Compare Xanax vs. Buspar

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

Xanax (alprazolam)

Prescription only

Buspar (Buspirone)

Prescription only
Helps you relax.

Xanax (alprazolam) effectively treats occasional or short-term anxiety and panic attacks. Compared to similar drugs, it is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and can have more interactions with some medicines.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 1287 reviewsforXanax
Helps you relax.

Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.

4.6/ 7 average rating with 67 reviewsforBuspar
Upsides
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be used to manage anxiety associated with depression.
  • Works very quickly - in hours.
  • Available in generic.
  • 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
  • Use of Xanax (alprazolam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Compared to other similar drugs, Xanax (alprazolam) is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • If you have liver problems, Xanax (alprazolam) may not be the best choice since it is processed by the liver. Several drugs can also interfere with how Xanax (alprazolam) works. Talk to your doctor to see if Xanax (alprazolam) is right 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$7.24
Find instant savings
Lowest price near you
$4
Find instant savings
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
1287 
74%
think this treatment is worth it
55%
think this treatment works well
13%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?

Leave a review
67 
46%
think this treatment is worth it
45%
think this treatment works well
22%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Buspar (Buspirone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    41%
  • Lightheadedness
    21%
  • Dry mouth
    15%
  • Depression
    14%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Confusion
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Diarrhea
    10%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    10%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Any side effect
    10%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Central nervous system disturbances
    3%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids

    Taking Xanax (alprazolam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Dependence and withdrawal

    History of substance abuse

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Severe depression

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol or drugs

  • Drug interactions

    Current liver problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Elevated blood pressure

    Taking with MAOIs

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Withdrawal reactions

    Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines

  • Abnormal and involuntary muscle movements

    Duration of treatment

See more detailed risks and warnings