La Salle County coroner: Animal sedative contributing to fatal ODs

5 deaths linked to the sedative

La Salle County Governmental Complex

Five deaths in La Salle County have, since 2020, been linked to a sedative used by veterinarians, and which increasingly is being used as a recreational drug, La Salle County’s coroner warned Friday.

Coroner Rich Ploch issued a community alert Xylazine (manufactured under the brand name Rompun) is increasingly showing up in toxicology results taken from people who die of opiate overdoses.

“This is raising concerns that street drugs are becoming even more dangerous,” Ploch said. “Xylazine is normally used as a large animal sedative. Naloxone administered in an overdose situation is not effective because Xylazine is not an opioid.”

Locally, the drug has been detected in combinations of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. It dangerously depresses the respiratory system and has been showing up in fatal overdoses across the state, including La Salle County.