having same feelings and it is my 5th day today. I have not gone to Pristiq yet since I want to first eliminate these symptoms. Please share more on your status.

    • How long have you been on Wellbutrin? I had thought it was contraindicated for anxiety. I am not your doctor of course and she knows you and your symptoms. But when I was on Wellbutrin I had extreme rage and panic attacks, it put me on a 20 out of 10 with my GAD.

  17. Thanks for everyone’s comments, it helped to know I wasn’t alone or crazy. I seemed to have a lot of the symptoms for having only been on it two weeks. I attempted to go up to 20mg 2/day and It made me so drowsy and tired that I couldn’t function. Trying to go back to 10, even after just a day, made me feel so anxious and nauseous I couldn’t function.

    I was on a trip for work when I had to get off of it. It gave me insomnia and I ended up only sleeping 1 or 2 hours in 2 days which isn’t good for my mental or physical health. I couldn’t eat much and I felt like I was going to vomit the whole time… By the second day without I felt so tingeing that it felt like I was vibrating… like If you were on a crappy dirt road for like 3 hours, a while after it still feels like you’re vibrating.

    I had cold sweats and then would get hot flashes… laying in bed I’d have a cool washcloth on my face but my legs and torso were cold and still sweating. I had to take 2 benadryl to be able to sleep after laying sleepless for over 5 hours. It made my anxiety so so much worse. I kept thinking of any and all complications possible and just getting even more worked up, yet still sleeplessly exhausted.

    My dr told me when I started the same stuff this blog said… and I agree with the comments entirely XD. I was only on it for 2 weeks and it felt like I was coming off a 10 year cocaine addiction. I decided to just stop cold turkey and be done. I took the 2x 10mg during the day, 1x 10mg at night and then was done. The next day was when I felt so nervous and anxious and… tingly.

    If you’re coming off this like I was, just know that it will get better and try and sleep it off. I utilized the AARP medication interaction database to check medications…. which is how I decided against Mescaline for nausea and went with benadryl to sleep it off. Good luck. You are loved.

  18. I have been on Buspar for a year now always 10mg last night I took my last pill. I will be recording everything. Obviously I won’t see any side effects today and maybe not tomorrow but from experience forgetting to take my pill I know that two days from now will be a hellish nightmare and the day after even worse.

    I will come back at a later date and try and update this thread. If anyone wants to get a more detailed live update message me and I’ll give you a link to my Tumblr where I will be posting everything as it happens. I am 29 and I also have clinical depression.

  19. I am tapering off of Buspar, 10 mg every 3 or 4 days. I am extremely fatigued and also oversleeping. I get periods of being very cold as well.

  20. I have GAD and add in OCD and random panic attacks I was put on klonopin and that did wonders for GAD but not much with OCD. My sister went on Buspar and said it helped so I talked to my doctor about trying and possibly working to a lower dose of klonopin. She said it worked great on 5mg x 2 a day but after a few weeks it stopped working so they doubled the dose. She decided to not take the double dose and had some minor side effects.

    I was on 10mg x 2 and upped to 3 times a day and about 1 1/2 months later it stopped working and was getting this weird body tremor (very subtle but annoying) throughout the day, not like anxiety tremors/shakes. My Dr said it wasn’t a medication that caused withdrawals, well I can say that’s 100% false in my case. A week off it cold turkey the weird random subtle tremors are pretty much gone but have the following:

    -Muscle Fatigue
    -Very Antsy
    -Mood Swings (but manageable)
    -Body Aches
    -Doom Feeling
    -Crazy Dreams (on and off the med)
    -Just want to lay in bed all day

    I do take Metoprolol for slight HBP (was 125/85, now 110/70) but to help with panic attacks, not for everyone but that has helped huge and I think has curved some withdrawal. I also still take klonopin and I think that helps to curve some withdrawals but not so much with the list above. It’s been about 5 days or so since I’ve went cold turkey and do notice a slight improvement in some side effects, I just wish the insomnia wasn’t so bad.

  21. I was abusing them with intranasal ingestion. It produces a lesser but similar high to ketamine. I don’t want to abuse any drugs anymore of any kind. I have quit cold turkey after using 20mg 3x daily for 6 months just 5 days ago. I ran out due to doing over 100mg a day for a week. I decided this nonsense needs to stop but had no clue this stuff was physically addictive.

