How Harmful Is the NyQuil Chicken Trend, According to MDs

While we are able to definitely thank social media for the occasional enjoyable meals development, it additionally is usually 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 devour the pods crammed with liquid detergent.

Most lately—in one other case of viral TikTok movies gone dangerously fallacious—customers have been sharing cooking tutorials on how you can make “sleepy rooster,” which refers to rooster that will get submerged in a pool of NyQuil. This over-the-counter (OTC) medicine is constituted of a combination 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 prone to this type of dare or “problem” sparked by social media tendencies, says an announcement 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 drugs and inspiring viewers to take action too. These video challenges, which regularly goal youths, can hurt individuals—and even trigger demise,” the FDA says.

To be taught concerning the harms of consuming “sleepy rooster,” we spoke with a toxicologist and an inside medication physician concerning the risks of this viral development and the consequences it could have upon consumption (and even inhalation).

The specific hazard of partaking within the viral “sleepy rooster” TikTok development

In response to 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 Rooster development is doubtlessly harmful as a result of cough and chilly drugs, similar to NyQuil, may cause undesirable signs—a few of which might 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 sometimes pour a whole bottle of NyQuil into the pan wherein the rooster is being cooked. Because of this the rooster is being marinated in excessive doses of NyQuil—and excessive doses of acetaminophen, doxylamine, dextromethorphan, or no matter different drugs are contained within the NyQuil,” she says. In response to the NyQuil web site, the typical serving of the liquid medicine is 30 milliliters, about two tablespoons, each six hours. (A median NyQuil Chilly and Flu bottle comprises about 354 milliliters).

Austin Perlmutter, MD, an inside medication physician, writer, and senior director of science and scientific innovation at Huge Daring Well being, shares related 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 rooster problem, persons are typically utilizing massive portions of the liquid and cooking it down, which may focus the components and result in potential toxicity when the rooster is consumed,” he says. “That is undoubtedly one social development value avoiding.”

So, what precisely can occur when you devour NyQuil “sleepy rooster”?

Briefly, consuming NyQuil in massive doses can result in extreme unintended effects or, worse, poisoning or demise. “Individuals who eat the NyQuil-marinated rooster might expertise acetaminophen poisoning, which may result in liver failure and demise. They’ll 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 will possibly result in liver harm and worse.”

Overdosing on the opposite components within the drug is equally dangerous. “At larger 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 great unintended effects when taken in larger doses,” says Dr. Perlmutter.

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

The intense hazard of social media tendencies

In fact, not all tendencies that emerge from social media pose a menace to society. “Some social media tendencies, 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 believe individuals must be very cautious when participating in TikTok or different social media tendencies, because the influencers creating the movies will not be educated about the entire dangers related to the tendencies that they’re selling.”

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

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