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How Effective Is Buspar In Treating Opiate Withdrawal?

How Effective Is Buspar In Treating Opiate Withdrawal?

BuSpar is a drug that takes care of anxiety-related withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction. Learn more about BuSpar uses and treatment options.

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What Is BuSpar?

BuSpar is a specific brand name for Buspirone (buspirone is the drug’s generic name). Buspirone (or BuSpar) is a type of medication that is classified as an anxiolytic drug, i.e., it is used in the treatment and management of anxiety conditions. Buspirone for anxiety has been proven effective, especially in managing Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).1

Opiate withdrawal refers to treating and managing opiate withdrawal symptoms to ensure safe, effective opioid withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal is a very vital step in the treatment of addiction. However, it is usually accompanied by many adverse “withdrawal” effects, ranging from merely unpleasant to life-threatening; thus, managing these effects is important.

How Effective is BuSpar?

Over the years, several drug options have been employed to treat and manage opiate withdrawal, but they have met with limited success. However, one drug (BuSpar) has been touted to be very effective in treating and managing opiate withdrawal. The question is, just how effective is BuSpar medication in treating opiate withdrawal?

Is Buspar an Antidepressant?

Traditionally, most drugs used in treating and managing opiate withdrawal are mainly antidepressants, primarily due to their sedative and “numbing” effects. However, you should know that not all opiate withdrawal treatment and management drugs are antidepressants.

Although BuSpar uses withdrawal treatment and management, and although it does have central activity, buspirone is not an antidepressant. It is an anxiolytic agent with no “direct” relationship with other anxiolytic drugs like benzodiazepines and barbiturates, although buspirone has been known to potentiate the effects of some of these other drugs.2

How Is Buspar Taken?

Buspirone medication is formulated as an oral tablet. BuSpar dosage is usually twice a day, with or without food. It is, however, important that you decide early if you want to take your buspirone dosage for anxiety with or without food. This is because food affects the rate of buspirone absorption into the bloodstream, so if you keep alternating between taking buspirone with and without food, you may experience “variability” in dosage effectiveness.3

You should note that you must follow your buspirone prescription precisely as prescribed to you by your doctor. This is to prevent and reduce the intensity of the side effects of BuSpar use, as well as avoid BuSpar overdose.

Buspar Drug Interactions

Buspirone is also known to interact with other drugs and substances. BuSpar use can result in high blood pressure if used concomitantly with monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs (MAOIs). Also, drugs that affect the functioning and levels of liver enzymes will impact BuSpar levels in the blood due to their effects on the metabolism of buspirone. The use of erythromycin with buspirone will also increase blood buspirone concentration.

Buspirone may also interact with several antibiotics, antifungal drugs, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs.8

Buspar Warnings and Precautions

There are some very important things that you should take note of concerning buspirone.  These buspirone warnings and precautions will help safeguard you and ensure you can safely achieve the level of therapeutic results you want. They include:

  • Do not take buspirone for any reason if you have hypersensitivity to the drug. Once you notice any hypersensitivity reactions, notify your doctor, and they will discontinue treatment immediately.
  • If you have any liver-related medical condition or are currently using a drug that impacts liver enzyme levels, you should be very careful when using buspirone. This is because the liver plays a vital role in buspirone removal and elimination, so people with compromised liver function risk having high buspirone blood levels.
  • Do not take buspirone if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, as it could be dangerous to your baby’s health.
  • Buspirone causes drowsiness, so it should not be taken with alcohol as this may result in further CNS depression. You should also not take it with grapefruits.8

BuSpar Overdose and Withdrawal

It is important to note that buspirone overdose is a serious risk associated with buspirone use, so care must always be exercised. If your doctor prescribes buspirone to you, always ensure you follow the dose and dosage regimen strictly.

BuSpar Severe Overdose Symptoms

BuSpar overdose has been linked with some severe overdose symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Blurred or impaired vision
  • Stomach upsets
  •  Seizures
  •  Unconsciousness

Ensure to immediately contact emergency services if you notice anyone with these symptoms of BuSpar overdose, as rapid medical intervention is critical to patient survival.

