What Are The Side Effects Of Buspirone Sexually?

Are you taking Buspirone and experiencing side effects that impact you sexually? 

Are you tired and feeling powerless against these unwanted problems?

A lot of people taking anxiety meds have reported varying degrees of sexual dysfunction, including reduced libido and difficulty achieving orgasm.

But don’t fret, as in this blog post, we will explore the potential sexual side effects of Buspirone (Buspar) and tell you how to reduce the incidence of negative side effects.

Moreover, you will get a list of natural alternatives to buspirone and other anxiolytics.

What is Buspirone (Buspar)?

Buspirone is also known by its brand name Buspar. This is an anxiolytic medication from the family of drugs called azapirones. It helps restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, aimed at decreasing anxiety.

Buspirone has an average half-life of about 2-3 hours, meaning that after 2 hours, half the drug concentration is cleared from your system. 

It is usually taken 2-3 times a day, depending on your doctor’s recommendations.

Buspirone reduces anxiety symptoms, including restlessness, tension, and irritability. In some cases, it may also help with concentration problems and improve focus

Buspirone can be used alone or combined with other drugs to treat anxiety disorders, including but not limited to panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Is buspirone an SSRI?

No. Buspirone is not an SSRI, it is an anxiolytic medication.

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What is buspirone used for?

Buspirone (Buspar) is a prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety. As mentioned above, it is used to improve symptoms of various anxiety disorders. 

The effects of buspirone on the brain are soothing and calming and may also work for other problems associated with anxious thoughts, such as profuse sweating, insomnia and other sleeping problems, and the sensation of a pounding heartbeat.

By modulating the concentration of neurotransmitters, buspirone may also be used to improve a patient’s mood. However, its effect is not the same as an antidepressant, and it is not used to substitute this type of medication. 

Instead, it can be combined with an antidepressant to enhance the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

In addition, buspirone has been found to help treat some types of male sexual dysfunction when it is associated with SSRIs and SNRIs, such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia, and low libido.

Buspirone is usually taken as a small tablet twice a day and can take up to several weeks to take effect. 

It is not a long-term treatment and won’t cure the root cause of anxiety, but it reduces the severity of its symptoms effectively.

What are the side effects of buspirone sexually?

Buspirone is an anxiolytic, and most anxiolytics cause different degrees of sexual dysfunction. They inhibit the central nervous system from achieving their soothing effects. 

Since the nervous system is involved in sexual function, inhibition can also cause problems in bed. 

Common sexual side effects of anxiolytics include erectile dysfunction, arousal problems, orgasm disorders, and low libido. Some patients may experience delayed orgasms because the medication is known to curb premature ejaculation.

When patients experience side effects from buspirone, they usually report dizziness, headache, nausea, and lightheadedness. Other side effects may include confusion, nervousness, chest pain, and difficulty breathing, but these are rare and severe problems that do not happen to everyone.

How to reduce the side effects of buspirone

Keep in mind these recommendations to reduce the potential side effects of buspirone:

  • Avoiding grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice affects the clearance of buspirone and other drugs. They stay in the blood for extended periods, and as you take the next dose, it builds up in your blood. Side effects become more likely when it reaches a high level.
  • Reducing alcohol intake: Alcohol inhibits the central nervous system through a different pathway than buspirone. These actions can also add up and trigger buspirone side effects with alcohol, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, and headaches.
  • Adjusting the dose in cases of kidney and liver damage: Patients with severe liver and kidney damage need a dose adjustment according to their functioning levels. These organs clear buspirone from your blood, and it would build up if the dose remains the same.
  • Starting with a small dose: Some patients are more sensitive than others to the effect of buspirone and other anxiolytics.
  • Taking buspirone as directed: Doctors schedule buspirone and plan the dosing according to your need. Taking a smaller dose may compromise your treatment. Taking a higher dose may increase the likelihood of side effects. Do not make any changes to your current therapy on your own behalf and without the guidance of your doctor.
  • Do not double the dose if you miss one: Missing a dose is a common problem; if that happens, you can take the dose when you remember to do so. However, if the next dose is around the corner (to be taken in one hour or less), you should not double the dose to make up for the one you missed.
  • Regularly monitor your progress: Regular review of your symptoms and side effects can help to identify any potential issues before they become serious. It is also essential to communicate with your healthcare provider if any side effects become bothersome or worsen.

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What anxiety medications have the fewest sexual side effects?

Buspirone is listed as one of the anxiety medications with the fewest sexual side effects. This is because, unlike SSRIs and SNRIs, it doesn’t increase your serotonin levels.

Other anxiety medications that do not increase serotonin levels include:

  • Bupropion: Instead of changing serotonin levels, bupropion acts as a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In other words, it prevents the reabsorption of these neurotransmitters, which has a beneficial effect on your mood without a drawback on your sexual health.
  • Nefazodone: This medication also works with dopamine and norepinephrine instead of serotonin. As such, it has a low rate of sexual side effects and is sometimes used as a replacement for antidepressants when they trigger sexual dysfunction.
  • Mirtazapine: Unlike nefazodone and bupropion, mirtazapine increases serotonin levels, but it also increases norepinephrine. That’s why it is listed as one of the antidepressants with the lowest tendency to affect patients sexually. It does not cause erectile dysfunction, and when sexual dysfunction occurs, it usually happens in the form of decreased libido.

Natural alternatives to buspirone for anxiety

Many natural alternatives may help mitigate anxiety symptoms. They work as coadjuvants of the treatment, and sometimes doctors decide to try them first before considering other anxiolytics.

  • One such option is 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a natural supplement derived from the seeds of an African plant. 5-HTP works by increasing serotonin levels. But instead of inhibiting serotonin reuptake, it works by increasing its synthesis.
  • Another natural approach is cannabidiol (CBD). This is a cannabinoid, an active component of the cannabis plant with potent anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. Unlike other cannabinoids, it doesn’t have psychoactive side effects such as hallucinations and physical dependence.
  • Additionally, magnesium is a mineral associated with anxiety reduction because it controls your stress hormone levels, known as cortisol.

We can also use herbal treatments and supplements, such as:

  • Kava kava: This root found in the South Pacific has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and insomnia. It works by increasing dopamine levels in the body.
  • Valerian root: It is a popular perennial flowering plant commonly used to treat insomnia and anxiety. It works by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitor neurotransmitter with a soothing effect on the brain.
  • Holy basil: This herb is native to India and can be used to treat anxiety and depression. It is known to regulate cortisol levels.
  • Lavender and chamomile: These herbs used in aromatherapy can also be taken in pill form or infusions. They offer calming and relaxation effects through components known as linalool and apigenin, respectively.

Conclusion

Buspirone is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders, including but not limited to generalized anxiety disorder. The drug modulates brain levels of serotonin and dopamine, two essential substances for mood and behavior.

While buspirone is generally considered safe and effective, it can have side effects, as with most drugs. The most common side effects of buspirone (Buspar) include headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, and dizziness. 

However, Buspirone can also cause side effects sexually, and it could increase the latency to achieving an orgasm.

Other than that, buspirone is listed as one of the anxiolytics recommended for patients with side effects sexually. In some cases, it has been used to correct sexual health side effects of other drugs, especially SSRIs and SNRIs.

Also, if you’re struggling with sexual side effects while taking antidepressants or anxiolytic drugs, don’t lose hope. There are pharmaceutical options and natural solutions that can help. 

By using natural supplements like 5-hydroxytryptophan, CBD, magnesium, kava kava, valerian root, lavender, and chamomile, you may be able to regain control over your mood without affecting your sexual health and enjoy a better quality of life.

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