Health Alert: Possible heroin mixed with clenbuterol

August 6, 2015

The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH) is currently investigating 18 cases of illness potentially due to use of heroin mixed with clenbuterol. Reported cases are from four counties (Durham, Lee, Orange, and Wake). The source of the clenbuterol-contaminated heroin is suspected to be in Durham County.

NC DPH is distributing this alert in collaboration with the Carolinas Poison Center to provide information regarding this situation and guidance to North Carolina clinicians.

Summary

NC DPH was notified on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, of two potential cases of illness due to use of heroin mixed with clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is a potent beta-agonist not approved for human use in the United States. To date, 18 potential cases have been identified, 17 resulting in hospitalization (1 had symptoms that warranted hospitalization but refused referral). Three cases have laboratory confirmation of clenbuterol after having used heroin. Several other cases have laboratory results pending.

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