ANXIOLYTIC ACTION OF BUSPIRONE IN THE TREATMENT OF GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER
Introduction: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common disorder, with a prevalence of 5.0% in world population. It may be caused by traumatic experiences, genetic influences and neurobiological dysfunctions. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam, are the first line of anxiolytics against GAD. Buspirone, the first synthesized drug of azapirones class, has also been used in the treatment, mainly due to its reduced side effects. This literature review aims to demonstrate the anxiolytic properties of buspirone and its applicability in the treatment of GAD. Literature Review: The mechanism of action of buspirone, not fully elucidated, is based on two hypothesis. Both are related to the performance of the drug as an agonist of 5-HT1A receptors, auto-inhibitors of serotonin release. The first are related to its action as a full agonist, decreasing the frequency of presynaptic serotonergic shots. The second considers buspirone as a partial agonist, competing with serotonin for the postsynaptic receptors, reducing its action. Considering the anxiogenic role of serotonin in the amygdala, the anxiolytic action of buspirone is effective in reducing serotonergic pathway, first by stimulation of the 5HT1A receptors, and subsequently by reducing the number of 5HT receptors. When comparing buspirone and benzodiazepines, it is observed in the first, more tolerable side effects; greater efficacy in patients with GAD associated with depressive symptoms; diminished dependence and CNS depression, presenting negative aspects in high cost, low efficacy in somatic symptoms of GAD and no immediate anxiolytic action. Conclusion: Therefore, it is concluded that buspirone has potent anxiolytic action, reduced side effects, low potential for addiction and low capacity to depress CNS. These factors suggest this drug as a promising alternative for the treatment of GAD, highlighting the need for further studies on the mechanisms of action, aiming at intensifying the effectiveness of it, making it more eligible.