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Other Tranquilizers

Buspirone (Buspar)

Possible Benefits. Buspirone is helpful for generalized anxiety, OCD and panic. Much less likely than the benzodiazepines to cause drowsiness and fatigue. A very safe medication. It is not habit-forming, and there are no withdrawal symptoms.

Possible Disadvantages. Unlike the benzodiazepines, does not work right away. You can't take one as needed and expect to notice benefits. Avoid use during first three months of pregnancy. Consult physician regarding use in last six months of pregnancy or during breast-feeding.

Possible Side Effects. Few. Headache and dizziness can each occur in 3% to 12% of patients, but usually go away in a few days. Mild drowsiness possible.

Dosages Recommended by Investigators. 5 mg three times per day during the first week and 10 mg two to three times per day during week 2. Symptom relief can begin as early as Week 1, with most symptom reduction by Week 4. Maximum dose is usually 60 mg. Subtle, progressive therapeutic effects, not dramatic effects. Others may notice improvement before the patient does.