xanax bars

Anxiety is a normal human emotion we all have. It's surprising to know that anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental health condition, which affects nearly 40 million US adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 

Xanax bars are one of the common medications that have been used in such cases. It's reported that doctors write roughly 50 million Xanax prescriptions every year, treating those who suffer from anxiety-related disorders.

Alprazolam is the generic form of Xanax, a strong and potentially habit-forming sedative. It is the most prescribed psychotropic medication in the US and is widely available in the market. 

In fact, celebrity rappers like Eminem and Lil Wayne somehow made it sound cool to “pop a Xan” in a song, claiming it’s a common thing to escape from reality. Sadly, this has resulted in a growing number of US teens becoming hooked on the drug.

It's not just teenagers who are at risk of physical and psychological addiction to Xanax bars. Anyone misusing this drug for recreational purposes is taking a serious risk to their overall health and life. 

If you're taking Xanax bars for the first time, it's important to know everything about its side effects, dosage, and more. Keep reading to get a detailed overview.

What Are Xanax Bars, Anyway?

Xanax is actually the brand name for alprazolam, which belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. They are sometimes called “zanies,” “bars,” or “planks” because of their elongated rectangular shape. 

This helps patients to break them into smaller doses, ensuring that at no point do they accidentally overdose on Xanax. They are given for its calming and sedative properties. 

Though Xanax has a low risk for addiction, it has a high risk for abuse. As such, it falls under the category of Schedule IV controlled substances.

This bar is scored into four sections that must be broken down into halves or quarters and then consumed individually. One Xanax bar is typically around 2 mg of the Xanax drug. It is only available as a prescription medication. 

The 2 mg dose of Xanax bars is the largest dose available in a single immediate-release pill. The US FDA warns that consuming more than 4 mg of Xanax per day, which accounts for 2 Xanax bars, might result in “severe emotional and physical dependence.”

Experts are unsure exactly how Xanax works to regulate mood. However, research suggests it may increase the activity of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, in your brain. 

GABA is a chemical that calms and soothes the central nervous system in as little as 20 minutes and produces hypnosis (a trancelike state).

What Are Xanax Bars Used For?

Xanax bars are generally prescribed to people who struggle with mental health issues like panic attacks or even PTSD. 

As an anti-anxiety drug, people take Xanax bars for many reasons, both legally and illicitly. They all have one specific goal: Sedation

Some people take it to cope with their stress, depression, and anxiety. Insomniac people also take to sleep profoundly. Patients who suffer from muscle spasms and cramps caused by stress also take Xanax to calm and relax. 

Other people use it to fight the bad trip effects of other drugs such as heroin or LSD. 

You might be wondering if Xanax bars and pills are the same thing. Let’s find out.  

Difference Between Xanax Bars And Xanax Tablets: 

Xanax tablets and Xanax bars work similarly in many ways. Both medicines target gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, causing the body to relax and the central nervous system to calm down, resulting in a feeling of general well-being.  

Nonetheless, the size and strength of the two Xanax formulations are different. 

A standard Xanax tablet has a dosage of about 0.25 mg. However, in cases of extreme anxiety, a doctor might recommend a higher dose. 

In contrast, a regular Xanax bar is 2 mg, which is four times the quantity found in an average Xanax pill. This boosts the effectiveness and duration of the high, making Xanax bars popular among recreational drug users.

What Do Xanax Bars Look Like? – Xanax Bars Colors

Xanax bars come in a variety of colors with different dosages and effects on the brain. Xanax is the most commonly prescribed medicine in the US, and it has highly addictive qualities. 

On the front of the bar, the word “XANAX” is imprinted, and on its back, you can see the number “2”, split in the middle by one of the lines.

In the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, it is understood that each brand wishes for their pills for the same salt to stand apart and look different with a characteristic appearance. Nevertheless, the type of colors approved for the Xanax pills is not just about getting creative. 

The FDA often mandates color as this agency tries to control the type of colorants used in drug manufacturing. Xanax bars do a fantastic job of looking different from other alprazolam formulations. 

Different colors of Xanax bars include:

  • White Xanax bars
  • Yellow Xanax bars
  • Green Xanax bars
  • Purple Xanax bars
  • Blue Xanax bars
  • Pink Xanax bars
  • Peach Xanax bars
  • Red Xanax bars.

What Are The Signs Of Xanax Addiction?

Repeatedly introducing the drug to your system trains the brain that it needs Xanax to feel good. This is the initial stage of a substance use disorder (SUD). 

One of the most common signs a person is struggling with addiction is that they are continuing to use the drug despite the negative consequences it is having on their health. Some noticeable signs include: 

  • Feeling the need to take more medication beyond what was prescribed
  • Trying to get Xanax without a prescription.
  • Strained relationships with friends and family
  • Needing to take more Xanax to feel its effects
  • Constant sedation or fatigue
  • Lying or keeping secrets regarding Xanax use
  • Continuing use despite its negative effects on health and life

What Are The Side Effects Of Xanax Bars?

When used properly, Xanax bars help people manage their stress and anxiety. Very rarely, they are prescribed by doctors. However, as with any medication, it comes with a few side effects. The common side effects of Xanax bars are: 

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Sudden change in weight and appetite
  • Mood swings 
  • Increased saliva production 
  • Low blood pressure or irregular heartbeats
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle cramps
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Hallucinations

Rare but serious Side effects are:

  • Breathing problems 
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Severe skin rashes
  • Seizures 
  • Slurred speech
  • Yellowish skin and eyes 

Among these, seizures and breathing issues are extremely serious side effects. So, if you notice any of them, contact a medical specialist or doctor.

What are the Dangers of Xanax Bars? 

Because of their wide availability, teenagers often misuse Xanax drugs. As a result, they become addicted, which is not a good thing. This early exposure to drug abuse can lead to lifelong struggles with addiction. 

Once a person becomes hooked on the calming effects of Xanax, they may build a tolerance to the drug and begin taking more.

Unfortunately, those who use Xanax bars frequently go from taking the advised dosage to doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling up on pills.

Some people take Xanax with other Benzodiazepines such as Valium or with weed and alcohol. Once someone develops a tolerance, they can cause irreversible damage to a person's body.

Moreover, the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal happen as early as 8-12 hours after the final dose. If you cannot end your addiction by giving up your dosage, the withdrawal symptoms will develop more.

How To Take Xanax Bars?

It's important for patients to know the proper use of Xanax bars so that they do not develop severe addiction problems. 

Xanax bars come in a 2 mg dose. The effects of this medication become more significant as the doses increase. 

Doctors typically advise that first-time Xanax users begin with the lowest feasible dose. Until you know how the drug will affect you, start with a lower dose and gradually increase it.

If you ever miss a dose, don't try to overcompensate. Just let it be and take the next dose as scheduled. Nothing is going to happen unless you overdose. 

Keep in mind that large doses can be deadly. This applies to everyone, from first-time users to those who have been using Xanax bars for months or years as prescribed by their doctor. So, you never take a higher dose than what's prescribed.

How Long Does It Take For Xanax Bars To Kick In?

Like any other mental illness drug, Xanax bars take some time to show the desired result. It normally takes about 15-30 minutes to take effect. The effects typically last 4-6 hours. 

However, note that the time it takes for Xanax to kick in varies according to an individual's body metabolism, chemistry, and any other medicines they may be taking.

Some users find relaxation in as little as 20 minutes and remain calm for 2-12 hours. Xanax stays in your body for up to 3 days. 

What Are The Precautions To Take While Taking Xanax?

As explained, Xanax is not like a regular drug. It's an anti-anxiety drug, and you must be aware of the rules before taking it. Here are some of the precautions to be mindful of: 

  • Take Xanax only if prescribed by a doctor or healthcare specialist.
  • Read the medication guide carefully before taking it. 
  • You can take Xanax with or without food.
  • Do not eat or drink grapefruit juice while taking Xanax. 
  • If you're taking an oral liquid, use a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup to get the right amount.
  • When using Xanax, do not operate machinery, drive, or perform tasks that require mental attention.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet or tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
  • Abstain from alcohol or tobacco while on Xanax medication. 
  • Do not start or stop using Xanax during pregnancy without first consulting your doctor. 
  • Do not take it with any other drugs to avoid drug-to-drug interaction.
  • The lowest effective dose of Xanax should be used for the shortest time possible.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.

Real Vs. Fake Xanax Bars

Despite its popularity, there has been a huge number of counterfeit Xanax drugs on the market. Any time you have a Xanax, there is a chance it could actually be a fake. 

They can be found in clubs, streets, bars, concerts, and even online. These fake Xanax are laced with Fentanyl and do not have any anxiety-treating drugs. 

For those who don't know, Fentanyl is an opioid that's 100X stronger than heroin and morphine and is, unfortunately, widely accessible. So, it's important to be careful before purchasing Xanax bars. 

Here's how you can spot the differences between authentic and fake Xanax bars: 

  • No markings on the pills
  • A different-looking logo
  • Different coloring in both.
  • Fake Xanax bars are heavier than real ones. 
  • Misspelled labels or altered lettering.

So, what can you do to avoid buying fake Xanax bars? The safest way is to purchase from licensed pharmacies. Or better use the ones given by your doctor.

If you buy it from the street, club, or online, there might be some Fentyl or other illegal drugs in it, which could be dangerous to your health. 

The Bottom Line –

All things considered, Xanax bars are anti-anxiety medications prescribed for the treatment of certain mental illnesses.

As explained, the use of Xanax bars can be life-threatening due to their high potency. So, read the precautions before taking any kind of drug. 

Be careful when buying Xanax bars since there are many fake ones that have been introduced into the market illegally. 

If you or someone you know has a Xanax addiction, get emergency help. As with any substance abuse, it's important to detect it early to get the appropriate treatment. 

Also, before trying to quit using Xanax bars, anyone who has been abusing them should speak with a healthcare professional because withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. Medical supervision is mandatory at any cost. 


1. What does 1 bar of Xanax feel like?

Ans: Xanax bar makes you feel quiet, relaxed, and tired. Sometimes, these feelings may lead you to fall asleep or pass out for a few hours. 

2. Is Xanax better at night or morning?

Ans: If you're constantly feeling anxious, it's better to take it in the morning to ease your symptoms throughout the day. But you can take it at night to promote relaxation and improve your sleep quality.  

3. How long does Xanax last in a day? 

Ans: The effect of Xanax usually lasts for about 4-6 hours after taking the drug. But it can stay in your system for an average of 11 hours, depending on the person's metabolism and age. 

4. Is it OK to use Xanax every day? 

Ans: No. Xanax bars are not considered safe for long-term use, as they may increase the risk of dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms.

5. What is the most common side effect of Xanax bars?

Ans: The most common side effects of Xanax bars include low blood pressure, increased sex drive, confusion, mood swings, and impaired coordination.

6. What do I need to know before taking Xanax? 

Ans: Take Xanax only as directed by your doctor. Do not take it for a longer time, as it will become habit-forming. Avoid alcohol when you're on medication. 

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Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

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