How to Identify Real Xanax From a Fake Xanax?

October 28 , 2022

Counterfeit Xanax is making its way across the nation and into the hands of the general public at an alarming rate. You can find them everywhere, from a bar or concert to the internet. Although Xanax is a prescription medication, counterfeit Xanax bars have been linked to numerous overdose deaths. Learning to recognize a real pill from a fake is the best way to avoid falling into this potentially fatal trap. In light of the devastation that counterfeit drugs may cause, we wanted to discuss how to identify real Xanax bars from counterfeit drugs and the dangers these drugs pose.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for the medication alprazolam, which is a member of the benzodiazepine family. Xanax has been approved for the short-term treatment of panic disorders (with or without agoraphobia) and anxiety disorders by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States. This prescription medicine functions by boosting levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that reduces brain activity, slowing things down and calming the individual using it.

Xanax was first released in the mid-1970s and has since become the most prescribed benzodiazepine in the U.S. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that in 2013 alone, almost 48 million Xanax prescriptions were issued. Prescriptions for alprazolam are double those for other common benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

Although Xanax is an effective anxiety medication, it also carries the potential for adverse effects in some users. The FDA imposed a black box warning in 2020 for benzodiazepines like Xanax to demonstrate the potential for abuse and addiction to these prescription drugs. Hence, Xanax is only to be utilized under the watchful eye of a medical professional.

Real Xanax vs. Fake Xanax

Authentic Xanax pills come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and are listed as a Schedule IV controlled substance. Xanax tablets come in a wide range of colors because different manufacturers want to set themselves apart from one another. Within these wide ranges of colors, white Xanax is one of the most common types, and it typically comes in the form of a rectangular “bar” with indentations that make it simple to break into smaller pieces. The white pills also carry the imprint “XANAX” centered at the top of the tablet with the dose listed below in a similar-sized font.

Although consuming Xanax without a prescription is unlawful, many continue to do so due to its addictive properties. Fake Xanax pills are manufactured to resemble genuine prescription medications as close as possible. Despite their appearance, these fake pills typically contain little or no alprazolam, the active component in all authentic pills. Instead, they are often combined with dangerous substances like fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. As a result, taking a fake pill adulterated with fentanyl significantly raises the possibility of a fatal overdose.

Some counterfeit tablets are easily identifiable, while others might be extremely convincing. Fortunately, many characteristics can help you distinguish between fake and authentic Xanax pills.

How to Identify Fake Xanax?

Genuine pills come in three basic shapes: rectangle, round, and oval. The rectangular pills, also known as bars, can be white, blue, green, or yellow. In general, if you encounter one of a different color, it’s likely to be a counterfeit pill. Round and oval Xanax pills can be found in several colors, including but not limited to white, peach, orange, purple, and blue. As a result, it may be more difficult to spot counterfeits in this shape.

Other common signs and characteristics to watch out for may include the following:

  • A misspelled label – The brand name is prominently displayed on the front and center of genuine Xanax. Any difference in spelling or positioning indicates that the pills in question are counterfeit.
  • Different colored coating – Xanax should have a single hue, even when split in half. If the exterior and interior of the pill are different colors, the pill is counterfeit.
  • The difference in weight – Genuine Xanax bars weighs approximately 0.5 grams. Fake Xanax tablets tend to be heavier, but any weight change indicates that you have received counterfeit tablets. There should be no difference in weight between identical-dose tablets.
  • Does not dissolve in water – Genuine Xanax should disintegrate in water after a few minutes. The medicine is not water soluble, but the tablet’s binding agents are. A real tablet will disintegrate into small pieces and float in the water. If your pills do not dissolve in water on their own, they are counterfeit.

Any Xanax purchased on the street is almost certainly a counterfeit version. These fake pills are risky since they contain unknown substances that could cause severe negative effects. Even if your fake Xanax does not contain fentanyl, it may contain other opioids, stimulants, or psychotropic chemicals. These pills increase the risk of adverse drug interactions, opioid overdose, and drug addiction if you do not know what you are taking.

If your healthcare provider recommends Xanax, fill your prescription only at a trusted pharmacy. If you buy Xanax online, follow the steps below to verify that you receive authentic Xanax. Numerous websites claiming to sell Xanax online are peddling potentially dangerous counterfeits.

  • Verify that the website requires a prescription.
  • Check for an American address and phone number.
  • If you believe you have purchased counterfeit Xanax, contact the FDA MedWatch Program or call 1-800-438-1985.

Xanax Overdose

Xanax, like all benzodiazepines, is highly addictive and habit-forming. However, the health risks are even greater with fentanyl-laced Xanax. And despite the well-documented risks associated with nonprescription and counterfeit Xanax, many people continue to use it to feed their dependence and addiction.

Common symptoms of a Xanax overdose may include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Diminished reflexes
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Muscle twitches
  • Chest pain
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

Since counterfeit Xanax tablets may include opioids, it’s also important to recognize the symptoms of an opioid overdose. Symptoms of an opioid overdose may include:

  • Labored, shallow, or difficulty breathing
  • Lips, fingers, or face turning blue
  • Clammy skin
  • Limp body
  • Vomiting
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Convulsions
  • Death rattle (labored exhale that may resemble snoring)

To avoid a fatal overdose, always take Xanax bars exactly as prescribed, avoid consuming fake pills, and avoid combining them with other substances, particularly other central nervous system depressants. Xanax overdose is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms.

Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax is effective for patients with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders, and insomnia when used as prescribed. However, recreational use of this substance can result in physical dependence and addiction. Even if the ramifications of addiction are understood, it may be challenging to quit once withdrawal symptoms occur. Individuals with a Xanax addiction may experience withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop using the drug.

Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:

  • Double vision
  • Headaches
  • High heart rate
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersensitivity to light
  • Muscle pain
  • Rebound anxiety and panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

For this reason, individuals struggling with Xanax abuse or addiction should get help from a qualified treatment center. One of the primary focuses of addiction treatment is helping patients detox safely under medical supervision and helping them develop relapse prevention skills.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell a fake Xanax just by looking at it. In many cases, consumers have no idea they are purchasing counterfeit medication because fake Xanax tablets seem identical to the real thing. Fake Xanax is so tough to spot that scientists cannot do it by sight alone. Testing the tablets to see what ingredients they contain is often the only method to identify if they are real or counterfeit.