- The FDA has issued an advisory against cooking chicken in NyQuil or other drugs, referring to a TikTok video that went viral last year.
- The agency stated that the boiling process may make the medicine more concentrated and could do damage to the lungs when the vapor is inhaled.
- The agency also advised parents to keep OTC drugs away from children and discuss the dangers of social media challenges.
A TikTok video that went viral about a year ago prompted the Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning against cooking chicken in NyQuil, a medication for cold and flu.
The FDA issued the update on Thursday. They talked about the dangers of “social media challenges,” referring to a TikTok video that showed the user frying two chicken breasts in NyQuil and flipping the meat with a flatiron hair straightener.
The agency stated, “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.”
The video, which does not use the word “challenge,” went viral about a year ago and has since been taken down. There are no clear reports yet on how many viewers actually tried the cooking process.
The agency’s advisory caused NyQuil to become a trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday. TikTok also appears to have blocked the tag “#nyquilchicken,” and searching for it leads to a warning indicating that “some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even fabricated.”
The FDA added that even if people who tried the process do not eat the chicken, the cooking method could cause high levels of the drug’s vapors, which could “hurt your lungs.”
The agency stated, “Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it.”
The FDA advised parents to store over-the-counter medications away from children. They also empasized the importance of discussing the dangers of participating in social media trends, especially those involving medication.
The agency referred to previous TikTok challenges that involved consuming large doses of Benadryl or eating laundry detergent pods.
In 2020, the FDA issued a similar warning stating that overdosing in allergy medications could cause seizures, heart problems, or death. In 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that at least 10 people died from participating in the Tide pod challenge.