Compare Xanax vs. Buspar

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

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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.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1287 reviewsforXanax
Helps you relax.

Buspar (buspirone) relieves anxiety with less drowsiness and abuse potential than other anti-anxiety medicines, but it takes time to work and effects might wear off over time.

3.4/ 5 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.
  • Doesn't cause as much physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms as other medications used for anxiety.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Tablets can be split for easy dose changes.
  • Doesn't cause as much drowsiness as other medications for anxiety.
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.
  • Not for quick relief of anxiety symptoms since Buspar (buspirone) can take as long as 4 weeks to fully work.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Some people find that Buspar (buspirone) loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Must take Buspar (buspirone) twice daily for full effect.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
1287 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
55%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?

Leave a review
67 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
24possible 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%
  • Fast heartbeat
    8%
  • Nasal congestion
    7%
  • Blurry vision
    6%
  • Low blood pressure
    5%
  • Nervousness
    4%
  • Increased salivation
    4%
  • Muscle rigidity
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Skin irritation/allergy
    4%
  • Fainting
    3%
  • Weight gain
    3%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Restlessness
    2%
  • Weight loss
    2%
See more detailed side effects
19possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Trouble sleeping
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Worse concentration
    2%
  • Excitement
    2%
  • Anger/hostility
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%
  • Upset stomach
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Numbness
    2%
  • Weakness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Xanax (alprazolam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Xanax (alprazolam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
    • Stopping Xanax (alprazolam) suddenly
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Severe depression
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking medicines such as antifungals, cimetidine, or some HIV medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher blood pressure
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) with MAOIs
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) within 14 days after stopping a MAOIs
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Withdrawal symptoms from other anti-anxiety medicines
    • Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings