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Buspirone is an anxiolytic drug and is a partial agonist for the serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptors as well as possessing low affinity and is an antagonist for the dopamine D(2) autoreceptors, with some evidence of a weak affinity to 5-HT(2) receptors. The underlying mechanism of action of buspirone is not clear; however it is thought that its main pharmacology is mediated via the 5-HT(1A) receptors. Initially developed for use in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder, it appears that buspirone may be useful in various other neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as attenuating side effects of Parkinson's disease therapy, ataxia, depression, social phobia, and behaviour disturbances following brain injury, and those accompanying Alzheimer's disease, dementia and attention deficit disorder. Considering the potential of this drug to be included in the management of many conditions, thorough and controlled studies are required to elucidate the exact mechanism of action. This review will consider the evidence so far for both the potential underlying mechanisms and its use in various conditions.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Res

Publication Date





111 - 118


Animals, Buspirone, Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists, Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced, Humans, Mental Disorders, Motor Activity, Receptors, Dopamine D2, Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists