The FDA Issues Warning Against The Viral TikTok Cooking Chicken In NyQuil Challenge

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If you were thinking of trying the viral TikTok ‘Sleepy Chicken’ or ‘NyQuil Chicken’ Challenge –forget it.

According to a publication on NBC, the Food & Drug Administration warned the TikTok generation against cooking chicken in NyQuil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and Doxylamine); it is hazardous to your health.

The warning, part of a broader FDA update published on Thursday about ‘social media challenges,’ refers to a TikTok video posted a year ago, in which a user fried two chicken pieces in the cold and flue medication. In the video, which went viral and appears to have been scrubbed off the media platform, the user flips the chicken with a flatiron hair straightener.

“The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing – and it is. But it could also be very unsafe. Boiling medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the medication’s vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body,” the FDA said.

“It could also hurt your lungs. Put simply: Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it.”

The FDA statement caused NyQuil to trend on Twitter on Tuesday.

TikTok and Procter & Gamble, the manufacturer of NyQuil, didn’t immediately respond to any requests for comments.

The tag #nyquilchicken appears to have been blocked on TikTok, and a search for it prompts a warning that “some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even fabricated.”

The FDA also urged parents to keep OTC and prescription medication away from kids and to discuss with them the perils of participating in any social media challenges involving medicine.

The statement also referred to an earlier TikTok trend involving consuming large doses of the allergy medication diphenhydramine, found in Benadryl. Early in 2020, the FDA issued a warning that overconsumption of the medicine could lead to cardiovascular issues, seizures, or death.

In 2018, similarly, consumer advocates voiced their concern over young people seen in videos consuming laundry detergent pods as part of the so-called Tide pod challenge. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that at least ten people lost their lives from eating the pods.


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