The Pulse

Carfentanil

DANGER SCALE

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Unlikely
mortality risk
Highly likely
mortality risk

Carfentanil

Carfentanil is an opioid agonist developed in 1974 by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and sold under the trade name Wildnil. It is an analog of the synthetic opioid Fentanyl, made as a tranquilizer for wild animals such as elephants, bears, moose, etc, typically delivered with a tranquilizer dart. Wildlife rangers are required to use protective gear when handling such as gloves, face shields, due to the ability to absorb it through the skin and respiratory tract. Veterinarians in the US also use this for the sedation of large animals such as horses.

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Other names:

Drop dead, C.50, serial killer, and grey death (when mixed with other opioids)

Where do people get it?

It’s now being sold on the street, and it can be found in various forms: powder, tablets, patches, blotter paper, liquid, and sprays, and can be used nasally, orally, or intravenously.

How is it dangerous?

It is 100 times more potent than Fentanyl, a dose that is smaller than a grain of salt is enough to be fatal. It is odorless and can be yellow, white, pink, or brown in color. Its half-life is long, 7.5 hours, and is very attracted to opioid receptors, resulting in it being difficult to reverse with Narcan, usually requiring several doses of Narcan before being effective.

There is no urine drug screen currently available to test for Carfentanil. It is used in street drugs due to its high potency, ease to obtain, and it being inexpensive. It is unlikely that opioid users are aware the drugs they are obtaining contain Carfentanil.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, call Gallus at
(888) 306-3122.