Using Buspirone with Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Share This Post

Buspirone is a prescription medication that is FDA-approved to treat anxiety in adults.

With millions of adults using buspirone to treat their mental health conditions, many are wondering if using buspirone with alcohol is safe.

What is buspirone?

Buspirone is a generic prescription medication that is not currently available as a brand-name drug.

It was formerly available under the brand-name Buspar. 

The medication belongs to a class of drugs called anxiolytics, or anti-anxiety medications, and it is most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Buspirone is not related to any other anti-anxiety medications, and there is much that is not yet understood about how buspirone works. 

However, researchers believe that buspirone works by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain.

Buspirone is often used in combination with other medications for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Your healthcare provider can determine the correct dose based on your needs. 

Buspirone comes in 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg capsules. Certain negative drug interactions can occur while taking buspirone, and buspirone should not be prescribed if a patient has used monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) within the past 14 days.

Because buspirone has a lower potential for misuse than other anxiolytics, it is often prescribed for long-term use.

It typically takes three to four weeks of regular use before patients start to feel the full effects of buspirone.

What are the risks of using buspirone with alcohol?

Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication that works by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

Although most people don’t think of alcohol as a drug, the fact is that alcohol is a drug like buspirone and has its own effects on the body’s function. 

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that also slows the activity of the neurological system, including the activity of the brain.

Using buspirone with alcohol causes the effects of both substances to be magnified, which can cause dangerous side effects.

Treatment Options for Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Ailment

Plan Product Features Treatment Today
70% off your 1st Month

Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hims

Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hims
  • No searching for a psychiatrist
  • No waiting rooms
  • Licensed psychiatry providers
  • Evidence-backed medicine
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Includes Medication cost

$85/month – Includes everything

Start Treatment Today
70% off your 1st Month

Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hers

Psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hers
  • No searching for a psychiatrist
  • No waiting rooms
  • Licensed psychiatry providers
  • Evidence-backed medicine
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Includes Medication cost

$85/month – Includes everything

Start Treatment Today
$349/month – Most Effective Treatment Plan

Medication + Therapy | Brightside Health

Medication + Therapy | Brightside Health
  • FDA-approved medication
  • Evidence-based therapy
  • Always see and expert
  • All therapist hold a master's degree or higher
  • 85% of members feel better within 12 weeks
  • HSA/FSA eligible

$349/month – Coupon available. 

Start Treatment Today
$33/Week for 1st Month – Proven most effective

Medication + Therapy | Cerebral

Medication + Therapy | Cerebral
  • Evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription by a medical provider
  • Weekly video/phone sessions with a licensed therapist
  • Monthly medication delivery (if prescribed)
  • Chat securely with your therapist anytime
  • Regular progress tracking by provider & therapist
  • FSA / HSA eligible

Starting at $33/Week for 1st Month

Start Treatment Today

What side effects can occur when using buspirone with alcohol?

Using buspirone with alcohol is associated with dangerous side effects because both substances act as drugs in the body, having specific effects on the body’s systems. 

Using buspirone with alcohol causes the alcohol to exacerbate side effects of buspirone, which can make it difficult to function normally.

Side effects of buspirone alone include changes in weight or appetite, mild nasal congestion, and nausea or upset stomach. 

Common side effects of using buspirone with alcohol include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Using buspirone with alcohol can also cause more serious side effects that can be potentially life-threatening depending on the amount of each substance that is consumed. 

Potentially serious side effects include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Impaired muscle control
  • Memory problems

These side effects are particularly dangerous because they can lead to oxygen deprivation, falls, serious injuries, and an increased risk of making poor decisions, such as driving under the influence.

Immediately seek medical assistance if you begin showing any of these serious side effects.

While alcohol may make you feel relaxed at first or cause a temporary decrease in your anxiety symptoms, after the effects wear off, your anxiety may feel even worse.

People who use alcohol as a way to reduce their anxiety may find that they require more and more of the substance to achieve the same effects and may find that alcohol is less able to reduce their feelings of anxiety over time. 

