Compare Buspar vs. Effexor

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Buspar
(buspirone)

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

Helps you relax. Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It may work when other antidepressants haven't, but it's more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.
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Coupons for Buspar
Best available price for 60 (10mg) tablets of buspar
Coupons for Effexor
Best available price for 60 (75mg) tablets of venlafaxine
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.63Buspar
Reviews for Buspar
46%
of people (All ages) say Buspar is worth it
45%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor
62%
-16% worse vs. Buspar
51%
-6% worse vs. Buspar
23%
+1% better vs. Buspar
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BusparEffexor
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Any side effect 10%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Central nervous system disturbances 3%
More Buspar side effects »
  • Nausea 26%
  • Headache 1%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Dry mouth 11%
  • Dizziness 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 16%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Muscle weakness 14%
More Effexor side effects »
How it works
BusparEffexor
Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
BusparEffexor
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
BusparEffexor
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
BusparEffexor
Risk factors for serious side effects
BusparEffexor
  • Taking with MAOIs
  • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed Buspar (buspirone) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
BusparEffexor
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
No alcohol related info.
Food
BusparEffexor
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
No food related info.
Sex
BusparEffexor
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
BusparEffexor
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
BusparEffexor
  • Buspar (Buspirone) works very well to control the symptoms of generalized anxiety syndrome (GAD).
  • Buspar (Buspirone) doesn't cause physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms.
  • Buspar (Buspirone) is only available as a generic, so the price can be pretty cheap.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
Downsides and risks
BusparEffexor
  • Buspar (Buspirone) can take as long as four weeks to become fully effective.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Most people find that it loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
  • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BusparEffexor
  • Take doses at about the same time each day.
  • It can take several weeks to get the full effect.
  • Don't eat or drink grapefruit juice when using Buspar (Buspirone).
  • Don't use Buspar (Buspirone) within two weeks of using an MAO inhibitor (like Eldepryl, Parnate, or Marplan).
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
  • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it