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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 20

Curr Pain Headache Rep


Xylazine: A Drug Adulterant of Clinical Concern.


Edinoff AN, Sall S, Upshaw WC, Spillers NJ, Vincik LY, De Witt AS, Murnane KS, Kaye AM, Kaye AD


The opioid epidemic has been responsible for significant morbidity and mortality in the USA and worldwide. As a result, it is essential to recognize the threat these potent drugs can cause when illicitly used. Specifically, introducing fentanyl as a drug adulterant has been shown to impact overdose rates drastically. In this regard, the Drug Enforcement Agency recently released a public safety alert announcing the new threat of a new adulterant called xylazine. Xylazine is a powerful animal sedative with a different mechanism of action when compared to illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. Xylazine is typically injected intravenously via a syringe, often in combination with multiple other drugs. One of the most common drugs, xylazine, is taken in combination with fentanyl, with users of this drug combination describing xylazine as prolonging the euphoric sensation produced by fentanyl.