Johnson & Johnson warns of dangers of Benadryl TikTok challenge

Following the death of a 13-year-old boy who took part in an online ‘challenge’ to take a large amount of the antihistamine, Benadryl (diphenhydramine), manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has issued a statement warning of the dangers of overdosing with the drug.
It is reported that the TikTok challenge involves adolescents challenging each other to ingest large amounts of Benadryl aiming to create hallucinations, posting videos of this on TikTok. This trend began gaining popularity in 2020, triggering a statement from the FDA, explaining that overdosing on Benadryl can lead to ‘serious heart problems, seizures, coma or even death.’
The FDA has suggested that consumers and parents should store Benadryl, along with other over-the-counter medicines and prescription medicines, out of the reach of children.
According to J&J’s Benadryl website: ‘The challenge, which involves ingestion of excessive quantities of diphenhydramine, is a dangerous trend and should be stopped immediately.
Benadryl products and other diphenhydramine products should only be used as directed by the label. […] Collaboration and education are critical to putting an end to this dangerous misuse. We are working with TikTok and other social platforms to remove content that showcases this behaviour. We will look to partner across industry and with key stakeholders to address this dangerous behaviour.’
TikTok have stated: “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family. At TikTok, we strictly prohibit and remove content that promotes dangerous behaviour with the safety of our community as a priority. We have never seen this type of content trend on our platform and have blocked searches for years to help discourage copycat behavior. Our team of 40,000 safety professionals works to remove violations of our Community Guidelines and we encourage our community to report any content or accounts they’re concerned about.”