How Harmful Is the NyQuil Chicken Trend, According to MDs

While we will actually thank social media for the occasional enjoyable meals development, it additionally generally is a medium that spreads dangerous and doubtlessly life-threatening misinformation. Take, for instance, the “tide pod problem” that circulated on platforms in 2018, encouraging individuals to deliberately eat the pods stuffed with liquid detergent.

Most just lately—in one other case of viral TikTok movies gone dangerously mistaken—customers have been sharing cooking tutorials on methods to make “sleepy hen,” which refers to hen that will get submerged in a pool of NyQuil. This over-the-counter (OTC) medicine is constituted of a mix of acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine, and is supposed to deal with nighttime signs of the widespread chilly and flu, together with inducing drowsiness.

Whereas this “recipe” might sound unequivocally disturbing and harmful, needless to say adolescents and younger adults are extremely vulnerable to this type of dare or “problem” sparked by social media traits, says a press release launched by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA). “One social media development counting on peer stress is on-line video clips of individuals misusing nonprescription medicines and inspiring viewers to take action too. These video challenges, which regularly goal youths, can hurt individuals—and even trigger dying,” the FDA says.

To be taught in regards to the harms of consuming “sleepy hen,” we spoke with a toxicologist and an inner drugs physician in regards to the risks of this viral development and the results it might have upon consumption (and even inhalation).

The express hazard of partaking within the viral “sleepy hen” TikTok development

In keeping with Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, FACEP, FUHM, FACMT, a medical toxicologist and co-medical director on the Nationwide Capital Poison Heart, this harmful development has been circulating the web for greater than eight months and poses a severe menace to the general public.

“The NyQuil Hen development is doubtlessly harmful as a result of cough and chilly medicines, akin to NyQuil, may cause undesirable signs—a few of which may be life-threatening—when used incorrectly,” Dr. Johnson-Arbor says. She is especially involved about how the quantity of NyQuil consumed. “Within the TikTok movies, individuals usually pour a whole bottle of NyQuil into the pan during which the hen is being cooked. Because of this the hen is being marinated in excessive doses of NyQuil—and excessive doses of acetaminophen, doxylamine, dextromethorphan, or no matter different medicines are contained within the NyQuil,” she says. In keeping with the NyQuil web site, the typical serving of the liquid medicine is 30 milliliters, about two tablespoons, each six hours. (A mean NyQuil Chilly and Flu bottle comprises about 354 milliliters).

Austin Perlmutter, MD, an inner drugs physician, creator, and senior director of science and scientific innovation at Massive Daring Well being, shares comparable issues, and provides that cooking the NyQuil for prolonged durations of time can result in consuming an excellent concentrated model of the drug as a result of evaporation of alcohol within the liquid medicine. “Within the NyQuil hen problem, persons are typically utilizing massive portions of the liquid and cooking it down, which might focus the substances and result in potential toxicity when the hen is consumed,” he says. “That is positively one social development price avoiding.”

So, what precisely can occur should you eat NyQuil “sleepy hen”?

Briefly, consuming NyQuil in massive doses suddenly can result in extreme uncomfortable side effects or, worse, poisoning or dying. “Individuals who eat the NyQuil-marinated hen might expertise acetaminophen poisoning, which might result in liver failure and dying. They will additionally expertise hallucinations, blurred imaginative and prescient, and seizures from dextromethorphan and doxylamine overdose, amongst different undesirable signs,” Dr. Johnson-Arbor says.

Whereas Dr. Perlmutter says that the acetaminophen in Nyquil can act as a fever reducer in decrease doses, “when taken in excessive doses, it may result in liver harm and worse.”

Overdosing on the opposite substances within the drug is equally dangerous. “At increased ranges of consumption, [dextromethorphan] is linked to GI points, coronary heart palpitations, and dizziness. Acute psychosis has been reported at very excessive ranges of consumption. Identical goes for the phenylephrine and doxylamine within the liquid—these have each been linked to a spread of serious uncomfortable side effects when taken in increased doses,” says Dr. Perlmutter.

However consuming NyQuil hen isn’t the one concern. The FDA additionally warns that inhaling vapors whereas heating it may additionally trigger dangerous uncomfortable side effects. “Even should you don’t eat the hen, inhaling the medicine’s vapors whereas cooking may trigger excessive ranges of the medicine to enter your physique. It may additionally damage your lungs. Put merely: Somebody may take a dangerously excessive quantity of the cough and chilly drugs with out even realizing it,” says the FDA of their assertion.

The acute hazard of social media traits

In fact, not all traits that emerge from social media pose a menace to society. “Some social media traits, just like the ice bucket problem, are innocuous, whereas others—like this one, the cinnamon problem, and the Benadryl problem—are doubtlessly very harmful,” Dr. Johnson-Arbor says. “General, although, I feel individuals needs to be very cautious when participating in TikTok or different social media traits, because the influencers creating the movies is probably not educated about the entire dangers related to the traits that they’re selling.”

As a ultimate notice, Dr. Johnson-Arbor desires to remind everybody that even over-the-counter medicines (and, for that matter, social media) needs to be used with warning. “Please keep in mind that all medicines, even over-the-counter medicine, are doubtlessly harmful when used incorrectly or in overdose. If individuals develop surprising or undesirable signs after taking NyQuil, contact poison management for knowledgeable and non-judgmental recommendation. There are two methods to achieve poison management in the USA: on-line at or by cellphone at 1-800-222-1222. Each choices are free, confidential, and accessible 24 hours a day,” she says.

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