The U.S. Food & Drug Administration just issued a warning about social media challenges that encourage people to misuse nonprescription medications.  The FDA said, "Social media trends and peer pressure can be a dangerous combination to your children and their friends, especially when involving misusing medicines."  

The FDA expressed serious concerns about social media trends that use peer pressure to encourage kids and others to misuse prescription medications.  The FDA said that these challenges "can harm people -- and even cause death."  

The FDA pointed to one recent social media video challenge that encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil.  The agency explained that not only does the challenge sound "silly and unappetizing," it could also cause someone to "take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it."  The FDA gave another example of an online challenge that encouraged people to take large doses of allergy medicine in order to induce hallucinations. 

The FDA's warning didn't suggest that brands were participating in, or encouraging, these challenges.  The warning is an important reminder, though, for brands to be careful when they are encouraging consumers, and particularly younger people, to create online content.  Brands should exercise caution to ensure that they aren't encouraging or condoning behavior that could be unsafe.