Does Buspar Cause Weight Gain?

Published on: 23 May 2023
Clinically Reviewed by Minkyung Chung, MS, LMHC
Does Buspar Cause Weight Gain

Note: The branded medication Buspar has been discontinued. However, its generic counterpart (Buspirone) is available. Though it’s been discontinued, people still use the term “Buspar” when referring to Buspirone.

Buspar, or buspirone hydrochloride, is a medication for anxiety that has been found effective in clinical trials. Many people worry about anti-anxiety meds and gaining weight, so when we look specifically at Buspar and weight gain, it’s important to note that there doesn’t seem to be much of a link between the anxiety medication and weight gain.

Does Buspar cause weight gain on its own? Contrary to many other anxiety and depression medications, Buspar does not directly cause weight gain or any variation in body weight. That doesn’t mean people on Buspar don’t see their weight change for other reasons, though. 

Learn more about Buspar weight gain here as we look at the connection and explore how and why you still might gain weight if you take the generic of this anti-anxiety medication.

“There is a strong link between some anxiety and depression medications and weight gain. For instance, many tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) frequently cause changes in body weight and appetite. If this is a concern, then discuss it with your doctor before starting the medication.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC,LMHC

Factors That Affect Weight Gain on Buspar (Buspirone)

While weight gain isn’t necessarily a direct side effect of Buspar, there are some factors as to why one still may see a change in their appearance. Buspar changes the brain’s serotonin and dopamine balance and these chemicals are responsible for controlling emotions and hunger.  

The exact explanation of how Buspar weight gain occurs is not fully understood, but it likely has something to do with its effects on these two neurotransmitters.

Psychiatry and Prescriptions Online

Receive an evaluation and prescription for mental health medication (if needed) from a psychiatry-trained medical provider.

  • Increased appetite: When taking Buspar, many people experience increased appetite as a side effect. This could mean they’re more inclined to eat larger portions or snack more often than usual. 
  • Mood changes: Additionally, some people find that heightened mood when taking Buspar makes certain foods seem more appealing than usual. 
  • Water retention: Another factor that may contribute to weight gain on Buspar is water retention. Some people report feeling bloated or retaining water while using this medication due to its effects on sodium levels. This might lead to a temporary increase in body weight.

How does Buspirone (Buspar) affect appetite?

Buspar doesn’t actually change appetite, but its calming effects may result in increased eating habits in some people with stress-related lack of appetite.

How does Buspirone (Buspar) affect water retention?

Buspar (buspirone) can cause water retention, especially in older women. It is essential to consult a physician before taking any other medications or supplements with Buspar, as they could potentially lead to additional water retention.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and manage Buspar weight gain. 

How to Manage Weight Gain on Buspirone (Buspar)

Buspar weight gain is a tricky topic because the medication itself doesn’t cause someone to gain weight. That said, acknowledging this is important since an increased urge to eat can lead to weight gain on Buspar.

Proper diet and exercise can help thwart weight gain while taking Buspar.  

“If you’re worried about gaining weight on Buspar, a few easy changes to your routine can help you maintain your normal weight and lower your risk of gaining weight. First, focus on eating healthy and exercising so that there is less chance of weight gain.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC,LMHC

Find Out if Buspirone Is Right for You with Talkspace Psychiatry

Talkspace lets you consult with a licensed professional who specializes in mental healthcare. They can offer you personalized advice tailored to your individual needs and goals. 

Talkspace mental health professionals will help you understand any potential risks that may come with taking Buspar and provide guidance on how to best deal with them — this might include making changes to your diet or implementing exercise into your days — so you can gain the benefits of the medication without having the common side effect of weight gain.

With expert insight, you’ll have the tools you need for successful treatment outcomes while keeping unwanted consequences, like worrying about using Buspar and weight gain, at bay. If you’re interested in getting Buspirone online with a prescription from a psychiatrist, get connected with someone at Talkspace.


  1. What are anxiety disorders? – What are Anxiety Disorders?  Accessed March 11, 2023. 
  2. DailyMed – BUSPAR- buspirone hydrochloride tablet. LABEL: BUSPAR- buspirone hydrochloride tablet. Accessed March 11, 2023. 

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

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