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What Is Xylazine?

What Is Xylazine?

Xylazine (ZY-leh-zeen) is a tranquilizer used by veterinarians. It is not approved for use in humans. It's sometimes used as a street drug when mixed with other drugs (mainly fentanyl) to increase the effects and lower the price. 

Such use can lead to serious medical problems and death by overdose.

What Else Is Xylazine Called?


How Is Xylazine Used?

People mix xylazine with other street drugs (such as fentanyl or benzodiazepines) and then inject, snort, swallow, or inhale it. 

What Does Xylazine Do?

Xylazine reportedly makes a drug high last longer. It is cheaper and easier to make than fentanyl and the other drugs it is mixed with. Someone may not even know that xylazine has been put into the drugs they're using.

Xylazine drops heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure to dangerously low levels. When mixed with fentanyl or benzodiazepines or used with alcohol, it increases the risk of death by overdose.

Long-term users can get: 

What Else Should I Know About Xylazine?

Overdose deaths from fentanyl have become a public health crisis in the U.S. The new trend of mixing xylazine with fentanyl has made this crisis even worse. The White House issued a statement calling xylazine mixed with fentanyl an “emerging threat” and is taking steps toward prevention, treatment, and supply reduction.

Where Can I Find Help?

If you or someone you know is fighting drug addiction, recovery is possible. Talk to your health care provider or check your state or local health department websites.

You also can get more information and support by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or online at:

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: Apr 12, 2023

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