Typically, it’s unsafe to mix alcohol and Buspar as serious side effects may occur.

Buspar is a medication that treats anxiety, and people who use Buspar might also be tempted to abuse alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms. However, it is important to understand that taking Buspar and alcohol together is typically not safe, and may lead to serious side effects.

Article at a Glance:

So, can you mix alcohol and Buspar? Usually, no, it’s not a safe idea. Important takeaways about alcohol and Buspar include:

If someone takes Buspar for anxiety, they shouldn’t mix alcohol and Buspar. Both affect the central nervous system, and it can heighten the side effects of both, and lead to a dangerous outcome.

Using alcohol and Buspar together can worsen the side effects of each substance.

Alcohol use may worsen anxiety symptoms and make Buspar less effective.

Buspar may be useful in treating alcohol cravings, but more research needs to prove its effectiveness.

What Are the Alcohol and Buspar Side Effects?

Alcohol and Buspar shouldn’t be taken together because both substances affect the central nervous system in similar ways. If you combine alcohol and Buspar, the combination can heighten the effects of both substances, leading to the increased potential for adverse side effects and severe harm.

Both alcohol and Buspar slow the activity of the central nervous system, and this can lead to worsened symptoms like:

Severe side effects of mixing alcohol and Buspar may include:

  • Slowed respiration
  • Problems with muscle control
  • Memory problems
  • Risk of falls

When a person experiences coordination problems, it can contribute to an increased risk of injuries, accidents, and falls, which is especially true among older people who combine alcohol and Buspar.

Additionally, another reason to not combine alcohol and Buspar is that it may worsen symptoms of anxiety. If a person takes Buspar, it’s probably to treat anxiety, and though alcohol may make the person relaxed in the short-term, it can make anxiety worse in the long-term.

Another relationship between alcohol and Buspar is the use of Buspar for alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Buspar and Alcohol Withdrawal

Some promising research shows that the introduction of Buspar during alcohol withdrawal can help treat the symptoms. Despite the possible benefit of using Buspar to treat alcohol cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, this medicine isn’t yet approved for this use by the Food and Drug Administration.

Buspar may help to reduce alcohol cravings during withdrawal, but the exact nature of the relationship between Buspar and alcohol cravings isn’t fully understood. Doctors and researchers think it has something to do with the effects of Buspar on serotonin and other key neurotransmitters in the brain.

While Buspar may help alcohol cravings, it’s extremely important that people never attempt to self-medicate or treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home. Going through alcohol withdrawal without medical assistance can be life-threatening. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous or deadly, and people who want to know more about using Buspar for alcohol cravings should speak with a medical professional.

It’s important to note that while Buspar may be useful to treat alcohol cravings, Buspar has abuse potential and may contribute to addiction. When determining whether to use Buspar to treat alcohol cravings, doctors should weigh the potential side effects and consequences against the benefits.

Buspar may be useful to help treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and you should speak with your doctor if you want more information about using Buspar to help with alcohol cravings. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, call The Recovery Village to learn about programs that could help you overcome addiction.

Camille Renzoni
Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more
Benjamin Caleb Williams
Medically Reviewed By – Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN
Benjamin Caleb Williams is a board-certified Emergency Nurse with several years of clinical experience, including supervisory roles within the ICU and ER settings. Read more

Medscape.com. “Buspirone (Rx).” Feb. 2019. Accessed April 3, 2019.

National Alliance on Mental Health. “Buspirone (BuSpar).” Jan. 2019. Accessed April 3, 2019.

Bruno, F. “Buspirone in the Treatment of Alcoholic Patients.” Pathophysiology. 1989. Accessed April 3, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.