Buspirone is a medication that acts as a partial agonist at serotonin receptors. This drug is a second-line treatment for General Anxiety Disorder. Remember that buspirone has a slow onset of action, roughly taking 2 weeks before clinical symptoms improve. 

Key Points

  • Buspirone
    • Mechanism
      • Acts as partial agonist of serotonin 5-HTA1 receptors
      • Acts as weak antagonist at dopamine D2 receptors
    • Indications
      • Treats Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
        • Acts as nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic
        • Has a slow onset of action of 2 weeks
          • Not effective in treating acute anxiety attacks
        • Used as 2nd line pharmacologic treatment for GAD after SSRIs/SNRIs.
    • Side Effects
      • No risk of tolerance, dependence, or withdrawal
        • Contrast vs. benzodiazepines
      • Less sedative and hypnotic effects
        • Contact vs. benzodiazepines
      • Minimal side effects (dizziness)