U.S. FDA warns against cooking chicken in NyQuil

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is pleading with people to not cook their chicken in NyQuil as a new and potentially dangerous social media trend makes the rounds.

The agency says these kind of challenges can be harmful to children, especially when they involve the misuse of medication.

“The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe,” the U.S. FDA says in an advisory.

“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.”

NyQuil — a cold and flu medicine — is readily available at most pharmacies in the U.S. and Canada.

The social media challenge currently circulating on TikTok is just the latest in a series of concerning trends to spread on the various social platforms.

Social media challenges and children

An earlier TikTok trend called the “Benadryl Challenge” prompted the FDA to put out a public warning after some teens reportedly died after taking part. This one encouraged people to take large doses of the allergy medication in an effort to hallucinate.

The FDA was prompted to put out a public warning after some teens reportedly died after taking part in the challenge, while others were taken to emergency rooms.

“Nonprescription (also called over-the-counter or OTC) drugs are readily available in many homes, making these challenges even more risky. OTC drugs can pose significant risks if they’re misused or abused,” the regulator warns on its website.

It notes many of the social media challenges are targeted toward younger people. The FDA is encouraging families to talk with their children about the dangers of misusing drugs.

It is also reminding people to keep drugs away from kids and to lock medication up to prevent access.

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