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NyQuil, the over-the-counter liquid medicine used to treat cold and flu symptoms, is currently in the news for reasons not remotely related to its actual use. A new trend calling for NyQuil to be used in cooking chicken emerged and the Federal Drug Administration issued a warning against the potentially dangerous practice.

The so-called NyQuil Chicken Challenge has gained steam over the last few days on social media to the point that the FDA had to get involved and tell folks that boiling meat within the medicine can release dangerous vapors into the air and that consuming the “sleepy chicken” could also bear bad news.

From the FDA:

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.

We’ve arrived at a point this week that the federal government has to warn our young attention-seekers online not to do something incredibly asinine and threatening to their health. And this isn’t the first time social media sparked a dangerous trend but certainly stands as one of the weirdest.

While we understand boredom hits the best of us, maybe pick up a useful hobby like podcasting, although we seem to have enough of those these days. Anything but preparing a nice deadly dish of NyQuil Chicken.

Check out the reactions to the NyQuil Chicken Challenge below.

Photo: Getty