What Is Fake Xanax? How To Spot It

Fake Xanax can be hard to spot. Unfortunately, counterfeit benzodiazepines can be lethal. To keep yourself and others safe, learn how to identify fake Xanax with basic drug testing.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Fake Xanax is a counterfeit drug. The tablets are designed to mimic the look of real prescription pills as much as possible.

Despite their appearance, these counterfeit Xanax pills often contain little to no alprazolam, which is the active ingredient in the brand name prescription drug Xanax.

Some counterfeit tablets are easy to identify, but others can be very convincing. Fortunately, there are some indicators that may help you to identify fake pills and how they differ from the real types of Xanax.

Top 4 Signs Of Fake Xanax

Fake Xanax often contains illegal substances that could cause you to overdose in just one use.

If someone you know is buying illicit Xanax, it is vital that you look for the top signs that the Xanax is fake.

To simplify the identification process, try to avoid generic alprazolam tablets which can vary widely in appearance.

1. Misspelled Labels

Authentic Xanax has the brand name emblazoned across the front and center. Any variation in spelling or placement is an indication that the pills you are looking at are fake.

2. Coating That Is A Different Color Than The Pill

Xanax should be one color, even when the pill is broken in half. The brand name manufacturer uses color to help indicate dosage.

If the outside of the tablet and the inside of the tablet are two different colors, the pill is fake.

3. Weight Difference

Real Xanax bars weigh about 0.5 grams.

Fake Xanax tablets tend to be heavier, but any variation in weight is an indicator that the tablets you have received are fake.

The manufacturer that produces brand name Xanax employs heavy quality control. There should be no variation in weight between tablets of the same dose.

4. Doesn’t Dissolve In Water

Real Xanax should break apart in water within a few minutes of exposure. The drug itself is not water soluble, but the binding agents used to make the tablet are.

A real tablet will break apart, leaving tiny particles floating in the water. These particles make it incredibly dangerous to shoot Xanax, so do not attempt to inject this mixture.

If your tablets do not dissolve on their own in water, then they are fake.

What Regular Xanax Looks Like

What regular Xanax looks like will differ depending on the dosage.

A 0.25 milligram (mg) tablet is a white oval with “Xanax” written across the front in all capital letters.

The name is centered at the top of the tablet with the dose “0.25” listed below in similarly sized font. The back of the tablet is scored, allowing you to break it in half.

A 0.5 mg tablet and 1 mg tablet have the same overall design but list their respective doses on the front. The 0.5 mg tablet is orange. The 1 mg tablet is blue.

A 2 mg tablet of Xanax is a bit different. It is designed as a white, rectangular bar, and it is scored on the front and back to allow the tablet to be broken into 0.5 milligram segments.

On the front, “Xanax” is spelled out, but it is not perfectly even and centered as it is on the oval tablets.
Instead, each “X” is prominently centered on the first and last segments. The middle of the name “ANA” is slightly smaller and centered over the middle.

On the back, the number “2” appears on its side, evenly positioned over the two central segments of the bar.

Dangers Of Fake Xanax

Research shows that any Xanax you buy off the street is more than likely fake. These fake tablets are dangerous because they introduce unknown drugs, which could cause serious side effects.

The synthetic opioid fentanyl is particularly worrisome. Recent research by the DEA shows that roughly 42% of counterfeit pills contain a lethal dose of fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin.

Even if your counterfeit Xanax doesn’t contain fentanyl, it could contain any number of opioids, stimulants, or psychoactive substances.

Without knowing what you’re taking, you have an increased risk of negative drug interactions, opioid overdose, and a heightened risk of drug addiction.

Treatment Options For Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse is a serious substance use disorder that can be life-threatening even when you’re taking the real thing.

If you are turning to street drugs to fulfill your addiction, it is time to seek help.

Qualified treatment centers exist to get you through a tapered detox and into a therapeutic Xanax addiction healthcare program that will guide you toward a healthier version of your life.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, your safety is our top priority.

If you or a loved one is struggling to identify safe Xanax tablets, it’s time to stop struggling alone. Call our Massachusetts location today, and let us help you.

  1. National Library of Medicine: PubMed
  2. United States Drug Enforcement Administration

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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