Blue Xanax: What is it?

picture of Joe Gilmore
Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

May 7, 2023

Table of Contents

Blue Xanax is one of seven different versions of alprazolam, a prescription medication and schedule IV controlled substance.

Xanax pills are often called Xanax bars due to their long, thin shape.

heart icon that is 2 hands holding

Need help getting addiction treatment?

What Is Blue Xanax?

Xanax is a branded version of alprazolam, a benzodiazepine from the same family as Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. It is also commonly known as the 031 blue pill because of the 031 imprinted numbers that identify the pill. 

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medication in the U.S. Benzodiazepines like Xanax are prescribed at 66 million doctor’s appointment every year.

Blue Xanax, like all forms of Xanax, is prescribed for the short-term treatment of the symptoms of anxiety disorders or panic disorders.

Xanax works by reducing activity in the CNS (central nervous system) and brain. This mechanism of action induces a sense of calm, intensifying the effects of a naturally occurring brain chemical, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

First approved by the FDA in 1981, Xanax is still widely prescribed in spite of its habit-forming potential.

What Is Blue Xanax Bars?

Blue Xanax contains the same ingredients as Xanax pills in other colors. All that differs is the dosage. 

Known as blue Xanax bars, Xanax blue pills are either oval or elliptical in shape and imprinted with XANAX 1.0. This expresses a dosage of 1mg of alprazolam. Another common name for these is blue football xanax, mg dosage being the same. 

When healthcare providers prescribe Xanax, whether for anxiety disorders or panic disorders, starting dosages are typically low, often as low as 0.25 mg. This dosage can be gradually increased once brain chemistry adjusts to the effects of benzodiazepines. Maximum daily starting dosages of Xanax are usually capped at 4mg split across multiple doses.

If you take blue Xanax bars exactly as directed, effects set in rapidly, normally within 15 minutes to an hour. Blood concentration levels of alprazolam peak within two hours.

Often, those who abuse blue Xanax do not take the medication orally and as intended. Instead, Xanax abuse often involves crushing the Xanax bars and then snorting the fine powdered alprazolam. This triggers the drug’s effects within minutes.

What Are the Different Forms and Strengths of Xanax?

Alprazolam in the form of the branded Xanax is available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Different manufacturers each want to stamp their brand and characteristics on their version of alprazolam so they can better stand out in a crowded benzodiazepine market.

The colors of Xanax pills are as they contain colorants approved by the FDA.

Xanax bars are a specific form of this medication containing a 2mg dose of alprazolam. This means the long and thin Xanax bars contain a high dosage of alprazolam, the highest dosage available besides the 3mg extended-release Xanax tablet. The bar is scored into smaller sections, allowing for fractional dosing.

These are the most common forms of Xanax bars:

  • Blue Xanax bar
  • White Xanax bar
  • Yellow Xanax bar
  • Peach Xanax tablet
  • Purple Xanax pill
  • Green Xanax bar
  • Pink Xanax bar

Blue Xanax bars

Blue Xanax pills contain 1mg of alprazolam, but blue Xanax bars contain a 2mg dosage. Bars can be easily snapped in half, allowing for smaller dosages.

All blue Xanax pills are schedule IV controlled substances and available only by prescription.

Round blue Xanax pills (1mg strength) are imprinted 031 R by Actavis, the manufacturer. The blue colorant comes from inactive filler ingredients approved as safe for human consumption by the FDA.

The oblong shape blue Xanax bars are sometimes referred to as blue footballs for their shape.

White Xanax bars

White Xanax, often known as sticks, is the most common color of this medication, more common even than blue Xanax.

White Xanax bars contain dosages of between 0.25mg and 2mg of alprazolam.

Yellow Xanax bars

Yellow Xanax pills are a generic form of alprazolam containing 2mg dosages.

Similar in effect to white Xanax pills, yellow Xanax is often informally known as yellow school bus for its shape and color. The difference in color is due to the pills being manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies.

Peach Xanax tablets

Peach Xanax bars, sometimes known as orange Xanax bars, contain lower doses starting at 0.5mg of alprazolam.

Pfizer manufacturers this form of alprazolam in oval, orange-colored pills.

Purple Xanax pills

Another Pfizer-produced variant of Xanax, purple Xanax comes in rounded pill form imprinted with the name of the drug and A23.

Green Xanax bars

Several companies manufacture green Xanax bars, each imprinted with the unique characteristics of the pharmaceutical company.

Similar in strength to white and yellow Xanax, green Xanax bars typically contain 2mg dosages of alprazolam. Green bars come in various shapes, including round, oval, rectangular, and triangular.

Pink Xanax bars

Pink Xanax contains a 3mg dosage of alprazolam and is seldom prescribed.

What Are the Risks of Blue Xanax Abuse?

Like all benzodiazepines, Xanax has the potential for abuse and dependence with sustained use.

Taking Xanax without a supporting prescription or taking more Xanax bars than prescribed is considered Xanax abuse. Abusing benzos increases the likelihood of dependence and substance use disorder developing, and also heightens the risk of Xanax overdose.

Using Xanax long-term means tolerance to the medication will build. You’ll then need more Xanax to deliver the same effects or more frequent doses of Xanax. Tolerance often leads to physical dependence developing. At this point, you will experience Xanax withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue use of alprazolam.

The most common Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Hypersensitivity to light
  • Panic attacks
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Muscle pains
  • Tremors
  • Sweating

The abrupt and unsupervised withdrawal from blue Xanax can trigger a potentially deadly seizure. A tapered reduction of dosage is the optimum route to recovery, ideally in a licensed medical detox center.

SHARE THIS POST

THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE

At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

Check My Insurance Coverage

  • Max File size 20 MB


Text a Recovery Expert

Text our team to get the help you need ASAP.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.