Update on harmful drugs in fake alprazolam

Source: NSW Health
Drug sold as: Alprazolam

Reason for concern: Contain unregistered, illicit benzodiazepines and other drugs (e.g. stimulants)

Photos of some of the counterfeit alprazolam products seen in NSW.

Warning: Counterfeit alprazolam in NSW rarely contains alprazolam. These products contain other drugs (mostly unregistered benzodiazepines) in variable combinations and dosages.

Know the risks

  • Taking non-prescribed ‘alprazolam’ can cause serious harm. The risk of harm is higher if you:
    • Take a counterfeit product
    • Take a higher dose
    • Mix different sedative drugs. Alcohol, benzos and opioids are very dangerous to combine.
    • Use drugs when you are alone
  • The tablets have variable appearance and can look like a variety of local or overseas alprazolam 2mg brands, such as Kalma, Xanax, Mylan, Sandoz. Products not purchased at pharmacies are high risk of being counterfeit.
  • Counterfeit alprazolam is often poorly manufactured, and the ingredients and amounts can vary substantially, even within the same batch.
  • Testing of counterfeit alprazolam has shown that most counterfeit tablets do not contain alprazolam, instead they contain unregistered, illicit benzodiazepines and other drugs (e.g. stimulants), which can be more harmful.
  • Counterfeit benzos have been associated with serious harm and death.

Effects to look out for

  • Difficulty speaking or walking, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, slow breathing/snoring and skin turning blue.
  • Be on the lookout for unexpected effects.

Getting help

If you see the warning signs of overdose:

  • Seek help immediately from your nearest emergency department or call Triple Zero (000).
  • Start CPR if someone is not breathing.

Support and advice

For free and confidential advice:

Reproduced by permission, NSW Health © 2023.