Buspar vs. Remeron

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

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Helps you relax. Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.Improves mood. Remeron (Mirtazapine) is okay for treating depression and good for sleep. More likely to cause weight gain than any other antidepressant.
How it works
Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.Remeron (Mirtazapine) is an atypical antidepressant. It stimulates your body to make certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
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.
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Buspar (Buspirone)

After 4 weeks using Start and Remeron (Mirtazapine), here’s how much better people feel.

Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Buspar (Buspirone)
of people say Buspar (Buspirone) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Remeron (Mirtazapine)
-4% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
-5% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
+2% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
Side effects
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Headache 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Drowsiness 1%
More Buspar side effects »
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
More Remeron side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Higher dose
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      Detailed Remeron (Mirtazapine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      • Stopping Buspar (Buspirone) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain or burning. Withdrawal symptoms can last a few weeks or longer. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      No specific weight-related info.
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
      • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
      • Can increase appetite and weight.
      • Remeron (Mirtazapine) can increase appetite and cause you to gain weight.
      Upsides and benefits
      • 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 some depression symptoms.
      • Starts to work more quickly than most antidepressants.
      • Might be a good option for people who have insomnia with their depression, because it can make you very sleepy.
      • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      Downsides and risks
      • 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.
      • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
      • More sedating than other antidepressants.
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
      • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
      • 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
      • 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).
      • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
      • Can increase appetite and weight.
      • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
      • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      Learn more
      More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about RemeronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert