Buspirone was first made in 1968 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1986. It is available as a generic medication. A month supply in the United Kingdom costs the NHS about 10 GBP as of 2019. In the United States the wholesale cost of this amount is about 2.65 USD. In 2016 it was the 90th most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 8 million prescriptions.
A major metabolite of buspirone, 1-(2-pyrimidinyl)piperazine (1-PP), occurs at higher circulating levels than buspirone itself, and is known to act as a potent α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist. It may be responsible for the increased noradrenergic and dopaminergic activity observed with buspirone in animals. In addition, 1-PP may play an important role in the antidepressant effects of buspirone. Buspirone also has very weak and probably clinically unimportant affinity for the α1-adrenergic receptor. However, buspirone has been reported to have shown "significant and selective intrinsic efficacy" at the α1-adrenergic receptor expressed in a "tissue- and species-dependent manner".
Buspirone has a low oralbioavailability of 3.9% relative to intravenous injection due to extensive first-pass metabolism. The time to peak plasma levels following ingestion is 0.9 to 1.5 hours. It is reported to have an elimination half-life of 2.8 hours, although a review of 14 studies found that the mean terminal half-life ranged between 2 and 11 hours, and one study even reported a terminal half-life of 33 hours. Buspirone is metabolized primarily by CYP3A4, and prominent drug interactions with inhibitors and inducers of this enzyme have been observed. Major metabolites of buspirone include 5-hydroxybuspirone, 6-hydroxybuspirone, 8-hydroxybuspirone, and 1-PP. 6-Hydroxybuspirone has been identified as the predominant hepatic metabolite of buspirone, with plasma levels that are 40-fold greater than those of buspirone after oral administration of buspirone to humans. The metabolite is a high-affinity partial agonist of the 5-HT1A receptor (Ki = 25 nM) similarly to buspirone, and has demonstrated occupancy of the 5-HT1A receptor in vivo. As such, it is likely to play an important role in the therapeutic effects of buspirone. 1-PP has also been found to circulate at higher levels than those of buspirone itself and may similarly play a significant role in the clinical effects of buspirone.
Alkylation of 1-(2-pyrimidyl)piperazine (1) with 3-chloro-1-cyanopropane (2, 4-chlorobutyronitrile) gives 3, which is reduced either by hydrogenation over Raney nickel catalyst, or with LAH. The resulting 1° amine (4) from the previous step is then reacted with 3,3-tetramethyleneglutaric anhydride (5, 8-Oxaspiro[4.5]decane-7,9-dione) in order to yield buspirone (6).
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