If you’ve never heard of “Mexican Xanax bars” or Farmapram, this article is for you. Benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan, and Xanax are widely known across the US as powerful anti-anxiety medications. However, these Schedule IV medications require prescriptions and, in some states, in-person visits with a doctor, psychiatrist, or other licensed healthcare specialist.
Because Xanax has become known as a quick fix for stress or depression and induces a sense of euphoria, some people might do anything to get their hands on it, in any shape or form. This might lead them to buy non-FDA-approved medications from other countries, such as Farmapram, the Mexican version of Xanax.
In this article, you’ll learn what Farmapram is, how it’s different than American-made Xanax, if you can bring Farmapram into the US, what it’s meant to treat, its effects, the dangers of abusing it, and the best benzodiazepine addiction treatment options in the US.
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What is Farmapram?
Farmapram is the brand name for alprazolam, a fast-acting benzodiazepine manufactured and sold in Mexico by IfaCeltics and in the US by Pfizer under the name Xanax. Farmapram and its US counterpart are short-term treatment options for individuals struggling with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), anxiety from depression, and panic disorders. It’s also been used to treat “off-label” conditions, including insomnia, depression, social phobia, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Farmapram and Xanax are not designed to treat anxiety for long periods due to the body’s ability to build tolerance and dependence on alprazolam. Additionally, alprazolam prescriptions and other Schedule IV controlled substances are not allowed to be filled or refilled more than five times. Xanax is available in 0.25, 0.50, 1, 2, and 3 mg 30-count immediate and extended-release white tablets with its brand name and dosage amount imprinted on the front. Farmapram from Mexico is available in the same dosage amount but has no labels or lettering to identify the tablet.
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Is Farmapram Different Than Xanax?
Medical-grade Farmapram and Xanax both contain alprazolam but may contain different inactive ingredients or fillers because of their separate manufacturers and government regulatory standards. For example, Xanax is regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and requires a prescription, while Farmapram is regulated by the Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) and the National Service of Agro-Alimentary Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA), and is available without a prescription (as long as the quantity doesn’t exceed 50 tablets).
Farmapram and many generic medications in Mexico cost 170% less than their counterparts in the United States. This affordability attracts Americans, whether they live close to the border or not, to travel to Mexico to purchase drugs at a lower cost, whether for medical or illicit uses. This upper hand on costs allows drug dealers, cartels, and some pharmacists in Mexico to sell counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl, another addictive substance, or nothing at all.
Read more: Is Xanax a Barbiturate?
Can You Bring Farmapram (Xanax) Back From Mexico?
Yes, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and FDA allow individuals to bring no more than 50 Farmapram tablets from Mexico into the US without a prescription from a US doctor. However, you’ll be subject to search by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Transportation Security Administration, depending on how you enter the US and if they suspect you’re knowingly or unknowingly transporting counterfeit or illegal substances, including fentanyl, heroin, and other Schedule II drugs. It’s illegal for individuals to buy and ship non-FDA-approved prescription medications into the US from other countries.
It’s best to carry your prescription or doctor’s note, an original medication bottle, less than 90 days’ worth of pills, and declare any medications you have when entering the US. In any case, a suspicious but helpful US customs agent might even save you from taking laced drugs. If you’re looking for prescription medication in Mexico and the US, always go through professional routes and talk with a licensed physician.
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What Does Farmapram Treat?
Farmapram and Xanax are both prescribed as short-term treatments for:
- Excessive worry and anxiety.
- Worry and anxiety during social situations and interactions
- Panic attacks (intense episodes of fear and physical discomfort).
- Phobias that induce severe anxiety and impairment in daily functioning
- Anxiety induced by post-traumatic stress disorder
Effects of Farmapram
Farmapram is a benzodiazepine that increases the chemical activity of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that controls our fight-or-flight responses. This induces physical and mental feelings of relaxation, sedation, and calm. Alprazolam has a shorter half-life than other drugs and will usually leave your system in less than four days.
As a central nervous system depressant, Farmapram will always lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. However, abusing Farmapram, such as taking more than directed or mixing it with another substance, can induce uncomfortable and dangerous side effects. The most common side effects of Farmapram include:
- Mood swings
- Slowed reaction time and poor coordination
- Poor memory
- Difficulty thinking or speaking
- Dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea
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5 Dangers of Farmapram Abuse
Short and long-term Farmapram abuse can lead to physical and psychological addiction, withdrawal symptoms, legal issues, severe side effects, and worsened medical conditions.
- Addiction: Over time, the brain can become used to Farmapram’s sedative effects and can struggle to induce its natural sense of calmness. Additionally, the body can build a tolerance to Farmapram, and users will have to increase their alprazolam dosage to feel the typical effects. If a user’s body becomes physically dependent on Farmapram and requires higher doses, their entire life can begin to revolve around finding, buying, and using depressants to maintain a normal sense of calm or comfort.
- Withdrawal: Once a physical addiction has been established, suddenly quitting or missing the next Farmapram dose can induce uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including rebound anxiety and panic, insomnia, sweating, increased heart rate, tremors, and depersonalization.
- Legal issues: Attempting to bring or smuggle Schedule IV controlled substances into the US could lead to various legal issues and ramifications. US Customs may confiscate the drugs, write fines or penalties, issue federal drug trafficking charges, and seize vehicles or money believed to be connected to drug-related activities.
- Worsened health issues: Abusing Farmapram can worsen pre-existing medical and mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, the two main symptoms alprazolam was designed to treat. There’s also a chance it can worsen symptoms of psychosis in individuals struggling with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Because of its ability to slow breathing, abusing Farmapram can exacerbate disorders that already interfere with airflow, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, and respiratory depression.
- Laced drugs: The DEA and other law enforcement agencies have found Mexican Xanax bars containing fentanyl rather than the advertised alprazolam. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, highly addictive, and can be fatal to individuals who have and have not tried opioids before.
Treatment Options For Farmapram (Xanax) Addiction
To effectively address Farmapram addiction, also known as benzodiazepine use disorder, individuals are recommended to go through various stages of addiction treatment. This typically involves:
- Medical Detox: This initial step ensures that withdrawal symptoms are carefully monitored and managed for a more comfortable experience.
- Residential or Partial Hospitalization: This phase focuses on addressing intense cravings and behavioral patterns associated with addiction. It provides a structured environment for recovery.
- Outpatient Program: Following more intensive treatment, individuals transition to an outpatient program. This helps them re-enter daily life while continuing to develop practical and long-term coping skills.
- Aftercare: Graduates from the program can schedule regular checkups with a designated therapist or participate in alum events, providing ongoing support and reinforcement for sustained recovery.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment At Oasis Recovery Center
If you or someone you know is struggling with Farmapram abuse, contact Oasis Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Our rehab center is part of Health Care Alliance North America, a comprehensive addiction treatment provider offering medical detox, various levels and structures of care, evidence-based therapy methods, and holistic healing modalities across Tennessee, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Call today, and one of our admissions agents can help you get started and answer any questions.