Xylazine abuse in the United States is a growing public health problem. The FDA-approved drug, which is legally administered by veterinarians as a sedative, muscle relaxant, or non-opioid analgesic for large animals. Known on the street as “tranq,” xylazine is increasingly mixed with opioids and can increase the risk of overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that xylazine use by humans may cause bradycardia, severe hypotension and ulcers.

In response to the threat of increasing exposure to xylazine, the NC Division of Public Health (NC DPH) has issued an alert with guidance for North Carolina health care professionals (PDF). The notice includes instructions on reporting adverse events and patient education information. Please share this information with colleagues.