Metro Atlanta doctor issues warning about viral Benadryl challenge

ATLANTA — Medical professionals are urging parents to protect their children from a deadly TikTok challenge.

It involves taking  enough Benadryl to hallucinate.

A 15-year-old girl reportedly died from a Benadryl overdose last week in Oklahoma and three teenagers in Texas were hospitalized after trying it out in May.

Channel 2 Anchor Jorge Estevez talked to Wellstar pediatrician Dr. Andy Doyle about the challenge and how dangerous it is.

[RELATED: ‘Inherently dangerous’: What parents need to know about the TikTok ’Benadryl Challenge]

“These children, they think they’re getting a high, but what they’re actually doing is they’re shutting down their brain and all their cognitive functions,” Doyle said.

Doyle said it goes beyond the sedative effects of the medicine of the over-the-counter allergy medicine.

“They also risk the side effects of these medications, the most dangerous ones being seizures, potential cardiac dangers, such as a heart attack, and quite frankly, these could be fatal overdoses,” Doyle said.

Estevez asked Doyle what parents can do to prevent their kids from trying the challenge.

“I recommend they take control of the Benadryl themselves, and they monitor how it’s being used,” Doyle said. “Either lock it up, or look how many pills are in the bottle today and check how many pills are the bottle tomorrow.”

But what can parents do if their child has already overdosed? Doyle said if the child is not alert, has passed out or is not acting normally, call 911.

“If those things haven’t happened, but they’re just concerned (their) child is acting a little funny, they can always call their doctor, or more directly, call poison control and see what they should be looking for,” Doyle said.