This Is How Long It Takes For Buspirone To Start Working

Buspirone is an anxiolytic drug mostly prescribed to people suffering from short-term generalized anxiety (via Drug Bank). However, it also serves as a second-line treatment for unipolar depression. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anxiety disorders are a common mental health problem, affecting around 19.1% of Americans. Interestingly, 7% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 also experience anxiety issues. Keep in mind that regarding generalized anxiety disorder, women are more affected than men (per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America).

As anxiety disorders are becoming more of a public health concern, the need for effective solutions can't be understated. This is when medications, like buspirone, come in. The medication has become increasingly popular due to its limited side effects compared to other anxiolytic treatments, according to a 2022 review published in the journal StatPearls.

Buspirone is an effective treatment (via the American Family Physicians). While its mechanism of action isn't readily known, the drug could significantly affect serotonin and dopamine, helping to reduce anxiety symptoms, per Medical News Today. If you've been prescribed this medication, you may be wondering how long buspirone takes to work.

How long does it take for buspirone to start working?

Buspirone starts working after the first dose, explains Medical News Today. However, it won't reach its full effect until after two to four weeks since it affects chemical levels in the brain. Several factors will help determine your prescribed dosage. This includes the medicine's strength and the medical issue you want to treat (via Mayo Clinic).

When concerning dosage, it's important to stick to your doctor's prescription. As a guide, a 7.5 mg buspirone tablet might suffice for people looking to reduce anxiety symptoms. If you're a first-time user, your doctor might prescribe a low dose, which will gradually increase over time (via Medline Plus). Be sure to take the medication in a consistent manner (with or without food). Keep in mind, experts warn against increasing buspirone dosage during the first few weeks, irrespective of the drug's efficacy.

To ensure you're being treated effectively and prevent unwanted side effects, it's important to let your doctor know if you're taking buspirone immediately after switching from another anxiety drug.

Common side effects

It's important to keep in mind, buspirone isn't for everybody. According to, it isn't approved for people younger than 18. The drug can cause various side effects, even for users who have no underlying medical condition or are taking other drugs that might interact with buspirone. Common side effects of buspirone include dizziness (hence the importance of being cautious when performing tasks requiring alertness), blurred vision, clamminess or sweating, muscle pain, spasms, and unexplained ringing in the ears (via the Mayo Clinic).

Serious side effects and complications are rare (per WebMD). Nevertheless, they include breathing difficulties and chest pains, which require prompt medical attention. Buspirone use has also been linked to mobility disorders, like jerky walking — typical symptoms of a rare condition called tardive dyskinesia. While these mobilities may go away with treatment, they can become life-long in some cases, so it's crucial to consult a health expert early if you start experiencing such symptoms.

Other serious buspirone side effects include cardiovascular complications, like palpitations and extremely low or high blood pressure (via Healthline). Generally speaking, it's crucial to keep tabs on these common and rare side effects and report them to your doctor.