The FDA warns against the 'NyQuil Chicken Challenge,' which could be deadly

It's a recipe for trouble and maybe even a trip to the hospital.

The US Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to take part in a social media challenge in which people put NyQuil on their chicken.

People on social media are taking part in a challenge called the "NyQuil Chicken Challenge," in which they cover their meat in the over-the-counter medicine that is used to treat flu symptoms, colds, and allergies.

Not surprisingly, the FDA warned that it could be very dangerous, both when it is eaten and when it is cooked.

In a warning, the FDA said, "Boiling a medicine can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways." They also said that even breathing in the vapors of the medicine while cooking could let a lot of the drugs into your body.

The warning went on to say, "It could also hurt your lungs." "To put it simply, someone could take a dangerously high dose of the cough and cold medicine without even knowing it."

Even though videos of the challenge have been online for months, it's not clear why the FDA just now issued a warning about it. In the videos, people cook a chicken breast and pour a lot of the liquid medicine, which contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan HBr, and doxylamine succinate, into the pan, covering and submerging the meat in it.

The FDA said that the trend on social media was based on "peer pressure," with "online video clips of people misusing over-the-counter drugs and encouraging viewers to do the same."

If you take too much NyQuil, you could have seizures, severe dizziness, liver problems, and trouble breathing, among other things. This could be fatal.

The FDA has warned the trend is potentially dangerous.
The FDA has warned the trend is dangerous.
TikTok / dr_t.z._pod
They are warning people against participating.
The FDA is warning people against pouring the medication on food.
TikTok / dr_t.z._pod
Experts recommend sticking to traditional marinades.
Experts recommend sticking to traditional marinades.
Getty Images
People are pouring flu medicine on their chicken.
People are pouring cold and flu medicine on their chicken.

The challenge is like other challenges that have been going around online, like the "sleepy chicken" TikTok challenge. The FDA said that a trend called the "Benadryl Challenge" told people to try to get hallucinations by taking a lot of the diphenhydramine-based allergy medicine Benadryl.

Dr. Aaron Hartman, a doctor and assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, explained why this trend is dangerous and could even kill people.

"If you ate one of those cutlets cooked all the way through, it would be like taking a quarter to half a bottle of NyQuil," he told in the past.

"When you cook cough medicine like NyQuil, you boil off the water and alcohol, leaving the chicken with a super-concentrated amount of drugs in the meat."

Most of the time, this is how much liquid NyQuil you should take:

  • Children ages less than 6 years: Not recommended, do not give Nyquil to a child under 6 years
  • Children ages 6 to 11 years: 15 milliliters every 6 hours if needed.
  • Teenagers ages 12 years or older: 30 milliliters every 6 hours if needed
  • Adults: 30 milliliters every 6 hours if needed

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