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FDA To Restrict Animal Tranquilizer 'Tranq' Amid Opioid Crisis

The Food and Drug Administration said it will restrict imports of an animal sedative infiltrating the opioid supply and making the effects of fentanyl even deadlier, Axios reports. Xylazine, known as "tranq" or "zombie drug," is causing blackouts, dangerously low blood pressure levels and heart rates, and severe skin-rotting wounds that can lead to amputation if untreated. Because it is not an opioid, the sedative resists common overdose reversal treatments such as naloxone. Xylazine, which has been found in at least 36 states and Washington, D.C., is another hurdle in the public health response to the overdose epidemic. It can be difficult to track, and advocates have said the open wounds can delay people from receiving addiction treatment because facilities don't admit anyone with untreated lesions.

The FDA will halt and review any xylazine shipments to ensure they're headed toward state-licensed pharmacies, agency-approved manufacturing facilities, or veterinarians, who legally use the drug to sedate large animals like horses and deer. "The FDA remains concerned about the increasing prevalence of xylazine mixed with illicit drugs, and this action is one part of broader efforts the agency is undertaking to address this issue," said FDA commissioner Robert Califf.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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