Poisoning of two boys by veterinary anesthetic – xylazine

Authors: L. Mizerová;  O. Černá;  J. Fabianová;  P. Klement;  D. Lorenčík;  P. Pokorná;  P. Srnský;  V. Vobruba
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika dětského a dorostového lékařství VFN a 1. LF UK, Jednotka intenzivní a resucitační péče (JIRP), Praha, přednosta prof. MUDr. J. Zeman, DrSc.
Published in: Čes-slov Pediat 2012; 67 (2): 95-97.
Category: Case Report


Xylazine is a veterinary anaesthetic used on all kinds of animals. Accidental human intoxication is rare, mostly among veterinarians.

This case study describes an oral accidental intoxication of two siblings (brothers, a 5- and a 3-year-old). They drank the anaesthetic stored in soda bottles. They drank 60–80 ml together. The older brother developed altered consciousness (GCS – Glasgow coma Scale – 8), with hypoventilation. He had to be intubated and mechanical ventilation was needed. After 5 hours he started to breathe spontaneously again, in 20 hours he developed gastrointestinal symptoms – repetitive vomiting. The younger brother developed bradycardia and mildly altered consciousness (GCS 11). The anaesthesiologist administered him 1.5 mg Atropine i. v. Both brothers tended to mild hyperglycaemia but were in very good condition 38 hours after intoxication.

The dominant effect of xylazine on a child is the CNS (Central nervous system) inhibition and cardiac depression. Hyperglycaemia, miosis and vomiting can also occur.

Key words:
veterinary anaesthetic, intoxication, α2 agonists, altered consciousness


1. Anderson N, Wack R. Handbook of Veterinary Anesthesia. 3rd ed. St Louis: Mosby, 2000: 29–30.

2. Khan ZP, Ferguson CN, Jones RM. Anaesthesia, alpha-2 and imidazoline receptor agonists. Their pharmacology and therapeutic role. Anaesthesia Feb 1999; 54 (2): 146–165.

3. Colby ED, McCarthy LE, Borison HL. Emetic action of xylazine on the chemoreceptor trigger zone for vomiting in cats. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 1981; 4: 93–96.

4. Xylazine. Chamberlain PL, Center for Veterinary Medicine Food and Drug Administration, USA, Rockville, Maryland.

5. European Medicine Agency, Xylazine hydrochloride: Summary Report (1) – Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products, 1999. (http://www.ema.europa. eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Maximum_Residue_Limits_-Report/2009/11/ WC500015345.pdf).

6. European Medicine Agency, (http:// www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Maximum_Residue_Limits_-_Report/2009/11/WC5000 15367.pdf)

Neonatology Paediatrics General practitioner for children and adolescents
Forgotten password

Don‘t have an account?  Create new account

Forgotten password

Enter the email address that you registered with. We will send you instructions on how to set a new password.


Don‘t have an account?  Create new account