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How Long Does Buspirone Stay in Your System?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition that causes persistent worrying and anxiety about many different things. People with GAD often experience anxiety related to everyday things, making daily life difficult to navigate. This condition is relatively common, affecting nearly 7 million people in America.

While people with GAD require therapy and counseling, medications are also used to manage symptoms. Medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are often used to control anxiety disorders. However, when these medications are not effective, buspirone might be prescribed.

Buspirone (Buspar) is an anxiolytic medication that targets certain neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, leading to lessened feelings of anxiety and panic. In other words, buspirone works to control the symptoms of anxiety that many people face. With that being said, this prescription medication can be habit-forming and addictive.

If you take buspirone, you might wonder how long it stays in your system. Knowing this information can help determine when Buspar withdrawal will occur if you stop taking it.

Typically, buspirone leaves your system within 15 hours because of its short half-life. However, drug tests can detect buspirone in urine and other areas of the body for a longer period.

How Long Does it Take Buspirone to Start Working?

If you are beginning buspirone to treat your anxiety, you might be wondering when it will start working. Like most medications, buspirone takes some time to start relieving your symptoms.

After taking it regularly for 3 to 4 weeks, you will begin to notice improvements in your anxiety. You will not experience the benefits of buspirone until you take it every day for 14 days.

The side effects of buspirone include:

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Excitement or confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Excessive sweating

It’s important to note that buspirone has interactions with other medications. For example, taking it with an MAOI can cause increased blood pressure. In other words, never combine buspirone with other substances without consulting a medical professional.

Additionally, suddenly stopping buspirone can result in withdrawal symptoms. You should never stop taking Buspar without having a tapering plan set up by your doctor.

How Long Does Buspirone Stay in Your System?

How long Buspar stays in your system depends on its half-life. This medication has a half-life of 2 to 3 hours. It takes between 4 to 5 half-lives for a drug to leave your body, so buspirone hydrochloride should leave your system in about 15 hours.

Even though Buspar leaves your system after 15 hours, it leaves behind metabolites that drug tests can look for. It is important to note that standard drug panels do not detect buspirone because it is not a common drug of abuse. However, medical professionals can order specialized panels to detect Buspar in your system.

The length of time that buspirone is detectable in your system varies depending on what type of drug test is used.


Urine tests are the most commonly used drug tests because they are relatively cheap and easy to conduct. Buspirone is only detectable in urine for 24 to 26 hours after your last dose.


Salvia drug tests involve using a cotton swab to gather samples of your saliva. Buspirone leaves behind metabolites in the saliva found in your mouth. These types of tests are not commonly used to test for Buspar because they only provide a short-term window.

That said, saliva tests can detect buspirone for 24 hours after your last dose.


Blood tests are not commonly used because they are invasive and offer a shorter window of detection than urine tests. However, medical professionals might use them in hospital settings to determine if buspirone is contributing to your symptoms.

Blood tests can only detect Buspar for 18 to 24 hours after your last dose.


Hair tests are the most reliable drug tests offered. These tests look for drug metabolites that are left behind in your hair follicles. Because of how slow your hair grows, they can find any substance in your system for up to 90 days after your last dose.

Factors that Affect How Long Buspirone Stays in Your System

There are tons of factors that can influence how long Buspar stays in your system. For example, if you have been using buspirone for a year, you will test positive longer than a person only using it for a couple of months.

Other factors that affect how long buspirone stays in your system include:

  • Rate of Metabolism – the speed of your metabolism can affect how long Buspar stays in your system. If you have a quick metabolism, it might leave your body faster than other individuals.
  • Dosage and Frequency of Use – if you use high doses of buspirone or take it more frequently than prescribed, you might test positive longer than usual because it has built up in your system.
  • Liver and Kidney Health – the liver and kidneys play a crucial role in the metabolism of substances like Buspar. If you have any liver or kidney conditions, you will eliminate drugs slower than the general population.
  • Age – younger individuals tend to process substances like Buspar faster than others, as their bodies are usually healthier.
  • BMI – people with a high body mass index process drugs differently than those with a low BMI, which can affect how long a drug stays in your system.
  • The Presence of Other Substances – using other medications or substances with buspirone can affect how long it takes your body to eliminate it. Some drugs may interfere with how your body processes buspirone, making it take longer for your body to process it.
  • Your Overall Health – certain conditions that affect how your body processes substances or your metabolism can affect how long buspirone stays in your system.

It is important to note that there is no way to eliminate a drug from your system faster than your body allows. For example, drug detox drinks do not actually work to “flush substances out of your body.” The only way to ensure you pass a drug test is to remain abstinent from certain substances.

Find Help for Buspirone Abuse and Addiction

While buspirone is incredibly effective in treating anxiety, some people may abuse it. If you or a loved one is misusing Buspar, a drug rehab program can help.

At Mandala Healing Center, we use a combination of compassion, empathy, and evidence-based treatments to help people overcome addiction and substance abuse. With holistic treatments, behavioral therapies, and relapse prevention planning, you can regain control over your life.

Additionally, buspirone addiction can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Our drug rehab center offers medical detox to ensure you overcome withdrawal safely and comfortably. Once you have beat withdrawal, you can begin addressing the root causes of your substance misuse.

Contact Mandala Healing Center today to learn more about our buspirone abuse and addiction treatment program. Our admissions counselors can offer you the information you need to feel comfortable with your decision to begin treatment.