Recipe for disaster: Experts warn against online challenges involving medicines

·1-min read

U.S. health officials have issued a warning against social media challenges involving the misuse of medicines.

In recent weeks, videos showing people making "sleepy chicken", or cooking meat doused in NyQuil, a type of cold medicine, have trended on TikTok.

But in addition to being a rather unappetising dinner prospect, leaders at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have urged caution over participating in the trend due to various health dangers.

"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 vapours while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body," they said in a statement. "It could also hurt your lungs. Put simply: Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realising it."

In light of the fad, FDA experts have called on parents to keep both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs locked away from children, to prevent accidental overdose, and to discuss the consequences of the misuse of medication.

"Sit down with your children and discuss the dangers of misusing drugs and how social media trends can lead to real, sometimes irreversible, damage. Remind your children that overdoses can occur with OTC drugs as well as with prescription drugs," they added.