Drinking heavily is associated with higher levels of anxiety, restlessness, and nervousness.

Therefore, using buspirone with alcohol and drinking alcohol to excess when you have anxiety can make the symptoms of anxiety even worse.

Is using buspirone with alcohol ever safe?

Due to the potential for severe and dangerous side effects resulting from the combination of buspirone and alcohol, using buspirone with alcohol is never safe. 

Combining the two substances enhances the effects of both drugs, which means that the side effects associated with both buspirone and alcohol are more likely to occur and are worse when they do occur. 

The biggest risks associated with the combination of buspirone and alcohol include an increased risk of falls and injury.


Using buspirone with alcohol can be dangerous and should never be considered safe.

Both buspirone and alcohol relax the body and diminish the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, so using the substances together can exacerbate the side effects of each. 

Using buspirone with alcohol can cause unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects, such as drowsiness, headache, and dizziness. The use of buspar can help manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

Rare side effects of buspirone include muscle cramps or spasms, stiffness, excessive tiredness or weakness, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. 

Seek medical attention immediately if any of these side effects occur.


Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot

Popular Destinations

Recent Articles

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Cerebral Review: Online Depression & Anxiety Treatment

Today, we’re deep diving with a Cerebral review to give you some insider info to help you narrow down your choices.

What are the signs of Depression?

In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of depression as well as some treatment options for this condition.

Can You Use Gabapentin For Anxiety?

While Neurontin is the most common brand name for gabapentin, other forms (such as Horizant and Gralise) may be prescribed depending on the specific

Zoloft and Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to Zoloft and weight loss, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Zoloft?

If you have been recently diagnosed with depression and are given Zoloft, you may want to know how the medication works, what common side

What is Venlafaxine HCL ER?

Common mental illnesses like major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder affect millions of Americans every year. While many different treatment options

Using Prozac With Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Prozac has become perhaps the most well-known antidepressant in the United States since its approval for the treatment of depression in 1986. Since then,

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System?

Clonazepam is a popular medication that is most commonly associated with treatment for panic disorder, but the medication was originally developed as a treatment

What is Sertraline and What are the Side Effects?

Sertraline is the generic form of Zoloft, a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs like

Turn On, Tune In, and…. Heal Your Brain? Psychedelics Return as Potential Therapy for Mental Health Disorders

Before they fell out of favor over half a century ago, psychedelic drugs, like psilocybin and LSD, were studied for various psychiatric diseases such

How Long Does Alprazolam Stay in Your System?

Alprazolam is a fast-acting medication, but exactly how long alprazolam stays in your body varies tremendously based on the form of the medication taken,

Paxil vs Zoloft: Differences, Similarities and Which is Better

Paxil and Zoloft are both popular Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antidepressants that are used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions.

A Supplement for Stress? The Science Behind Adaptogens

Stress is part of all our lives. Adaptogens are a group of herbal supplements studied throughout history as a way to improve the body’s

Does Buspirone Cause Weight Gain?

Many antidepressants can cause weight gain as a side effect. Buspirone may cause an altered appetite as a side effect, which can lead to

Duloxetine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Duloxetine withdrawal is very common and well documented, affecting nearly half of all patients. Common withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, headaches, and nausea, and symptoms

Cymbalta vs. Prozac: Comparison Guide

Cymbalta and Prozac are commonly prescribed medications to treat mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder. The medications are similarly effective, although one

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?

Ativan is a commonly prescribed prescription drug that is used by millions of Americans for anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders. It is the brand

Why is Mental Health Important?

As the saying goes, “There is no health without mental health,” but why is mental health so important? The reality is that although we

BuSpar: What is it? Uses, Costs, Benefits, and Doses

If you’re one of 40 million American adults suffering from an anxiety disorder or experiencing symptoms of anxiety, you might think that your battle

What are Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics? 

Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics have been shown to prevent psychosis relapse in patients with schizophrenia. To combat poor medication adherence, LAIs are a great