Drug warning – Fake Xanax tablets found to contain strong opioid in Queensland
May 12, 2023
There have been two recent deaths in Queensland related to the use of fake Xanax tablets. The counterfeit tablets contain protonitazene (a potent opioid) together with bromazolam (a novel benzodiazepine). Protonitazene is a very strong opioid that works like heroin or fentanyl and can produce life threatening respiratory depression in small amounts. Testing of different tablets from the same bottle showed varying levels of protonitazene. People who use counterfeit Xanax should watch out for opioid effects including pin prick pupils, slow breathing, skin turning blue or grey. Naloxone can help reverse opioid overdose, and should be recommended for anyone who uses counterfeit Xanax.