Don’t cook your chicken in NyQuil: FDA issues warning against social media challenge
The Food and Drug Administration released warn NyQuil opposes cooking chicken in NyQuil after a social media challenge encouraging younger viewers to try it.
“One social media trend that relies on peer pressure is online video footage of people abusing over-the-counter drugs and encouraging viewers to do the same,” the FDA wrote. “These video challenges are often aimed at young people and can harm people – even lead to death.”
According to the FDA, the trend challenges people to cook chicken with NyQuil or similar over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. However, the agency warns that boiling certain drugs can be harmful to breathing, let alone eating.
“Boiling a drug can make it more concentrated and otherwise alter its properties,” the FDA wrote. “Even if you don’t eat chicken, inhaling the vapors of the drug while cooking can cause a lot of the drug to enter your body. It can also damage your lungs.”
The notice includes warnings about other dangerous social media trends, such as TikTok challenge This urges viewers to take large doses of the allergy drug diphenhydramine, which is found in benadrine and other over-the-counter products, to induce hallucinations.
The agency said the so-called “benadrine challenge” has resulted in hospitalization and death of young people.
In the warning, the FDA offered some advice for parents on how to prevent their children from engaging in these harmful social media challenges. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says parents should keep children away from over-the-counter and prescription medications, or lock up medications to prevent accidental overdose. The agency also encourages parents and guardians to have clear and open conversations with their children.
“Sit down with your child to discuss the dangers of substance abuse and how social media trends can lead to real and sometimes irreversible damage,” the FDA said. “Remind your child that overdose can occur with both OTC drugs and prescription drugs.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics also Suggest Parents talk to their teens about challenging trends on social media or at school.
“Sometimes kids are more willing to talk about their peers than themselves. Asking questions about school trends, friends and fashion may get more answers than just asking about their own activities,” AAP says on its website.
“In any case, it’s important to keep lines of communication open and avoid judgment,” the academy added.
AAP says teens and young adults are most vulnerable to dangerous social media challenges because their brains are not fully developed.
“Social media rewards excesses, and the more excesses, the greater the bragging rights,” the academy said. “It’s a fast-moving, impulsive environment where the fear of failure is real for teens. This environment affects teens’ inability to think about their own actions and the possible consequences.”
When using over-the-counter medications, be sure to read the directions and use them as intended, the FDA says. People should call their pharmacist or healthcare provider with questions about any medication.