What Are Xanax Bars For?
Xanax is a medication used to control the physiological effects of anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. Manufacturers made the Xanax bars in a way that patients can take it in multiple doses. This design makes it easier for a person to monitor the number of times they have taken the drug in a day. (1)
Xanax generic name: Alprazolam
Brand Names: Niravam, Xanax, Xanax XR
Xanax’s 2mg version, comprised of four 0.5mg partitions, is more commonly known as a Xanax bars. Like Gabapentin, the Xanax bar works on the nervous system and produces a calming effect by improving the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a “nerve-calming” neurotransmitter.
However, aside from the 2mg Xanax bar, this drug is also available in other dosages:
- 25 mg (white, oval, scored, with a label of “XANAX 0.25”)
- 5 mg (peach, oval, scored, with a label of “XANAX 0.5”)
- 1 mg (blue, oval, scored, with a label of “XANAX 1.0”)
To maintain its potency, users must keep their Xanax in an environment where the temperature is between 20°C to 25°C. (2)
Today, Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the US, being 20 times more potent than valium. It has a short half-life, meaning it takes its effect quickly. Unfortunately, this advantage has also become the main reason many are getting addicted to it. (3)
Who Can Take Xanax Bars?
While it can help in getting rid of anxiety and panic disorders, Xanax may not be the right drug for you.
Inform your doctor that you have or are doing any of the following so he could prescribe a different and better medication for you:
- Not at least 18 years old
- Taking itraconazole or ketoconazole
- Narrow-angle glaucoma
- Allergy to alprazolam or other benzodiazepines, such as clorazepate (Tranxene), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax) (1)
Also, inform your doctor if any of the listed items below describe your condition:
- open-angle glaucoma
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction
- seizures or epilepsy
- kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease)
- asthma or other breathing disorder
- currently using narcotic (opioid) medication
Is It Possible To Get Addicted To Xanax?
While most think that only recreational users can be addicted to drugs like Xanax, this is never the case. Building a tolerance to this medication is effortless. Later on, the inability to keep up with very high dosages would become an addiction.
That is why doctors recommend that one only takes this drug for a brief time. Dependency on Xanax poses many side effects including vision problems, nausea, vomiting, and memory problems.
More dangerous side effects include but are not limited to chest pains, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, tremors, as well as aggressive and anti-social behavior. (2)
What are the Side Effects of Taking a Whole Xanax Bar?
Manufacturers did this to help people keep track the number of dosages that they have taken. Also, it helps the patient organize his medicine packs. Sadly, this design has caused some drawbacks. There have been reports of people, most importantly older people, accidentally taking the whole bar instead of just pieces of it.
However, Xanax overdose is a rare occurrence. Instead, it can cause people to act in ways that could harm them. Many patients have reported that taking one whole bar of Xanax can cause drowsiness, or even black out. This is dangerous in situations where the patient is driving or doing something in need of mental awareness.(4)
Is It A Replacement For Therapy?
While Xanax can be helpful in normalizing hormone levels involved in anxiety and panic disorders, it is not a substitute for actual therapy. At most, it only temporarily alleviates the symptoms of the conditions of the illness.