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FDA Issues Warning About the TikTok ‘Benadryl Challenge’

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Person Holding an iPhone Running TikTok Application | FDA Issues Warning About the TikTok ‘Benadryl Challenge’ | Featured

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning today about people who may be taking high doses of Benadryl as part of a challenge on TikTok.

The FDA said that “taking higher than recommended doses of the common over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death.”

The agency said it is “aware of news reports of teenagers ending up in emergency rooms or dying after participating in the ‘Benadryl Challenge’ encouraged in videos posted on the social media application TikTok.”

The FDA said it is investigating those reports.

Recently Sanctioned Application TikTok Download Page on Google's Play Store | FDA Issues Warning About the TikTok ‘Benadryl Challenge’

The “Benadryl Challenge” is a social media fad where teens on TikTok are encouraged to take as much allergy medicine as it takes to trip out, or hallucinate, usually a dozen or more doses of the pill, according to published reports.

Participating in the challenge reportedly lead to the death of a 15-year-old Oklahoma City girl in August. Three teens in Texas were reportedly hospitalized in May after taking high doses of Benadryl.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to temporarily relieve symptoms due to hay fever, upper respiratory allergies, or the common cold, such as runny nose and sneezing.

The FDA is encouraging parents and caregivers to keep Benadryl and other over-the-counter medications out of reach of children to prevent “misuse by teens, especially when they are home more often due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may be more likely to experiment.”


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