Teen dies after attempting 'Benadryl Challenge'

A 13-year-old boy in Ohio has died after attempting a viral TikTok challenge that encourages teens to take excess doses of Benadryl to get high or hallucinate, ABC affiliate WSYX reported April 15.

Jacob Stevens consumed 12 to 14 Benadryl pills and started seizing at home with his friends, who were filming him attempting the social media challenge, his parents told WSYX. Jacob died April 12 at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus after being on a ventilator for six days.  

In 2020, the FDA issued a warning about the viral "Benadryl Challenge" amid reports of children overdosing or dying after ingesting high doses of the over-the-counter allergy medicine. 

Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures Benadryl, is working with TikTok and other social media platforms to remove content that demonstrates the risky behavior. 

"The challenge … is a dangerous trend and should be stopped immediately," the company said on its website for Benadryl. 

In recent years, hospital emergency departments have seen an uptick in children and teens needing emergency care after attempting risky or dangerous behaviors tied to viral social media challenges. 

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