    I was put on it because stress from withdrawal of alcohol and street drugs and told it was safe for addicts. It does have potential for abuse. Snorting 30mg will put me in a stupor for 30 min or so then I munch out. Anyway the withdrawal… I didn’t fully realize it was from this till I saw all the people on this board with very similar side effects.

    I thought it might be the onset of permanent mental illness. Withdrawal began on Day 2 mildly then intensified on day 3. I cried for many hours on Day 3 at bedtime thinking it was because my problems. I was up all night that night. Haven’t cried that much since I was a small child. My temples are very swollen I have moon face. My jaws clench constantly and are sore from it.

    Last night Day 4 I was up till 3am slept intermittently till 1pm. Been eating about half as much a day since day 1. I still go to gym but don’t do well. My anxiety is heightened but not as badly as alcohol withdrawal feels it’s about 1/2 as severe as alcohol withdrawal but of a similar nature. I am twitching a bit not really shaking like alcohol withdrawal but is worrisome.

    My mind ruminates uselessly triggering negative feelings much more than before I ever started. My heart pounds and flutters. I am very irritable from missing the sleep night before last. If this lasts long I will have to re-continue and try a taper I guess. Tomorrow is Day 6. This is scary when I see some people suggesting much longer withdrawal period from far smaller doses than me.

    I almost died from booze and street drugs many times and don’t need another addiction nightmare. The official reports say no withdrawal timeframe deeming it irrelevant because almost no one has withdrawal! Looking on here that appears to be an outright lie, unless we are all some tiny minority.

    Aside from drug abuse I’m very physically fit and not prone to negative side effects from prescription drugs. So this is disturbing… I hope there are some psychiatrists with more honest answers about what this stuff really does to people.

  22. I’m on my second month of taking this medication. Did I like taking it? HELL NO! I experienced rapid heart beat, tingling in my hands and feet, difficulty breathing (especially while sleeping), sore gums, weight loss (drastic), difficulty talking, difficulty focusing, need I say more?!

    I haven’t taken it for one week. I’m miserable. I’m still experiencing these effects. I understand medication works differently in people, however, mine was bad. People, please ask yourself, “Am I suffering from anxiety?”… Or perhaps it’s the Buspar!!!

    • You are not alone, I experienced the same issues. I was on the pill for only 9 days. Got worse everyday I was on it. I live in Texas and wish I lived in Cali or Colorado right now, I hear Indica weed does wonders for anxiety. That is out of the question for me CBD oil helps with some people, not me unfortunately.

      I would suggest taking supplements like St. John’s wort and 5-HTP. The doctor has tried 2 different mild medications with bad results, it just amps up panic attacks. I don’t expect to go back to that doctor or any others if I could help it.

      Look for mediation music for pineal gland on YouTube, listen with headphones for hours. That seems to calm me, plus maybe a stress less game on a tablet. Try to sleep, get what you need done first part of your day completed and stress free. Live day by day, don’t look forward.

      I’m a very busy engineer with a crazy work schedule, it’s very difficult for me to take time off and deal with these issues. So I do get issues everyone must deal with on a daily. I’m luckily able to work from home, as I have developed a driving issue on freeways.

      Very difficult for me to accept, I have always raced cars as a hobby on the track of course. I too hope to get thru it and feel normal again. Just keep fighting it, don’t let it take you down.

    • I took Buspirone for about 6 weeks 10mg 2x a day, I felt horrible! Very bad anxiety when driving, shaky & sometimes so bad I felt as if I were going to pass out!

      I was taking Xanax .25-.50mg a day & stopped & started buspirone, I stopped taking it 2 days ago & I feel “normal”!

      I thought it was my anxiety & panic attacks! Buspirone makes anxiety & panic attacks worse!

  23. My psychiatrist wanted me to reduce my Buspar from 30mg to 20mg (2 pills instead of 3 a day). The first few days I was fine, and then within a week, I started to get headaches, upset stomach, and anxiety. My anxiety skyrocketed and I got palpitations, inability to handle any stress, jaw clenching, nervousness.

    My psychiatrist said to go back to the 3 pills and I’m still waiting to stabilize. I’m also on Celexa 40mg. It is such a struggle trying to get off these medications. I don’t know if there will ever be a time when I’m without medication! Prayers to all struggling xoxo

  24. I’ve only been on Buspar for 2 months now but the ringing in the ears was enough to drive me insane last night. I decided to STOP taking it cold turkey because I felt like sh-t. I was hospitalized with congestive heart failure this last summer and they put me on all kinds of medication. My shrink thinks I have generalized anxiety disorder, which is probably right but Buspar is not the answer.

