Anyone taken Buspinol for anxiety?
March 8, 2006 1:34 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone experienced taking buspinol hydrochloride for anxiety/feelings of panic? (Also known as Ansial®, Ansiced®, Anxiron®, Axoren®, Bespar®, BuSpar®, Buspimen®, Buspinol®, Buspisal®, Narol®)

I don't have a good sense of what this thing does or how it makes you feel. I've been prescribed ssri's before and didn't like them, so hoping it's not similar. I have asked my doctor, who wasn't interested in explaining.
posted by lunkfish to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have asked my doctor, who wasn't interested in explaining.

I can't answer your question (and I don't want to derail) but maybe you need a doctor who will take his time to explain this to you?
posted by NekulturnY at 2:23 AM on March 8, 2006

It's not like an SSRI at all. It's more like a tranquilizer. My girlfriend was on it for a while, and while it helped with anxiety, it is also addictive and intoxicating. Dizziness, especially, and mild hallucinations. I'm sure your mileage will vary. It is very effective for quickly treating extreme panic attacks, but I'd be very wary of using it regularly or as some sort of deterrent. Like most of these drugs, they treat the symptoms but not the cause.

The idea that your doctor isn't interested in explaining is ridiculous. Find another one ;)
posted by adzm at 2:25 AM on March 8, 2006

Response by poster: The idea that your doctor isn't interested in explaining is ridiculous. Find another one ;)

Thanks. Unfortunately, this is how our UK healthcare system works, and it does make me angry.
posted by lunkfish at 2:28 AM on March 8, 2006

The British National Formulary says:
Cautions: does not alleviate benzodiazepine withdrawal (see notes above); interactions: Appendix 1 (anxiolytics and hypnotics); DRIVING: May affect performance of skilled tasks (e.g. driving); effects of alcohol may be enhanced

Contra-indications: epilepsy, severe hepatic impairment (Appendix 2), moderate to severe renal impairment (Appendix 3), pregnancy (Appendix 4) and breast-feeding (Appendix 5)

Side-effects: nausea, dizziness, headache, nervousness, lightheadedness, excitement; rarely tachycardia, palpitations, chest pain, drowsiness, confusion, seizures, dry mouth, fatigue, and sweating
Unfortunately, this is how our UK healthcare system works, and it does make me angry.

Respectfully, that's not the way it's supposed to work, and you can make it work otherwise. Is the problem that you have seen a specialist who is uninterested in explaining? I understand the difficulty of trying to get another specialist. If so, then you should ask your GP. If it's your GP, then you can easily switch to another GP. You can always ask the pharmacist as well. Don't be afraid to ask to talk to a real pharmacist when you go to the chemist—they're always around, but not always in front, and they aren't the same as the "health advice" people at Boots counters.
posted by grouse at 2:36 AM on March 8, 2006

BNF link should be here. Registration required; free for people with British ISPs.
posted by grouse at 2:37 AM on March 8, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks. I know I can change GP, but I've come across this patronising attitude quite often. I don't know if it's because it's anxiety they wanna say 'don't worry yourself' or maybe it's just east london. Will try the pharmacist.
posted by lunkfish at 2:44 AM on March 8, 2006

Personally I think you can never be too careful when you're talking drugs that mess with your head.

I bet if you had a brief word with the practice manager you might find that the GP would treat this matter with the care it deserves. He or she is probably just overworked, which is why he couldn't take the time before.
posted by grouse at 2:56 AM on March 8, 2006

With respect, ADZM gave an absolutely wrong answer. Just absolutely wrong. It's one thing to chime in on a relationship question, it's another to give bad medical information.

Buspinol Hydrochloride is NOT addictive, particularly when compared to benzodiazepines. It is not a sedative. It is not effective in quickly treating anxiety attacks because it takes several WEEKS before the effects kick in. It is generally not intoxicating. It very, very rarely causes mild hallucinations.

Frankly, it sounds to me like adzm got buspar confused with a benzodiazepine like Xanax, which is highly addictive, sedating, and effective in quickly treating panic attacks.

For gods sake please dont give out wrong medical information.
posted by Justinian at 3:27 AM on March 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No worries. I have read the main info about the drug, so knew that description didn't fit. I'm mainly interested in how it made people feel taking it, how it affected drive and state of mind, whether it helped in the long term etc.
posted by lunkfish at 3:44 AM on March 8, 2006

I've never taken any of those for anxiety, so can't help you there. I would suggest that you try one of the pills when you are not having an anxiety/panic attack. That way you'll know how the drug affects you and what to expect from it.

