Don’t cook chicken with NyQuil.
This warning from the Food and Drug Administration comes after videos on the social media platform TikTok went viral about a year ago.
“The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe. 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,” the FDA said in a warning published on Sept. 15.
“Put simply: Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it,” it added.
In the TikTok videos that the FDA is referring to, a platform user cooks chicken breasts in NyQuil, an over-the-counter cold and flu medicine. One of the videos also shows the chicken being flipped with an electric hair-straightening iron, NBC News reported.
Though the videos appear to have been made some time ago, they have been reposted extensively in light of the FDA’s new warning.
FDA issued warning of TikTok challenge that encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil pic.twitter.com/ahTtA8ETsm
— DomisLive NEWS (@domislivenews) September 20, 2022
The videos originally went viral on TikTok, but at least some were allegedly taken off of the platform, NBC reported.
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“A recent social media video challenge encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine) or another similar OTC cough and cold medication, presumably to eat,” the FDA wrote.
“There have been no reports of hospitalizations or deaths related to NyQuil chicken, a tongue-in-cheek recipe that first surfaced in the notorious 4chan forum in 2017 and also received a spike of attention in January,” the Times reported.
However, the FDA still felt the need to make sure there was a warning against the strange idea of cooking chicken in NyQuil.
It also warned parents about how peer pressure and social media trends can push children to try strange ideas like this.
“Social media trends and peer pressure can be a dangerous combination to your children and their friends, especially when involving misusing medicines,” the FDA warned.
“One social media trend relying on peer pressure is online video clips of people misusing nonprescription medications and encouraging viewers to do so too. These video challenges, which often target youths, can harm people — and even cause death,” the FDA continued.
However, as the New York Times noted, the FDA’s warning has actually helped the videos draw attention again across social media.
“And on Tuesday, it was a trending topic on Twitter, with reaction videos spreading on TikTok and links to news articles aplenty on Facebook,” the Times reported.
But at least there is a warning from the FDA now.