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Avatar universal

How does Buspar work?

I've been on Cymbalta for about 2 years and have always had anxiety issues.  The doc recently bumped my Cymbalta from 60mg/1x to 60mg/2x and gave me Buspar 15mg/3x (yeah, i'm a pretty bad "freak out" case....).  I can't (won't) do benzo's anymore (waking up @ 2-3am every night and having to eat a Xanax before going back to sleep is for the birds!) but I don't know how the Buspar works.  I don't think it's a "chill pill" like benzo's, but what is it?  Is it the type of drug that has to build up in the bloodstream and maintain a level over time?  I'm supposed to take it 3x/day but I often forget midday/evening doses, so I'm not getting alot of results out of it...  Can someone tell me more about this stuff from personal experiences?  The clinical studies are pretty "clinical"...
6 Responses
366811 tn?1217422672
I went ot he Buspar website (Bristol Myers makes the stuff), and copied this from the package insert:

"The mechanism of action of buspirone is unknown. Buspirone differs from typical
benzodiazepine anxiolytics in that it does not exert anticonvulsant or muscle relaxant
effects. It also lacks the prominent sedative effect that is associated with more typical
anxiolytics. In vitro preclinical studies have shown that buspirone has a high affinity for
serotonin (5-HT1A) receptors. Buspirone has no significant affinity for benzodiazepine
receptors and does not affect GABA binding in vitro or in vivo when tested in preclinical

In other words, they dunno how it works, is what I get out of it. I didn't bother reading any more as I'm not an expert and don't know what I'm reading.

As you said, the clinical studies are still pretty, well, "clinical." If Ryan sees your post, he may have something to add but otherwise, I'd stare down my doc and say "How does this stuff actually work?"

You'll let us know, right?
165308 tn?1323186545
I take buspar with PAXIL.  I love the stuff.  I used to get terrible horrible anxiety in the morning where I used to dry heave.  The nausea was terrible.  The buspar helped manage that.  I would say I am 90% better.  I have heard that it does nothing unless it is combined with an anti-depressant....and then again some doctors say it does nothing.  So, I don't know if it is my "mind" or if it actually does, but it works for me!
Avatar universal
how long does it take to "kick in"?  Is it one of the 10+ days meds or does it have immediate effects?  

Just wondering b/c I'm not sure I'm taking this stuff right.  I'm used to having freakouts and taking a benzo to stop it, but from what i've gathered, this is a long-term-steady blood level type of drug not a silver-bullet-pill.
165308 tn?1323186545
It is one of those long-term-steady types...it is supposed to take time to get into your blood stream, but I found relief rather quickly.
Avatar universal
Re your question on BuSpar.  Ryan gave a short summary on it to ACraftyChic in Benzo Vs BuSpar on the 14/4 if you want to look it up.
Avatar universal
Buspar works by attaching to the serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain, as well as increasing metabolism of norepinephrine. This is a bit different because most antidepressants are SSRIs which increase the serotonin. Then you have drugs like effexor and some tricyclic's that increase both serotonin reuptake and norepinephrine. But Buspar also appears to work on dopamine receptors as well which are the "feel good/reward" neurons. Maybe thats why it works well in addition to another antidepressant as well.
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Arlington, VA
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Arlington, WA
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