A medicine used to sedate animals is now being sold illegally as a thrill for humans. The effects can be deadly.

What is xylazine?

Xylazine is a medicine given to animals to sedate them for surgery or relieve pain. Xylazine, sometimes known as tranq, is not approved for human use. However, xylazine is now being used as a recreational drug.

Xylazine is often mixed with heroin, fentanyl and other opioids that are taken illegally. Mixing these drugs with xylazine can increase the effects some people feel when taking them.

Xylazine can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected. Most of the time, people aren't aware of its presence in other drugs. Xylazine test strips may detect xylazine in liquid or powder form. However, these test strips are often only available to medical professionals.

It also can be hard to tell when xylazine has been taken. Xylazine use may be suspected if the medicine naloxone doesn't relieve symptoms of opioid overdose. Testing by a laboratory may be needed to know for sure if xylazine has been taken.

Side effects of xylazine use

Xylazine is dangerous when taken by humans. It affects the central nervous system and can have side effects similar to side effects from opioid use. These side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Memory problems.
  • Open wounds on the skin that may become severe.
  • Slow breathing.
  • Slow heart rate.

Symptoms of xylazine withdrawal

Xylazine use by people is very recent, so there is little research into how to diagnose withdrawal. However, withdrawal from xylazine may be similar to withdrawal from opioids.

People who are withdrawing from xylazine may experience many symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety.
  • Body aches.
  • Cravings.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Feeling sad.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Irritability.

If xylazine has been taken with opioids, it can make an opioid withdrawal worse after stopping use. Medicines may help treat the symptoms of withdrawal.

Xylazine overdose

When xylazine is mixed with opioids or alcohol, the risk of overdose is even higher. Overdose can slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and stop breathing. In severe cases, xylazine overdose can cause a coma or death.

Treating xylazine use

If you suspect someone has overdosed on xylazine, call emergency medical services right away. While there is no treatment for xylazine itself, other treatments may be used. Because xylazine is often combined with an opioid, a medicine used to treat opioid overdose, called naloxone, may be used. Medicines used to treat low blood pressure and low heart rate also may be used to treat the symptoms of xylazine use and withdrawal.

14/02/2024 انظر المزيد من التفاصيل الشاملة

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