Cipralex and Buspirone are used to manage generalized anxiety disorder. Both the medicines also share some common side-effects such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, and tremors.

But Cipralex can also treat depression and can thus be used to improve depression symptoms in patients with anxiety.

They also belong to different groups of drugs. Cipralex belongs to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressant, while Buspirone is an anti-anxiety drug.

Moreover, you can get withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Cipralex, including tingling, vivid dreams, poor mood, dizziness, fatigue, and irritability.

This article details more about these medicines, including their uses, differences, side-effects, and much more.

How Does Medication Help in Treating Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to potentially dangerous or stressful situations and enhances your awareness of what is going in your environment. Generally, this anxiety is short-lived and goes away once the stressful situation passes. However, this is not true for people with an anxiety disorder who experience unwarranted and ongoing psychological distress.

This distress may cause symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, or chest pain. Anxiety medicines are of various types and are used to manage symptoms of anxiety disorders. Three main types of anxiety medicines include:

  • Antidepressants: Improves the levels of certain brain chemicals responsible for improving mood.
  • Anxiolytics: Improves the levels of certain brain chemicals responsible for improving mood.
  • Beta-blockers: Help address physical symptoms of anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are caused by imbalances in brain chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. These chemicals are responsible for your well-being, mood, and your ability to relax.

Anxiety medications cannot cure an anxiety disorder but help relieve symptoms by improving levels of these chemicals. Beta-blockers work by blocking the receptors associated with symptoms of anxiety, including rapid heartbeat.

Cipralex And Treating Anxiety

Cipralex belongs to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They work by enhancing the brain’s serotonin levels. Cipralex is also classified as antidepressants.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that stabilizes your mood and promotes the feeling of happiness and well-being. It is thus known as the happy chemical.

When serotonin is reabsorbed by the nerve cells, it cannot influence your mood. SSRIs such as Cipralex inhibit or prevent serotonin from being reabsorbed by the cells. This helps serotonin to stay in the blood, improving its level and prolonging its mood-enhancing effect.

All these aids in relieving symptoms of anxiety, including the feeling of sadness and emptiness.

Buspirone And Anxiety

Buspirone belongs to the category of drugs anxiolytics. Buspirone is mainly used to treat anxiety disorders. In the short term, it can be used to treat symptoms of anxiety. 

It improves serotonin activity (a naturally occurring chemical) of the brain, which is responsible for anxiety. It is also seen to have a minor effect on dopamine.

Comparing the Two- Similarities V/S Differences

Both Cipralex and Buspirone improve levels of brain chemicals responsible for improving mood, including serotonin.

As mentioned above, they belong to a different class of medicines and have different actions on your body. Buspirone is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, but Cipralex can also help manage depression symptoms associated with anxiety.

You can get withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Cipralex, including tingling, vivid dreams, poor mood, dizziness, fatigue, and irritability.

Let’s understand their adverse-effects, interactions, and contraindications.

Common side-effects are mentioned in table 1. 

Table 1: Common Side-effects


Side effectsCipralexBuspirone
CommonNauseaYesYes
SleepinessYes 
WeaknessYes 
DizzinessYesYes
AnxietyYes 
Trouble sleepingYesYes
Sexual problemsYes 
SweatingYes 
Loss of appetiteYes 
ShakingYes 
Dry mouthYes 
ConstipationYes 
Respiratory infectionsYes 
YawningYes 
DiarrheaYes 
 NervousnessNoYes
 HeadacheNoYes

Cipralex Side-effects

Common side-effects

  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Increased sweating
  • Decreased libido, sexual ability, or ejaculatory delay
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Tremors

Rare side-effects

  • Suicidal tendency
  • Pain in neck and shoulders
  • Influenza-like symptoms

Severe side-effects

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Manic episodes
  • High fever
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Glaucoma
  • Suicidal thinking and behavior
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Low sodium

Withdrawal symptoms

  • Tingling
  • Vivid dreams
  • Poor mood
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability

In order to avoid these symptoms, the dose is slowly reduced, and medicine is not stopped abruptly.

