The 15-year-old Oklahoma girl who died last month after overdosing on Benadryl while taking part in a social media ‘challenge’ in which teens take large doses of the anti-allergy drug to hallucinate has been identified.
Chloe Marie Phillips of Blanchard died in the early morning hours of August 21.
Janette Sissy Leasure, Chloe’s great aunt, posted a now-deleted message on Facebook urging families to be on alert for kids taking part in the ‘Benadryl challenge.’
‘This needs to stop taking our kids or putting them in the hospital,’ she wrote on Facebook. Her post was reported by The Sun.
‘Don’t let it take anymore kids…I don’t want to see any families go through what we are going through right now,’ she wrote.
‘Don’t ever say this can’t happen to you. Kids are like, “the other person was okay, so I’ll be okay”. Try to always know what your kids are doing or taking.’
The funeral for Chloe was held at First United Methodist Church in Blanchard, Oklahoma, on August 27.
‘Chloe was a sophomore at Blanchard High School, where she was actively involved in yearbook and track,’ according to an obituary.
‘Chloe loved music, dancing, video games, and being a social butterfly with her friends.
‘Chloe was an extremely intelligent young woman and dreamed of one day going to college and becoming a lawyer.
‘On that journey, she looked forward to her first kiss, getting her driver’s license, and one day going to Paris.
‘Chloe’s faith kept her steadfast; she always stood up for what she believed in, and she showed kindness and compassion in everything she did.’
The ‘Benadryl challenge’ is a new game in which teens on TikTok are encouraged to take as much allergy medicine as needed in order to hallucinate or trip out.
But health experts are warning that taking too much Benadryl can be fatal.
‘The dose that can cause a hallucination is very close to the dose that can cause something potentially life-threatening,’ said Scott Schaeffer, director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information.
Overdosing on Benadryl leaves one vulnerable to heart attack, stroke, seizures, brain damage, and even death.
In May, three teens from Fort Worth, Texas, were hospitalized after they swallowed excessive doses of Benadryl as part of the ‘challenge.’
One of the teens, a 14-year-old named ‘Rebekah,’ took 14 Benadryl tablets in the middle of the night on Memorial Day.
‘It was scary. She had fractured sentences, hallucinations. Her resting heart rate was 199,’ Katie, Rebekah’s mother told Checkup.
‘We rushed her to the local ER and they decided to transport her to Cook Children’s.’
Rebekah was admitted to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and stayed overnight. Her heart rate returned to normal the next morning and she was released.
‘What struck me was that we had three teens come in for the same thing in one week,’ said Amber Jewison, a nurse practitioner at Cook.
‘None of these patients were trying to harm themselves. They all said they saw videos on TikTok and were curious to try it.’
A spokesperson for TikTok told DailyMail.com that the social media platform first learned of the ‘Benadryl challenge’ in May and ‘quickly removed the very small amount of content that we found.’
The company said it has been ‘keeping an eye on this topic since and removing any new content – which again has been in extremely small numbers.’
‘The safety and well-being of our users is TikTok’s top priority,’ the spokesperson said.
‘As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury.
‘Though we have not seen this content trend on our platform, we actively remove content that violates our guidelines and block related hashtags to further discourage participation.
‘We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off.’
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant that markets the Benadryl brand, told DailyMail.com: ‘The health and safety of people who use our products is our top priority.
‘The BENADRYL TikTok trend is extremely concerning, dangerous and should be stopped immediately.
‘As with any medicine, abuse or misuse can lead to serious side effects with potentially long-lasting consequences, and BENADRYL products should only be used as directed by the label.
‘It is our strong recommendation that all medications be kept out of the reach of children at all times.
‘We are working with TikTok and our partners to do what we can to stop this dangerous trend, including the removal of content across social platforms that showcase this behavior.’
Benadryl is the brand name of the anti-allergy, over-the-counter drug known generically as diphenhydramine.
A sedating antihistamine, it works to block the release of chemicals in the body’s cells that are released as part of the immune system’s response to an allergy.
The National Institutes of Health says antihistamines are used to treat allergies in addition to gastrointestinal conditions caused by excessive stomach acids.
Benadryl is also an anticholinergic drug that impacts the cholinergic nervous system, which regulates key bodily functions like saliva and tear production, urination, heart rate, body temperature, brain function, and eye function.
Taking too much Benadryl can have severe effects on one’s overall health.
‘Just as an allergic reaction can affect multiple organ systems of the body, Benadryl can affect multiple organ systems,’ Ashanti Woods, a pediatrician at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, tells Health.
Benadryl’s own website recommends that children under the age of 6 avoid taking it altogether.
Children between the ages of 6 and 12 are to take just 1 tablet every four-to-six hours while anyone over the age of 12 is to take no more than 2 tablets every four-to-six hours – unless directed otherwise by a doctor.
Excessive doses of Benadryl can have severe health repercussions for both children and adults, who may suffer from high body temperature, confusion, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness, high blood pressure, and hallucinations.
The National Capital Poison Center also warns of the extreme dangers of overdosing when mixing antihistamines like Benadryl with other pain medications and decongestants.
In recent years, youngsters on social media have taken part in dangerous viral ‘challenges,’ including the ‘skull breaker challenge’ and the ‘Tide Pod challenge,’ that left a number of them hospitalized and have alarmed parents.