The effects of buspirone on perceived exertion and time to fatigue in man

Exp Physiol. 1997 Nov;82(6):1057-60. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1997.sp004080.


Male subjects exercised at 80% maximal rate of O2 uptake (VO2,max) following oral administration of either placebo or the partial 5-HT1A agonist buspirone (45 mg), using a paired design. Ratings of perceived exertion were higher following buspirone and time to volitional fatigue (median and inter-quartile range) fell significantly by approximately a third from 26 min (24-30 min) on placebo to 16 min (11-19 min) following buspirone. Serum prolactin was significantly elevated following buspirone administration, indicating increased hypothalamic 5-HT1A receptor stimulation. There were no significant differences in blood lactate or serum glucose between the trials. This study supports the possible central modulation of exercise tolerance by serotonergic pathways, although a role for dopamine cannot be excluded.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buspirone / pharmacology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / drug effects
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*


  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Prolactin
  • Buspirone