On TikTok, the “Benadryl Challenge” is dangerous, according to experts. In this article, we’ll discover more about the TIKTOK challenge’s dangers and the Benadryl Challenge in detail
- The “Benadryl challenge” on TikTok challenges users to ingest excessive amounts of the antihistamine to cause hallucinations.
- According to experts, taking too much Benadryl can result in major health problems and, in extreme cases, even death.
- Benadryl’s maker, Johnson & Johnson, has published a warning about the challenge, and TikTok staff members claim they have been removing posts that promote it.
Benadryl Challenge: What Is It?
The Benadryl challenge is an online challenge that started in 2020. Also, it focuses on the willful ingestion, excessive usage, and overdose of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that, in high quantities, induces delirium and is frequently distributed in the United States under the brand name Benadryl.
Viral on TikTok
On the social media site TikTok, users may watch short films that have been hand-picked depending on their preferences. It started in 2017 on the Chinese mainland and spread quickly to more than 1 billion members worldwide.
On this platform, some nations have included people to spread public health messages. During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam produced films for TikTok that focused on wearing masks and avoiding touching one’s face.
On TikTok, there has also been a lot of false information during the pandemic. The fact that 32.5% of TikTok users are teenagers is the most crucial information for pediatricians to understand. These susceptible minds are inclined to perceive different difficulties and react accordingly.
In response to the death of a 15-year-old female who consumed a significant dose of diphenhydramine, Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes Benadryl, issued a warning about the “Benadryl challenge” in August 2020.
The user is urged to take enormous doses of diphenhydramine to get high and record their replies in this challenge, which gained popularity on TikTok.
Diphenhydramine poisoning as a result occurred often; the first incidence was recorded in May 2020. Following the rise in these occurrences in September 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning.
Participants in the challenge, which became viral on the social media site TikTok, are instructed to record themselves taking huge amounts of Benadryl and capturing the experience of tripping or hallucinating.
Many experts have cautioned against taking on the challenge because intentionally consuming too much diphenhydramine can have negative consequences such as confusion, delirium, psychosis, organ damage, overheating, convulsions, coma, and death.
The FDA formally stated on September 24, 2020, encouraging parents and healthcare professionals to be aware of the prevalence and risks of the challenge.
What occurs if you consume too much Benadryl?
Several problems can happen, even though the adolescents who have made local headlines all developed heart problems almost once after overdosing.
Benadryl may change the neurotransmitters in your body, causing problems with your muscles, blood, and even urination. Seizures are also possible, and dehydration may result in high body temperatures and dry, itchy skin.
Medical literature has extensively covered diphenhydramine’s recreational usage, addiction, and treatment options for overdoses. Its high doses’ euphoric effects, which are a sign of anticholinergic poisoning, are also widely known.
Anticholinergic toxidrome is a condition that, in extreme situations, can result from an overdose of diphenhydramine and other anticholinergic medications. It can impact organ systems all throughout the body, including the neurological and cardiovascular systems.
The challenge has resulted in a number of participants being hospitalized, including three teenagers who were admitted to the Cook Children’s Medical Center after taking at least 14 diphenhydramine tablets and 15-year-old Chloe Marie Phillips of Oklahoma, who overdosed and died after trying to participate.
What side effects of a Benadryl overdose should you watch out for?
When someone has taken a significant amount of Benadryl, you will be able to tell because the drug’s signature side effects frequently show up visibly, according to Dr. Perry.
These signs and more can result from taking too much Benadryl:
- Excessive heat symptoms include flushed skin and body heat.
- Reduced sweating and urine retention, in particular, can have catastrophic consequences.
- Due to constricted pupils, vision problems and an inability to focus on your surroundings may occur.
- Delirium, including long-lasting hypervigilance or anxiety (“A feeling of spinning in circles,” Dr. Perry adds).
Although deaths from diphenhydramine overdoses alone are uncommon, the ambiguous Benadryl dosage mentioned in the context of the TikTok craze is troubling because it could result in further health problems (like passing out due to elevated heart rates and then hitting your head in a fall).
Benadryl Challenge: Video
Concerning TikTok videos, the FDA has issued a warning.
Teenagers who took part in the “Benadryl Challenge” on TikTok, a video-based social media platform, are being seen in emergency rooms around the nation.
Because of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about the severe issues that can arise from consuming too much diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl.
