A Xanax® bar is a two milligram tablet of Xanax®, a prescription medication which is used to treat anxiety disorders and related conditions. Known generically as alprazolam, Xanax® is a tightly controlled medication due to concerns about abuse, and Xanax® bars are usually only prescribed to patients with a demonstrated need for the drug in this format.
The Xanax® bar is the highest single dosage of this drug available, with the exception of a three milligram extended release tablet. The bar is scored into four sections, and designed to be broken up by the user. Patients may take a whole bar if they have been prescribed a two milligram dosage, but more commonly they use these scored tablet for dosage control. It may be less expensive to buy Xanax® in bars and break them up as needed than to purchase tablets in smaller dosages, such as quarter, half, and full milligram tablets.
Xanax® bars are white oblong tablets with “XANAX” stamped across the bar, and three partial scores through the tablet which are used as guidelines for patients who intended to break the medication up for several doses. Generic versions of the drug may come in different colors, with different markings stamped on the bar. Patients should be aware that pharmacists tend to fill prescriptions with generic drugs unless the prescription specifies otherwise, so if the medication does not look as expected, they should ask the pharmacist for confirmation that the drug was dispensed as ordered; generic versions may look different, but they are pharmacologically equivalent.
This drug should be used as directed, with care being taken to avoid taking doses too close together. This can be dangerous for the patient, and it can cause a patient to reach the daily prescribed limit before the end of the day. As with other prescriptions, a Xanax® bar should not be passed on to someone else.
Patients utilizing Xanax® may express their dosage in terms of “bars a day,” especially if they are on high doses of the medication. Because Xanax® has the potential to be highly addictive, it is important for patients to discuss dosage with their doctors. There is no threshold to determine addiction; one patient may experience it at one Xanax® a day, while others may not, for example. Signs that a patient may be experiencing addiction can include using more bars per day than prescribed, experiencing stress if a prescription runs out before it can be refilled, or concealing usage from friends and family members.