Compare Valium vs. Buspar

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

Valium
(diazepam)

Buspar
(buspirone)

Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.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 Valium
Best available price for 60 (5mg) tablets of valium
Coupons for Buspar
Best available price for 60 (10mg) tablets of buspar
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.15Valium
Reviews for Valium
70%
of people (All ages) say Valium is worth it
53%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Buspar
46%
+24% better vs. Valium
45%
+8% better vs. Valium
22%
+7% better vs. Valium
Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ValiumBuspar

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

More about Valium 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
ValiumBuspar
Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.
Type of medication
ValiumBuspar
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ValiumBuspar
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
Used for
ValiumBuspar
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValiumBuspar
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) 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 real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but 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
ValiumBuspar
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
Food
ValiumBuspar
No food related info.
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
ValiumBuspar
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
ValiumBuspar
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • 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
ValiumBuspar
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • 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
ValiumBuspar
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
  • 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
ValiumBuspar
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • 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 ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it