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Xylazine (Rompun®)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Overview

  • Xylazine belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha 2 adrenergic agonists and is similar to clonidine. It is a sedative that provides pain relief as well as muscle relaxation.
  • After intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, the effects of xylazine are seen within 10 to 15 minutes. After intravenous injection, the effects are seen within 3 to 5 minutes.
  • The analgesia associated with xylazine only lasts 15 to 30 minutes but sedation can last 1 to 2 hours. Complete recovery can take 2 to 4 hours.
  • Within the first 3 to 5 minutes after intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, vomiting can occur.
  • The effects of xylazine can be reversed with the use of yohimbine. This can significantly reduce the amount of time needed for recovery.
  • Despite appearing completely sedated, animals can still move, even kick, bite or scratch, in response to sharp auditory stimulation.
  • Xylazine is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names or Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in animals only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Rompun® (Bayer), Gemini® (Butler), AnaSed® (Lloyd) and Sedazine® (Fort Dodge)

    Uses of Xylazine

  • Xylazine is used to produce sedation and provides a short period of analgesia. Its primary use is as a preanesthetic before local or general anesthesia.
  • Since vomiting following xylazine administration is known to occur in cats, it is commonly used to induce vomiting when necessary.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, xylazine can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Xylazine should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Xylazine is not recommended in animals receiving epinephrine or those with heart arrhythmias.
  • Extreme caution must be used if xylazine is given to animals with heart disease, low blood pressure, shock, breathing problems, severe liver or kidney disease, a known seizure disorder or if the animal is severely debilitated.
  • Xylazine should not be used in the last trimester of pregnancy since it can induce premature labor.
  • Xylazine may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with xylazine. Such drugs include epinephrine, certain narcotics, barbiturates, prochlorperazine and acepromazine.
  • Adverse effects of xylazine include muscle tremors, seizures, slowed heart rate with partial heart block and slowed breathing rate. Increased urination sometimes occurs in cats.
  • Dogs tend to swallow excess air and can bloat under the effects of xylazine. In some cases, stomach tubing may be necessary to alleviate the excess air in the stomach.
  • Vomiting can occur following xylazine administration and may result in aspiration pneumonia.

    How Xylazine is Supplied

  • Xylazine is available in 20 mg/ml concentration in 20 ml vials and 100 mg/ml concentration in 50ml vials.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Xylazine is usually administered in a clinic or hospital setting.
  • For sedation in dogs and cats, xylazine is dosed at 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.5 to 1 mg/kg) intravenous or 0.5 to 1 mg per pound (1 to 2 mg/kg) intramuscular or subcutaneous.
  • To induce vomiting in cats, xylazine is dosed at 0.2 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.44 to 1 mg/kg) intramuscular.




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