(HealthDay) – Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer, is increasingly associated with drug overdose deaths in the United States, according to health officials.

Xylazine was found dead from overdose in 25 of 38 states studied, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2019, xylazine contributed to death in 64% of cases, and fentanyl was also involved in most cases.

The drug mixes with opioids such as fentanyl and heroin to increase its effectiveness, but this cocktail improves sedation and improves sedation. Respiratory depression. As a result, the risk of fatal overdose increases, the CDC researchers explained.

“The detection of xylazine in several jurisdictions continues to signal an overdose response and prevention efforts, as the administration of naloxone may not be very effective when xylazine is mixed with opioids. Monitoring is a concern and a guarantee, ”writes Mbabazi Karisa, of the CDC’s overdose prevention service. National Center for Injury Prevention and Management and colleagues.

The drug naloxone may reverse the effect of opioids Although an overdose, naloxone may not work well for these users because xylazine is not an opioid. Still, xylazine is usually combined with opioids and should always be given, Kaliisa said.

“Immediate supportive care, such as respiratory and cardiovascular support, is especially important because there is no pharmaceutical antidote to xylazine,” explains Karisa.

Xylazine is used in veterinary medicine. It is intended to calm animals and is not intended for human use.

Another report from the same September 17 issue of the CDC Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Reports, Stresses increase in xylazine Death from overdose in Connecticut. Between 2019 and July 2020, researchers reported that the number of deaths due to the combination of fentanyl and xylazine increased from 6% to 11%.

Pat Aussem is vice president of the End Addiction Partnership. She said, “People who use xylazine may unknowingly consume it because it can be added and improved in the drug supply. drag Effective, or as a cutting agent to increase quantity and reduce cost. ”

She states that the slang name is “cut off sleep” or “trunk” because the sedative effect of xylazine, especially at bedtime, in combination with opioids seems to be part of its appeal to those looking for it. paddy field.

“The combination of opioids and xylazine increases the risk of overdose because both drugs are central nervous system depressants. It can reduce the airways, blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels and can lead to death. There are, ”said Osem.

She added that if xylazine is involved in an overdose, naloxone may be less effective and may need special attention.

“If you suspect an overdose, it’s still important to call 911, but it may be more important for respiratory and cardiovascular care related to xylazine,” Osem said. “Xylazine also appears to cause painful skin ulcers, so it may be necessary to keep the wound clean and / or receive professional treatment.”

People who use the substance and the healthcare providers who work with them should be made aware of the additives and their harmful effects, Osem said. “In addition, overdose, when it occurs, we need to provide quality care, rather than just stabilizing the person and throwing them back on the road,” she added.


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