How to Spot Fake Xanax

An alarming number of counterfeit Xanax pills are finding their way into unsuspecting hands. They can be found in many places, including bars, clubs, concerts, social parties, and even online. The best way to avoid this dangerous situation is to educate yourself about spotting the difference between an authentic pill and a counterfeit one. Below is more information on how to identify fake Xanax.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a brand name of alprazolam, which belongs to the benzodiazepine family of drugs used primarily for treating anxiety. Xanax is considered one of the top medications currently prescribed for anxiety relief or panic disorder. It works by increasing levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that decreases brain activity, slowing things down and calming the person taking it.

How to Spot Fake Xanax

Knowing what signs to look for well help you identify fake Xanax. Fake Xanax can cause a number of unwanted side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Make sure you know what to look for by reading through these common signs of fake xanax:

No Markings on Pills

The most common way to spot a fake Xanax is by looking at the markings on the pill. Authentic Xanax should have a diamond-cut design with no other markings or numbers around it. The imprint of “XANAX” should be stamped in the center of the diamond without any protruding lines from the edges.

A Different-Looking Logo on the Pill

The logo or “Xanax” should have a three-dimensional look to it. If you flip the pill over and the letters are flat, this is usually an indication of a fake one. However, some counterfeit pills may appear differently than others, so it’s not always accurate. Look at all sides of the pill carefully before investing.

If it’s Fake, There Will Be No Markings on the Inside of the Pill

You can also look at the logo that is stamped into the pill. The first step would be to cut off one corner with a razor blade to create a flat surface and then hold it up against the light. This should provide a view inside the pill and allow you to see what’s stamped on the other side.

Off-Color Coating

Real Xanax has a slightly opaque coating that looks either white or peach. It’s not a 100% transparent color, but it should be pretty close to the same shade as the pill itself. If you notice anything darker or lighter than your pill, this is usually an indicator of a fake. In this case, the coat is a very dark, powdery gray.

An authentic pill of Xanax has an even mix of colors between the outside layer, inside layer, and the logo stamped on one side. The color should be consistent throughout with no variation. If you notice spots or lines of color missing from the middle, this is most likely fake.

Weight Differential

When comparing two Xanax pills, you may have a fake pill if one feels noticeably heavier than the other. Authentic Xanax weighs approximately 0.5 grams. They should be slightly difficult to hold between your fingers because of their solid form but not overly heavy or bulky.

Slight Differences in Logo Design

One way to identify a fake pill is the look and feel of the logo itself. The font used for an authentic Xanax should have smooth edges with no bumps, jagged lines, or missing letters. The inside of the logo should have a smooth gradient from dark to light as you look at it from the edge. When looking straight on, the letter “X” should be slightly wider than the other letters and have a distinct curve to it. If any parts of these characteristics do not match up, then it is probably a fake.

Misspelled Labels and Altered Lettering

It’s rare for an authentic Xanax to have misspelled words on the label. If you notice any parts of the text that are off or blurry compared to other letters, this is usually a sign of a fake pill. The same applies if any of the letterings are raised above the rest, or there are noticeable gaps in the letters. If you notice any missing letters, this is a sign of a fake as well.

Some counterfeit pills have been found with different-looking text and lettering than what’s on authentic ones. The most common difference is that it will be difficult to read due to poor printing quality or intentional alteration. Both the font and the sentence structure might be different if this is the case.

Fake Xanax Doesn’t Dissolve in Water

One of the obvious signs of a fake is if your pill doesn’t dissolve in water after a few minutes. Authentic Xanax will begin to dissolve almost immediately, thanks to its solid form. If you see that it’s still intact or only partially dissolved, this is usually due to one of two reasons: either the pill is not pure alprazolam, or it’s not an authentic Xanax to begin with.

Xanax tablets are made with one of two chemicals used as binding agents: ethylcellulose or acacia. If you put your pill in a glass of water, both should dissolve within approximately seven seconds. Other ingredients may stay intact longer while the chemical agent dissolves.

Fake Xanax Shatters When Crushed Under Pressure

It should take a significant amount of pressure to crush through the exterior layer of an authentic Xanax pill. The interior layer will be softer and easier to break if you’re attempting to grind it up, but it too should require some force. If you put your pill on a flat surface and press down with your finger, it should not shatter into pieces. After doing this, if you see any shards of fake Xanax, you probably have a fake pill.

The inside of Xanax contains the chemical agent used to bind the ingredients together in one form or another. Because of this, authentic pills will feel smooth and slightly oily when rubbed between your fingers. A fake pill will feel chalky and leave a white residue behind on your hands. The outside layer of Xanax contains the other ingredients, so it should have a rougher texture, not unlike an Adderall XR or Ritalin tablet. It may be challenging to identify this difference unless you have a real Xanax in your hands to compare it to, but if you know what to look for, then it’s pretty obvious.

