UAE | Doctors warn against following online trends and denounce the viral “sleepy chicken” challenge

UAE | Doctors in the United Arab Emirates are advising citizens to avoid a risky food challenge that recently went viral online.

The challenge had instructed Internet users to try preparing raw chicken in a solution of the cold medication Nyquil. Following the widespread distribution of that video, some people tried the novel “sleepy chicken” recipe, which prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning.


Residents of the UAE were advised by doctors not to cook with strange substances, particularly if they did not have enough knowledge about them.

Such a viral tendency might have “a significant toll on one’s health,” according to Dr. Amani Elghafri, an internal medicine consultant at Valiant Clinic & Hospital.

The new and bizarre task of cooking chicken with cough syrup has become popular all across the world. In addition to gaining in popularity, the video that launched this trend is also being evaluated by viewers.

He said, “When exposed to high temperatures, cough medicine and other over-the-counter medications become more concentrated and even change. This is why this is dangerous. The cough remedy begins to release hazardous vapours when heated, which can badly damage your lungs. When done with other medications as well as cough syrup, this is harmful.

Elghafri emphasised that parents and guardians must constantly warn children not to blindly follow online trends.

Always be mindful of the potential effects of “trends,” he advised, and talk to your kids about the pros and cons of imitating other people’s online behavior.

Poisonous for human consumption

Medical professionals emphasised that exposing a medicine to extreme heat could possibly make it poisonous. Cooking changes the structure of any drug, which ultimately changes the molecule and creates a new chemical.

Internal medicine consultant and medical director Dr. Fadi Baladi stated that medications are made up of unique molecules that need to be kept at a precise temperature. Certain syrups, tablets, etc., can become destroyed if we don’t preserve them at particular temperatures.

Therefore, the molecules are changed when the medication is exposed to extremely high temperatures in a cooking environment. The molecules are completely changed when medicine is used as a cooking ingredient, becoming new, untested compounds.

Food burning is not encouraged at all because it is bad for our health, according to Dr. Yousra Heikal, a general practitioner at Prime Medical Center – Barsha Heights. They may cause cancer, which is plainly bad.

TikTok responded ‘ request for clarification by emphasising in a statement that they strongly oppose such dangerous actions.

A TikTok spokeswoman stated, “Content that encourages risky behaviour has no place on TikTok.”

Although this isn’t currently trending on our platform, we will remove it if we find it and strongly advise anyone against acting in a way that could be dangerous to them or others.

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