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Buspar Alternatives

(Buspirone)

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Compare Buspar (Buspirone) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Buspar (Buspirone) or used for similar purposes.

Buspar
(Buspirone)

Xanax
(Alprazolam)

Valium
(Diazepam)

Klonopin
(Clonazepam)

Ativan
(Lorazepam)

Vistaril
(Hydroxyzine Pamoate)

Helps you relax. Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.Helps you relax. Xanax (Alprazolam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and longer-term for panic attacks. More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.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.Controls seizures and helps you relax. Klonopin (Clonazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and to treat seizures. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Helps you relax. Ativan (Lorazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and sleep. Less likely to have drug interactions, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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4.651162790697675Buspar
Reviews for Buspar (Buspirone)
51%
of people say Buspar (Buspirone) is worth it
47%
say it works well
28%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Xanax (Alprazolam)
74%
+23% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
55%
+8% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
13%
+15% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
69%
+18% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
52%
+5% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
16%
+12% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
Reviews for Klonopin (Clonazepam)
69%
+18% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
51%
+4% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
15%
+13% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
Reviews for Ativan (Lorazepam)
70%
+19% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
50%
+3% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)
15%
+13% vs. Buspar (Buspirone)

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Side effects
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Headache 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Drowsiness 1%
More Buspar side effects »
  • Drowsiness 34%
  • Impaired coordination 22%
  • Slurred speech 17%
  • Memory impairment 11%
  • Constipation 11%
  • Increased appetite 10%
  • Weight gain 9%
  • Cognitive disorder 8%
  • Decreased libido 6%
  • Fatigue and tiredness 6%
More Xanax side effects »

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

More about Valium side effects »
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Low mood disorder 7%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 6%
  • Sinus inflammation 5%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Menstrual cramps 4%
  • Memory disturbance 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Allergic reaction 3%
  • Vaginal inflammation 3%
More Klonopin side effects »

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

More about Ativan side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Vistaril side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Vistaril »
How it works
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.Xanax (Alprazolam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.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.Klonopin (Clonazepam) 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.Ativan (Lorazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.Coming soon.
Type of medication
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
Anti-anxiety
Azaspirodecanedione
Prescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • Anxiety Pruritus Sedation; Adjunct
Risk factors for serious side effects
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • Taking with MAOIs
  • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed Buspar (Buspirone) risks & warnings »
Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
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
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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
Alcohol
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
  • 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.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and salivation.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • 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 short-term anxiety.
  • Effective longer-term for panic attacks.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • Can be used alone or with other medicines to treat seizures.
  • 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).
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other benzodiazepines, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
  • 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).
Coming soon.
Downsides and risks
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Compared to other benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Compared to other benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
Coming soon.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BusparXanaxValiumKlonopinAtivanVistaril
  • 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).
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and salivation.
  • Report any confusion or inability to control muscle movements to your doctor.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Starts working in 10 to 20 minutes when dissolved under your tongue.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
Coming soon.
Learn more
More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about XanaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about KlonopinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about VistarilSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert