Compare Buspar vs. Lexapro

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

Buspar
(Buspirone)

Lexapro
(Escitalopram)

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. Lexapro (Escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.63Buspar
Reviews for Buspar (Buspirone)
46%
of people (All ages) say Buspar (Buspirone) 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 Lexapro (Escitalopram)
61%
+15% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
48%
+3% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
15%
+7% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
1063 reviews
Have you used Lexapro (Escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BusparLexapro

The Buspar FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Buspar side effects »
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Indigestion 5%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Fatigue 4%
More Lexapro side effects »
How it works
BusparLexapro
Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
BusparLexapro
Anti-anxiety
Azaspirodecanedione
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
BusparLexapro
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
BusparLexapro
Risk factors for serious side effects
BusparLexapro
  • Taking with MAOIs
  • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly
  • Higher dose
  • History of heart problems
Detailed 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
BusparLexapro
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
No alcohol related info.
Food
BusparLexapro
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
BusparLexapro
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
Sex
BusparLexapro
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
BusparLexapro
  • 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.
Weight
BusparLexapro
No weight related info.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
BusparLexapro
  • 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 less sleepiness than some other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
BusparLexapro
  • 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.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
  • Can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (20 mg a day, or more).
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
  • 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, and might have side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BusparLexapro
  • 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).
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • 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 LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lexapro (Escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it