What Is BuSpar?
BuSpar is an anxiolytic that’s mostly used in its generic form buspirone. Brand name BuSpar is not as widely available today as before and is discontinued completely within the US. Buspirone is the generic name of the medication with the main active ingredient of buspirone hydrochloride.
How Buspirone Works
Although it’s an antianxiety medication, it is not related to benzodiazepines. These medications work in different ways to achieve a similar outcome. Buspirone only impacts specific serotonin receptors with some possible indirect effects on certain dopamine receptors as well.
Normal BuSpar Dosage
For regular treatment, dosage usually starts around 5 – 7.5mg twice a day. Your doctor may increase your dose slowly over the course of a few weeks until you find the optimal dose for your needs. Once the right dose is reached, you’ll still be monitored occasionally as treatment continues.
The highest dose most people will take is 60mg per day. That’s the highest recommended dose for anxiety treatment. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out which dose is appropriate for you in your specific situation.
Any non-prescription buspirone use is abuse, whether it’s taken at the usual doses or not. When abused, buspirone is often taken at much higher doses to increase the effects. It may be taken in doses as large at 375mg or more daily, either all at once or throughout the course of the day.
Sometimes buspirone is taken orally in significant doses, but it may also be snorted or smoked. The method of ingestion may affect the speed at which the person feels the full effect of the drug, but it won’t necessarily change the impact that the drug has on the body. Buspirone is normally a fairly fast-acting drug even when ingested.
Does BuSpar Make You High?
For most people, buspirone doesn’t provide a feeling of high. Instead, it provides a feeling of calm caused by sedation. On its own, it must be taken in large quantities to result in sedation. But, when mixed with other substances or medication, it can make the effect of sedation much stronger.
Some people have reported feeling high after taking buspirone. However, the more likely result of buspirone abuse is feeling relaxed, calm, and heavily sedated. Depending on the amount taken, the result can be weaker or stronger. This may be what people are referring to when they talk about buspirone high.
Effects of BuSpar High
The main effect of BuSpar high is the feeling of calm and complete relief from anxiety symptoms. There is occasionally some sense of euphoria, but more often there’s another explanation for the symptoms. For people who have some pre-existing condition, a feeling of high may occur if buspirone triggers a manic episode. Cases like these are rare for most people taking buspirone, whether on a prescription or non-prescription basis.
Another side effect of buspirone that could be confused with a high is the possibility that existing symptoms of underlying anxiety have been amplified. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can be characterized partially by vigilance and hyper attentiveness. A common side effect of buspirone can also be excitement, which is different from euphoria.
Duration of Buspirone High
Buspirone has a half-life of about 2 – 3 hours in a healthy adult who is not taking any medications that affect the buspirone. This is a short half-life, which means the effects of the drug will wear off quickly. Any high or sedation feeling you get from buspirone likely won’t last for more than 30 – 90 minutes. Euphoria is not likely to last for this long if it’s directly linked to the buspirone.
This half-life was recorded for doses of 10 – 40mg and may not apply when larger doses are taken. It also only applies to those who have ingested the tablets. If the tablets are snorted or smoked, they may leave the system more quickly than those ingested through the stomach.
Is BuSpar Addictive?
Buspirone is a drug with a very low risk of addiction. It’s used often for people with a history of drug or substance abuse who still need anxiety treatment. Despite its low addiction risk, it’s possible to develop some physical dependence on the drug as your tolerance for it grows. People taking buspirone for long-term treatment may have to increase their doses occasionally to account for tolerance build-up.
The likely reason buspirone is abused is for temporary relief from anxiety symptoms. When taken in large doses, this medication will remove all feeling of distress, anxiety, and other similar feelings and replace them with extreme calm and relaxation. This may feel like such a relief that the same sensation is sought after time and time again.
Although true psychological dependence has not been recorded with buspirone, people may prefer the way they feel when taking large doses of buspirone. This could be based on the severity of their anxiety and how much it affects their quality of life. Sedation can feel like a preferable state of mind and the addicted person may be more attached to the lack of anxiety than to the actual effects of the drug itself.
Even when buspirone abuse stops suddenly, there is no evidence that the person going through withdrawal feels any craving for the drug. With many other antianxiety medications, a person in withdrawal may feel a strong craving for the drug as they stop taking it or even lower their dose. There are physical signs of withdrawal from buspirone, but no recorded craving or similar signs.
Treatment with Buspirone
Buspirone is used for anxiety treatments in many different contexts. While it’s not usually prescribed for anxiety caused by difficult life situations, it’s common for anxiety disorders and for treating underlying anxiety for addicts going through withdrawal.
Treatment Duration of BuSpar
Buspirone is either used for short-term treatment of acute anxiety unrelated to the stress of daily life, or for long-term management of GAD. It’s been shown to be safe and effective for most people in short-term clinical trials, but information about long-term use is not currently available.
While some people may be treated with buspirone for a short time, others could be taking this medication for months or years. The longer a medication like buspirone is taken, the higher the chance of building up a tolerance and potentially increasing the dosage to unsustainable levels. If you feel any sort of high or extreme side effect with a dosage increase, talk to your doctor about it.