Does fluoxetine interact with buspirone? (1+ interaction)

In this article, we will discuss whether fluoxetine interacts with buspirone, what research suggests, what are the potential interactions of fluoxetine and buspirone, and how to ensure the safe use of fluoxetine and buspirone.

Does fluoxetine interact with buspirone?

Yes, fluoxetine interacts with buspirone when taken together. Fluoxetine and buspirone are both commonly prescribed medications that serve distinct purposes. Fluoxetine, an antidepressant, is often used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Buspirone, on the other hand, is an anxiolytic medication used to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety disorders. While each of them has its unique characteristics, both of them affect serotonin levels in the brain, increasing the possibility of interactions.

It is advisable never to take them together without consultation from your healthcare provider.

What does research suggest?

Research on the specific interaction between fluoxetine and buspirone is somewhat limited, and the available studies do not provide a clear answer on the extent of their interaction. A study performed on 120 depressed patients found that a combination of fluoxetine and buspirone delays the antidepressant effect as compared to using fluoxetine alone. (1)

A 2004 study found that combining fluoxetine and buspirone can be safe and effective for the treatment of comorbid depression and anxiety disorders. Another study reported the possibility of serotonin syndrome with the combined use of fluoxetine and buspirone. (2,3)

However, individual responses may vary, and close monitoring is advised when these medications are used together. 

What are the potential interactions of fluoxetine and buspirone?

Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and buspirone, a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist, affect serotonin levels in the brain. This shared mechanism of action raises concerns about potential interactions. In theory, combining two medications that influence serotonin could lead to a condition known as serotonin syndrome, a rare but serious condition characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive sweating (3)

Increased risk of bleeding: When fluoxetine, an SSRI, is combined with buspirone, it’s essential to be cautious regarding an increased risk of bleeding. Both medications can affect platelet function, which is crucial for blood clotting. Combining them may result in a higher likelihood of bleeding episodes, which could manifest as:

  • Easy bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Prolonged bleeding from wounds.

It’s vital to inform your healthcare provider about any unusual bleeding or bruising while taking these medications, and they may need to monitor your blood clotting parameters. For individuals who are at risk for bleeding disorders or are taking blood-thinning medications, the combination of fluoxetine and buspirone should be approached with added caution.

 Although the risk of serotonin syndrome and increased bleeding with the combination of fluoxetine and buspirone is relatively low, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects when taking these medications together.

Some individuals may experience side effects such as:

However, these side effects vary among individuals, and not everyone will experience them. (4,5)

How to ensure the safe use of fluoxetine and buspirone?

To ensure the safe use of fluoxetine and buspirone in combination, consider the following recommendations:

  • Medical supervision: Consult with a healthcare professional before starting or discontinuing any medication, especially when combining two or more drugs. Adverse effects can occur if you take buspirone or fluoxetine unnecessarily. Your doctor can evaluate your specific condition and medical history to determine if this combination is appropriate for you.


  • Dosage adjustment: In some cases, your doctor may adjust the dosage of fluoxetine or buspirone to minimize the risk of potential side effects and interactions. This is particularly important if you take either medication before considering the other. (4)


  • Regular monitoring: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are crucial when taking fluoxetine and buspirone together. Close monitoring allows for early detection of any adverse effects and adjustments to your treatment plan as needed.


  • Open communication: Be sure to inform your doctor of any side effects or changes in your condition. Open and honest communication with your healthcare provider is essential for maintaining your well-being.


Both research and clinical practice have shown that there is a potential for interaction between fluoxetine and buspirone. In most cases, these medications can be used safely together. However, each individual’s response may vary, so consult a healthcare professional before combining these medications.

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Onder E, Tural U. Faster response in depressive patients treated with fluoxetine alone than in combination with buspirone. J Affect Disord. 2003 Sep;76(1-3):223-7. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0327(02)00090-3. PMID: 12943952.


Bakish, D. (1991). Fluoxetine Potentiation by Buspirone: Three Case Histories. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.


Manos, G. H. (2000). Possible Serotonin Syndrome Associated with Buspirone Added to Fluoxetine. Annals of Pharmacotherapy.


Sohel AJ, Shutter MC, Molla M. Fluoxetine. [Updated 2022 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Wilson TK, Tripp J. Buspirone. [Updated 2023 Jan 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

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