The Chinese-created TikTok app has become a target of the FDA after the platform helped spread the popularity of the life-threatening “Benadryl challenge.” The so-called game has already been linked to at least one death as young Americans strive for internet popularity on the addictive platform. While the FDA has asked TikTok to remove videos promoting the drug challenge, it is unclear if the social media organization will put human life ahead of profit.
Abusing Benadryl can have disastrous consequences. Some side effects of taking too much of the antihistamine include seizures, coma, heart problems, and even death. With one girl dead and many more hospitalized, TikTok has finally realized its potential as a threat to American youth.
Thankfully, the Food and Drug Administration has stepped int to put a stop to TikTok’s irresponsible behavior. Because the platform has been promoting the Benadryl challenge videos – due to their unprecedented popularity among American youth – the FDA wants the challenge gone for good. As the FDA continues to receive reports of teens dying and being admitted to emergency rooms in the United States – not to mention other countries abroad – continues to skyrocket. This problem is only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which already has emergency rooms and hospitals at maximum capacity.
In August, a teenage girl from Oklahoma died after she overdosed on Benadryl as part of the Benadryl Challenge on TikTok. Teens and other victims of the TikTok challenge are taking too many pills because overdosing on the anti-allergy medication can induce hallucinations.
The FDA hopes to save lives by fighting against the popular TikTok internal challenge. Although millions of teens occupy themselves with the social media app, the FDA hopes their warning gets heard by those most at-risk – teens using the app.
The governmental organization issued a statement about the challenge and contacted TikTok with a request for the platform to remove all dangerous videos.
“We are 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,” a statement from the agency read. “We are investigating these reports and conducting a review to determine if additional cases have been reported. We will update the public once we have completed our review or have more information to share. We also contacted TikTok and strongly urged them to remove the videos from their platform and to be vigilant to remove additional videos that may be posted.”
Johnson & Johnson produces Benadryl, the brand name for over-the-counter allergy medication. The pill can reduce symptoms of hay fever, upper respiratory allergies, or the common cold, including the most annoying symptoms of all, a runny nose and sneezing.
A J&J spokesperson told Daily Mail:
“The health and safety of people who use our products is our top priority. The BENADRYL TikTok trend is extremely concerning, dangerous and should be stopped immediately. As with any medicine, abuse or misuse can lead to serious side effects with potentially long-lasting consequences, and BENADRYL products should only be used as directed by the label.”