How to take Xanax sublingually? (5 steps)

In this article, we will answer, “How to take Xanax sublingually?” We will also discuss how oral and sublingual forms of Xanax are different. 

How to take Xanax sublingually?

To take Xanax sublingually, you should buy Xanax SL, which is specifically formulated for the sublingual route. It is available in 0.5 and 1 mg potency and is very effective in quick relief from anxiety and nervousness. (1)

First, you should find out whether Xanax SL is available in your area.

If it is not available and your prescription requires sublingual administration, the recommended approach is to use generic alprazolam oral disintegrating tablets rather than attempting to place regular oral Xanax under your tongue.

Generic Alprazolam in orally disintegrating formulations is easily available by the names of Niravam and Gabazolamine etc. (2)

You should discuss this with your doctor before making any changes. After getting the right formulation follow the following steps to take Xanax sublingually:

  • Wash your hands properly to avoid contamination.
  • Place the prescribed dose of Xanax SL (alprazolam) under your tongue.
  • Allow the tablet to dissolve slowly under your tongue without swallowing it. This is key for sublingual absorption.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for a few minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed through the sublingual mucosa.
  • If you have to take 2 or more tablets of Xanax SL at the same time, place each tablet at a different sit under the tongue.

You’ll start to feel the effects relatively quickly, as sublingual administration can be faster-acting compared to swallowing the pill.

How Sublingual Xanax is different from the oral one?

Sublingual Xanax and oral Xanax are two distinct forms of the same medication, alprazolam, utilized to address anxiety and panic disorders. Their dissimilarities stem from their routes of administration.

Sublingual Xanax, as the name suggests, involves placing the tablet beneath the tongue, where it slowly dissolves. This method offers a faster onset of action compared to oral Xanax. 

Xanax SL reaches peak concentration more swiftly than its oral counterpart. Importantly, sublingual Xanax boasts a bioavailability that’s on par with the oral form. 

Sublingual Xanax does not require water during administration, which makes it easy for people who dislike swallowing solid oral pharmaceutical forms.

Pharmacodynamically, both sublingual and oral Xanax produce comparable effects, such as sedation, calmness, muscle relaxant and drowsiness.

However, due to its quicker onset of action, sublingual Xanax can lead to these effects more rapidly than oral Xanax.

Notably, both forms of Xanax possess the potential for misuse and dependence. Thus their use should always be monitored and supervised by a professional doctor. (3)

Can you use oral Xanax sublingually?

While oral Xanax is designed to be swallowed with water, some individuals may attempt to use it sublingually. However these two forms of administration are not identical, and this practice is discouraged unless advised by the doctor. (4)

Oral Xanax is not for sublingual use

Oral Xanax, in its standard tablet form, is primarily designed for oral ingestion. The tablet’s composition and coating are optimized for the digestive process in the stomach. 

When an oral Xanax tablet is placed under the tongue, it may not dissolve correctly because binders and excipients in the oral form are different from those in sublingual dosage.

Sublingual administration is typically intended for medications specifically formulated for this purpose, which have properties that facilitate rapid dissolution and absorption under the tongue. 

Attempting sublingual use with oral Xanax may result in the tablet remaining intact or dissolving unevenly, potentially leading to inconsistent absorption.

Incomplete absorption and unpleasant taste

When oral Xanax is used sublingually, it may not absorb completely. This means that not all of the medication may be effectively taken up by the body.

Incomplete absorption can lead to reduced efficacy, where the desired therapeutic effects may not be achieved fully. Also, oral Xanax is bitter in taste and this can make the experience unpleasant.

This can also result in a slower onset of action compared to its sublingual counterpart. This is because oral Xanax is not optimized for rapid absorption through the mucous membranes under the tongue.

Patients seeking quick relief from symptoms may not experience the same level of rapid response that sublingual Xanax can provide.

Sublingual Xanax cannot be taken with food while oral Xanax can be taken with or without food. For effective absorption of Xanax SL, you should wait for a few minutes after taking the dose and then you can have food.

Potential for side effects

Using oral Xanax sublingually can increase the risk of experiencing adverse effects. The unintended route of administration may lead to variations in the drug’s bioavailability.

This can potentially cause side effects such as sedation and impaired cognitive function to be more pronounced.

Patients may find themselves feeling overly sedated or experiencing weakness, poor balance, and troubled speech more acutely than if the medication were taken orally as directed. 


In conclusion, given the availability of Xanax SL, I strongly recommend taking it sublingually rather than attempting to use oral Xanax sublingually. If it is not available choose generic alprazolam orally disintegrating formulations.

When using Xanax SL sublingually, remember to allow it to dissolve under your tongue, and avoid drinking water or eating for a few minutes to ensure effective absorption. 

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