Police scientist examines seizures of adulterated fentanyl in crime lab, Conceptual Ima

Aegis Sciences Corporation Study Shows Widespread Distribution of Xylazine

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2023) – Aegis Sciences Corporation, a health care testing lab based in Nashville, has published a Journal of Addiction Medicine study finding a widespread presence of the animal tranquilizer xylazine across the U.S. Previously, the use of xylazine has been thought to be primarily a problem in the Northeast region of the country.

In patient samples submitted to Aegis for xylazine testing in 39 states, the lab found xylazine in samples from 25 states. Of those who tested positive for xylazine, 96% also tested positive for the fentanyl. This is especially dangerous because naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdose, can save someone from a fentanyl overdose, but has demonstrated limited to no effects in reversing xylazine.

“This is an increasing problem across the country, and it requires testing to educate medical providers and communities and to address with patients,” said Dr. Andrew Holt, clinical pharmacist with Aegis. “By identifying xylazine use with these patients, providers have the chance to look for early signs of tissue infection or other symptoms and care for their patients’ overall health.”

Aegis tested samples collected from adults ages 20–73 between April 2021 and March 2022. Aegis’s study was of health care patient samples, as opposed to other recent studies, which have looked at overdose deaths or the testing of the substances themselves.

Having access to this type of testing allows health care providers to identify trends and educate their patients about the known effects of xylazine use on the body, such as rashes and open wounds that can cause the need for amputation if not addressed.

Aegis offers comprehensive testing capabilities for xylazine and other novel psychoactive substances. Health care providers can learn more or begin testing by contacting Aegis at

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