Deadly Fentanyl Variant, Fluorofentanyl, Found in San Francisco Overdoses

San Francisco fentanyl (Nick Otto / Washington Post via Getty)
Nick Otto / Washington Post via Getty

A new strain of fentanyl called flurofentanyl has been found in dozens of overdose deaths studied by local officials in San Francisco.

According to the Journal of Analytic Toxicology, fluorofentanyl began appearing in the U.S. in 2020. “Fluorofentanyl has three positional isomers (para-fluorofentanyl (p-FF), ortho-fluorofentanyl (o-FF) and meta-fluorofentanyl (m-FF)), with the most predominant isomer that has recently emerged in the USA being p-FF,” the journal reported last year.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday:

A dangerous new strain of fentanyl — fluorofentanyl — was found in dozens of overdose deaths in San Francisco last year while a concerning new street drug called xylazine — commonly known as “tranq” — was present in more than a dozen cases, according to a new report from the medical examiner.

Fluorofentanyl, which can range from half to five times as powerful as prescribed fentanyl, was found in 45 deaths, while xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer not intended for human consumption, was identified in 15 cases. Different kinds of fentanyl were found in 12 cases. All tranq cases also contained fentanyl.

The medical examiner’s office said in an email that fluorofentanyl is a new drug related to fentanyl. The health department said in a statement that because illicit fentanyl is unregulated, batches can vary and create fentanyl analogues, which differ from pharmaceutical-grade fentanyl by only a few molecules.

The medical examiner’s report found that fluorofentanyl or xylazine/tranq was found in some 54 out 617 cases that could be re-analyzed, or roughly 9%. The report also identified all three strains of fluorofentanyl as the most common “novel synthentic opioid” found in overdose deaths, accounting for 40 of the 54 cases.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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