Compare Effexor vs. Buspar

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

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

Buspar
(buspirone)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.Helps you relax. Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.
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Coupons for Effexor
Best available price for 60 (75mg) tablets of venlafaxine
Coupons for Buspar
Best available price for 60 (10mg) tablets of buspirone
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.07Effexor
Reviews for Effexor (venlafaxine)
62%
of people (All ages) say Effexor (venlafaxine) is worth it
51%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Buspar (buspirone)
46%
-16% worse vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
45%
-6% worse vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
22%
+1% better vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EffexorBuspar
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Any side effect 10%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Central nervous system disturbances 3%
More Buspar side effects »
How it works
EffexorBuspar
Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.
Type of medication
EffexorBuspar
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
EffexorBuspar
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
EffexorBuspar
Risk factors for serious side effects
EffexorBuspar
  • 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 »
  • Taking with MAOIs
  • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed Buspar (buspirone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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

Alcohol
EffexorBuspar
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
Food
EffexorBuspar
No food related info.
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
Sex
EffexorBuspar
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
No sex related info.
Sleep
EffexorBuspar
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
Upsides and benefits
EffexorBuspar
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
EffexorBuspar
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EffexorBuspar
  • 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.
  • 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).
Learn more
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it