Alprazolam, better known by its brand name, Xanax, is a popular drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This central nervous system (CNS) depressant accomplishes its calming and relaxing effects by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Xanax was first introduced in the mid-1970s and has since become the most prescribed benzodiazepine in the U.S.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), more than 48 million Xanax prescriptions were dispensed in 2013 alone. Alprazolam prescriptions are double those of other common benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.
Xanax comes in various dosage forms, including pills, dissolving tablets, and liquid. A typical Xanax bar will be rectangular and weigh 2 mg. Xanax bars are white; however, generic versions can be found in various colors. This is because each manufacturer strives to distinguish their pills from the competition by giving them their own distinct appearance. Continue reading to learn about the various Xanax bar colors, their potential for physical dependence, and other risk factors.