Buspirone Sexual Side Effects: What Are The Causes?

Last Updated: July 10, 2020

Authored by Isaak Stotts, LP

Quite a bit of research has been made about the extent of Buspar effects on sex drive in men and women. Science is constantly seeking information about the mechanism of action behind Buspar effects on libido, and the safety of using the drug in such a manner. So, how does Buspirone affect sex drive? This review answers the common questions about Buspar sexual side effects on males and females.

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

The mechanism of action of Buspirone HCL involves the drug’s serotonin-blocking properties (especially its 5HT-2 antagonistic effects). The belief is that Buspar effects on sex drive are usually down to two things. One is the alpha-2 antagonist effects of one of Buspirone’s major metabolites – 1-pyrimidinyl piperazine. The second is the reduction of serotonergic tone via stimulation of presynaptic autoreceptors. However, placebo tests also show a certain level of effectiveness in treating the same side effects, so there are questions about how much of an impact Buspar really has on sex drive.

A study was carried out to see the impact that Buspirone has on negative sexual side 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 sex drive problems that had been occurring previously. This shows that Buspirone’s sexual side effects on both genders are usually positive as they increase libido.
Doctor Talks With A Patient

Buspirone Effect On Libido In Men

Does Buspar boost libido and sex drive in men? The answer is closely tied to the treatment of sexual dysfunction in men that use antidepressants. However, there is a small chance that this attempt to reduce negative sexual side effects in men with Buspirone can lead to priapism which is a painful, prolonged erection that may not necessarily have to involve sexual stimulation. The chances of this increase with Buspirone interactions – for instance, when Buspirone and grapefruit juice are ingested concurrently. However, Buspirone’s effects on libido in men are more often positive than negative, especially for antidepressant users.

Buspirone Erectile Dysfunction

Does Buspirone cause erectile dysfunction then? No, it isn’t. In fact, Buspirone actually helps to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction caused by antidepressants. Moreover, when a man begins to use an SSRI and notices that erectile dysfunction starts to occur around the same time, taking advantage of Buspar’s effects on libido in the form of an add-on medication can help to deal with it.

A reduction in sex drive is more likely to occur in the early stages of dosage on an antidepressant than it is at a later stage due to the fact that the body needs to adapt to the medication, but Buspirone can help to alleviate these early side effects and 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 increased sex drive/sexual interest.

Buspirone And Female Libido: What Is The Connection?

How does Buspar affect libido in women? Most of the time, Buspar’s effect on sex drive and libido in women is 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.
A Female Doctor And A Female Patient
Buspar improves libido by modifying the changed levels of serotonin that cause sexual dysfunction in the body, The result of this is an increased sex drive and a stronger possibility for the woman to achieve orgasm during the act.

Another important point to note here though is the possible interference of regular Buspirone side effects with 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.

Buspirone As A Sex Pill: Is It Safe?

Conclusively, there is no research yet that points to the fact that the sexual side effects of Buspirone are dangerous to 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.

However, it is recommended 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. The only safe solution is to seek 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.

Page Sources

  1. Landén M, Eriksson E, Agren H, Fahlén T. Effect of buspirone on sexual dysfunction in depressed patients treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1999;19(3):268-271. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10350034/
  2. Warnock JJ. Female hypoactive sexual desire disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment. CNS Drugs. 2002;16(11):745-753. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12383030/

Published on: July 10th, 2020

Updated on: July 10th, 2020

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.


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