(WJBF) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now issuing a warning against cooking chicken— in NyQuil.
Yes, NyQuil, the “night time stuffy aching sneezing best sleep you ever got with a cold medicine.” NyQuil contains acetaminophen (pain reliever/fever reducer), dextromethorphan (cough medicine), and doxylamine (sleep aid).
It should go without saying that using NyQuil to cook anything sounds like an awful idea and downright disgusting. It hasn’t stopped young people from attempting it, however.
The FDA warns that cooking “sleepytime chicken” or “bedtime chicken” is extremely dangerous, even if you don’t eat the chicken. Also, considering NyQuil is an over-the-counter medication and is “readily available in many homes,” the challenge poses even more risks.
“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,” said the FDA.
This is just one of several warnings the FDA has issued over social media challenges that have negative health consequences. The FDA reports an earlier challenge on TikTok urged people to take large doses of the allergy medicine diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to “try to induce hallucinations.” Teenagers reportedly were hospitalized and even died from this challenge.
This challenge isn’t new. According to Poison Control, it originally started on Reddit “several years ago and has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity.” It’s not just chicken either, other videos on TikTok show users pouring NyQuil into pasta, including Macaroni & Cheese.
What’s perhaps even more disturbing is that users have been pouring the “juice” from the chicken and the NyQuil back into the NyQuil bottle. Poison Control says not only is consuming the chicken life-threatening but “bacteria present in raw chicken may be transferred into the NyQuil bottle once the unused liquid is poured back in, especially if the chicken is undercooked.”
Health officials are warning parents to keep all over-the-counter and prescription medications locked up and away from children. Parents should discuss the dangers of misusing drugs and the dangerous consequences of social media trends with their children.
If you or someone you love was poisoned, contact Poison Control at 1 (800) 222-1222 or get help online. You should also call 911 immediately.