Drugs Q & A

Is the 555 Pill Xanax?

There are several pills with 555 imprints, but the white rectangular pills with the imprints 5 5 5 in combination with other alphabets  or numbers has been identified as containing Buspirone Hydrochloride and NOT  Xanax (alprazolam).

Although both medications are used to treat anxiety, Xanax is in the benzodiazepine class of drugs, while buspirone is not chemically related to benzodiazepines and works differently from other anxiolytics. The brand name of buspirone called BuSpar is discontinued in the U.S. Buspirone is available as a generic drug.

How should I take buspirone?

Take buspirone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take buspirone with or without food but take it the same way each time. Some buspirone tablets are scored so you can break the tablet into 2 or 3 pieces in order to take a smaller amount of the medicine at each dose. Do not use a tablet if it has not been broken correctly and the piece is too big or too small. Follow your doctor’s instructions about how much of the tablet to take.

If you have switched to buspirone from another anxiety medication, you may need to slowly decrease your dose of the other medication rather than stopping suddenly. Some anxiety medications can cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them suddenly after long-term use.

This medication can cause false positive results with certain medical tests. You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 48 hours before your test. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using buspirone.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • blurred vision
  • upset stomach

What side effects can this medication cause?

Buspirone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

•          dizziness

•          nausea

•          diarrhea

•          headache

•          excitement

•          confusion

•          fatigue

•          nervousness

•          difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

•          feelings of anger or hostility

•          lightheadedness

•          headache

•          weakness

•          numbness

•          increased sweating

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

•          rash

•          hives

•          itching

•          swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, throat, tongue, or lips

•          fast or irregular heartbeat

•          blurred vision

•          uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body

•          agitation, fever, sweating, dizziness, flushing, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, seizures, hallucinations, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

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