Free & Confidential Drug Hotline. Call NOW:

Buspirone Sexual Side Effects: What Are The Causes?

Last Updated: February 15, 2022

Authored by Isaak Stotts, LP

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Buspirone is a drug that is effective in treating anxiety. However, Buspar has some side effects on the sexual health of patients. These effects may be positive or negative depending on certain factors. Quite a bit of research has been made about the extent of Buspirone’s effects on libido in men and women. For example, a study shows that negative sexual effects caused by SSRIs may be mitigated by taking Buspirone. Out of 16 men who reported sexual dysfunction while being treated with SSRI drugs, 11 showed signs of improvement. Science is constantly seeking information about the mechanism of action behind Buspar’s effects on libido, and the safety of using the drug in such a manner. So, how does Buspirone affect sexuality? This review answers the common questions about the Buspirone sexual side effects on males and females. Also, discover Buspar drug interactions and whether it can be taken with other medications.

A woman's hand and a man's hand on bed.

Buspar Sex Drive Effects: What Is The Mechanism of Action?

Available information shows that Buspirone can be used to treat men whose libido has been affected by SSRI. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are drugs that block the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin. This phenomenon can increase serotonin in the brain inducing a calming effect on the body which also “calms” the libido. Buspirone belongs to a drug class called anxiolytics which calms the body by partially blocking serotonin while enhancing dopamine and norepinephrine. This action is believed to cause calming effects on the body without negatively affecting the sexuality of men. Dopamine and norepinephrine are responsible for the brain’s pleasure centers.

Note that this action is only possible in patients who are taking SSRIs. Buspirone should not be used to treat low libido in men who are not taking SSRI drugs.

Does Buspar Have Any Sexual Side Effects?

Many anti-depressant drugs harm the sexual health of patients suffering from anxiety and depression. Medical information indicates that sedating effects of these medications are responsible for the low sex drive. About one in four women in the US are on antidepressants and some suffer the side effects of it which include decreased libido and anorgasmia. However, Buspar doesn’t tow that line. It enhances sex drive by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine. Generally, Buspirone sex drive is positive both in men and women.

Effects of Buspar Sex Drive in Men:

  • Inhibited ejaculation
  • Decreased post-ejaculatory period

Sexual Effects of Buspar in Female Libido:

  • Increased sex drive
  • Ability to achieve orgasm

The Buspar half-life is between 2-3 hours so the effects of the medication may wear out quicker than expected. Thus, there may be a need to take the drugs more frequently. However, to avoid Buspar addiction patients should be guided by health professionals on how to administer the drug. Under the guidance of medical professionals, patients won’t have to undergo Buspirone withdrawal which can be hectic.

Buspirone Sexual Side Effects On Libido In Men

Does Buspar boost sex drive in men? The answer is yes, Buspirone sex drive is positive in males who are treating anxiety by using SSRIs. A study on male rats revealed that Buspar libido is positive among males. It indicated that Buspar reduced ejaculation latency. Also, it was discovered that inter copulatory interval was significantly decreased and the post-ejaculatory period was shortened. At lower doses, Buspirone inhibited ejaculation.

Going by These Findings, One Can Conclude That Buspar Libido in Men Is Positive. However, Some of the Buspirone Libido Side Effects Include:

  • Delays orgasm in men (curbs premature ejaculation)
  • Shortened post-ejaculatory period
  • Decreased inter copulatory period
  • Reduces the refractory period

Another study was carried out to see the impact Buspirone has on negative sexual effects from the use of SSRI antidepressants. The drug was introduced for a minimum of four weeks as an add-on treatment for patients that were not responding well enough to SSRIs alone. Before it was introduced, 40% of these patients had complained about some form of sexual dysfunction since the beginning of the dosage on an SSRI antidepressant. Over the course of the new regime of treatment with Buspar as an add-on, 58% of these same patients reported a significant improvement in the libido problems that had been occurring previously.

Buspar Erectile Dysfunction

Does Buspar cause erectile dysfunction then? No, it doesn’t. The Buspirone side effects sexually help to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction caused by antidepressants. Medical information by the American Psychiatric Association indicates that Buspirone is effective for treating erectile dysfunction caused by SSRI treatment. So, when a man begins to use an SSRI and begins to experience erectile dysfunction, taking advantage of the Buspar libido effects on sexual health can help to deal with it.

A decrease in sex drive is more likely to occur in the early stages of dosage on an antidepressant than it is at a later stage this is because the body needs to adapt to the medication, but the Buspirone side effects sexually would help to improve libido if needed. This could be down to the efficiency of Buspirone for anxiety alleviation, as anxiety is a common reason for sexual dysfunction and also a possible side effect of some antidepressants. The result of using the drug alongside SSRIs would be an increase in sexual drive.

Buspar And Female Libido: What Is The Connection?

How does Buspar affect the sex drive in women? Most of the time, Buspirone sexual side effects in women are positive. For one, there is evidence to show that the drug is useful in the treatment of female hypoactive sexual desire disorder. This is a lack of desire for sexual activity. It can cause distress or interpersonal difficulty, and its occurrence is not limited to the use of antidepressants. Other conditions such as menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal fluctuations can all negatively affect the female sex drive.

However, Buspirone libido only works when depression is caused by taking antidepressants such as SSRIs. So patients are advised to not use Buspirone to enhance sexuality caused by other factors than SSRI treatments. Patients should search for the cause of their low interest in sex and consult their doctors for help. Buspar improves libido by modifying the changed levels of serotonin that cause sexual dysfunction in the body, The result of this is an increase in sexuality and a stronger possibility for the woman to achieve orgasm during the act.

Some of the Buspirone Libido Effects in Women Include:

  • Increase in libido
  • Ability to achieve orgasm

Another important point to note here is that other side effects of Buspar can interfere with regular Buspirone sex drive. For instance, does Buspar make one sleepy? Drowsiness is a common side effect of the medicine, which in turn can negatively affect one’s sexual life.

Buspar As A Sex Pill: Is It Safe?

Conclusively, there is no research yet that points to the fact that the Buspirone side effects sexually harm the body. On the other hand, the drug has been proven to be efficient in improving sex drive and helping people that are struggling with low libido. This has made Buspar a go-to off-label option for people that are looking for an extra kick to enhance sexual desire or performance. When it comes to Buspirone and pregnancy, the drug should only be taken when needed, under the authority of a medical doctor.

Note that Buspirone can also cause weight gain or loss depending on several factors. So, while using it to enhance libido, patients should be wary of its ability to cause weight fluctuations. The general caution is that Buspar should only be used based on the prescription of a qualified doctor. Despite the low addiction potential, one still can become addicted to this medicine. One solution is to search for Buspar alternatives to help withdraw from the addiction. Another safe solution is to search for help from drug addiction rehabs nearby. A team of professionals will provide a range of top-notch drug addiction treatment courses that will one recover from substance addiction.

Hope Without Commitment

Find the best treatment options. Call our free and confidential helpline

Most private insurances accepted

Marketing fee may apply

Page Sources

  1. C. Nemeroff. (1995). Buspirone May Reverse SSRI-Induced Male Sexual Function. NEJM. https://www.jwatch.org/jp199504010000001/1995/04/01/buspirone-may-reverse-ssri-induced-male-sexual
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). When An SSRI Medication Impacts Your Sex Life. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/when-an-ssri-medication-impacts-your-sex-life
  3. T. K. Wilson, J. Tripp. (2021). Buspirone. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531477/
  4. C. Mathes, E. Smith, B. Popa, J. Davidson. (1990). Effects of Intrathecal And Systemic Administration of Buspirone on Genital Reflexes And Mating Behavior in Male Rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2349270/
  5. Current Psychiatry. (2020). Buspirone: A Forgotten Friend. Current Psychiatry. https://cdn.mdedge.com/files/s3fs-public/CP01901020.PDF
  6. J. Warnock. (2002). Female Hypoactive Sexual Disorder: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. CNS Drugs. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12383030/
  7. M. Landen, E Eriksson, H. Agren, T. Fahlen. (1999). Effects of Buspirone on Sexual Function in Depressed Patients Treated With Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. J Clin Psychopharmacol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10350034/

Published on: July 10th, 2020

Updated on: February 15th, 2022

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.