I have been taking 15mg of Buspar a day for two weeks and wanted to give a little update. I take 7.5 mg at 9:00 a.m. with a morning vitamin/protein shake and 7.5 mg at 7:00 p.m. after dinner. Buspar (buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medicine that treats symptoms of generalized anxiety, tension, and irritability. It is a non-sedating, non-habit forming medication.
Tinnitus: I have menieres disease, which is basically unexplained, intermittent hearing loss. Some days I have 80% audio and some days 20% in my left ear. Because of this issue, I have had tinnitus (ringing/noise in the ears) come an go over the last five years. A side effect of Buspar is tinnitus and mine has increased in the last few weeks. It is hard to say though if it is the Buspar, because it normally increases during spring allergy season. Luckily, I have learned to cope with tinnitus, so it is not a big issue for me.
Dizziness: The first week there was some dizziness that was pretty intense about an hour after taking each pill, that lasted about 45 minutes. It has gradually become less intense, but it is still there. Dizziness is also common with menieres (it messes with your equilibrium) and I have noticed that the dizziness after taking the pill is concentrated on the left side. So my dizziness may be a little more intense because of the menieres or the Buspar may be aggravating it, or my allergies are making everything worse. I am hoping it will go away completely after a month or so, but even if it does continue, it is not a deal breaker for me. I don’t normally have to drive during that time frame and figure I can adjust things if something comes up.
Dry Mouth: There is a little dry mouth going on, but not a big deal.
I have not noticed any other negative side effects that are commonly reported such as nervousness, nausea or sleep issues.
The Good Effects
Calm: What I have noticed is a calm that I haven’t felt in a while. It is not a sedated calm, it is a ‘being able to think before you get all worked up’ calm. Instead of being on that constant state of alert and responding to stress as if it were a life or death situation, I am feeling a little more in control. I am less quick-tempered, more even keeled and I feel like I have more patience.
Less Tension: I have also noticed a marked reduction in neck spasms. I still have neck pain, but there is much less tension in my neck during the day and the evening spasms are *knocks on wood* almost gone! I had one last Monday, after overdoing it in the garden the day before, but normally I have a handful a week. So this is a huge improvement for me. This was really my whole reason for wanting to try the Buspar.
Less Anxiety: When I am anxious or stressed, I chew on the inside of my cheek and for the first time in forever, one side is completely smooth. In other words, am still chewing, but much less. I am also a stress eater, I like to eat crunchy food when I am stressed and I am happy to say my snacking is way down. I still have anxiety but in general it feels a little subdued.
Overall, my experience so far is positive and I will continue taking it. I will admit, there could be some placebo going on, because I was so badly wanting relief. I did a lot of research on Buspar and requested it specifically, so my desire for it to work may be playing its role. Time will tell.
I have read that it can be taken safely long term, but that it is normally used short-term. I don’t know what that means for me. I do still feel like this anxiety has a lot to do with the multi-sensory hypersensitivity caused by fibromyalgia. I think the overstimulation of my nervous system is causing my brain chemistry to run amok.
I have also decided to find a Neurologist instead of using a Rheumatologist as my fibro doctor. This is going to be difficult, as fibromyalgia is only recently being viewed as a neurologic, central nervous system disorder. The Rheumatologist is never going to understand what is really going on big picture, she will only be able to treat my pain…which I am not interested in treating. A neurologist may be more willing to look at the big picture and help me manage the other symptoms. Besides, this is where the research is headed and I would love to find a little hope in this incurable, untreatable cloud I have been living in.