The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against the Benadryl challenge that is going viral on TikTok. The FDA sounded the alert after some reports suggested that teenagers are dying or ending up in emergency rooms after taking part in the challenge. It warned about the serious problems associated with the overdose of the allergy medication Benadryl. The medicine is easily available over the counter. Too much of Benadryl of diphenhydramine can cause serious heart problems and even death. The agency said in a statement that the reports are being investigated to determine if other cases have been reported. The FDA has contacted the short video sharing app and strongly urged it to remove videos associated with the Benadryl challenge from its platform. It also asked the social media platform to monitor for any such new posts.
The agency has asked health care professionals to be aware of the challenge and alert their caregivers. Benadryl is an antihistamine that is mainly used to treat allergies like runny nose, hay fever, and the common cold. While it is safe and effective when used as prescribed by the health care professional, an overdose could be troublesome. FDA said that Benadryl is the brand name of Diphenhydramine. The medicine is also available in combination with fever reducers, pain relievers, and decongestants. It advised that parents and consumers should store medicines like Benadryl and other over-the-counter medications out of the reach of children.
However, TikTok said that they have not noticed any such trend on the social media platform. The company said that they actively monitor such contents that violate its guidelines. A spokesperson of the company said they do everything to further discourage participation. The challenge was first cropped up in the month of May. It violates the community guidelines against any such content that glorifies dangerous challenges. The development comes at a time when the video sharing app is already in trouble in several markets. Meanwhile, TikTok parent ByteDance has applied for a tech export license in China. The company is close to sealing the deal with Oracle and Walmart in order to avoid a ban by the Trump administration. The US government has threatened to ban the app on security grounds.