NFL Docs Urge More Caution With Key Pain Med

TUESDAY Sept. 11, 2012 -- New recommendations by NFL team doctors suggest increased caution in the use of the pain reliever ketorolac tromethamine (Toradol) by professional football players.

Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Athletes have long taken NSAIDs for pain prevention and relief before, during and after competition. But the recommendations by a task force developed through the NFL Team Physicians Society suggests more careful use of ketorolac.

The recommendations are published in the September/October issue of the journal Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

"Ketorolac has been used most frequently as an analgesic pain reliever following strains, sprains and overuse injuries. Our recommendations on its use in NFL players hopefully will help minimize the risk of complications and allow for all parties involved in the health of athletes to better understand, how, when and why to use ketorolac more effectively and safely," lead author Dr. Matthew Matava, president-elect of the NFL Team Physicians Society, said in a journal news release.

The recommendations on ketorolac indicate:

  • It should be given only under the direct supervision and order of a team physician.
  • It should not be used before competition as a means of reducing anticipated pain.
  • It should only be used in players diagnosed with an injury or condition who are listed on the teams' latest injury report.
  • It should be given in the lowest effective therapeutic dose and for no more than five days.
  • It should be given by mouth under typical circumstances.
  • It should not be given by intramuscular and intravenous injection except following an acute, game-related injury where significant bleeding is not expected.
  • It should not be taken concurrently with other NSAIDs.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers a guide to the safe use of pain medicine.

Posted: September 2012


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