NyQuil chicken: FDA warns people not to try ‘unappetizing’ TikTok challenge

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning those responding to a TikTok video that encourages people to cook chicken in an over-the-counter cold medicine that they could be risking their lives.

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The viral video, which on Tuesday had racked up more than 1.3 million views, shows people sauteing chicken in NyQuil.

Similar videos have been in existence for years. Buzzfeed reports that NyQuil chicken videos have been making the rounds on the internet since at least 2017.

The FDA issued a post on its website last week addressing not only the “NyQuil Chicken” video, but other challenges seen on the social media site.

“The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe,” the post explains.

“Boiling a 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. 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.”

TikTok officials told Buzzfeed that searches for “NyQuil chicken” have been redirected to a warning about viral challenges since January 2022. Officials said that prior to the FDA warning, they had not seen the term trending on its platform.

The agency also warned parents about other trends such as the Benadryl challenge that encourages people to take excessive amounts of the antihistamine in an attempt to bring on hallucinations.

“Prompted by news reports of teenagers needing to go to the emergency room or, in some cases, dying after participating in this challenge and taking too much medication, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the public about the danger of high doses of diphenhydramine.”

The statement urged parents to keep medications locked up and away from children.