Chicken With NyQuil for Dinner? The FDA Serves up Warning on Dangerous TikTok Trend

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Have you ever marinated your chicken with NyQuil?

I’m hoping the answer is no. But apparently, enough people are doing so as a result of a TikTok trend, the Food and Drug Administration has served up a savory warning.


In an update about social media challenges, the FDA explained the risks of taking the medication when unnecessary, as well as the risks of boiling it.

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 challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe. 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 vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body. It could also hurt your lungs. Put simply: Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it.

NyQuil’s official Twitter account is replying to some concerns about the “inappropriate use” of the medication.

“We appreciate the concern,” they told one user. “Consumer safety is our number one priority, and we do not endorse inappropriate use of our product. NyQuil is an OTC medication that treats nighttime symptoms of the common cold & flu, and we advise consumers to only use as directed with the dosing cup.”


Others took to Twitter in order to laugh at the fact that enough people are cooking like this to solicit a warning.

“Please don’t do this. If you want chemicals in your food just eat fake meat,” restauranteur Andrew Gruel said.

“1. Please don’t make us add “NyQuil chicken” to the dictionary. 2. Please don’t cook your chicken with NyQuil,” tweeted.

Anyway, maybe try marinating your chicken with balsamic vinegar instead.


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