The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against sleepy chicken TikTok challenge saying cooking chicken in cough medicine NyQuil is not only silly and unappetizing but it can be dangerous.

The sleepy chicken TikTok challenge is trending

A number of videos challenged people to cook chicken in NyQuil, which contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan and doxylamine, or another similar over-the-counter cough and cold medication, according to the FDA.

The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing and it is. But it could also be very unsafe. Boiling medicine can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways, the FDA said in a notice dated September 15.

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.


This is not the first time the FDA has warned against social media challenges that use non-prescription medicine. The FDA urged parents to keep over-the-counter drugs away from children and to discuss with them the dangers of participating in social media trends involving medication.

The tag “#nyquilchicken” appears to be blocked on TikTok, and searching for it prompts a warning that some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even fabricated.

In September 2020, a similar warning was issued by the FDA after reports of teenagers getting admitted to emergency rooms or dying after participating in the Benadryl Challenge on the short-video app TikTok.

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