(WTVO) — You may read that headline and think “well, that’s obvious,” but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing a warning after a social media challenge has gone viral encouraging young viewers to do it.
The “sleepy chicken” TikTok challenge encourages viewers to cook chicken in NyQuil or other cough and cold medications, but the FDA said boiling certain medications can be harmful to inhale or eat.
“Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways,” the FDA wrote. “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.”
“One social media trend relying on peer pressure is online video clips of people misusing nonprescription medications and encouraging viewers to do so too,” the FDA continued. “These video challenges, which often target youths, can harm people — and even cause death.”
NyQuil contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan and doxylamine.
The FDA previously warned against the dangers of taking high doses of Benadryl after teens were hospitalized after participating in TikTok’s “Benadryl Challenge.”
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Steven Brill, the founder of NewsGuard, a firm that monitors social media, has questioned whether the company is deliberately allowing misinformation to proliferate as a way to sow confusion in the U.S. and other Western democracies.
“It’s either incompetence or it’s something worse,” Brill told The Associated Press.
TikTok’s rise in popularity has caught the attention of state officials and federal lawmakers, some of whom have expressed concerns about its data privacy and security.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.