Raise your hand if you had “NyQuil Chicken” on your 2022 bingo card? No, neither do we. While it might sound too bizarre to believe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had to warn the public about an alleged TikTok trend of people apparently marinating their uncooked chicken in cough medicine like NyQuil to avoid a “sleepy chicken.” ” close. for yourself. How did this bad idea even start? Here’s what you need to know.
“NyQuil Chicken” started out as a joke.
TikTok has become a veritable hotbed of offbeat and often dangerous trends. Now the FDA is concerned that people are marinating uncooked chicken in NyQuil, which contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine or a similar over-the-counter cold remedy to make themselves a “sleepy chicken.” Why? Well, actually it all started as a joke years ago.
While the idea of cooking chicken in NyQuil seems to have gained traction in recent weeks, it actually first appeared on TikTok in September 2020 in a since-deleted post. Content creator Rob Flo made his ailing wife a “sleepy chicken,” he explained at the time. “I’ve done this in the past and I usually use four-thirds of the bottle,” the creator said in the video. “Season that NyQuil in there to just the right temperature.” While the video has since been deleted, NJ.com reports that the video was satirical. Additionally, TechCrunch reports that “NyQuil Chicken” can be linked back to a meme shared by a troll that circulated on 4chan in 2017.
But cooking cough suppressants like NyQuil is worrying enough that the FDA has gotten involved.
The FDA has labeled it a “danger prescription.”
On September 15, the FDA issued a lengthy warning against cooking chicken in NyQuil or other over-the-counter cold medicines. “A recent social media video challenge encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine) or another similar OTC cough and cold medication, presumably to eat,” the warning begins.
“The challenge sounds silly and unsavory – and it is. But it can also be very unsafe. Cooking a drug can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways,” the agency added. “Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the drug fumes from cooking could result in high levels of the drug entering your body. It could also injure your lungs. Put simply, someone could ingest a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it.”
This isn’t the first time over-the-counter cough medicine has been used in a dangerous social media trend. Two years ago, the FDA issued a dire warning against Benadryl use when there was an alarming rise in teenagers going to the emergency room after consuming above-average amounts of the drug as part of the “Benadryl Challenge.”
TikTok has also gotten involved.
Although the social media platform hasn’t released a statement on FDA’s concerns, it’s worth noting that clicking “sleepy chicken” multiple times on TikTok now redirects users to a disinformation notice. “Your safety is important,” the page reads, with a link to resources. “Some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even made up. Learn how to identify harmful challenges so you can protect your health and well-being.”
While it all started out as a joke, hopefully no one else is trying to laugh at this dangerous idea. But now you’re prepared when you see your kid pulling chicken out of the fridge and NyQuil out of the medicine cabinet. Shut it down.