Doctors warn that the TikTok trend of cooking chicken in cold medicine is dangerous

 Doctors warn that the TikTok trend of cooking chicken in cold medicine is dangerous

Doctors walk against ‘sleepy chicken’ TikTok trend (Image via TikTok)

Doctors are warning young people not to participate in a bizarre TikTok trend in which they cook chicken breasts in over-the-counter liquid cold and cough medicine.

The trend, named “NyQuil Chicken” or “Sleepy Chicken,” has surfaced on various video platforms. Many believe it is a joke. In the videos, people place chicken breasts in a pan and pour the medicine over them until the liquid is absorbed.

In one satirical video, a man claims to be making a cold remedy for his sick wife by pouring bright green decongestant over chicken and advises viewers to leave it for “5 to 30 minutes” while the medicine marinates in the chicken.

“Make sure you’re constantly flipping over the chicken. You don’t want to give one side more attention than the other,” he tells the camera. “Sometimes the steam really makes you sleepy.”

Several of the trend’s original videos have since been removed from TikTok.

This isn’t the first time the strange phenomenon has made its way around the Internet. Back in 2017, the anonymous image site 4Chan posted a video of several people making “sleepytime chicken,” and the trend has since spread to YouTube.

“Taking medicine with food typically isn’t dangerous, since many people do it with their daily dosage of medicine,” Aaron Hartman, a physician and assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, told “When you cook cough medicine like NyQuil, however, you boil off the water and alcohol in it, leaving the chicken saturated with a super concentrated amount of drugs in the meat. If you ate one of those cutlets completely cooked, it’d be as if you’re actually consuming a quarter to half a bottle of NyQuil.”

In addition to eating the chicken, inhaling the meat after it has been doused in NyQuil can be hazardous due to its aerosolized form. Inhaling it into your lungs can be particularly dangerous.

“Inhaled, these medicines also enter your bloodstream really quickly and are not going past your liver for detoxification,” Hartman said. “The effects can be quite bad depending on how much you inhale.”

TikTok is a popular spot for fun food trends to arise, such as whipped coffee and cloud bread. However, this isn’t the first time dangerous combinations of ingredients have been created for the popular app. A frozen honey trick gained popularity last summer. According to Women’s Health, it featured people filling water bottles with honey, corn syrup, or a combination of the two and freezing them before eating them. Some people, however, discovered the hard way that the trend caused diarrhea, cramping, and bloating.

Another TikTok trend gone wrong was fried “mini-eggs,” which were supposed to be kid-friendly. Unfortunately, experts told TODAY that cooking frozen eggs could cause serious problems, especially in children.

“Due to the risk of food-borne illness, especially among an at-risk population like children, it would not be recommended to do this method of egg preparation,” said a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. “There are food safety risks involved, such as cross-contamination and under-cooking the egg, that could cause food-borne illness if not properly handled. It’s also generally not recommended to freeze eggs in their shell.”

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