Buspar Withdrawal

Because buspirone must be taken for a relatively “long” period, it’s likely that the body adjusts to and becomes dependent on buspirone. As a result, it is common for patients who were previously on buspirone to experience buspirone withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are not as severe as those noticed with benzodiazepine or barbiturates use.

These withdrawal symptoms may occur in as little as 24 hours after the last dose and may last for as long as weeks or months. Generally, the withdrawal timeline depends on how long buspirone treatment was carried out.

Indications of BuSpar Withdrawal

Some BuSpar withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  •  Insomnia
  • Chest pain
  • Unconsciousness

How Does BuSpar Work?

When you use BuSpar for anxiety or any other medical condition, it works by altering the concentration or “levels” of some neurotransmitters in the brain (serotonin and dopamine). Buspirone stimulates the serotonin receptors in the brain, I.e., it is a serotonin agonist. This results in an increase in serotonin production and levels in the brain, thereby causing a lowering of anxiety levels.4

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the brain associated with various functions, including mood regulation and anxiety reduction.5

What Is BuSpar Used For?

Although BuSpar uses are majorly focused on alleviating anxiety symptoms, the uses of BuSpar do extend somewhat further than that. BuSpar uses include the following:

  • Anxiety Symptoms Treatment: Treatment of anxiety and anxiety symptoms account for a significant percentage of BuSpar uses. This is because buspirone is a very effective anxiolytic agent.
  • Other Mental Conditions: BuSpar also includes treatment of anxiety symptoms associated with other mental conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder.6
  • Certain Substance Use Disorders: Buspirone uses include management of anxiety and anxiety symptoms during the withdrawal process of substance abuse disorder treatment.

How Effective Is Buspar In Treating Opiate Withdrawal?

It should be mentioned that although buspirone uses include opiate withdrawal treatment, it does not actually “treat” opiate withdrawal. Instead, buspirone uses during opiate withdrawal is focused on managing and alleviating anxiety and anxiety symptoms that may occur during opiate withdrawal and treatment.

The uses of BuSpar in this regard have been shown to significantly reduce the occurrence and severity of anxiety during opiate withdrawal, thereby contributing to overall opiate withdrawal and treatment success. Based on this, it can be said that BuSpar is very effective in “treating” opioid withdrawal.

BuSpar Common Side Effects and Health Risks

Despite being a very effective opiate withdrawal treatment drug, the uses of BuSpar do not come without side effects. Common BuSpar side effects include the following:7

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Stomach upsets
  • Excitement
  • Nausea

BuSpar Severe Side Effects and Health Risks

Buspirone usage has also been associated with some very serious side effects. Serious side effects of BuSpar use include:

  • Cardiovascular disorders such as congestive heart failure and heart attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Thyroid dysfunctions
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Severe Insomnia

Because these effects are so dangerous to general health and wellbeing, you should immediately report them to your doctor if you notice them while taking buspirone.

Using BuSpar in Opiate Withdrawal Treatment

As earlier mentioned, BuSpar is a very effective drug for treating and managing anxiety and anxiety-related withdrawal effects. However, BuSpar must be taken according to prescription for it to be safely and effectively used.

What Is The Best Time of Day to Take Buspar?

Buspirone is usually administered two to three times daily; however, you should rely on your doctor to give you specifics regarding specific dosing for you.

Ideally, dosing is twice daily, once in the morning and the other in the evening, with about 10-12 hours between each dose. Endeavor to ensure you follow your dosing regimen strictly.

Can You Take Buspar As Needed?

No, you cannot. BuSpar has precise dosing directions that you must follow to get the best out of this treatment. Not to mention that taking buspirone as needed only increases the risk of BuSpar overdose.

San Diego Treatment Can Help You Reach and Maintain Sobriety

Find help for opiate withdrawal and addiction treatment at San Diego Detox.

At San Diego Detox, we have teams of licensed professionals expertly trained in treating and managing addiction and opiate withdrawal, so you can rest assured you’ll be in good, capable hands. Reach out today and begin the process of regaining autonomy over your life and achieving long-lasting wellness.