KEY POINTS

  • An  Oklahoma teenager reportedly died after taking part in the "Benadryl Challenge"
  • In May, three teens in Texas were hospitalized after participating in the same challenge
  • Parents were urged to discuss the fatal consequences of such social media challenges with their children

A recent social trend has allegedly led to the death of an Oklahoma-based teenager last week after she took part in the "Benadryl Challenge" on TikTok. 

The 15-year-old girl died last week allegedly from an overdose of Benadryl.  Her family said she was a happy person who wouldn't experiment with drugs. They warn others to not fall victim to such dangerous challenges trending on social media platforms.

The Benadryl challenge on TikTok is the latest social media fad where teenagers have been encouraged to take a dozen or more doses of Benadryl so as to experience a high that could lead to hallucinations.

"The dose that can cause a hallucination is very close to the dose that can cause something potentially life-threatening," Scott Schaeffer, director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information, told KFOR News 4. "Large doses of Benadryl can cause seizures and, particularly, problems with the heart. The heart tends to go out of rhythm and not pump blood effectively."

The same challenge led to the hospitalization of at least three teens in Texas in May. One of the teens also experienced hallucinations and was speaking in fractured sentences after taking excess amounts of the allergy drug.

Health experts are urging parents to be aware of such dangerous social media trends and talk to their children about the consequences.

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is a commonly prescribed drug to treat allergies and symptoms of the common cold. The over-the-counter drug is generally considered safe when taken in normal doses. But it could cause severe health effects when taken in excessive amounts.

"Engaging in such a challenge is inherently dangerous and can be fatal. People may require intubation to secure their airway in the setting of a significant overdose. Simply put, as you approach the dose that leads to hallucinations that the 'challenge' calls for, the risk for seizures and deadly cardiac arrhythmias significantly increases as well," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Fox News.

In an email to Fox News, a spokesperson for Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of Benadryl, said it should only be used as directed on the label, adding that "the Benadryl TikTok trend was extremely concerning, dangerous and should be stopped immediately".