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TikTok trend cooking chicken in cold medicine is dangerous

A person cooks chicken breast in liquid cold medicine.  (YouTube / Willeezy Entertainment)

A person cooks chicken breast in liquid cold medicine. (YouTube / Willeezy Entertainment)

Doctors advise young people to think twice before participating in a bizarre TikTok trend, where they prepare chicken breast in over-the-counter cold and cough medicine.

Known as "NyQuil Chicken" or "Sleepy Chicken", the trend that many chalk up to be a joke has emerged on various video platforms. In the videos, people place chicken breast in a pan and pour the medicine over until it absorbs the liquid.

In a satirical video in which many claim he is making a cold remedy for his sick wife, he pours light green decongestant over the chicken and advises to let it sit there for "5 to 30 minutes" while the medicine is marinated in the chicken.

"Make sure you are constantly turning the chicken. You will not give one side more attention than the other," he tells the camera. "Sometimes the steam really makes you sleepy."

Several of the original videos with the trend have since been deleted from TikTok.

This is not the first time the bizarre phenomenon is circulating on the internet. Back in 2017, the anonymous photo site 4Chan showed several people making “sleep chicken” and the trend has been seen on Youtube.

"Taking medication with food is typically not dangerous, as many people do with their daily dose of medication," Aaron Hartman, a physician and assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, told Mic.com. “When you cook cough medicine like NyQuil, however, you boil the water and alcohol from it, leaving the chicken saturated with a super-concentrated amount of substances in the meat. If you ate one of those chops completely cooked, it would be as if you were actually consuming a quarter to a half bottle of NyQuil. ”

In addition to eating the chicken, it can prove quite dangerous to inhale the meat when it is poured into NyQuil because it is an aerosolized form. Inhaling it into your lungs can be particularly toxic.

"Inhaled, these drugs also enter the bloodstream really quickly and do not go past your liver for detoxification," Hartman said. "The effects can be pretty bad depending on how much you inhale."

TikTok is a common place where fun food trends, such as. whipped coffee and cloud bread, show up. However, this is not the first time people have made dangerous combinations of ingredients for the popular app. Last summer, a frozen honey trick rose in popularity. It contained people filling water bottles with honey, corn syrup or a mixture of both and storing it in the freezer before eating it, Women's Health reported. However, some people found out the hard way that the trend resulted in diarrhea, cramps and bloating.

Another trend that went wrong at TikTok included fried "mini eggs" that were supposed to be kid-friendly. Unfortunately, experts told TODAY that boiling frozen eggs can lead to serious problems, especially in small ones.

"Because of the risk of foodborne illness, especially among a vulnerable population such as children, it would not be advisable to perform this method of egg preparation," said a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "There are food safety risks involved, such as cross-contamination and undercooking of the egg, which can cause foodborne illness if not handled properly. It is also generally not recommended to freeze eggs in their shells."

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