FDA warns about serious problems with high doses of the allergy medicine diphenhydramine
Teen misuse sparked by dangerous “Benadryl Challenge” promoted on social media
9-24-2020 FDA Drug Safety Communication
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that taking higher than recommended doses of the common over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can lead to 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 TikTok.
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.
Consumers, parents, and caregivers should store diphenhydramine and all other OTC and prescription medicines up and away and out of children’s reach and sight. FDA recommends you lock up medicines to prevent accidental poisonings by children and misuse by teens, especially when they are home more often due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may be more likely to experiment.
Always read the Drug Facts label included on all OTC medicines to find out if they contain diphenhydramine, how much and how often you should take them, and important safety information. Do not take more than the dose listed on the label, as doing so can cause serious problems. If someone takes too much diphenhydramine and is hallucinating, can’t be awakened, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or has collapsed, immediately get medical attention or contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222 or online.
Healthcare professionals should be aware that the “Benadryl Challenge” is occurring among teens and alert their caregivers about it. Encourage teens and caregivers to read and follow the Drug Facts la be l. In the event of an overdose, healthcare professionals should attempt to determine whether a patient with a suspected overdose took diphenhydramine.
Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine is used to temporarily relieve symptoms due to hay fever, upper respiratory allergies, or the common cold, such as runny nose and sneezing. It works by blocking histamine in the body, which is a substance that causes allergic symptoms.
When used as recommended, it is a safe and effective medicine. Diphenhydramine is marketed under the brand name Benadryl, store brands, and generics. It is also available in combination with pain relievers, fever reducers, and decongestants.
We urge healthcare professionals and consumers to report side effects involving diphenhydramine and other medicines to the FDA MedWatch program, using the information in the “Contact FDA” box at the bottom of the page.
Healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers can sign up for email alerts about Drug Safety Communications on medicines or medical specialties of interest to you.
We’re going to tell parents about this risky challenge and how they can protect their children and teenagers.
What facts concerning the Benadryl Challenge should parents be aware of?
The Benadryl Challenge instructs children and teenagers to take large doses of Benadryl in an effort to feel euphoric or experience hallucinations, which are adverse effects of ingesting too much of the medication.
An overdose may result from ingesting this amount of Benadryl. Parents should be aware of the following signs of a Benadryl overdose, according to Dr. Gigi Chawla, chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota: nausea, vomiting, lethargy due to low blood pressure, dry mouth, sleepiness, agitation, confusion, and seizures. However, parents need to be warned that taking too much Benadryl can potentially be fatal.
How can parents stop their children and teenagers from getting involved?
Educate children who are old enough on how to use medications properly.
- Teenagers may believe that a drug is safe because it is available over the counter (OTC), but this is not always the case.
- Even though these drugs can be purchased without a prescription, if they are not used correctly, they can be extremely hazardous.
- Parents may be perplexed as to why their child would desire to take on this challenge in light of the risks involved.
- Children’s Minnesota patient care manager Marcy McCracken stated, “What we are seeing is that kids are doing this as a dare, to fit in online, or because their friends have done it—some of whom have had little effect and some who have had considerable harm to themselves.”
- There is a misconception that taking this medicine would only give you a rush or a high and won’t kill you.
Communicate to them
- Take this chance to talk to your kids about social media.
- Talk about the kind of content they encounter on these platforms, and make sure you have an open line of communication.
Children should feel free to discuss online trends with you and should ask you questions if they don’t understand what they are seeing.
- Teach your teen how to read prescription labels if they are old enough to handle their medications. This will help them choose the right dosage for OTC medications.
- Additionally, you can go through the safety information with them so they are aware of the potential consequences of taking too much medication.
Keep drugs away from children.
- Keep diphenhydramine-containing drugs locked up and out of reach if you are concerned that your child will take part in a challenge like the Benadryl Challenge.
- Any OTC medication’s Drug Facts label can tell you if it contains diphenhydramine.
How to handle a child who has taken too much Benadryl?
Whether it was Benadryl or another drug, if your child ingested too much of it, you should call poison control right away at 1-800-222-1222 or online, or take them to the hospital.
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Lavanya (Senior Editor) is a full-time content writer with almost 5 years of experience and a part-time teacher. She joined Medico Topics on the Breaking News trainee scheme in 2022 and now works on MedicoTopics.com. As a lifelong learner, She is constantly curious about learning new things and passionate about sharing knowledge with people through her writing and teaching.