The objective of this study was to determine if buspirone would alleviate anxiety and improve exercise tolerance of anxious patients with chronic airflow obstruction (CAO). Eleven male patients with mild to moderate anxiety and CAO completed this study comparing buspirone, 10 to 20 mg given three times a day, with placebo. Patients were evaluated with State Trait Anxiety Inventory, spirometry, 12-min walk, incremental exercise on a cycle ergometer to symptom limitation and measurement of dyspnea with a modified Borg scale at exercise levels and the end of each 2 min on 12-min walk. There were no significant differences in anxiety scores, work load, maximum oxygen consumption per minute, maximum expired volume per minute, PETCO2, PETO2, 12-min walking distance or dyspnea scores after 6 weeks of buspirone or placebo therapy. We conclude that administration of buspirone has no significant effect on anxiety levels, exercise capabilities or PETO2 or PETCO2 in patients with CAO and mild anxiety.