Incorrect Bottle Shapes or Dimensions

Different manufacturers of generic Xanax use slightly different shapes and sizes for their pill bottles. If the bottle has a significantly different shape from others that you’ve seen, it might be a sign of a fake. The bottle should also have a label that looks consistent with other authentic bottles of the same brand. If the title seems off or different from what you’ve seen before, then there is a good chance this is a counterfeit pill.

Some fakes will have no noticeable differences from an authentic Xanax bottle. If you have to compare them side-by-side, be sure to pay attention to details like the size of the screw on the top, the color of the plastic, and other slight differences. You don’t necessarily need an authentic bottle to compare it to, though, since it’s not uncommon for legitimate companies to slightly alter their products’ appearance every few years.

Dangers of Fake Xanax

The dangers of taking fake Xanax are similar to those associated with purchasing prescription medication off the street. In the drug’s most common forms, you don’t know what other ingredients are included or if it’s safe for human consumption. Fake Xanax, in particular, is most likely going to contain a dangerous chemical agent that could cause serious side effects, and there is always a chance of overdosing due to its potency. Below are more dangers of taking fake Xanax.

Excessive Itching

Fake Xanax is likely to contain an ingredient that causes your skin to itch. If you take this medicine in high enough quantities, it could result in swelling and infection because of the scratch marks on your body. Skin irritations can cause serious health problems if not addressed; they are painful and put you at a higher risk for contracting diseases due to open sores.

Flushed Skin

You may experience flushing of the skin shortly after taking fake Xanax. This is caused by an excessive release of histamine, making you look pale and feel warm because there isn’t enough blood in your veins to circulate oxygen properly. Taking too much fake Xanax will cause your body to react similarly to an allergic reaction.

Dry Mouth

If you find yourself constantly thirsty after taking Xanax, it may be because of an artificial sweetener used in place of the sugar coating. Fake Xanax often contains ingredients like dextrose and fructose, which can cause your mouth to become parched. This is bad for two reasons; firstly, you won’t properly digest food because saliva plays an essential role in this process. Secondly, your mouth will become very uncomfortable due to the lack of moisture and could even lead to infection if not dealt with promptly.

Increased Risk for Infection

If you are already at risk of getting infections, this is a severe threat. The manufacturer of fake Xanax may use ingredients that are toxic to humans and irritate the digestive tract, which will make you more susceptible to illness if consumed often or for long periods.

Liver Damage

Fake Xanax could cause permanent damage to your liver because it contains dangerous chemicals that are not intended for human consumption. Consuming too much acetaminophen over some time will cause the liver to become damaged and lead to other diseases.

Slow Breathing

Taking too much fake Xanax is likely to make it difficult for your body to breathe. This is because the drug’s main ingredient works by slowing down the central nervous system and causing you to become drowsy. If you take enough of this medication, it could cause you to lose consciousness or stop breathing altogether.

Constricted Pupils

Keep in mind that the pupil size will vary depending on your age, physical health, and exposure to light. If you find that the pupils of your eyes are often constricted when taking Xanax, then it could be because of an ingredient used by manufacturers. This is bad for two main reasons; firstly, too much exposure to this medicine could damage the optic nerve. Secondly, the constricted pupils will make it more difficult for your eyes to adjust to changing light conditions and put you at risk when you need good vision the most.


If you have a heart condition or are taking prescription medications that regulate your heartbeat, then fake Xanax could cause you to faint. This is because the drug slows down the heart rate and makes it difficult for your body to maintain a normal rhythm. Taking too much of this medication puts more stress on your cardiovascular system, which could lead to an increased risk for stroke or even death if not remedied quickly.

Nausea and Vomiting

You may begin to feel nauseous or vomit shortly after taking fake Xanax. This is bad because it means that the ingredients are causing irritation of the digestive tract and could lead to serious health problems. If you can’t keep food down, take this as a sign that you need to stop taking fake Xanax immediately.

Stomach Cramps

A rapid decrease in stomach acid levels is a side effect that may occur with this medication. In some cases, the decrease will be long-term and almost permanent for those using it as a daily treatment option. If you experience stomach cramps after starting to take fake Xanax, then it could disrupt the digestive process and lead to nutrient deficiency in the long term.

Turn to Our Xanax Addiction Treatment Center for Help

Xanax is a powerful drug that can be highly addictive. If you’re worried about someone you know abusing Xanax, there are ways to spot the signs of addiction and abuse. Reach out to BlueCrest Recovery Center for help today. Our team will offer guidance on how to overcome addiction so that your loved one can get back on track in their life.

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