GC-MS confirmation of xylazine (Rompun), a veterinary sedative, in exchanged needles

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008 Aug 1;96(3):290-3. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 May 9.


In order to assess the extent of xylazine (Xyz) injection in Puerto Rico, two waves of used-syringe collections were performed. In the first, syringes were gathered, anonymously and without additional information; in the second, a short interview, also anonymous, was administered. We found Xyz in 37.6% of the collected syringes; the majority of the Xyz-containing syringes came from ranching communities. Syringes containing Xyz more frequently also contained "speedball" than those without (90.6% and 66.7%, respectively). Self-reports of Xyz injection deviated markedly from actual detection: only 50% (self-described users) and 22% (self-described non-users) of the collected syringes contained the drug. With a high prevalence of skin ulcers (38.5% vs. 6.8%; p<0.001), Xyz users were more likely to be in poor health compared to non-users. Surprisingly, though a higher percentage of Xyz users than non-users had college-level educations (23.1% vs. 5.5%), they were more likely to be homeless (64.1% vs. 37%).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / adverse effects*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needle Sharing / adverse effects*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Risk-Taking
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syringes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Xylazine / adverse effects*
  • Xylazine / analysis


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Xylazine