World’s first Xylazine assay

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Randox’s newly established ELISA for xylazine is the first immunoassay test in the world for this drug

Xylazine is an analgesic drug primarily used within the veterinary industry as a tranquilizer.

It has not been approved for human use, however, in recent years it has been linked to the USAs illicit drug supply. The United States Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) recently published a Public Safety alert about xylazine. Its primary use is as a sedative and analgesic in veterinary medicine for horses, cattle, and other large animals. However, xylazine has been reported as an adulterant in an increasing number of illicit drugs mixtures and detected in a growing number of overdose deaths in the USA, according to the DEA.

A report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 30th 2023 found that “Among 21 jurisdictions, the monthly percentage of illicitly manufactured fentanyl-involved deaths with xylazine detected increased 276% from January 2019 (2.9%) to June 2022 (10.9%).” However, they note that because of inconsistent testing, detection is still likely underestimated.

According to the CDC researchers “Medical Examiners and Coroners might differ regarding whether they consider xylazine to increase fatal overdose risk, or they might be unfamiliar with xylazine and therefore not list it on death certificates. This variation highlights the importance of collecting postmortem toxicology data on all drugs detected in overdose deaths, rather than just those listed on the death certificate.

The CDC advises that Expanded postmortem testing for xylazine is needed to clarify prevalence in drug supplies” and that Routine toxicology testing for xylazine in suspected overdose cases is critical for accurate surveillance”.

Studies continue to see the drug reported as an adulterant in an increasing number of illicit drug mixtures. Commonly encountered in combination with fentanyl but xylazine has also been detected in mixtures containing cocaine, heroin, and a variety of other drugs.

Unlike fentanyl, xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone (Narcan) does not reverse its effects. As such this dangerous combination of toxic drugs can lead to fatal accidental overdoses in users.

The severity of its side effects remain a concern: depressed breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature to critical levels.

Available now on the Evidence MultiSTAT!

Randox Toxicology continue to lead in new test development within the ever-changing drugs of abuse market. Our newly established test for xylazine is the first immunoassay test in the world for this drug of abuse.

Simultaneously screen two samples for up to 29 drugs of abuse, including xylazine, on our ToxPlex Array  in just 31 minutes!

About Randox Toxicology 

With over 40 years’ experience in the diagnostic market, Randox Toxicology is dedicated to advancing forensic, clinical and workplace toxicology.

Placing a heavy focus on new product R&D has led to the development of technology at the forefront of advanced global diagnostics.

A market leader in the development of new assays and technology in the field of toxicology, Randox aim to minimise laboratory workflow constraints whilst maximising the scope of quality drug detection.

With the world’s largest toxicology test menu, screening for over 600 drugs and drug metabolites, our range of versatile analysers provide toxicology solutions for both high and low throughput laboratories.

For more information, contact Randox Toxicology at