Xanax Bar - Different Types, Colors, and Risk Factors

September 28 , 2022

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.

Green Xanax Bars

Multiple pharmaceutical companies manufacture green Xanax bars. However, each manufacturer places its unique imprint on the green pills to differentiate them from its competitors. Green pills are available in oval, rectangular, triangular, and round shapes, usually in 2 to 3 mg doses. An indentation on a green Xanax bar divides it into three or four sections, making it easy to split.

Green Xanax is known as Hulk, Monster, Green Monster, and Green Planks on the streets. Illegally produced with alprazolam and fentanyl, Hulk Xanax bars have the same physical appearance as green Xanax. These green pills are unsafe and can produce severe side effects and a high potential for abuse. Hulk Xanax is a rapid-acting drug that causes a significant shift in the brain in a short amount of time. Consequently, it is regarded as one of the most addictive benzodiazepines. People with preexisting substance use disorders and those who use doses of 4 mg daily for more than 12 weeks are at a greater risk for addiction. However, everyone who abuses the substance risks developing physical dependence.

Although green Xanax contains the largest dose, its effects are identical to those of the yellow and white Xanax bars. Taking this much Xanax requires close medical supervision for the user’s safety and well-being. Green Xanax is manufactured by large pharmaceutical corporations such as Actavis, DAVA, Pfizer, and Mylan.

Pink Xanax Bars

Pink Xanax bars are a common form that comes in 0.25, 0.5, and 1-milligram doses. They are available in round or oval shapes, resembling a football. Pink Xanax bars are not widely produced and are only legally available through a physician-authorized prescription. However, many people with a benzodiazepine addiction purchase it illegally on the streets or obtain it from friends or family.

White Xanax Bars

Often called Sticks on the streets, white Xanax bars contain 2 mg of the active ingredient and produce extreme sedation within minutes of ingestion. The bars are generally marked with three indentations, making it easy for the user to break them into smaller portions. Each manufacturer places its unique imprint on the bars. For example, G 372 2 or X ANA X 2. The bars are also available in round, oval, rectangular, and five-sided shapes. Since the bars have high strengths, it is not advisable to quit them cold turkey, as doing so can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Yellow Xanax Bars

Yellow Xanax is the generic form of the drug, often with the number 039 imprinted on them. Yellow Xanax bars have a strength of 2 mg and are similar to white pills. The color difference is due to the pills being manufactured by different companies. Street names for these bars include Yellow School Bus due to their color and shape.

Blue Xanax Bars

Most blue Xanax bars come in two doses 1 mg and 2 mg. However, users can break the pill to consume a 0.5 mg dose. Blue Xanax bars are schedule IV controlled substances available only through prescription. They come in rectangular, oval, oblong, and round shapes and have indentions to break them into smaller portions. Some also have imprints of numbers and letters on them. The blue color of the pills comes from some inactive ingredients used as fillers. These colors are FDA-approved and are completely safe for human consumption. On the streets, blue Xanax bars can be called Bars, Blue Footballs, or Totem Poles, depending on their shape.

Peach Xanax Bars

Also known as orange alprazolam, peach Xanax bars are usually available in round or oblong shapes. They are widely produced in doses ranging from 0.5 to 2 mg and are generally prescribed to treat less severe pain. The bars have a stylized “R” on one side and the dosage on the other. They also have a straight-line indention, which could be broken into half. Street dealers commonly refer to peach Xanax pills as Footballs or Orange Footballs.

Purple Xanax Bars

Purple Xanax bars are a popular form of medication manufactured by Pfizer. These round pills contain 2 mg of alprazolam and have the name of the drug and A23 embossed on them. As with all forms of alprazolam, purple Xanax is contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with narrow-angle glaucoma, severe kidney or liver disease, and allergic reaction to benzodiazepines. Alprazolam is also not prescribed for children and should be used cautiously in older people.

Xanax XR

Xanax XR is an abbreviation for extended-release tablets, which are absorbed by the body at a slower rate than ordinary Xanax. Xanax XR pills can come in different colors, including yellow, green, white, blue, and peach, and are usually shaped like a triangle, pentagon, square, or circle. One side typically has a stylized “X” or “R” imprinted on it, while the other may have a number referring to its dosage. Street names for Xanax XR often depend on its color and shape, with dealers using various names from Bicycle Parts to Blue Boys.

Liquid Xanax – How Different Is It From The Pills?

A liquid form of alprazolam is available, but it’s not as widely prescribed in the United States. It is more common in some European countries and is an alternate form of ingesting the prescription medication, which produces the same effects as the pills. Each ml of the liquid contains 2 mg of the active ingredient. Liquid Xanax is generally prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorders, depression, panic disorders, insomnia, and sometimes, alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Liquid alprazolam can be taken with or without food and is a faster-acting version than the pill form as it is absorbed more readily.

Fake Xanax

People may buy fake Xanax bars on the street as it is cheaper and easier to obtain. However, fake Xanax bars are extremely dangerous as they often contain unsafe and addictive drugs like fentanyl instead of alprazolam. Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Thus, when people take a fake pill laced with fentanyl, they increase their risk of overdose.
Signs of taking a fake pill laced with fentanyl include:

  • Limp body
  • Labored or shallow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Clammy skin
  • Lips, fingers, or face turning blue
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Convulsions

Death rattle (shallow breathing that may resemble snoring)
The best way to avoid fake Xanax is to get the medication prescribed by a healthcare provider and purchased from a licensed pharmacy. There is no way to know that a drug bought on the street is real. Hence, the only way to avoid fake pills is not to buy them off the streets.

Side Effects of Xanax Bars

Like most benzodiazepines, Xanax bars amplify the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits connectivity among neurons. This sedates the nervous system by suppressing overstimulation, which is the cause of general anxiety and panic attacks. Xanax’s initial side effects may include drowsiness, cognitive impairments, and loss of coordination.
Other common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Enhanced dreams
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle pain, twitching, or weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleepwalking
  • Slurred speech
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Slow blood pressure
  • Blurry vision
  • Risk of dependence

In severe cases, Xanax bars can also cause more serious side effects, such as hallucinations, seizures, fainting, jaundice, or an allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the severe side effects. In addition, combining Xanax with alcohol, opiates, or other illicit substances can intensify unpleasant effects and raise the potential for an overdose.

Xanax Overdose

The maximum daily Xanax dosage is 4 mg. A person risks an alprazolam overdose if they exceed this amount in a short period of time. A Xanax overdose can occasionally be lethal.
Some of the common symptoms of a Xanax overdose include:

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

The correct dosage for each individual is determined by the patient’s weight, age, presence of metabolic disorders, and the condition being treated. However, to avoid a fatal overdose, always take Xanax bars exactly as prescribed and avoid taking it with other drugs, especially other central nervous system depressants. Call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room if you observe the physical symptoms of an alprazolam overdose.

Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Although Xanax bars are highly effective in treating many medical conditions, they also carry a risk of addiction and abuse. Xanax bars can induce euphoria or a “high” at large doses. Hence, some people take large quantities of this prescription medicine to enjoy its euphoric effects.

Alprazolam is not just the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine but also the most frequently prescribed psychiatric medicine in the United States, with over 48 million prescriptions filled in 2013. This persists even though many healthcare providers consider alprazolam to have a high potential for abuse and that it has been demonstrated to cause more severe withdrawal symptoms than other benzodiazepines, even when tapered according to manufacturer guidelines. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), alprazolam is the second most frequently prescribed medication and the most frequently involved benzodiazepine in ED visits linked to drug abuse and overdose.

People who exceed the recommended dose of alprazolam for an extended time may develop a physical dependence on the drug. However, it is worth noting that Xanax use, even when used as prescribed by a healthcare provider, can lead to Xanax addiction. Individuals with a Xanax addiction may experience various symptoms of withdrawal when trying to quit the medication abruptly.
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

There have been cases of fatalities associated with Xanax withdrawal. Seizures and psychosis are two of the worst possible outcomes during withdrawals. As a result, those battling Xanax abuse or addiction should seek professional assistance from a treatment provider to overcome their battle with addiction. Detoxing under medical supervision and learning to avoid relapse are two of the most important goals of addiction treatment.