Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Center and professor at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, is available to comment on the “Benadryl Challenge” in which young TikTok users encourage each other to take the allergy drug until they hallucinate – with potentially dangerous consequences.
“Challenges like this, which convince participants to ingest or inhale large amounts of substances, can lead to severe poisoning, permanent health conditions, and death,” said Calello. “Teens sometimes find it hard to believe that everyday household products and over the counter medications can cause serious health effects. The “Benadryl Challenge” is no different. Benadryl, if ingested even in lower doses, can cause dry mouth, fevers, and upsetting hallucinations like bugs crawling on your skin. At higher doses, it can cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, and death.”
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.