Can Xanax (Alprazolam) Be Split?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Xanax (alprazolam) can be split in half.

Jan 11, 2018

BeaArthur asked

I'm prescribed 60 .05mg alprazolam tablets every month. I get the orange oval ones, but they don't seem to work very well compared to half of an oval blue 1mg pill. Would it be possible to get 30 1mg pills halved instead of the 0.5mg pills from my pharmacy?

Answer

Yes, Xanax (alprazolam) can be cut in half, as long as it is not the extended release version of the drug. In fact, most, if not all alprazolam tablets are scored to ease in cutting/splitting the tablets evenly down the middle.

From a safety standpoint, alprazolam can be cut since it is not an extended or modified release product. Drugs that utilize extended or modified release mechanisms should never be cut as that can result in the entire dose being delivered at once (i.e. 'dose dumping'), causing a potential overdose. Fortunately, this is not an issue with alprazolam.

Unfortunately, your pharmacy can not switch your prescription from the 0.5 mg dose of alprazolam to the 1 mg without a new prescription from the doctor. In some states, it may be legal for the pharmacy to simply call the doctor and have the office verbally authorize a change, but most states will require a new prescription to be sent in.

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