At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Combining buspirone and alcohol is generally not recommended because drinking can increase the severity of the drug's side effects. Clinical trials on the medication didn’t find any specifically dangerous interactions, but to be on the safe side, patients may be advised to avoid alcohol. This is in part because both buspirone and alcohol depress the central nervous system, and because patients with mental health conditions may be told more generally to avoid alcohol to prevent complications. Individual patients can talk to their medical providers to find out if alcohol would be safe for them.
This medication is an anti-anxiety drug which may be prescribed for a number of conditions, and can be used in combination with other medications. It can cause symptoms like drowsiness, fatigue, and poor judgment, especially as patients start to get accustomed to it. For this reason, patients just starting buspirone may be told to avoid alcohol while they get used to the medication and see how they react. If they notice significant side effects, drinking may not be a good idea because the side effects could get worse.
Combining two central nervous system depressants can be dangerous because the patient might develop a slow heart rate, very slow and shallow breathing, or a coma. The combination of buspirone and alcohol could potentially cause these symptoms, especially in a patient who drinks heavily or takes a high dose of the medication. To be on the safe side, the combination may be avoided. Limiting alcohol intake can also be beneficial for some people undergoing treatment for mental health conditions, as they may also have underlying problems with alcohol that need to be addressed.
In other patients, it is reasonably safe to combine buspirone and alcohol. The patient should drink in moderation, and may want to consider doing so in a safe environment to see how the medication interacts with the alcohol. If bad side effects are observed, the patient knows it won’t be safe to drink in the future. When the alcohol doesn’t interfere with the patient’s ability to function, an occasional drink now and then may not be a significant risk.
For liability reasons, a doctor may officially recommend that a patient not combine buspirone and alcohol at all. This is done as a measure of protection, so that if the patient does combine the two and experiences a bad reaction, the doctor can say the patient was advised not to do this. Patients with questions about drinking and medications may want to be aware of this, and should ask specifically about the number of drinks that may be safe to consume.