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What is Sleepy Chicken? Doctors say viral TikTok recipe with cough syrup can KILL you

'You boil off the water and alcohol in it, leaving the chicken saturated with a super concentrated amount of drugs in the meat,' Dr Aaron Hartman said

US TikTok users seem to have come up with yet another viral TikTok challenge that has gotten doctors and healthcare experts worried. The Sleepy Chicken trend is being replicated by thousands across the country, particularly popularized by anti-vaxxers as a remedy for cold and flu. The recipe mandates users to churn out a dish by braising raw chicken in cough syrup. Also dubbed 'Nyquil Chicken', the viral recipe reportedly poses ample danger to your health. 

In the recent past, we have seen dangerous TikTok trends like the Benadryl challenge, Blackout challenge, and even something as outrageous as the Strangulation challenge. All of these have either ended up hurting youngsters or even leading to their tragic deaths. In fact, barely a month ago, 10-year-old Nyla Anderson died in her bedroom after attempting the TikTok Blackout challenge. While no deaths or illnesses have been reported so far from the Sleepy Chicken trend, experts have strictly warned against replicating the same. 


Sleepy Chicken recipe by @systemofaclown69

In the Sleepy Chicken trend, TikTokers have been using over half a bottle of cold and cough medicine to cook their meat. Moreover, the trend advises braising your chicken in a high concentration of drugs for only five minutes, often leaving the meat raw and coated with a dangerous amount of drugs. 

Speaking to The Sun, medical expert Dr Jeff Foster warned, "The idea that by saturating any food product in a medicine believing that it will provide some novel health benefit or cure is not just stupid, but incredibly dangerous.” He also reflected upon how social media is a den of medical misinformation. “It tends to bring out the worst in some cases, hence the Darwinian approach of anti-vaxxers who obtain their medical "research” from such sources as Facebook and Instagram," he added. 

Foster further warned, "We have doses on medicines for a reason. If you soak a food in it, and then cook it, you are very likely to overdose or at least have no idea what dose you are getting. By taking more than you should, you run the real risk of acute liver poisoning, as well as dizziness, vomiting, seizures, and death."

Dr Aaron Hartman, the assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, also issued a warning against the Nyquil Chicken trend. “When you cook cough medicine like NyQuil, 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." 

Explaining that the cooking process is highly likely to cause food poisoning and diarrhea, Hartman added inhaling steam from these medicines is also unsafe. "Inhaled, these medicines also enter your bloodstream really quickly and are not going past your liver for detoxification. The effects can be quite bad depending on how much you inhale," he noted.