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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: Buspar vs Xanax

 jennykert - Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:15 am


I had a check up with my PCP on Monday. I spoke to her about some anxiety that I feel occasionally. I am 47 and feel that is related to perimenopause. By occasionally, I mean once a month or less. I just wanted something that when this anxiety sets in--to take the edge off until it passes.

She prescribed 30 Buspar pills to be used on an as needed basis. The pharmacist questioned this, saying that Buspar is not intended for this use--it needs to build up in your system before it is effective. He said there were several other fast acting drugs specifically for this use, such as xanax.

My doctor says that Buspar can be effectived with occasional use and that it is a very safe drug--where xanax can be addictive. She does not intend for me to take Buspar every day, just on an as needed basis.

I'm confused, if I am feeling anxious, will taking 1 Buspar help me? The idea of having something to take is very comforting to me--but now I'm not sure if I got the right medicine prescribed.

 Debra Van Ness RN - Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:06 am

My opinion and opinion only here. I have only seen Buspar prescribed as a daily medication over the years. Not as a prn medication to take when you need it. I won't argue with your doctor though. The doctor might know something I don't.

As for Xanax, of course it CAN be addictive. It is a completely different type of anti anxiety pill than the Buspar. Xanax is most often prescribed "as needed" and not on a routine schedule. It has a quicker onset of effectiveness. Some doctors hesitate to prescribe anything that is a controlled substance/potentially addictive. I understand the reasoning. However, most of what I have read in studies indicate that short term use or occasional use of a drug such as Xanax is not really much a danger for "addiction". Of course the doctor will take into account your specific medical history and specific needs.

Debra Van Ness RN

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