Covid 19 Update: Lion Recovery is operating in alignment with CDC & accepting new clients.

Buspar and Alcohol

  • Post By
  • Date
    February 24, 2022
  • Comments

Buspar is a prescribed medication for generalized anxiety disorder. On the other hand, alcohol is also used by individuals to try to treat anxiety or depression symptoms. Buspar can create feelings of relaxation and so can alcohol, but when used together there may be a deadly situation on the rise. 

Alcohol is used widely by many Americans each day, and substance and alcohol abuse disorders are on the rise. Anxiety disorders are also on the rise following the Covid 19 pandemic. This can cause people to seek out anti-anxiety medications or treatment but can also lead to people using alcohol with these medications. 

In this prompt, well discuss the possible effects of drinking alcohol while taking Buspar as well as the risks and treatment options available for addiction. 

Buspar and Alcohol: Are they Safe to Take Together? 

Why do people take Buspar?

Buspar can lessen the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. Generalized anxiety symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances

If you are taking Buspar to treat your anxiety, you should be aware that drinking alcohol actually worsens anxiety symptoms. As the alcohol wears off, anxiety becomes increased because alcohol changes our serotonin transmitters in the brain. Medical professionals advise against drinking alcohol while taking Buspar for anxiety. 

What is Buspar? 

Buspar is commonly known as it’s generic brand name Buspirone. Buspar acts as an anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax or valium. While it does treat generalized anxiety disorder, it is its own class of medications and differs from benzodiazepines.

Buspar may make you feel dizzy, and you shouldn’t drive a vehicle until you know how this medication affects you. It may take up to four weeks to feel the medication working and you will know it is working when you are feeling less stressed. Buspar is taken twice a day with or without food.

Buspar has low abuse potential and a short half-life although it’s noted that you should avoid alcohol while taking Buspar because it can increase adverse effects. 

How Long Does Buspar Stay in Your System?

Taking Buspar with food can prolong the effects of Buspar in the body which can affect and lengthen the amount of time it’s in your system. Buspar has a short half-life which means it takes time for 50% of the drug to metabolize in your body.

 You will start to feel the effects of Buspar between 2 and 4 hours while it may take up to 20 hours to be out of your system. If you are going to drink alcohol, it’s important to wait at least an entire day until Buspar is out of your body. Buspar and alcohol use is not recommended because Buspar is taken twice a day every day.

What are the Side Effects of Buspar?

side effects of buspar

If you miss your dose of Buspar, you should take it as soon as you can remember but do not take it if its too close to the time when you take your second dose. It is never recommended to double dose; this can cause extreme dizziness and may lead to injuries or accidents. 

Some of the most common side effects of Buspar include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Changes in dreams
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness

You should also avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking Buspar because grapefruit juice can affect the way this medication works. 

Are There Any Serious Side Effects?

Buspar is considered safe when used as directed by your doctor, but it can have some more serious side effects. In some cases, ana allergic reaction can occur when taking Buspar and these symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of lips/ face/ tongue
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Blurred Vision
  • Numbness in hands/feet/arms/legs
  • Tingling in hands/feet/arms/legs
  • Uncontrolled movements of arms/legs/tongue/lips

Serious side effects of Buspar may include changes in weight or appetite, fainting, changes in blood pressure, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, and redness or itching of the eyes. 

Can I Take Buspar with Alcohol?

People with anxiety may turn to alcohol to treat their symptoms although this can lead to alcohol abuse disorders. Mixing Buspar and alcohol leads to an increase of the effects of drowsiness that Buspar brings on. 

The interaction between alcohol in the body and Buspar can lead to increased drowsiness and dizziness which can be dangerous. Buspar creates changes in the brain and when you involve alcohol you can cause more harm to your system. Alcohol affects people differently so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks and you should consider avoiding alcohol completely.

What are the Alcohol and Buspar Side Effects?

While Buspar effects can cause drowsiness, upset stomach, headache, vomiting, and fatigue, drinking can worsen these symptoms and create more symptoms such as slowed breathing, impaired muscle control, memory problems, and increased sleepiness.

The side effects of Buspar and alcohol can be even more dangerous if you are older because this combination can lead to falls and accidents. 

Drinking may make you feel more relieved, but it can worsen anxiety and depression and will make Buspar not work properly. If you are taking Buspar for anxiety, its best to leave alcohol out of your life. 

Buspar and Alcohol Withdrawal

Buspar has been shown to be effective in preventing some of the symptoms that come with alcohol addiction withdrawal. Buspar can also reduce the alcohol cravings but his has not yet been approved but the US Food and Drug Administration.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Sleepiness

More serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Increased heart rate 
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Seizures

These symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can make it very difficult for a person to stop drinking. Combining Buspar and alcohol can cause these side effects to be more severe and harmful to your health. 

How Does Alcohol Interact with Buspar? 

When you combine Buspar and alcohol, your central nervous system (controls spine and brain) is affected. Your central nervous system is responsible for many voluntary and involuntary functions such as walking, talking, and breathing.

Buspar and alcohol use together can cause unwanted effects and will affect individuals differently. Other medications or illegal drugs can also affect you while taking Buspar. These medications include:

  • Diltiazem
  • Itraconazole
  • Rifampin
  • Erythromycin
  • Nefazodone
  • Verapamil

Older adults are at a higher risk because drugs process more slowly in the body. 

What Are the Typical Side Effects? 

Typical side effects of Buspar are headache, nausea, excitement, and nervousness. The central nervous system effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. These are common side effects of Buspar although you should seek out medical help if you cannot breathe, see changes in your ability to walk, find yourself doing unusual things, or are having memory problems. 

Can you overdose on Buspar and alcohol?

Overdoses have occurred and can occur when mixing Buspar with alcohol, other medications, and/or other drugs. 

How to Find the Best Rehab Center for Buspar and Alcohol Abuse Treatment 

Have you found yourself using alcohol with Buspar, and are dealing with worsened anxiety symptoms? It may be time to focus on healing your anxiety and possibly getting treatment for alcohol abuse. The goal of Buspar is to help relieve you of extra worry and daily stress in life. Alcohol use can create more harm and psychological or mental problems. 

Are you ready to seek treatment for Buspar and alcohol abuse? Lion Recovery is one of the best rehabilitation centers in California and is ready to help you start your road to recovery. This process can take time, but with dedication and patience you can get back to feeling less anxiety after treatment. 

Lion Recovery offers medical detox, interventions, and relapse prevention to aid you in your treatment. You can visit their website here, Best Recovery Center In California – Lion Recovery or call them now for more information about getting started with treatment at (888) 616- 3179. 


2021. [online] Available at:

Healthline. 2021. Alcohol and Anxiety: Causes, Risks and Treatment. [online] Available at: 2021. Buspirone (BuSpar) | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. [online] Available at:

Walrus. 2021. How Long Does Buspirone Stay In Your System For?. [online] Available at:

Wilson, T. and Tripp, J., 2021. Buspirone. [online] Available at:

Leave A Comment