What is Fentanyl?

What is Xylazine? 

Xylazine is a pharmaceutical drug used to treat animals by veterinarians for sedation, anesthesia, and as a muscle relaxant. 

Xylazine goes by numerous street names in the United States such as "tranq", "tranq dope", and "zombie drug". There has been a recent rise in Xylazine being used as a street drug-cutting agent.

Xylazine is often added to Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid, and people who use it illicitly say that adding xylazine can extend the duration of the high. 

What makes Xylazine so dangerous? 

Since Xylazine is used as a cutting agent in street drugs, naloxone can only reverse the effect of opioid overdoses but has no effect on Xylazine.

Not much is known about Xylazine withdrawal symptoms, however, they differ from that of opioids. That said, the treatment for addicted users is complicated once they seek treatment. 

Xylazine Side Effects

  • bradycardia (slow heart rate)
  • blurred vision
  • central nervous system (CNS) depression (sedation, drowsiness, disorientation)
  • staggering
  • respiratory depression (breathing slowed or stopped)
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • hypothermia (dangerous drop in body temperature)
  • hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels)
  • severe withdrawal symptoms
  • miosis (pinpoint pupils)
  • severe, necrotic skin ulcerations- sometimes described as rotting skin (may occur at other areas beside injection site)- can lead to amputation
  • coma
  • death

Xylazine Classification

Xylazine isn't classified as a controlled substance in the United States yet, however, Congress is moving to change this, by proposing legislation that will change the classification to a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act.