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Medetomidine is a synthetic drug used as both a surgical anesthetic and analgesic.

It was developed by Orion Pharma. It is approved for dogs in the United States, and distributed in the United States by Pfizer Animal Health and by Novartis Animal Health in Canada under the product name Domitor. Other alpha-two agonists used in veterinary medicine include xylazine and detomidine, but their use is less common in small animal surgery.

Medetomidine is considered the most selective of all the α-2 agonists and is currently prepared only in formulations intended for zoo and wildlife species. It is available in highly concentrated injectable solutions (20 and 40 mg/mL, Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, Inc.); therefore it may be combined in darts with UPOs and other drugs intended for nondomestic ungulate and megavertebrate species. It has been replaced by dexmedetomidine in domestic dog and cat anesthesia, because medetomidine is currently no longer available in a small animal formulation.

Medetomidine is a commonly used supplemental drug combined with ketamine and other injectable anesthetic agents for use in great apes,22–24 nonhuman primates, and carnivores. Due to the large doses used in zoo and wildlife species, this drug must be considered dangerous in case of a significant accidental human exposure.

Atipamezole is the recommended antagonist for medetomidine in veterinary species.

It is more potent than Xylazine as well.

NFLIS Sept 2022 Reports an upward trend in Medetomidine submission between Sept 2020 and August 2022.


Local reports from law enforcement advised Medetomidine has been found in the drug supply in Maryland between Aug 2022 and Jan 2023

December 2022 NFLIS Snapshot Report – found specimens in the US.

March 2023 NFLIS Snapshot Reportfound in combination with Xylazine.

National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Federal Tax ID: 52-1660752 / DUNS Number: 073539913

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