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Difference Between Xanax and Xanax XR

Xanax vs Xanax XR

Anxiety is inevitable. People around the world experience it as it is very common. Different factors trigger anxiety such as events like upcoming competitions, board exams, licensure exams, weddings, and a lot more. Good thing, powerful medications come to the rescue to help people with very long anxiety which becomes so abnormal.

There are different levels of anxiety, and the topmost is called a panic attack in which the person feels in doom and something is wrong. In panic attacks, a person experiences heightened fear and panic. The vital signs of that person are also elevated such as pulse, blood pressure, or even that person’s heart rate. In panic attacks and lower forms of anxiety, Xanax is usually prescribed by doctors. There is also Xanax XR. Let us try to differentiate between both medications and see what their differences are.

Xanax is a short-acting drug. Xanax XR or Xanax Extended Release is a long-acting drug. Xanax is taken by people with panic attack every 4-6 hours. That’s about four times a day. However, Xanax XR is more advantageous as it can only be taken once a day and lasts for 24 hours. Xanax is taken all throughout the day since it’s short-acting. Xanax XR is taken once every morning. Thus, the drug will take effect for the whole day, and one will not have to worry about underdosing or overdosing.

Xanax and Xanax XR should not be taken by those with allergies particularly to benzodiazepines. If one is also pregnant, she should ask her doctor about it before taking it. Lastly, for those who have a history of glaucoma, and for those who are taking anti-fungal drugs, they should tell their physicians about their symptoms.

Xanax is available in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablets while Xanax XR is available in 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, and 3 mg tablets which are all consumed once and work for 24 hours.

Xanax XR is a bit more expensive than Xanax. A 30-tablet bottle of 2 mg tablets of Xanax costs $130 USD while a 30-tablet bottle of 2 mg of Xanax XR costs $161 USD. Both drugs cause mild drowsiness, but one should still avoid operating heavy machinery driving, etc. as safety might be compromised while on these drugs.


1. Xanax is a short-acting drug. Xanax XR or Xanax Extended Release is a long-acting drug.
2. Xanax is taken several times a day while Xanax XR is taken only once a day.
3. Xanax XR is more expensive than Xanax.

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  1. I have been taking 3mg of Xanax XR to get through my anxiety I have and it has worked well for the past 2 years. But last year my ex husband died, which he was the love of my life. Though we both had remarried, I never stopped loving him. So my anxiety and depression became overwhelming.
    I was prescribed risperidone last year for my emotional and physical outburst. Then more tragedy struck and my doc put my on Ativan to take as needed. And lunesta to sleep at night. I am feeling like a zombie and out of it.
    The problem is the psychotic episodes are less frequent but still present here and there. I am over medicated.
    I also drink 3-5 beers a night.

    • Does the xanax xr seem to work better in replace of the non xr I take 3 .5 mg a day would the xr work to help all day

      • Yes the Xanax XR will work but make sure your doctor prescribes you the same mgs that you are taking throughout the day example you take 2 -1 mg a day then you need a 2mg Xanax XR Extended release 1/4 every 4-6 hrs so that would be .5 mg released 4x a day to your body because the way they work they break it down into four doses so you definitely do not wanna change the milligrams you normally take a day

  2. I have been taking Xanax for about a year now. It has been a life saver, I never understood what was wrong with me. I will never go back and I have also included meditation and breathing exercises. It’s a whole new me, so thanks you got all the doctors that support this yrestment

  3. Dows xanax show up the same as xanax xr on a drug test. Can they tell the difference

    • They can’t tell the difference but it does come up as alprolazam. Regardless. I take 4 2mg bars a day. I ran out because I helped someone and had to buy 8 (bars) but 16 1mg xr’s. They don’t work as fast so my suggestion would be to have a regular xanax in u before taking the Xr so u don’t have to panic. But ya. Shows up as regular xanax

  4. Which is better a 2mg extended release. Or a 2 mg regular release.

  5. I began taking Xanax at age 15 by prescription from a very prestigious psychiatrist, who saw me after a nervous breakdown/seizure I’d been hospitalized for. 1st Rx was 20 0.5s, no relief until I took 2mg. Once I began taking it regularly z my entire life changed- I’d often think ” people really live this way??” No sweating, no grinding my teeth, no senseless self hate, I was able to communicate with others, think things through and even begin doing better in class. I don’t encourge everyone to use Xanax, but for me, it’s essential not only for my well being it enabled me to live a life I was petifies of which is noway to live.

    • I feel the same way!!!! They tried to switch me to xr and I reclused to my bedroom…. I’m a very active person and when I take reg Xanax I am fine, on top of the world!! I have a lot to be thankful for and I am very happy with the regular Xanax!!

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