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3rd & 10: Toradol in the NFL

It’s possible you haven’t even heard of this drug before. Toradol is the new drug that is causing controversy in the NFL.

Toradol is supposed to be used short-term for adults with moderate to severe pain before and after surgery. It begins working 10 minutes after injection, peaks within an hour, and has a half-life of 6.5 hours.

However, this was not how football players were using it. Players were using it as a masking agent to play through their pain. It did not matter what they were suffering from- they would not feel the pain. For the players this was a great way to continue to play. Many of the players reported that they were expected to play despite pain. Teams such as the Redskins, Packers and Falcons reportedly use Toradol in large amounts.

Now there are reports surfacing that the side effects of Toradol can be harmful. There is potential for kidney damage and gastrointestinal bleeding. Additionally, several players have filed lawsuits against the NFL for not knowing that Toradol thins the blood, which could aggravate the affect of concussions

Despite all this knowledge and the lack of further studies on the drug the NFL continues to turn its head to its use. While some teams, such as the Rams, have decided not to distribute to their players anymore, other teams are still using it. Not to mention that players are getting Toradol from sources outside the league. Players getting prescriptions from doctors who aren’t related to league gives the league immunity on the use of Toradol.

The NFL and the NFLPA need to deal with Toradol now. The lack of thorough studies into its side effects is especially troubling. The NFLPA needs to ban the drug’s use to protect its players; while the NFL needs to ban the drug to protect itself.


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