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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Buspar and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

03/22/2007

Question:

What are your thoughts on the use of Buspar for GAD? I`ve taken Lexapro in the past. It helped a bit but the side affects were bad. I have been in therapy and it helps. I use relaxation techniques, it helps, but I feel I probably need a new medication and I will discuss with a doctor. Thank you for your views on Buspar.

Answer:

Buspar, or buspirone, is an anti-anxiety drug.  Unlike medications like lexapro, which treat the underlying brain chemical imbalances that are associated with anxiety, buspar only treats the symptoms of anxiety.  It has less potential for addiction than other anti-anxiety drugs, like valium or xanax, but most medical professionals consider that buspar should be used only short term, for days to weeks.  It is mainly used while other medications, like lexapro, (or other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) take effect or in temporary situations where anxiety is expected to be a problem for only a few days or a weeks.

You should discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider, as only that person knows you well enough to help you make the right decision.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati