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I know it's really naughty of me, but I stopped taking my buspar. I'm not convinced it was doing much of anything. I was on 60 for a few months (30 in am, 30 in pm), and later cut out the am dose because of the whole "electric shock"/brain zap situation. By taking the 30 at night, I slept through any brain zaps.

Still, I absolutely dread taking buspar, and feel like it is cancelling out some of my other, non-crazy meds. I was gonna tell my doctor that I want to stop, next week at our appointment. But, I'm feeling reckless and frustrated, so I've gone off without consulting him.

It's been two days, and I feel messed up. Was it a bad idea to just stop taking the 30 mgs of buspar? I hate the buspar so much. Has anyone experienced buspar withdrawal? If so, what happened? How long did it last?

I feel much more fatigued and unable to function. I'm usually this way, but it's much worse since stopping the buspar. I cannot focus. My brain is upset.

I don't wanna start tapering or anything...just wanted to see if anyone's experienced anything horrible after stopping buspar. I have had some intense "discontinuation syndromes" in the past, back when such things didn't exist. That was a real mind f*ck, and if I'm gonna have anything similar, I'd like a heads up.

Maybe it's just a migraine coming on. Maybe it's just my usual upset and tired brain. Has anyone had buspar withdrawal?

Thanks!

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FWIW just about the only selling point for BuSpar is that it's non-addictive. I felt nothing when I started taking it, nothing while I was on it and nothing when I quit taking it.

The brain zap thing is usually something people experience when they quit taking a serotonin reuptake inhibitor of some kind. It's not something usually associated with being on any med. Did you talk to your doc about that? It's not naughty to quit taking a drug due to intolerable side effects. If you think it's not working you should maybe see about betting on something else though.

All potentials for interaction should be listed in the PDR and also on the PI sheet. If you told your doc what you were on at the beginning, you should be pretty safe in that regard.

http://www.bms.com/cgi-bin/anybin.pl?sql=s...=35&key=PPI

If you're not sure, You can call up pretty much any pharmacy and ask. If there is a potential for decreasing the effects of another medication you're on, is there any reason you can't just increase the dose of that?

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VE - re the brain zaps, I have told my doctor. I have a topic on here about it, and found one other person who was experiencing the same thing. I have had brain zaps in the past during withdrawal from SSRIs and SSRI/SNRIs (most notably Effexor, and I still get them, mildly, whenever I lose weight, eleven years later). This is the first time I've had them in response to taking a medication. It usually happens in the first half hour after taking buspar, and was much worse with the stronger and more frequent dosing.

Has anyone in the medical community ever given an explanation for what the brain zaps are? Does anyone know what's going on? Does it have to do with norepinephrine? Maybe I'm already set up for brain zaps, from my zoloft/paxil/effexor/cymbalta days, and am extra susceptible. Maybe?

Thanks re the buspar's side effects and withdrawal. It's important to me to hear about other people's experiences. Considering my past experience over a decade ago (Prozac doesn't cause weight gain; There's no such thing as withdrawal symptoms from Effexor - it's all in your head - maybe it's time to go to the hospital since you're clearly delusional), I don't trust the official word on such things.

I do feel better today, so maybe it was a passing migraine, and not buspar withdrawal. Buspar really didn't seem to do much for me either and, considering I'm taking so many other meds that really do do something for me, I'm happy to lose it!

O, and as far as the other meds, I've looked into it, and there shouldn't be any reason why Buspar would cancel them out. Maybe it is coincidence that two meds stopped working around the time I started taking buspar with them. Maybe it's coincidence that they seemed to work a bit better once I separated the dosing. It's so hard to tell anything for sure when you're on so many meds! I get extra neurotic about it all. But I've got pills for that, too. Ones that work well.

God bless klonopin.

Edited by dojoloach
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  • 2 years later...

VE - re the brain zaps, I have told my doctor. I have a topic on here about it, and found one other person who was experiencing the same thing. I have had brain zaps in the past during withdrawal from SSRIs and SSRI/SNRIs (most notably Effexor, and I still get them, mildly, whenever I lose weight, eleven years later). This is the first time I've had them in response to taking a medication. It usually happens in the first half hour after taking buspar, and was much worse with the stronger and more frequent dosing.

I also found it interesting that I experienced brain zaps each time after TAKING Buspirone for 20 minutes or so rather than when withdrawing from it as with SSRIs in the past. My MD never took me seriously before when I mentioned the brain zaps or electric shock feeling so I never mentioned it this time. Previously I had to alter (slow down) my withdrawal rate getting off the SSRIs to slower than he recommended to avoid the zaps. I'd been off SSRIs for about 5 years.

This last year Buspirone carried me through six months of illness of my mother, her death and the subsequent death of my father. Before my MD prescribed it I was bawling without knowing why for no apparent reason. Buspirone worked as intended for me, actually worked faster than I expected (only took about a week to see the effects). While taking Buspirone I was able to juggle insane schedules at work, home, hospitals and deal with bedside death watches. I was finally able to fall sleep and stopped waking hourly to review every detail of life.

Parents have both passed away now (within 3 months of each other) so it was time to get off the meds. At max I was only on 20 mg twice a day so maybe that's the reason I haven't had withdrawal...or just that I've tapered off so slowly (over a 6 week period). No withdrawal symptoms. I thank God for Buspirone!

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Buspar did nothing for me, except cause difficulty voiding my bladder. A "rare" side effect, plus I have a spastic bladder (no, really, I am not trying to be cute). My internist prescribed it, and told me I couldn't possibly be having side effects. He also told me there was no such thing as Klonopin rages. ;) My p-doc told me it wasn't helping me, and to stop it if I wanted, cold turkey. I wanted. And he switched me to Xanax, which has worked really well for me, but I have seen around the boards that it is really not for everyone.

Edited by crtclms
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  • 1 month later...

I know it's really naughty of me, but I stopped taking my buspar. I'm not convinced it was doing much of anything. I was on 60 for a few months (30 in am, 30 in pm), and later cut out the am dose because of the whole "electric shock"/brain zap situation. By taking the 30 at night, I slept through any brain zaps.

Still, I absolutely dread taking buspar, and feel like it is cancelling out some of my other, non-crazy meds. I was gonna tell my doctor that I want to stop, next week at our appointment. But, I'm feeling reckless and frustrated, so I've gone off without consulting him.

It's been two days, and I feel messed up. Was it a bad idea to just stop taking the 30 mgs of buspar? I hate the buspar so much. Has anyone experienced buspar withdrawal? If so, what happened? How long did it last?

I feel much more fatigued and unable to function. I'm usually this way, but it's much worse since stopping the buspar. I cannot focus. My brain is upset.

I don't wanna start tapering or anything...just wanted to see if anyone's experienced anything horrible after stopping buspar. I have had some intense "discontinuation syndromes" in the past, back when such things didn't exist. That was a real mind f*ck, and if I'm gonna have anything similar, I'd like a heads up.

Maybe it's just a migraine coming on. Maybe it's just my usual upset and tired brain. Has anyone had buspar withdrawal?

Thanks!

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I know it's really naughty of me, but I stopped taking my buspar. I'm not convinced it was doing much of anything. I was on 60 for a few months (30 in am, 30 in pm), and later cut out the am dose because of the whole "electric shock"/brain zap situation. By taking the 30 at night, I slept through any brain zaps.

Still, I absolutely dread taking buspar, and feel like it is cancelling out some of my other, non-crazy meds. I was gonna tell my doctor that I want to stop, next week at our appointment. But, I'm feeling reckless and frustrated, so I've gone off without consulting him.

It's been two days, and I feel messed up. Was it a bad idea to just stop taking the 30 mgs of buspar? I hate the buspar so much. Has anyone experienced buspar withdrawal? If so, what happened? How long did it last?

I feel much more fatigued and unable to function. I'm usually this way, but it's much worse since stopping the buspar. I cannot focus. My brain is upset.

I don't wanna start tapering or anything...just wanted to see if anyone's experienced anything horrible after stopping buspar. I have had some intense "discontinuation syndromes" in the past, back when such things didn't exist. That was a real mind f*ck, and if I'm gonna have anything similar, I'd like a heads up.

Maybe it's just a migraine coming on. Maybe it's just my usual upset and tired brain. Has anyone had buspar withdrawal?

Thanks!

I HAVE STOPPED BUSPAR 30 MG 2XDAY AND I HAD THE SAME THING GOING ON...I THOUGHT I HAD THE FLU AND MY INSOMIA AND WEIRD SLEEPING PATTERNS WERE BUGGED OUT....IM ACHING ALL OVER...I GUESS IT MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THE FLU...iT'S ALL FROM BUSPAR, YA...HANG IN THERE!

LISA

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I have had brain zaps in the past during withdrawal from SSRIs and SSRI/SNRIs (most notably Effexor, and I still get them, mildly, whenever I lose weight, eleven years later).

I couldn't help but notice this. I haven't researched brain zaps as I've always treated them as a minor issue after coming off a Serotonin med, so I have no idea as to the answer.

So, to those more knowledgeable: Is this a known occurrence and could it be a symptom of something else? Issue for concern?

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  • 1 month later...

I am weaning off buspar and noticing migraines when I wake up...That's the worst side effect I am having right now. We'll see how it goes. I am down to 15 mgs from 45 over the course of a week. Its really annoying. But whatever I don't think it really had any effect on my anxiety levels either. Oh well. All done with it.

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VE - re the brain zaps, I have told my doctor. I have a topic on here about it, and found one other person who was experiencing the same thing. I have had brain zaps in the past during withdrawal from SSRIs and SSRI/SNRIs (most notably Effexor, and I still get them, mildly, whenever I lose weight, eleven years later). This is the first time I've had them in response to taking a medication. It usually happens in the first half hour after taking buspar, and was much worse with the stronger and more frequent dosing.

I also found it interesting that I experienced brain zaps each time after TAKING Buspirone for 20 minutes or so rather than when withdrawing from it as with SSRIs in the past. My MD never took me seriously before when I mentioned the brain zaps or electric shock feeling so I never mentioned it this time. Previously I had to alter (slow down) my withdrawal rate getting off the SSRIs to slower than he recommended to avoid the zaps. I'd been off SSRIs for about 5 years.

This last year Buspirone carried me through six months of illness of my mother, her death and the subsequent death of my father. Before my MD prescribed it I was bawling without knowing why for no apparent reason. Buspirone worked as intended for me, actually worked faster than I expected (only took about a week to see the effects). While taking Buspirone I was able to juggle insane schedules at work, home, hospitals and deal with bedside death watches. I was finally able to fall sleep and stopped waking hourly to review every detail of life.

Parents have both passed away now (within 3 months of each other) so it was time to get off the meds. At max I was only on 20 mg twice a day so maybe that's the reason I haven't had withdrawal...or just that I've tapered off so slowly (over a 6 week period). No withdrawal symptoms. I thank God for Buspirone!

Ginny -

I came across your post and it was so similar to my experiences over the past few months that I wanted to respond.

I lost my father in December 2009 after a prolonged illness and it left me physically and emotionally exhausted. I'm sorry for your loss - it is something no one can really understand unless they've been through it.

I've been on/off anti-depressants for 10 years or so but during the period of my father's illness I experienced severe anxiety that sent my garden-variety depression into overdrive. I couldn't sleep, my heart would pound for no reason, the smallest things would send me into a full-on obsession and depression that caused me to lay on my couch for days at a time just staring at television. After discussing with my therapist, he diagnosed GAD and after further discussion (he is really great in this way - actually LISTENS and doesn't just assume he knows best) suggested that I might have had GAD much longer than I realized and that the depression was a symptom of the GAD, not the other way around.

Because of this, he weaned me off Lexapro while simultaneously beginning a course of Buspirone. It has been about a month now and I have to say that I think it's actually working. I'm sleeping better, my concentration is improved, sweating, irritability & flushing have all decreased.

That said, I have experienced these "brain zaps" as they have been referred to on this discussion board. Like you, it usually happens just after taking a 15mg morning dose and lasts anywhere from a half-hour to an hour and occasionally small, less intense "zaps" throughout the day. For what it's worth, I've found that taking Buspirone with food in the a.m. seems to help, although not eliminate, this symptom. I mentioned this symptom to my therapist and he said he'd never heard of this symptom but, since it was only a month since I began, wanted me to monitor for any increase/decrease for a couple of weeks more and then we'd reevaluate.

So while they're unpleasant, I'm going to stick with it a few more weeks to see if I level out but it was comforting to read your post. I'm not taking solace in your suffering but, as I am sure you can relate, it helps to know that others experience "exotic" side effects that are just never discussed on the standard medical sites because they are not statistically significant. I understand why this is, but it's frustrating to have such little information available about symptoms that fall outside the bell curve.

I hope that you are feeling better.

AB

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VE - re the brain zaps, I have told my doctor. I have a topic on here about it, and found one other person who was experiencing the same thing. I have had brain zaps in the past during withdrawal from SSRIs and SSRI/SNRIs (most notably Effexor, and I still get them, mildly, whenever I lose weight, eleven years later). This is the first time I've had them in response to taking a medication. It usually happens in the first half hour after taking buspar, and was much worse with the stronger and more frequent dosing.

I also found it interesting that I experienced brain zaps each time after TAKING Buspirone for 20 minutes or so rather than when withdrawing from it as with SSRIs in the past. My MD never took me seriously before when I mentioned the brain zaps or electric shock feeling so I never mentioned it this time. Previously I had to alter (slow down) my withdrawal rate getting off the SSRIs to slower than he recommended to avoid the zaps. I'd been off SSRIs for about 5 years.

This last year Buspirone carried me through six months of illness of my mother, her death and the subsequent death of my father. Before my MD prescribed it I was bawling without knowing why for no apparent reason. Buspirone worked as intended for me, actually worked faster than I expected (only took about a week to see the effects). While taking Buspirone I was able to juggle insane schedules at work, home, hospitals and deal with bedside death watches. I was finally able to fall sleep and stopped waking hourly to review every detail of life.

Parents have both passed away now (within 3 months of each other) so it was time to get off the meds. At max I was only on 20 mg twice a day so maybe that's the reason I haven't had withdrawal...or just that I've tapered off so slowly (over a 6 week period). No withdrawal symptoms. I thank God for Buspirone!

Ginny -

I came across your post and it was so similar to my experiences over the past few months that I wanted to respond.

I lost my father in December 2009 after a prolonged illness and it left me physically and emotionally exhausted. I'm sorry for your loss - it is something no one can really understand unless they've been through it.

I've been on/off anti-depressants for 10 years or so but during the period of my father's illness I experienced severe anxiety that sent my garden-variety depression into overdrive. I couldn't sleep, my heart would pound for no reason, the smallest things would send me into a full-on obsession and depression that caused me to lay on my couch for days at a time just staring at television. After discussing with my therapist, he diagnosed GAD and after further discussion (he is really great in this way - actually LISTENS and doesn't just assume he knows best) suggested that I might have had GAD much longer than I realized and that the depression was a symptom of the GAD, not the other way around.

Because of this, he weaned me off Lexapro while simultaneously beginning a course of Buspirone. It has been about a month now and I have to say that I think it's actually working. I'm sleeping better, my concentration is improved, sweating, irritability & flushing have all decreased.

That said, I have experienced these "brain zaps" as they have been referred to on this discussion board. Like you, it usually happens just after taking a 15mg morning dose and lasts anywhere from a half-hour to an hour and occasionally small, less intense "zaps" throughout the day. For what it's worth, I've found that taking Buspirone with food in the a.m. seems to help, although not eliminate, this symptom. I mentioned this symptom to my therapist and he said he'd never heard of this symptom but, since it was only a month since I began, wanted me to monitor for any increase/decrease for a couple of weeks more and then we'd reevaluate.

So while they're unpleasant, I'm going to stick with it a few more weeks to see if I level out but it was comforting to read your post. I'm not taking solace in your suffering but, as I am sure you can relate, it helps to know that others experience "exotic" side effects that are just never discussed on the standard medical sites because they are not statistically significant. I understand why this is, but it's frustrating to have such little information available about symptoms that fall outside the bell curve.

I hope that you are feeling better.

AB

P.S. I would also be interested in hearing from anyone who as experienced "brain zaps" (see prior posts) as a result of taking Buspirone (as opposed to a symptom of anti-depressant withdrawal). Thanks!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest PB girl

I have just stopped taking Buspar on my own without notifying my doctor. (I know, smart move right?!) Anyhow, several of you have talked about brain zaps and I am interested in hearing how you describe them. I have unintentionally stopped taking it before (forgot to pick up my perscription for a few days or needed a refill) and have experienced some unpleasant things. I'm wondering if these are the same as what you're discussing.

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