One of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers has released a warning after a 15-year-old girl reportedly died performing a TikTok challenge involving one of its drugs.
According to KFOR-TV, a 15-year-old girl from Oklahoma City passed away after taking part in the so-called “Benadryl challenge,” which involves participants taking at least a dozen pills to induce hallucinations and posting the results to TikTok.
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson described the challenge as “extremely concerning,” “dangerous,” and a trend that “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,” the spokesperson added, Fox News reported.
Scott Shaffer, director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information, told the local news outlet large doses of the antihistamine “can cause seizures, and particularly, problems with the heart,” adding, “The heart tends to go out of rhythm and not pump blood effectively.”
KFOR-TV described the teenager who died as “an otherwise happy and faith-driven teen” and “not one to experiment with drugs.”
As for Johnson & Johnson, the company said it is “working with TikTok and our partners to do what we can to stop this dangerous trend, including the removal of content across social platforms that showcase this behavior.”
Medical professionals are urging parents to keep an eye on their children’s social media activity and ensure they are aware of the dangers or participating in trends like the “Benadryl challenge.”