NyQuil TikTok challenge could lead to prefrontal cortex damage, death
Yet another damaging challenge has gone viral on TikTok: Chicken is marinated with the cough syrup, NyQuil, and cooked to eat.
The latest TikTok challenge involves participants cooking chicken marinated in NyQuil, and the US Food and Drug Administration has issued a new warning about it.
"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 stated in a warning.
FOX26 interviewed Dr. Noreen, also known as the Tox Doc, who echoed the FDA's warning and voiced significant health concerns pertaining to the matter.
"The FDA put out a warning to not use NyQuil and other cough syrups as a marinade. It is potentially dangerous when you take any kind of cough medicine that is meant to be taken orally," said the Tox Doc.
Dr. Noreen argued that "it is a complete misuse of what the product it is intended for. When you look at the kind of over-the-counter medication or prescription medication, they always put that disclaimer to use as advised."
The Tox Doc said, "If you use it any other way, they can not be liable for the kind of danger that happens to you," adding, "That’s why you’ve got people ending up in the hospital, because they are eating this up, changing the chemistry of the cough medicine."
Dr. Noreen further explained that the dangers of the mixture are not just in digesting it. The Tox Doc explained that "when you start to heat up that cough syrup, it becomes very dangerous. You can breathe it in, and it affects the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex, which is not easily fully developed until people are in their 20s."
Dr. Noreen emphasized that the TikTok challenge is highly dangerous and "terrifying" noting that "people are in very serious situations in the hospital."
It is also worth noting that the FDA stated that boiling cough syrup makes it highly concentrated which can also damage the lungs.