FDA warns against TikTok videos urging people to cook chicken in NyQuil: ‘very unsafe’

Cold medicine is sold at Walgreens.

Cold medicine is sold at Walgreens.

Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty

First Tide, now NyQuil is another insecure trend circulating on social media.

The Food and Drug Administration has again issued a warning about the NyQuil chicken challenge, which was first introduced in 2017 and gained traction again on TikTok earlier this year. The Sleepy Chicken tutorial video shows people dousing raw chicken with cold and cough medicine and then cooking it.

“A recent social media video challenge encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine) or other similar over-the-counter cough and cold medication, presumably for eating,” the FDA said in a statement.

Calling the problem “stupid, unappetizing” and “very unsafe,” the FDA warned of the toxic side effects of cooking and eating chicken.

“Boiling a medicine can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat chicken, inhaling the fumes of the medicine while cooking can put a lot of the medicine into your body,” the statement said. .

The FDA then added that “it can also damage your lungs.”

“To put it simply: someone can take dangerously large amounts of cough and cold medicine without even realizing it,” the agency said.

Although it has now reached the TikTok audience, the NyQuil chicken has been around since 2017. Tristan Depew, who tweeted a photo of her in 2017, told NPR it was meant to be a joke.

“I saw this on TikTok, which is a little more disturbing because the audience for my original tweet — which I think started it all — is noticeably older,” Depew said. “There’s something to be said for the fear that the kids on TikTok might not be as wary of it.”

Most social media videos now have people criticizing the “sleepy chicken”, including doctors on TikTok.

New Jersey family doctor Dr. Jen Caudle posted a TikTok video urging followers to “don’t do this.”

“Don’t cook NyQuil. Don’t cook at NyQuil. It could be potentially dangerous,” she said in the clip, echoing the FDA’s warning. “It is not safe. This not normal. It’s bad for health.”

She gave advice to parents and basically advised them to keep their medicines “locked up and safe”.

Similarly, in 2018, health experts warned against the “Tide Pod Challenge,” in which participants were filmed eating soap pods. Detergent capsule nibbling has become so popular that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission forced to tweet warning: “Please don’t eat laundry capsules.”

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