My kind and gentle psychiatrist told me to do this when he first prescribed clonazepam. He knew I was worried about possible side effects and didn't want that fear to prevent me from using the drug when I needed it.
posted by cmyk at 3:46 AM on March 8, 2006

That's a good idea, cmyk, but it wouldn't work with Buspar. Clonazepam (Klonopin) acts very quickly and its effects are felt with the very first dose. Buspinol Hydrochloride takes several weeks for the effects to kick in. It's true that the side effects might kick in earlier than that, but it's very unlikely that taking one dose would give much of an idea of what to expect.

lunkfish: I'd like to give personal experience about what to expect but I don't have first hand knowledge, so hopefully someone else will chime in.
posted by Justinian at 3:58 AM on March 8, 2006

I found buspar to be pretty useless. It merely made me dizzy and was ineffective as far as dealing with anxiety. And I tried it for an extended period of time -- and it still wasn't worth a damn. It was prescribed before before drugs like zoloft, lexapro and such became more widespread.

It's just my opinion, but I'd request a "real" anti-anxiety drug.

...and I am here in the U.S., not the U.K..
posted by bim at 5:02 AM on March 8, 2006

I was on a low dosage (10-15 mg?) of buspar for about two or three weeks. It made me dizzy and gave me headaches. I stopped taking it because I never adjusted to the side effects, so I can't say how well it treats anxiety. My only advice is to try it for a while because it's different for everybody.
posted by TheIrreverend at 5:17 AM on March 8, 2006

Wasn't trying to play doctor here, just relating a personal experience I've had with Buspar (not benzos). I know it is technically non-sedative, but it does have many sedating effects. I tried one, once, and had extreme dizziness and loss of motor co-ordination, so effects can be as immediate as the first pill.
posted by adzm at 5:33 AM on March 8, 2006

It made [someone I know intimately] lactate.
posted by glibhamdreck at 6:49 AM on March 8, 2006

Wikipedia has a good entry for it. I'm a pharmacy student and have found wikipedia's drug info to be amazingly good. Frankly I prefer it to my pharmacology textbook and refer to it at least weekly.

I also have a good friend who takes buspar for anxiety.

"Your mileage may vary" is an understatement when it comes to antidepressant/antianxiety medications. A lot depends on how your body responds to the drug. For example, someone with liver damage may process a drug very slowly, and therefore a little dose will go a long way and have an extreme effect. Another person may get no effect. You just have to experiment because everyone's physiology is different. Also, there is still a lot unknown about how these things work in the brain.

My friend's experience was very positive. It didn't make her feel any different, just less anxious. No problem operating heavy machinery, etc. No loss of motivation, personality changes, etc. She also takes an SSRI and has had good experience with that.

Oh, and do be sure to avoid drinking grapefruit juice while you're taking it. There's a compound in the juice that interferes with liver function and turns a little dose into a huge dose (b/c the liver isn't clearing it out as fast as expected).

Finally, one reason your doctor may not have explained how it works is that it's still unknown. We studied this drug along with the benzodiazepines, and the professor basically said, "it works but we're not sure how. Here's what it does."
posted by selfmedicating at 8:11 AM on March 8, 2006

I took Buspar for about a week. I didn't sleep the whole time, and by the end of that time I was hallucinating (possibly from the lack of sleep.) The doctor said that any side effects would probably go away after a couple of weeks, but I didn't wait around to see if that would happen.

I don't think that this is a common reaction, but that's what it did to me.
posted by jefeweiss at 9:04 AM on March 8, 2006

For anxiety and panic attacks, I have successfully used Xanax. A therapist taught me that I can put it under my tongue for fastest action. A cold wet washcloth on the face is also very effective - it causes physiological reactions that really help. Having a panic attack in my therapist's office turned out to be quite useful.
posted by theora55 at 10:02 AM on March 8, 2006

Yes, Xanax and benzodiazepines are (in my oh-so-non-professional) opinion extremely useful for treating actual anxiety attacks. Works great and is actually kind of enjoyable. And as long as you aren't taking them all the time, no risk of addiction.

Buspar isn't like that; it's not to stop acute attacks in their tracks.
posted by Justinian at 10:06 AM on March 8, 2006

A close retaliative tried BuSpar for awhile. She is pretty sensitive to side effects so bear that in mind, dizziness, muscle agitation, difficulty in concentration, some numbness in the extremities and the above mentioned lactation. Not fun. Sometimes I wonder about the side effects of some psychoactive medications.
Anxious? take this drug and your hands might go numb which very well may cause increased anxiety, depressed? take this drug that may increase your weight significantly which may cause depression...

Having said all of that, it is remarkable how different people react differently to different drugs. BuSpar may work for you
posted by edgeways at 1:58 PM on March 8, 2006

I took BuSpar for six weeks, and it did absolutely nothing for me. It was like I was taking a placebo. A coworker, however, told me it made her a mindless zombie within a few days of taking it. So who knows?
posted by lunalaguna at 4:56 PM on March 8, 2006

Seconds on the 'mindless zombie' comment. My side effects were these: I would literally have to take the pills while already in bed for the night because I'd have about two minutes of functioning between pill and coma. I'd wake up in the morning with what I can only describe as the sensation that my eyes took about 15 minutes longer to wake up than the rest of me.

That said, it did its thing on the anxiety. If your GP thinks it's worth a shot, it's probably worth a shot. Different people react wildly differently to this stuff. Good luck.
posted by catesbie at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2006

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