    I already have issues with my heart, then this crap makes it worse! I want off all the medications, all of them. I’ll take my chances. The side effects of all these medications are just too much. I’m sure there has to be some sort of interaction with the Buspar because I found out not only does this med make you dizzy but all my other meds have the SAME EXACT SIDE EFFECT and I don’t see a point in making myself feel worse.

    I have to work. I don’t have the luxury of not working. I have no nest egg. I have no money in the bank (and then they wonder why I have anxiety)! Give me an f***ing break! And bills to pay each and every month with no outside help whatsoever. I feel like I’m going crazy.

    Worst is the ringing in the ears. Anyone else have this? I just want it to stop. Please make it stop! It’s making me feel anxious. I didn’t sleep well last night either. No withdrawals? Please!!! There’s always withdrawals on all medication.

    I just took a xanax. I think I’m going to lay down and see if I can finally sleep since I didn’t last night, or it feels like I didn’t anyway. I’m glad I’m not alone. I can’t imagine being on this drug for more than I was. I feel worse than I did before.

    • I experience the ringing in my ears – I never associated it with Buspar because I am also on an SSRI and other medications for sleep. I thought it was just the combo.

      I sleep with a white noise machine. I recommend Homedics Sleep Solutions Sound Soother White. It’s $50. It stays charged for a week and it has dozens of sounds. I sleep with ‘fan’ sound. Good luck!

  25. I feel obligated to post my experience since I found the other posts to be so helpful. I’ve taken buspar for about 6 months – 10 mg twice a day. It cured my anxiety, so I’m one of those people it works really well for. I was thrilled when I could stop taking Klonopin!

    I decided to taper off of it since I haven’t had any anxiety for 6 months and who knows if it’s because I’m still on the medication or if my anxiety was just situational. I’d rather not take meds I don’t need! My psychiatrist said I shouldn’t have any withdraw but if I’m worried about it, I could take one a day for 3 days then stop completely.

    I had enough pills left to do a longer taper, so I decided to do it my way since I’ve had major problems with withdraw from SSRI’s in the past and although Buspar is not an SSRI, I did read that it is similar. I started by taking a half a pill twice a day for a week and then half a pill once a day (at night) for the past few days. I definitely have withdraw symptoms but they have been mild and I haven’t missed any work.

    I’ve had chest pains, tingling/numbness in my left arm and leg, mild headaches, my gastritis is much worse than usual, and worst of all, I’ve been very tired and especially drowsy in the morning driving to work. The tiredness was bothering me enough to suspect the Buspar withdraw and I found this website. I’m so glad I did because although my symptoms are not terribly bothersome besides the fatigue, I am glad to know my other symptoms are probably because of the Buspar withdraw, so I should wait a while before seeing a doctor about them.

    I haven’t had any anxiety, dizziness, high blood pressure, emotional problems, or other symptoms people have mentioned (yet anyway). It is possible that my other medications are helping me to not have very severe withdraw symptoms so here’s what I take: paxil, seroquel, lamictal, multivitamin, magnesium, melatonin, and protonix (stomach med). One more thing – I read that Buspar combined with melatonin can be very effective at treating depression for some people.

    I have been battling depression for a long time and have been feeling good since I started lamictal a few months ago. If I start feeling depressed, I will definitely ask to go back on the Buspar, even if I’m not feeling anxiety. If it doesn’t help, I can always taper off of it again (probably even more slowly since I know I have withdraw symptoms).

    By the way, I want to encourage anyone feeling suicidal to keep trying different meds until you get the right ones. I know the side effects and/or withdraw can be almost as bad or worse than the reasons you’re taking meds, but it can take a lot of trial and error to find the right meds to help you feel better. It took about a year for me and I’m finally feeling better.

  26. I was on Buspar about a month gradually increasing to 1 15mg. twice a day. I started having a problem where every time I lay down my sinuses closed up and I couldn’t breathe through my nose. I couldn’t sleep like that. Nothing in my environment had changed, never had allergies, didn’t have a cold so I decided to stop the buspar and see if that helped.

    It didn’t seem to be doing anything anyway. The stuffy nose went away but now I am nauseated all the time, tired, and have a constant headache. (Never had headaches in my life). I thought I must have a virus or something but now I think it must be from stopping the buspar. I hope it goes away soon because I feel really sick.

  27. I took Buspirone for about 3 months to go with the Lexapro, saw a mild improvement at best. Doctor slowly took me down from 30mg a day to 15mg to 10mg. Then told me to stop, next day stomach upset first withdrawal, then later that day bad sweats, higher anxiety, crying episodes (never had those before) and a few more. It’s been 7 days now it’s been hard dealing with the withdrawals everyday getting a tiny bit better. Like everyone else says: it sucks!

  28. Omg I hate this stuff right now! I started taking it 10mg 2x a day (so 20mg) about 5 months ago; my psychiatrist put me on it for anxiety. I’m already on wellbutrin and adderall so I’m wary of taking anything more but I researched this and it seemed to be so harmless! It DID seem to help AND it also seemed to kill my appetite (I lost the 3 “vanity” lbs I’ve been trying FOREVER to lose through excessive dieting and exercise).

    Well last month I impulsively decided to taper off of it to see if I actually needed it (I didn’t really think about it; I just sort of started doing it). I was irregular about tapering off though, cause again, it was impulsive. A couple days ago I completely stopped taking it (again, it wasn’t really a conscious decision). This is when the **** hit the fan.

    I am now suffering from the same withdrawal that happens whenever I try to get off wellbutrin: lethargy, weight gain (no joke I gained like 3 lbs in 2 days and I realize now that tapering off had been making me gain weight slowly too!), horrible insomnia, suicidal bouts of depression, crying etc. And I want to smoke REALLY BAD (I mean wtf am I the only one it does this to?!). I haven’t wanted to smoke for the past 4 yrs or so!

    This stuff has some effect on serotonin for sure and (based on the way I feel) maybe even dopamine. It’s no wonder I’ve been craving sugar and chocolate like crazy (like literally I’ve been eating brown sugar straight from the bag!). I really sympathize with everyone here cause guess what people? The withdrawal from this **** is nearly as bad as the physical withdrawal I suffered from nicotine! No joke.

    My advice is if you’re suffering from withdrawal from this, then get yourself some amino acids/precursors to serotonin like L-tryptophan or better yet, 5 HTP and maybe some melatonin (just stick with the amino acids rather than stuff like Sam-e). These will help your body make and replace the missing hormones that you need which will lessen your withdrawal. Me, I’m just going to go back on it again cause I didn’t really quit it for a reason.

  29. 15mg for 5+ yrs. For anxiety and mild depression. It’s effective. I can alter the dose slightly as I need w/ out side effects. Buspar has a strong relaxing effect so I add coffee sometimes, which can have a anxious or irritated effect.

    I would like to be med free but I have crying spells if I quit cold turkey. I have decided to continue at a low dose and increase situational. My desire it’s to be happy ALL the time which I realize is unrealistic and am glad I have help when I feel things escalating.

  30. I took 15 mg of Buspirone for a month – at first, given my high levels of anxiety at the time I started taking it, it alleviated that in a way. In other ways, I felt it increased (oddly) both my anxiety and my exhaustion. The fatigue was unbearable. Just didn’t want to do anything, and the anxiousness about that was there, but it felt like there was a wet blanket over it.

    So three days ago (inspired after I forgot to take it), I just stopped. There have been no side effects to speak of (and I am SOOOO sensitive) except, maybe, I have more energy now and feel the sort of jolts of anxiety I would feel before taking it. But now that I know it’s a chemical thing and have experienced the alternative (which is severe fatigue) I am okay with it.

    Still on my trusty 5 mg of Lexapro. Have tried multiple meds but this just seems to be the one for me.

  31. I know this post is old, but did anyone feel like the withdrawal symptoms got worse at the times you would’ve taken the Buspar? I always took mine at 8am and 3-4pm, and that’s when I feel the most lightheaded and foggy!

  32. The withdrawal effects are hellish. My Dr advised me to quit cold turkey and assured me that there would be no withdrawal as buspirone didn’t work like SSRI meds. Was she wrong!!!!!! Anxiety goes through the roof way more than I had before being prescribed this med.

    My head feels like it’s being clamped at the temples. I also suffer from derealization which I had basically under control. If you suffer derealization I would recommend you stay away from Buspirone as it makes it a lot worse. Especially when withdrawing. Anyone similar….?

  33. Coming off buspar cold turkey is as rough as taking it. I experienced dizziness lightheadedness so stopped taking it with approval from my doctor. It has been 12 days now and I still am dizzy and feel like I am walking funny from this. It’s sucks, that’s why I stopped taking it 3 months and the dizziness would not stop. Some days were better than others, but having dizziness and brain fog all the time is no way to live. With the panic attacks being here and there they are almost better to deal with than the effects of this medicine for me.

  34. I have to say I have been taking 5 mg three times a day for the last six months and I recently went from three pills to two over the last month. Tonight I started on one pill a day. The withdrawal symptoms are horrible for me. I’ve had weird thoughts in my head for awhile now, but now that I’m coming off of it, I’m really obsessing over the thoughts and becoming depressed occasionally about it all.

    Feelings of shame and guilt. Occasional insomnia as well. Hoping once I’m done, it all goes away. I hate this!

  35. To say there are no withdrawal effects from buspirone is an insult. I went from 60mg daily to 40mg in three days and experienced depression for a week. It made work almost unbearable. After that subsided I decreased from 40mg on Sunday to 0mg on Friday and was nearly bed-ridden for five days. I had flushed skin, tingling sensations, racing heart, anxiety, unjustified anger and flu-like symptoms.

    A week later I took 5mg of buspirone, gradually increasing back to 30mg a day just to keep the withdrawal, anxiety and depression at bay. I’d like to try add SAM-e while I taper off buspirone and see if that helps. Has anyone tried it? Anyone know of conflicts between buspirone and SAM-e?

  36. I have experienced a racing heartbeat from taking this! Only 10 mlg 2x’s a day! After reading all of these comments I’m afraid to just stop taking it but these palpitations are scaring me! Nausea & heartburn I’ve experienced as well! I’m very upset with myself for falling into this chemical relief as I feel worse off now than when I began this journey threw medication misery!! To all of those out there suffering these affects I feel you & there’s gotta be a better, holistic approach to feeling alive again! This BS isn’t it I know that now!

    • I hope you called your doctor, your regular MD that is, and told them what you are taking and how you are having heart palpitations. That’s serious and needs immediate medical attention. It could be signs of congestive heart failure, I should know, I went through that. The only thing Buspar did for me was make things worse.

      Now I have a constant ringing in my ears that won’t go away. I’m sure that once I’m off this stuff for a while it will get better. I just stopped taking it today. I can’t sleep. I was having night sweats on this medication and my heart told me to stop taking it.

      The ringing in the ears is what has gotten me. It’s beyond horrible. I just want it to stop because it’s causing the anxiety now. Please let me know if anyone else has had the constant ringing in the ears? Thanks.

  37. I took buspar for 3 weeks. It worsened my anxiety. I stopped it and it has caused full body adrenal rushes and shocks. It is making me extremely nauseous. I have numbing and tingling in my face and a tight feeling in my neck. It’s the worse feeling I have ever had. How can they say there is no withdrawal when the comments are full of horror stories?

  38. I took one 7.5 MG pill (it was half) at 10am this morning with a glass of water. A couple hours later I felt pretty good, maybe a little cloudy, however at around 3 hours I started to get depressed. It got worse and worse until I could not do anything. I am on hour 5.5 now and I feel only slightly better.

  39. I’m quite sad, because I only took it for two weeks and seen nothing, so I quit taking them I was prescribed 15mgs taking half twice a day. I’m a bit small so it was good for my weight I guess however, I have had the worst feelings with this drug before I stumbled across these page I thought I had an illness of some sort and doctors could not find it and clearly it its because of this pill.

    My panic attacks are the worse I feel nauseous, dizzy, I’m always tired but can’t sleep and my chest feel like I’ve been punch in the the spot over and over. This drug should be removed it’s only making people worse. It’s been almost a month I have been having this problem. Which I started a month ago for two week and then stopped at first when I stopped nothing but a two weeks later this appears. I can’t deal… Something has to be done.

  40. I have just had the most horrible experience with Buspar. My doctor prescribed this for my GAD, when she gave it to me she said “at anytime you don’t feel it’s working just discontinue use, it may or may not work.” I took it for 2.5 months, and then decided I’d stop as I was noticing no difference. I stopped two weeks ago, I woke up with very sore joints, my neck shoulders and back, I was in near agony (and this is not an exaggeration) then the stomach pains started, of which I thought were caused by taking too much Advil to alleviate the joint pain.

    I ended up in the ER getting an IV for my stomach pain and a prescription for acid blocker. Then the sinus like pain started, and my face and head were numb and tingling, I was scared to death, I honestly thought I was dying. I went to the doctor, got on antibiotics for my “sinus infection” but the pain and numbness in my face and head only got worse. Also I stared to have panic attacks, nothing at all could help me calm down, I was sweating, and crying uncontrollably.

