Buspirone and Xanax are two drugs that may be prescribed to patients who have anxiety or panic disorders. While Buspirone can help with similar symptoms as the drug Xanax, it is a different kind of medication. Some people who are curious about the drug wonder whether it can be as effective as Xanax. Is it a good substitute to relieve anxiety?
In this blog post we will go over some of the things that make these two drugs similar and what makes them different from each other.
Hopefully this information will help you make an informed decision about which type of drug you may want to continue using.
Buspirone Vs. Xanax As Treatment For Anxiety
Buspirone and Xanax are currently the two most popular drugs that can be used to manage anxiety. 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety making it one of the most common mental disorders. According to studies, Buspirone is said to be equally effective in the treatment of anxiety as Xanax.
Is Buspirone a Benzo?
No, Buspirone is not a benzo. It belongs to a different class of drugs called azapirones. Buspirone is a generic drug. Formerly, it was available under the brand name BuSpar that’s why it is also referred to by that name. Buspirone has antidepressant and antianxiety effects so it is also used in the treatment of PTSD and depression.
On the other hand, Xanax is a brand name of the generic drug alprazolam. Alprazolam falls under the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Xanax is one of the most popular benzos used for the treatment of anxiety.
Buspirone Vs. Xanax: How They Affect The Brain
With Xanax being a benzodiazepine, it works by affecting the GABA receptors found in the brain. Taking Xanax has the ability to slow down brain activity and suppress excitement which can result in feelings of calmness and relaxation.
On the contrary, Buspirone does not do this. While Buspirone is found to be effective in anxiety treatment, it is not very clear how it works to decrease anxiety. However, research shows that Buspirone appears to bind to the brain’s 5-HT1A receptors, which are serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a hormone that is involved in regulating feelings of happiness, well-being, and mood.
Buspirone Vs. Xanax: How Fast Do They Work
Xanax is known to be a fast-acting drug. This means it can give you instant relief from anxiety symptoms. After taking Xanax, you can feel the effects kick in within an hour, with peak effects in one to two hours after taking the drug.
On the other hand, Buspirone can take a bit longer to give you relief from anxiety symptoms. Unlike Xanax, it is not fast-acting so it cannot really help during anxiety or panic attacks to calm you down. Most users report that it takes one to two weeks before feeling the effects of Buspirone.
Buspirone Vs. Xanax: Are These Drugs Addictive?
According to studies, Buspirone has a low potential for abuse. The reason for this is because it does not cause euphoria and the effects are not felt immediately. The effects are mild and people would require a lot of it in order for them to get feelings of high or intoxicated.
Xanax, on the other hand, is highly addictive because people can experience immediate results after taking it. It is fast-acting which makes it more addictive than Buspirone. Xanax and Xanax bars are popularly used as recreational drugs in the club scene and are often referenced in popular culture like hip-hop and rap songs.
With Xanax being highly addictive, many doctors are more cautious about prescribing Xanax for anxiety. Usually, doctors would prescribe other drugs like gabapentin or Buspirone to address anxiety symptoms.
For people who are already addicted to Xanax, it is not uncommon to look for alternatives that can deliver the same calming effects. As Buspirone is also an anti-anxiety medicine, some users might think that it can deliver the same effects as Xanax as a recreational substance.
At low doses as supervised by doctors, Buspirone can reduce anxiety and stress over time, but it does not cause significant drowsiness. At high doses however, the drug may cause sedation and mild euphoria so some users might try to abuse the medication by taking more than necessary to achieve their desired effects.
Buspirone in itself is not addictive and it is rare to overdose from taking the drug. The danger, however, is that when users do not achieve their desired effects, they might mix Buspirone with alcohol, opioids, cocaine, and other substances. Mixing Buspirone with other substances can lead to serious consequences.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.