Buspirone Side-effects

Common side-effects

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Excitement
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness

Rare side-effects

  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Skin rash
  • Unsteady gait
  • Excitement
  • Tremors
  • Hostility

Cipralex Contraindications

Talk to your doctor before starting the medicines if you have the following conditions:

  • Liver disorders
  • Kidney disorder
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Diabetes
  • Mania or panic disorder
  • Epilepsy 
  • Bleeding disorder
  • If you have a history of bleeding in the stomach or intestine
  • Low sodium levels
  • Problems with eyes such as glaucoma 
  • Electroconvulsive therapy 
  • Low heart rate
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat, collapse, fainting, or dizziness on standing up.
  • History of heart attack 
  • Pregnancy and lactation

Cipralex Interactions 

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as phenelzine, iproniazid, isocarboxazid, nialamide, tranylcypromine. Even if you have finished taking one of the following MAOIs: phenelzine, iproniazid, isocarboxazid, nialamide, or tranylcypromine, you will need to wait for two weeks before you start taking your Citalopram tablets.
  • Moclobemide
  • Selegiline
  • Linezolid
  • Sumatriptan
  • Tramadol
  • Lithium
  • Cimetidine
  • Pimozide
  • Imipramine and desipramine
  • Fluconazole
  • Bupropion
  • Mefloquine
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Metoprolol
  • Neuroleptics (used in the treatment of schizophrenia)
  • Phenothiazine
  • Pimozide
  • Haloperidol
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Erythromycin IV
  • Pentamidine
  • Halofantrine
  • Astemizole
  • Mizolastine

Buspirone Contraindications

  • Impaired kidney 
  • Liver disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Acute narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by muscle weakness, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and slurred speech)
  • History of drug dependence 
  • Pregnancy and lactation

Buspirone Interactions

  • Benzodiazepines such  as Nitrazepam or Temazepam or diazepam
  • Sedatives 
  • Hypnotics
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine.
  • St. John´s Wort (hypericum perforatum) – a herbal remedy used for depression
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Haloperidol
  • Lithium
  • Warfarin
  • Digoxin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Barbiturates
  • Cimetidine 
  • Rifampicin
  • Diltiazem
  • Verapamil
  • Sumatriptan
  • Tramadol
  • Lofexidine
  • Baclofen
  • Nabilone
  • Erythromycin
  • Itraconazole
  • Linezolid
  • Antihistaminic

Which Is the Right One for You?

Your doctor will decide the medicine best for you based on your symptoms and other conditions. Generally, Cipralex is the choice if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic disorder.

And Buspirone is used if you have a general anxiety disorder.

Prescription

Both Cipralex and Buspirone are prescription medicines, and you need a prescription from a doctor to buy them.

It is advisable to read the printed information leaflet and follow the instructions given. You can also ask your doctor about how to take medicine.

Use and Dosage

Table 2: Use and dosage

MedicineCipralexBuspirone
Class of drugSerotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressantAnxiolytics
UseDepression and anxietyAnxiety
Age for which it is approved for12 years and older18 years and older
Available formsOral tablet, oral solutionOral tablet
Available strengthsTablet: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, Solution: 1 mg/mL5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg
Usual starting dose10 mg/day15-30 mg/day
Usual treatment durationLong-termLong-term
Risk of WithdrawalYesNo

Buspirone

  • Take this medicine orally twice daily, with or without food or as prescribed by your physician
  • Take this tablet daily at the same time.
  • Follow all the instructions on the prescription label. 
  • Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
  • Do not take it more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor 
  • Do not stop using it even if you feel well
  • If you happen to miss a dose of Buspirone, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 
  • However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. 

The usual dose is 10-15 mg, divided into two doses. The dose may be increased by 5mg every two or four days until the symptoms improve. Most patients respond to 15-30 mg, and the maximum adult dose is 60 mg daily

Your physician may start you with a low dose and gradually increase your dose. It may take several weeks before you begin to notice the full benefits of the medication.

Cipralex 

  • Take it exactly the way your doctor tells.
  • It is usually prescribed to be taken orally, once daily, preferably at the same time every day.
  • You can take medicine with or without food
  • The medicine is available in various strengths including, 5, 10, and 20 mg, and your doctor will decide the right dose for you. If you are taking it in the form of drops, your doctor will tell you the number of drops to be taken.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose. 

The starting dose for generalized anxiety disorder is 10 mg once daily.

Your physician may start you with a low dose and gradually increase your dose. It may take several weeks before you begin to notice the full benefits of the medication.

Final Thoughts

Cipralex and Buspirone are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Cipralex can also treat depression and can thus be used to improve depression symptoms in patients with anxiety.

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