    I also woke up screaming, two nights in a row, I had horrible nightmares. I was honestly ready to go check into the psych hospital. I really thought I was going to die. Somehow, because my doctor said there was no issue in just going cold turkey on the Buspar, I didn’t make the connection that I was suffering from withdrawal of Buspar. I spoke with my therapist and she suggested to me that maybe it was the discontinuation of the Buspar.

    I got to reading and sure enough, there ARE issues. I started back on buspar last night (10 mg, 8 hours apart, 3x per day) I’ve so far taken only two doses, but other then some residual muscle stiffness, all my other symptoms are gone. I am in shock that this happened, and that I stupidly never investigated withdrawal from this. This experience was terrifying and I’d caution everyone from taking Buspar, I am now headed back to my doctor to set up a plan to slowly taper off Buspar.

    It’s not the benign little non-addictive helper it’s been made out to be. I normally am not very sensitive to most drugs and never in my life have I dealt with withdrawal, (I was even on Paxil, and Prozac and never had issues). I’d much rather deal with my GAD on my own with no help from Buspar. In my mind Buspar is a dangerous drug. Please use caution.

    • I hope I never have to stop taking Buspar. I’ve been on it for a year and a half. That’s about how long I’ve been sober. Anxiety and depression were so bad that I couldn’t live, and couldn’t stop drinking either. I noticed anxiety relief 30 minutes after taking the first dose, and it kept getting better.

      I don’t wake up in a panic wishing I was dead anymore. To live with any semblance of normalcy and peace I need to take it. 30 mg a day. I am just getting over withdrawal from tramadol which is a hell of it’s own, I don’t even want to think about withdrawal from Buspar.

  41. I’ve been on buspirone 5mg for almost 2 months. I am experiencing upset stomach and nausea. I would like to easily come off the pill, but not sure how too. On vacay and this feeling is terrible. Any suggestions any one?

  42. I had terrible withdrawals. I was on 45 mgs a day for 2 yrs. and was told to quit cold turkey. Cold sweats, agonizing anxiety, nausea, crying at the drop of a hat. I could go on and on. I just suggest taper.

  43. I’ve had all the side effects mentioned for a week now. I’ve got two more weeks to taper off. Right now I feel terrible–dizzy; very, very, tired; irritable, and feel like crying. I’ve taken buspar for at least six years so it’s going to be rough getting off of it I guess. I’m stopping it because I feel anxious anyway so why keep taking it?

    I’ve stopped taking Cymbalta and haven’t become a basket case so I think it’s time to stop the buspirone also. I want to see if being off these drugs makes me feel any better than being on them. While on them I’ve felt anxious, depressed, sad, and like crying–the very things they were supposed to help. It’s hard to know what feeling normal is like after taking them for so long. I’m going to find out.

  44. Has anyone here tried Buspar by “itself” without withdrawing from other psych meds beforehand? I’m currently taking just a low dose of Lexapro but still have side effects from Klonopin/ADD med/high dose Lexapro withdrawal from many months in which I stopped cold turkey (big mistake). Dr prescribed this to be a less addicting than benzo/SSRIs. Do you get withdrawals from trying it for 2-3 days then quit cold turkey?

  45. I had no withdrawal symptoms after being on 5mg once a day for 1 year. Cold turkey because I felt it was causing depression which I never had. So I’m only on my clonazepam once a day by itself again. Glad to be off buspar!!

  46. Buspar withdrawal symptoms are very real. Heart palpitations, tingling sensations in the head arms legs, more anxiety than before, zombie like, suicidal thoughts… And the bad thing was when I talked to the pharmacy about those symptoms, she said yes that happens with Buspar… she should have told me that info when I picked up the prescription. LOL

  47. I’ve been on Buspar for 20 years and throughout this period have briefly discontinued it several times. The suggestion that there is no withdrawal syndrome associated with Buspar is absurd. Whoever wrote this article must be an industry shill. Every doctor who has prescribed Buspar to me has spoken of the need to taper off it lest one experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

    Every other Buspar user I’ve ever known has agreed that it is a very hard to get off it. After taking it for 20 years I’ve had bad reactions to two batches from different suppliers only a month apart. The symptoms are essentially the same as withdrawal but seem to be caused by taking the bad batches. It has rendered my barely functional for several months and totally disrupted my life.

  48. This stuff is evil. Been on 60mg a day for a year. Stopped cold turkey. I’m in physical and mental hell. It’s only been 3 days. I pray this ends soon!


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