FDA is Warning People Not to Cook Chicken in NyQuil


When it comes to marinating chicken there are a number of options you can choose for the marinade. Beer, lemon juice, yogurt, pickle juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar…you name it, you can probably use it as a marinade.

What you shouldn’t use to marinate your chicken? NyQuil.


Because NyQuil? NyQuil doesn’t belong on chicken. Which, you would think, is just common sense. NyQuil is for colds and flu. Not chicken. And yet, some people seem to think otherwise. 


The FDA just released a warning that cooking your chicken in NyQuil and other cough medicines is a recipe for disaster and can be harmful to your health.

Apparently thanks to the joy that is social media, there’s a TikTok challenge encouraging people to cook their chicken with cough and cold medicine. I kid you not.

The FDA warning reads:

“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.”

In the videos, which have been around for months, people pour large amounts of liquid medication over chicken breasts and fry them up.

Take a look for yourself:

The FDA goes on to warn that doing so could be hazardous to your health, which, seems obvious, and yet, here we are: 

“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.”

Don’t dose your dinner. It’s a BAD IDEA.

The FDA noted the social media trend relied on “peer pressure” with “online video clips of people misusing nonprescription medications and encouraging viewers to do so too.”

Additionally, the FDA stated:

“These video challenges, which often target youths, can harm people — and even cause death.”

Overdosing on NyQuil and other OTC cough and cold medications can lead to dangerous side effects, including: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma

It can also cause liver & lung damage and can be potentially fatal.

NyQuil and other cold and flu medications contain a cough suppressant known as dextromethorphan which can be addictive.

Taking DXM-containing drugs to get a “cheap high” has become extremely popular among teens in the US. It’s known on the street as “Robo-tripping,” “skittling,” or “dexing.” 

In 2015, there were 1,379 deaths from DXM overdoses in the United States.

This isn’t the first time the FDA has had to address social media challenges involving over-the-counter medications.

The agency also mentioned an earlier completely moronic TikTok challenge that urged people to take large doses of the allergy medicine, diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl), to try to induce hallucinations.

“Prompted by news reports of teenagers needing to go to the emergency room or, in some cases, dying after participating in this challenge and taking too much medication, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the public about the danger of high doses of diphenhydramine.”

The reality is that as much as we know that eating tide pods, chugging Benadryl, and cooking chicken in NyQuil is wrong, our teens are still doing it. Blame it on the fact that their brains are not fully developed. Their prefrontal cortex – the rational part of the brain – is still developing.

And lord have mercy on them.

Obviously, kids doing stupid challenges that could potentially cause serious harm is no laughing matter. But what will have you laughing are these tweets about “NyQuil Chicken.” Because come on, the jokes pretty much write themselves.

Or acetamino-hen.

What’s that saying about “survival of the fittest?” 

So much for the evolution of the human species.

Even the Dictionary couldn’t help weighing in:

You might want to try adding some spices instead.

In all seriousness, when it comes to marinating chicken in NyQuil, DON’T DO IT. The night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so- you- can-rest medicine – is for colds, not cooking.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here