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Buspirone may not be the right choice for every patient. In such cases, it is important to discuss with a medical provider potential buspirone alternatives.

Buspirone Alternatives

What are your options when it comes to alternatives for buspirone?

For Sleep and Insomnia

Those who are unable to take buspirone to help with sleep problems have several other options available. A few of these include eszopiclone (Lunesta), zolpidem (Ambien), ramelteon (Rozerem), and zaleplon (Sonata), which are all prescription medications. Individuals with sleep problems, such as insomnia, should talk to their doctor about using a prescription sleep medication, since some may become habit-forming when used for long periods of time.

For Depression

Individuals who need to stop taking buspirone for depression have other prescription medications to consider. Some of these include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Those who are considering switching medications should discuss the effectiveness and potential risks of each one before starting any.

For Anxiety & General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Those who have an anxiety disorder and need to stop using buspirone have different medications available. Some of these include SSRIs and other antidepressants, such as escitalopram (Lexapro) and paroxetine (Paxil). Benzodiazepines may be used for treating anxiety on a short-term basis, since these sedatives may become habit-forming. Individuals with anxiety should go over these alternatives with their doctor to learn more about potential risks.

For Weight Loss

Individuals who cannot take buspirone and want to take a different medication for weight loss have prescription medications available. Some of these include bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave), orlistat (Xenical), liraglutide (Saxenda), and phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). These medications often work by helping individuals feel less hungry. Weight-loss medications are generally effective when used on a long-term basis along with change in diet and exercise.


Buspirone is sometimes used off-label for ADHD symptoms. Those who need to find a different ADHD medication to take have several options to consider. Some of these include antidepressants, such as bupropion, as well as clonidine (Catapres), guanfacine (Intuniv), and atomoxetine (Strattera). Stimulant medications are also available, such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (Ritalin). Individuals should talk to their doctor about which medication is most suitable for managing their condition.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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