Health officials are on the edge after a dangerous challenge has taken over Tik Tok. The challenge bears an unfortunate similarity to the Tide Pod challenge of several years ago. It’s called the "Benadryl challenge" and it’s encouraging young social media users to consume unrecommended dosages of the over the-counter allergy medicine. The popularity of this challenge promoted the FDA to release a statement, warning the side effects of abusing Benadryl (diphenhydramine). They told young people that the consequences of abusing Benadryl range from "serious heart problems, seizures, coma or even death."
"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 Tik Tok," alerted the FDA. Hospitalizations from this challenge date back as far as May, when three teenagers were hospitalized across Texas. An Oklahoma City teenager passed away from this challenge.
The aim of the challenge is simply to “trip out” or activate a hallucinate state after taking dozens of Benadryl tablets. However, the dangerous part of this challenge is the unknown. The dose that can cause a hallucination is very close to the dose that can cause something potentially life-threatening,” said Scott Schaeffer, director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information. Kids don’t know how many Benadryl's it will take to activate the response they’re looking for, hence why they are taking so many and eventually end up meeting a disturbing fate.
Tik Tok is taking this matter seriously and monitoring the platform. They’ve already blocked any reference of the challenge from their platform, and removed all hashtags affiliated to it. The general consensus from health officials and those in power, is that parents need to be monitoring children’s internet usage and constantly reminding them of the permanent damage that these challenges can cause.
Tik Tok told ABC news: "The safety and well-being of our users is Tik Tok's top priority,"